Stupid Male Incident #1, Page 1

Notice the bird in the window? That’s a barn swallow. Once I found a baby barn swallow at the dairy where my mom worked. I didn’t know where he came from, but he was going to get stepped on by a cow. I fed him cat food and named him Terry. He lived for several weeks, but in the end got a tummy infection and died. I was so sad. He was so close to being an adult, too.

It was only after he’d gone that I found out where he came from. A farm hand, who must have been out of his mind or high, had found him on the floor of an old, disused cow shed, where his parents were fledging a nest of babies. The farm hand picked him up and threw him to see how far he would fly. He landed very far away, in the middle of herding session, and that’s when I saw him about to get stepped on.

So you might notice I draw swallows a lot, as little homages.

You’ll also notice a stuffed cat and crow in the window. The cat, Senorita Gato, was given to me by my Spanish camp teacher, who I was very fond of. It was the most beaten up stuffed animal ever, but I loved it so much. I asked if I could take Senorita Gato home with me at the end of camp, and she said okay, so long as I didn’t tell anyone. Sure enough, some kid asked me why I was taking Senorita Gato home with me, and I felt so special and happy that my teacher had allowed me to take her home, that I didn’t think and said I was allowed. In a few moments, the same child was convincing the teacher to relinquish one of her newer, nicer stuffed animals. That’s when I realized why she’d told me to say nothing, and I felt bad.

The little crow I still have with me. I bought it one Halloween when I was dressed as a cat, at a tourist shop near my home. My mom and I were on our way to Roanoke for our annual Halloween at the Gay Bar event. We rarely went to Roanoke, so it was a big treat.

There’s a lot of little stuff in these comics, small details that were–or still are–a part of my life.