The Sappy Introduction to my Upcoming Novel
Hi there, Readerperson. Welcome to my book; thanks for stopping by. My names Dave Barletta and as you can see I’m the author of this fine establishment. Before I kick off the festivities, I just wanna introduce myself and let you know what this is all about just so you’ve got some idea of the plot before you dive into the action.
The first thing you oughta know is that this book is a collection of essays that I wrote over the course of 2018. To be honest, how this all happened is still a bit of a blur, but for the most part, the essays were published every Saturday on my Facebook page, “The Thoughts, Musings, and Artwork of Some Total Losers” and my corresponding website https://www.sometotallosers.com.
The way it all started was a bit odd. I’d slipped into a depression and started binging on meth. I know, not cool. Don’t worry I’m of it these days. However, when my journey as an amateur author began in early 2018 I was on meth and binging hard. I was at my friends house where I was hiding out during my binge and I was *geeked*. When I get that geetered, I like to talk to people… a lot. Everyone I normally talked to after I got zooted out of my mind had either rolled out to do other stuff or was asleep.
This was problematic.
The way I handled the predicament was I typed up a short essay on my phone about the partisan gap and how it was killing America, then posted it to my Facebook timeline. I was fully expecting that thing to get ignored. My thinking was “I’m writing this because I enjoy writing it, so it doesn’t matter that nobody’s ever gonna read it.” Somehow it got more than 10 likes though, which was the most a post on my timeline had ever gotten in my life. That was a nice dose of another drug I’m highly addicted to, other people’s attention.
Now, I’m the type of person that when I get a shot of attention like that, I start to fiend for it. A day or two later, once I felt I could do another wall of text without being obnoxious, I typed up another political essay. It wasn’t a 10-banger like the first one was, but it got me so thumbs so my thirst for people’s attention was sated. Then I typed the third essay. This one turned out to be made of pure magic.
At first, it didn’t get any likes at all though. I was confused, and I wanted my attention fix. I kept re-reading the essay, looking for things to fix. Eventually, I decided I’d take it down for rewrites. Suddenly… attention! A woman I had met in the comment section of a memepage messaged me. She wanted to know about the essay I took down. She was in the middle of reading it. She liked it a lot. She wanted to know if I planned on putting it back any time in the near future. She said I’m a very good writer.
I honestly thought only a couple people had even been paying attention to these walls-of-text I’d been pumping out, and I suspected the likes I got were coming after someone read three or four sentences and liked the gist of where it was going. Suddenly, I had my very first fan, Anne Bellami.
Anne and I would chat on messenger, getting to know each other. I’d joke about her being my #1 Fan because she was my only fan, but she seriously encouraged me to write more and helped me come up with ideas as I published a few more essays to my timeline. Eventually, a couple of people from my friends list suggested I make an official page so I could advertise and whatnot, and that seemed like a good idea to me. “The Thoughts and Musings of a Total Loser” was born.
The first round of advertising I did was a smashing success and I got overwhelmingly positive feedback. My entire life, since elementary school, I’d been writing in secret and then trashing the things I’d write without ever showing anyone because I was certain everyone would trash me and tell me how awful I was. That’s 100% what I expect to happen with this round of advertising. It was nothing but a flood of strangers telling me I was great and I absolutely needed to write more because they needed more. I couldn’t believe it.
Eventually, a couple friends came to me with things that they asked me to publish, and I turned the page into a group a project, “The Thoughts, Musings, and Artwork of Some Total Losers”. This was also when I started doing “Mom’s Poetry Monday”. Everything steadily grew, Anne and I kept chatting and becoming closer to one another. Eventually, I decided that FB’s text editor wasn’t doing it for me. No bold, no italics, couldn’t change fonts, you know, that whole deal about FB’s text editor sucking. I talked to Mom and we got the Squarespace page you guys all know and love.
Anne spent 15 hours on the phone with me getting the visual design just perfect and making everything work. I’m terrible at visual stuff like that and she went to art school, so she covered a huge weakness of mine. Honestly, I don’t think the website would have seen any sort of success without her. Eventually, Anne and I became a sorta couple. She’s also my partner on the whole website venture and draws a really cute webcomic called “The Adventure’s of begood & Honeybun”. All along I was pumping out a new essay every Saturday.
