When I was 4 or 5, I set out on a mission to count to 100. It seemed like a massive mountain of a goal, but I was confident in myself, because my parents tended to lie to me every day by telling me I was smart, capable, and pretty. I quickly learned that they are lying assholes and if I am funny now, it is only because I must compensate for the lack of other good-quality attributes. Humor was the only way for me to survive adolescence. And childhood. And now.

I was sitting in the backseat of my dad's Toyota 4-Runner, coming home from visiting my mom at the radio station. I held tightly to the Tootsie Roll from the station's vending machine as we made sharp turns through the canyon, which used to be the only way to get from Saugus to Canyon Country. I started off with the usual: "1," and continued in the normal order. When I finally got to 99, I was stuck.

"What comes after 99, Dad?"


And just like that, my work was fucking ruined. My shoulders slouched over, my heart sank and I remember feeling a strong sense of… bitterness. I was not able to do it on my own. I did not have the skills to do it on my own.

Emotional lather, rinse, repeat — every time I ask for help.