See You In The Funny Pages

“The image of a grown married man dressed in khaki shorts, a corporate logo polo, deck shoes with no socks, complete with braided belt turns my stomach. The image of that same gent leaning his body from a seated position as far over the nicked brass railing of a stripper’s stage, with his tongue protruding as far out of his mouth as possible, in—I don’t know—the hopes that the all-nude stripper in front of him will “accidentally” back her ass into it… well, is one I’d pay big money to eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind-style-remove.”

These are words from a back-burner book slowly being written as I pen others that details some of my adventures in the business of advertising. And maybe a warning of sorts.

The other day my wife was kind enough to regale me with a David Sedaris’ interview in which the author recalled some embarrassing experiences while living in Paris, France. The gist of it was this: when he is the victim of his own incompetency or the accidental fating of some awkward and absurd moment, the feeling sticks with him well after. He can’t help but think that those around him not only noticed, but took note, and are maybe carrying around his befuddlement as a story to tell. Not because he is famous, mind you. But because this is what he does; he observes people. All writers do.

I’m not here to lump myself in with Sedaris’. Honestly, I’m not even comfortable with referring to myself as a writer most days. I wonder if I ever will be. But, fair warning, I do observe. I do take it all in, and I use what I see when crafting characters, situations and the mayhem. Any fictitious character I create is likely some mighty amalgamation of personalities, quirks, sayings, that are thrust upon me, if not sought out, especially when I’m extra bored in a public setting.

Funny enough, as I’ve always done this, it’d never occurred to me that my own shortcomings, blow-ups, missteps, foot-in-mouth-events, short-fuse moments, and even the NSFW moments of my life might be working their way into some other author’s book or books. In a way, maybe books have long been making people famous without them even knowing it. At the very least, some part of that person. Some tiny little thing you often do, or some monumental mistake you once made, right now, could be making its way into another’s prose. And with the huge surge in self-publishing, I suspect it’s happening far more frequently than ever.

But worry not, nobody reads anymore. Right?

Telepathetically Duped

On the ride home this evening, the disc-jerkys who do a quasi-news show of some note here in LA were discussing the story of an Arizona man who drove all the way to Hidden Hills to be with his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, who he’d been communicating with telepathically. He claimed he’d been invited. Of course, he’s been taken to a medical center, placed under psychiatric hold, and awaits treatment. It’s all together possible the man is confused, crazy, needs some sort of medication–I’ll allow for all of that, but I couldn’t help wonder if one the following two scenarios were also possibilities:

1) The Arizona guy actually has the gift, is able to communicate that way, and just happened to be tricked by a prankster who uses the same mental gift sophomorically-maliciously. A Manti Te’o type hoax performed in a more otherworldly fashion.

2) Less probably, Kim herself has telepathy, invited him, and either denied the communication intentionally or forgot that she’d made the come-on at all. Maybe she didn’t expect him to actually show. Maybe this was her first successful transmission and it caught her off guard.

I’m simply suggesting that the gentleman caller, even disheveled as deputies described him (he just bee-lined from Arizona to Hidden Hills, wouldn’t we all be a little unkempt?) might simply be the victim of a third-eye ruse that ultimately leaves him a drooling memory in a padded room courtesy of psychotropics in a he-said-she-said mystery that not a soul thought to investigate further. At least that’s what I’m hearing in my own head.


The Squeaky Wheel Gets It

I can only surmise that a big part of why many of society’s ills remain, by and large, unchanged is that there exists a general fear of unmanageable retaliation. We don’t all know one of the many martial arts that might equip us to thwart the blind aggression that might ensue if and when we point out the perverse behavior of another human being, or for that matter, a corporation. We share our personal stories about all that bothers us at our dinner parties, amongst friends on nights out fueled up on our trusty truth serum, and from behind the only seemingly cloaked key strokes of our home computers. But how often do we stand up for what’s right in the actual moment?

Easier to let things slide. Less hassle to pay an extra dime here or there and not have to do the infinite amount of leg work required to right a painstakingly obvious wrong. “Unbelievable,” we might mutter as we watch a woman drop a dirty diaper from her SUV and into the gutter of an otherwise pristine Brooklyn brownstone block–true story that one. And I did watch a braver soul attempt to get her to pick it back up, I believe her response was, “It’s not even soiled.” You see, a pee-peed diaper is just fine.