First and foremost, I was publishing my writing because people who enjoyed reading it asked me to. I figured since I was going to publishing though, I wanted to say something that was important to me. The stated topics of my essays were “Politics, Mental Health and Addiction Destigmatization, Spirituality and like… Life and stuff… man…” I also wrote memoirs.
I wanted to show the world a perspective that’s actually pretty common but rarely gets shown to John Q. Public. I felt my unique life experience combined with the talent for writing that I’d been gifted put me in a unique position to be a voice for the voiceless. I don’t imagine myself as some grandiose figure. Mostly, this all just for funzies. I still think the funzies could have a positive effect on the world even if it’s a small one.
“So what makes your perspective so special, Dave?” I dunno. I just don’t ever see my point of view represented in any media yet I hear people talk about it all the time. I’ve had a unique life experience though. The essay that’s comin’ up next is gonna give you the basic gist of. My politics are anti-partisan and I very skillfully piss off both sides of the aisle in an attempt to get them to unify in hating me.
The mental health and addiction destigmatization stuff is also comprised of some fairly fresh takes combined with my batshit crazy memoirs, the spirituality is non-preachy and all about encouraging people to accept everyone.
Another reason my perspective is unique is that I’m diagnosed with something called “Antisocial Personality Disorder”. I’ll be talking about that a lot later. The funny thing about ASPD is most people know the disorder by one of two nicknames: “Sociopathy” or “Psychopathy”.
If you read the book’s title, you probably guessed that I’m a sociopath by now. It’s not exactly what you think though. The way my ASPD presents makes me more of a reputation-defending, risk-seeking, attention-craving con-man/thief. I’ll slay some Cocoa Puffs, but I’m no serial killer. There are more sadistic sociopaths that have been serial killers, but that’s one specific subset of ASPD, not the norm.
I’ll leave some things unspoiled, but the sociopathy led to some extremely painful repercussions, and they eventually led to me seeking reform. It’s rare for someone diagnosed with ASPD to push for reform. I’ve made a dedicated effort for over a year now. There’s essays about it in this book that go deep into detail and writing those essays was a huge part of the progress I’ve made.
Also… there’s addiction memoirs. Meth, Heroin, Alcohol, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and Mary Jane.
The essays that seem to get the most glowing responses though are my thoughts on spirituality. I talk about how I’m Agnostic and plead with everyone to just let other people believe what they wanna believe. I write about Pantheism and logically prove that God is freestyling dragon who raps everything into existence. Of course, I can’t be fauxspiritual on the internet without including some Zen Buddhism. My favorite spiritual topic to write about was how to use Dao Jia to be a Jedi knight like Jeff Lebowski though.
(Dao Jia = Philosophical Daoism as opposed to religious Dao Jiao)
So that’s what you can expect. You should still expect the unexpected though because I got tossed a lot of curveballs over the year~ish that this book was written. I mean, technically the whole endeavor was a curveball that got tossed at me.
It was worth it though. I’d do research for an essay and end up learning mountains of new stuff that I never woulda come close to if I weren’t writing this stuff. There was a lot of self-discovery and I built a working model to manage my ASPD. That’s something not even my trained LPC could give me. I became good friends with a legit Zen teacher and turned into the world’s first Buddhist Zen Daoist.
I didn’t know I was writing this book when I started writing this book. Looking back to the day I got geetered and started ranting about politics on FB, there’s absolutely no way I woulda believed you if you told me that rant woulda led to my life becoming as balls-to-the-wall amazing as it is today. I never would’ve imagined it was possible for me to feel as fulfilled and filled with joy as I am these days. Never in a million years. The most rewarding part has been the fans because they’ve also become dear friends.
Writing this took me from a world where I was perpetually methed up, lonely and wanting to talk to anyone and then put me in a place where I’m surrounded by compassionate, funny, kind, wise, and just all around fantastic people who appreciate me for who I am and encourage me to chase my dream and chase it with passion.
I started writing with the goal of changing other people’s perspectives. Maybe that’ll still happen, maybe it won’t. That doesn’t matter because my perspective was the one that needed shifting and I was lucky enough for that to happen.
To all my readers who hang around the house on their day off reading my incoherent rants about noverythings and ptebrexatopses: Thank you so much, guys. You mean the world to me. I appreciate you for just being you while also being near my life.
Anyway, let’s start the show. I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it because I had the time of my life writing this. Thanks for readin’ muh dudes!