fearless-a cartoonist’s guide to life-robb armstrong

“Nothing in nature is constant.” (39)

biscotti is getting soft.

i’ve noticed this over the years, and i’m wondering if it’s because people’s teeth are getting weaker in proportion to how their spirits are getting sharp.

from the woman who demanded my seat on the bus (i usually offer but biiiiiitch…) to the children who were bouncing our free fruit for kids apples like basketballs after i repeatedly asked them to stop and consider that they were there for everyone to eat and not play with (if these are your children, i judge you for not teaching them to respect produce and humans, and i will come for them if i see them in the streets), to the woman who refused to accept that we wouldn’t be bullied to put her gluten-free needs before that of all others in our store-the pissy sense of entitlement has been coming through very strong lately.

yesterday, i got one step closer to finishing my indie coffee passport, returning to golden cafe-a not so easily accessible cafe that did not post on their facebook when they went on vacation a few weeks back. the americano was pretty good, but the fact that i got no smiles or thank yous, was charged $1 for three slivers of ice, and told with scorn that the cream (which was empty) was behind me made me wonder about repeating the voyage next year. it’s true-we’re not paying customers on the passport (except that we did pay), but we took the time to come to your cafe that we probably didn’t know about, and if you’re nice-we might come back. i guess it’s like winter/summerlicious-people feel like prix fixe is a reason to skimp on service, or basic humanity. well-just don’t do it, then. because either you do, and you’re great-full for the opportunity to serve people who may never come back, or you don’t and turn down the customers that you don’t even know that you may get. i know tipping is a controversial topic, and i’m not going to get into it, but basically-tip or don’t-i’m sure you have your reasons/service standards, and hopefully your message will be understood. but don’t tip a penny-that’s just a jerk move. this truth stands for those on the other side of the counter.

i went in way too many circles around the city yesterday due to tiff and the general downtown nonsense, but on my very last leg home, i crossed paths with a 7″+ older black man dressed in flowing white garments. i looked waaaaay up to make eye contact and say hello. he beamed back down at me and said, “hi darling”. the woman in front of me who had slowed down as i passed her, seemingly intentionally to tell me, “he was scary”. “what was scary about him?” “the way he was, he didn’t look at me”. “oh, well, he just smiled and greeted me very nicely” “oh, not me”. well-how did you greet him? what the fuck energy did you put out-suspicious and cunty? he probably didn’t even register your bullshit as it was aimed as his knees. had you made an effort to look into his eyes, you probably would’ve had a different experience.

and that’s the lesson-we need to be accountable for what we get out of this life because nobody owes us shit.

“One thing I’ve learned: art, love and wisdom are worth nothing unless you give them away. Never hold back your best stuff for later. You might not have a later. Give it all away-every bit of it-to your readers, your audience, your partner and your kids. Give the world your all, and the world will reward you, often in the most unexpected ways.” (5)

there are always going to be people in this life who try really hard not to be assholes. and then there are others who just see all that space to fill up with their assholedom and take it the fuck up. just because i know that’s true, i’m not going to pull that basic bitch shit and “get mine”. i won’t be swayed from my path to do the right thing, even if i have to get off the streetcar two stops early in poor footwear because the church lady is judging too loudly in my ear the people that she refuses to talk to anymore because all they do is talk about other people.

(kisses teeth).

i love how robb armstrong structured this book, and even though i didn’t do any of the drawing challenges, i’m thinking about them. this came to me on some library synergy, as i heard him talk on the philly free library podcast, and then i came upon the book right on the shelf at parkdale after one of my self-directed piano lessons.

i’m still thinking about that “all lives matter” that he slipped in there…btw.


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