Rare is the day that I don’t encounter a situation that if put into perspective becomes crystal clear in its wrongness. That might be the net result of being a city dweller, an avid walker, and a guy who always has his peepers scanning left, right and back again for potential thuggery–and that’s regardless of the city street I find myself on. I doubt anyone has ever given the quaint sea-side town of Mendocino, CA a more thorough examination, or painted so many possible, though not probable, acts of pure evil onto its ocean-air-fresh canvas.

As tends to happen when I abstain from blogging for a period of time, I’ve made a mockery of getting to the point. I suppose on this evening, when I am looking back at many of the things that actually occurred to me, or in front of me, over the course of the last four or five weeks, I am wondering–when was the last time I made a fuss over something egregious in an effort to end it, better the situation for others down the road, or at the very least point out its absurdity publicly in the hopes that others might see it for the farce that it is. What was the last incident in your life that you took the extra time to do the same?



dRead All About It!

I’ve got plenty to go on when I make my own morning summations of what the world has in store for me day to day. Most of my worst fears are based on the evil that bakes quietly inside of humankind. It is rare that I give much thought to the micro-critters that would have us serve as their vehicles of choice. And yes, I’ve seen all the very best and worst contagion films. But I am reading The Thin White Line right now, and I have to say–my ability to process the very real implications of something invisible but far more probable than a cracked-out junkie looking to swipe my iShuffle on my way to living an extraordinary existence isn’t very honed. I’ll be working on that to my own detriment and your personal enjoyment, as it pertains to humoring the masses with my anecdotes.

One Man’s Lullaby

Why am I the way I am? No one thing could be to blame, but it is worth mentioning that my mother and/or aunt used to sing this song to me as a wee little lad. Found myself humming it this afternoon on an otherwise nice walk with the Mrs. Thanks ladies. xo

Stalkers… Always with the Stalkers.

Hmmm, so–is this going to be another self-serving post about my book? Probably. Loosely anyway. The impetus for this deep-dive into just how quickly my brain takes the most pleasant news and constructs a nightmare narrative to accompany it is, in fact, the news that my book My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel broke into the Amazon Kindle Top 100 Best Sellers lists today for Thriller/Suspense and Romantic Suspense. Awesome news right? Yes. I won’t pretend to be anything less than thrilled to have entered that list. It’s awesome. A year ago, when I first began to pen what would be come my debut novel, I can guarantee you that making a list, any list, was not on my radar.

So, this morning after a huge surge of adrenalized elation for having achieved such a thing, I became immediately preoccupied with what it could all mean. My focus, as happens often with my super-sized ego, was on the notion that it would eventually lead to a ill-fated meeting with a stalker of some sort. Why is that everything I do leads me to believe some crazy person will come for me? I don’t know. But, I do know that as I walked to the train I began to think about what that situation might look like. I stopped off for an iced coffee at Starbuck’s, and dismissed my thoughts as those of exactly what I am–a Level 9 paranoia ego-maniac. CFD, I said to myself. Which is code for Calm the F Down between me and the Mrs.

I took my beverage to the milk bar, and as I was pouring a little half-n-half honey into a cup of coffee I most definitely didn’t need, a woman’s voice startled me. “Are you Peter Rosch?” it said.

Holy Crap. Word travels fast. My picture was on the Amazon page with my book. My fears were dead-on, and I’ve dropped my guard.

I turned around with caution. I didn’t know this woman. I scanned quickly for blunt force objects in her hands. Nothing. “Yes… hi, have we met?” I uttered.

As you can imagine, we did. Through work. Through a regular connection we all make. She had met me in a meeting, and had remembered my face, name, and the project. Totally normal right? Or, as my brain surmised just mere moments after accepting the normalcy of the encounter, was she just that damn good at stalking? Had she tricked me? When we said good-bye and parted ways, was she actually still behind me. Perhaps. At least if she takes me out tonight, I’ll go out having been on a best sellers list of some sort.

