Confessions of a Gimp

 

GimpCoverIn May 2014, a project that was a decade (at least!) in the making came to fruition with the publication of Confessions of a Gimp (Goathouse Books), a collection of humorous short stories about my life. The stories cover everything from accidentally crushing my parents’ Christmas tree, to pretending to be blind on an airplane flight, to numerous (and sometimes deadly!) encounters with pigs, to my decades-long battle with alcoholism. The title story recalls my mugging and assault, a near-fatal incident which left me permanently disabled.goodreads-badge-add-plus-7d89c09d2df9777b38fbd808bb3ffb1a

ONE OF THE NUMEROUS AMAZON REVIEWS:
I can’t even begin to explain how much this book surprised me. I’ve seen countless books be described as “funny” when in actuality a lot of them have been more…..cringe-worthy than anything else. When I began reading this book I hoped that I would get at least one good laugh out of its numerous stories. I got something much better instead!

I got a book that left me with tears in my eyes as I struggled to breathe because I was laughing so hard. I received odd stares on the bus because I couldn’t stop laughing to myself and I got concerned looks from strangers as I cackled to myself while remembering certain parts of the book.

This book is hysterical! I can’t stress it enough. If you want a book that will actually make you throw your head back in laughter- this is it!
–DESTANY B.

View or purchase a print copy here.

Kindle users, go here.

 

BOOK SIGNING PHOTOS

 

And here’s the book’s INTRODUCTION:

“I want you to do me a favor: after you’ve decided you’d like to keep this book around for a while, go put it on the back of your toilet. (Kindle users, you’re just gonna have to figure this one out for yourselves.)

Once I started putting this collection together, I realized that the amount of time it takes to read a story—five minutes or so, depending on which story you’re reading—is about the same as the time it takes to, ah… “drop the kids off at the pool,” in the parlance of our times. Plus, I hope these stories will give you some reasons to consider your place in the universe, and I truly believe we humans do our best thinking on the shitter. (The old “garbage in, garbage out” adage. Or something like that.)

That being said, let me tell you a little bit about where the universe has taken me: I grew up in a small town in Mississippi, then got my college degree in Acting/Music. In 1999, I moved to upstate New York to work for an educational theatre company. By this time, I was a full-fledged alcoholic. Three years later, in May 2002, I was beaten almost to death by a guy I’d met in a bar. I suffered a traumatic brain injury in the attack and I was in a coma for nearly a month. After that I no longer had the physical capabilities to perform, so I became a writer. (Yet my alcoholism continued—worsened, in fact.) Over the next 10 years or so, I spiraled slowly downward: I got engaged, then my fiancée left me; I landed a great job as a journalist for the local paper, only to be fired a couple of years later; I was evicted from my home…every one of those things happened as a direct result of my addiction.

In January of 2012, I came to Key West, Fla., because one of the only friends I had left lives here. By then, I figured (and sort of hoped) I’d end up drinking myself to death. Guess what? That didn’t happen. Instead, I found the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I’ve been clean/sober since March 26, 2012. And my sobriety has finally—finally— given me the presence of mind and the courage to compile this here tome.

Now a word or three about the following stories: About 18 months after my injury in 2002, I was suffering from a deep depression. I couldn’t work, or sleep, or eat…I wasn’t even sure why I was alive anymore. But my mom had just bought me a computer, so over the course of about 10 days (and a ton of tears) I wrote the title story, “Confessions of a Gimp.” In writing it, I exorcised some demons, had some laughs, and found a new purpose for living. Over the next decade, I wrote a story every few months, when a particularly powerful memory struck me or an anecdote-worthy event occurred. And these stories are…oh, I’ll say 85 percent true. The events I describe all happened—I didn’t fictionalize those at all— but I’ve taken a few liberties with dialogue and other details. (The one exception is “The Frankie Jean Lewis Trip.” Written mere days after my family and I had visited the Jerry Lee Lewis Museum in Ferriday, Louisiana, everything in the story happened exactly as I describe. Hell, I’m not talented enough to make that kind of shit up!)

You’ll notice I included the year(s) each story covers in its title. That’s because I think of these tales as “snapshots” of events that have occurred during the 43 years I’ve been alive. Some are like Polaroids, others like a series of time-lapse shots. Let me say this, too: my philosophy and perspective have changed quite a lot over the past decade, but I’ve left the stories as they were when I originally wrote them, because they represent exactly where my head was at the time.

And being the lifelong music junkie I am, I’ve actually made a soundtrack to accompany this book. After the title of each story I’ve written the title of the song that best supplements the tale. Some are tunes that came out around the time the story was composed; others inspire me in the same way the story does; still others just seem to fit the narrative.

OK, that’s enough for now—let’s do this. Have fun!
—Key West, Fla., November 2013″