Mindy Newell: The Comics Community
“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
Today, as I write this, is June 1, 2014. Here in Bayonne New Jersey there’s not a cloud in the robin’s egg blue sky, and from this window I can see the waters of New York City’s harbor sparkling like diamonds. It’s so clear that I can see the glint of car roofs speeding along Brooklyn’s Belt Parkway. The eastern tower of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge rises over the lush rolling hill of green… that is Staten Island.
It’s a day for being outside, not stuck here in the house writing this column. Perhaps that is why nothing is coming to me. My mind wanders to other memories of days like this, and I have to figuratively slap it to bring it back to attention. But still nothing comes.
So rather than writing about Iron Man 3 (which I watched again last night on cable and decided that it’s a pretty good movie after all), or writing about some bullshit which isn’t really where my head’s right now, I’ll just come out with it, tell you why I’m having trouble focusing…
Don’t worry; the end of the story is a good one.
I’m in what athletes call a slump. Only it’s not my batting average or my RBI’s or my pitching stats I’m talking about, it’s a financial slump. The kind that makes my stomach hurt and my muscles tense and my head ache. The kind of slump that makes it difficult to sleep. The kind that makes it impossible to think about anything else. The kind of slump that has me spilling out the jar of coins I keep on my dresser top and counting out the quarters and dimes and nickels and pennies.
Have you ever been there?
Scary, isn’t it?
I work hard and I bring home a pretty good paycheck. I don’t think I spend money frivolously; I can’t remember the last time I went shopping for new clothes or new shoes. I continuously wonder how I got here, even though I know it’s just an accident of circumstances, a – what’s it called in astrology? Oh, yeah – a conjunction of events.
Yes, in astrological speak, my planets are afflicted. I just have to wait for the next progression.
But, hell, I wish they would progress already! I mean, talk about the planets being in bad positions – Jeesh, yesterday I was supposed to be in a class for my CPR renewal, without with I can’t work, but instead of counting out chest compressions on a dummy I was stuck in traffic for three hours and never got there. Which means that I’m going to be in class on Tuesday so I’m going to be not at work and not earning the money I so desperately need right now.
I wish I had a super power that could fix this. Yeah, that’s it. A super power to coin money. I could call myself Mint Maid. Nah, that sounds like I pass out Tic-Tacs or Altoids or something. Well, at least I’m not thinking of being a super villain and robbing Donald Trump or Warren Buffet. That should count for something in my karma, shouldn’t it?
But there’s this thing about comics.
It’s a small world.
A small world with big people.
Big people with even bigger hearts.
I’m not going to say who it was who, upon hearing that I was – face it, Mindy – broke, without a moment of hesitation asked me how much I needed to get through this slump. S/he tsked-tsked at my embarrassment and my shame and opened up the wallet.
“We’ve all been there,” s/he said.
Yeah, there are lots of people working in comics today who are riding in limos, and maybe there aren’t many who would ditch the limo to ride on the bus with you.
But I know one.