Among the many side benefits of the insomnia and shallow sleep I have had pretty much my whole life, I would rank the freaky dreams I have when I’m wide-eyed or semi-conscious pretty close to the top. I’ve gotten a couple stories that I like out of these hallucinatory episodes, and since the sleepless nights don’t look like they’re going anywhere, I might as well get something useful out of the experience. Below are two sketches I scribbled down as soon as I got out of bed recently:


Some sort of family piece

When I was growing up, my parents told me everything. Then my sisters told me everything. Then my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles – they told me everything, too. My girlfriends, such as they were, I suppose told me what they must have thought I wanted to hear. My friends, bless their hearts, they at least were straight with me. Spock-like, they always said “everything we’re going to tell you is a lie.” My wife seems to be on the up-and-up.

So now, after having been told everything all my life, I’m out on this enormous ranch in the Palouse, wandering through an enormous barn I’ve never seen before, talking to an enormous cousin I barely know, trying to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Wish me luck.


In the tradition of The Brothers McMullen, We Were the Mulvaneys and all those other stupid Irish-American family sagas, comes The Corbetts of Ocean Township, complete with

1) sappy Irish music, including that damn tin whistle
2) a daffy mom
3) ghosts, and the daffy daughter who thinks she sees them
4) five more daughters, plus six sons and a dad who’s just kind of there
5) a Dark Family Secret (maybe that they’re really Scottish or something)
6) Johnny Rotten
7) Shane McGowan
8) U2
9) Thin Lizzy (maybe Phil Lynott will be a ghost)
10) Bernardo O’Higgins (maybe he’ll be another ghost)

Okay, The Brothers McMullen and We Were the Mulvaneys are actually pretty good. I’m just punchy from lack of sleep.