Meet My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel

If you’ve been an avid reader of my blog, or if you are even new to it today, I’d like to introduce you to my debut effort in full-length fiction: My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel. I enjoy writing, I don’t enjoy playing the role of salesman so much (every time I mention the book I feel a small piece of me dies), but I do hope you’ll give some thought to picking up a copy and giving it a shot. I’ve long been calling it a suspenseful thriller, but as people have begun reading and reviewing it on Amazon and in emails to me personal, it occurs to me that perhaps in actuality it is a love story, with a suspenseful angle to it. It’s been a wonderful ride so far, hearing people’s opinions–good and bad–and today I’m throwing it up here in the hopes of broadening its exposure to the world. Thanks for your time! And I promise tomorrow, I will resume with a bunch stories that make your stomach turn. Peter Rosch.

“A Diabolical Love Story… Read it before it becomes a movie – the book is always far better.” – Jennifer Gavin

“I can honestly say I was completely engaged with every sentence written in this story, I could not read it fast enough… Fantastic Stuff, A Very Strong 5 Stars.” – The Kindle Book Review

“I couldn’t put it down. One day, when I’m ready to adapt a book into a screenplay and direct my first narrative feature, I hope you’ll allow me.” – Erik Proulx, Director of Lemonade: Detroit

“I highly recommend this story, as you will enjoy the mystery of it, as well as the thought provoking introspection and the introduction to a community you may never have explored.” –Anthea Carson, Indie Book Reviews

Cereal Killers and Mooood Altering Drugs

If you live in New York City, hitting a bodega for a quick food item in between large scale grocery runs is–at least for me–nearly a daily occurrence. This morning found me making an early morning dash to our nearest mini-mart to pick up a quart of milk to better our coffees with my dears. Even as I am gifted with the very diseased mind that allows me to publish this prose, I still don’t always pay close attention to the items I grab. And, unlike so many who do, when I do pay attention it isn’t just in search of expiration dates–spoiled milk isn’t likely to kill me after all. Seven, maybe eight, times out of ten–when I’m of clear mind–I’ll grab the second, third, or even fourth item behind the ones prominently displayed up front. If you were going to randomly off someone, just to see if you could–or at the very least make them sick, again just to see if you could–tampering with food items the masses purchases so blindly, with very little regard as to their origins, seems like a totally legitimate mechanism to me. That I think this, and admit to thinking it, often leaves me wondering if any readers out there have come to believe that all the things I write about are actually things that I go out and do. A natural byproduct of this blog has been the introduction of several new additions to my brain’s catalog of “Things to Watch Out For.” And high on that list is: Someone out there will eventually come to believe that a mind this demented couldn’t simultaneously be on the up and up with his own life. And if I were to write about, say, how I’ve come to believe that it is possible some sick soul might replace the soap in a Starbuck’s soap dispenser with his month’s long collection of spank aftermath, just to delight in the idea that some suit paying six bucks for a frozen bevi will wash his hands in millions of mini versions of himself–well, will someone out there decide that simply because I’ve thought it, I’ve done it. It would only be natural for this person to then decide to seek me out, take care of the problem he has decided is me, and become some sort of underground hero to all of about ten people, which would be enough, because we are living in an age where it doesn’t require many friends to feel famous. And in the end, I’m lying in a shallow grave–breathing my last breaths buried alive since he determined that was a just punishment–because I thought it’d be a good idea to share about believing it was possible at some point that someone would replace the charms in me not-so-Lucky Charms with something less holy than marshmallows.

Friendly Enemies

Chalk it up to NYC living if you must, but even before my fifteen years there I have had a difficult time with overly friendly folks. I spent the majority of my youth in Texas, where polite and sincere chit-chat between strangers is more common than the concealed weapons the state government allows them to carry. In the past three years I’ve worked hard to open my heart to all levels of kindness, but even still there are times when the eagerest chatters, the biggest fans, and the people who’d have you believe they’d help you at all costs within a five-minute introduction put me in a fight or flight state of mind. Someone asks, “You need help with that?” And my gut tries to dictate my retort with something along the lines of, “Oh, you’d like to help me wouldn’t you? You help me, and then one night you ask me for help, and I come over to help you and you take out a hammer, crush my cranium all kinds of silly, bury me out in your backyard to tenderize me before turning me into first-prize county fair beef jerky.” It’s worth noting that due to an ‘accidental’ connection to HBO and other movie channels we had when I was a child, that I saw Motel Hell at a very tender age. If you are unfamiliar with the film, I ask that you go easy on your judgment of my lack of enthusiasm for those people who are just a wee bit too excited to do everything for you, like say grandmas.