“Here’s a Picture of Me” by Patrick McNally




Here’s a picture of me, my parents, and my brother Chris, back in 1982. They are dressed nicely, perhaps for church or some event. I am showing my sense of decorum by wearing a hand-me-down Who tour t-shirt and jean jacket. I’m guessing that I just said something wicked clever before the picture was snapped because they’re looking at me, laughing and I seem proud of myself. More importantly, I want to point out the attitude of my head as captured. My head habitually tilts a bit forward and left, unless I consciously hold it straight. It always has. I never thought about it much, but I recently looked it up on the internet and I think I might have oblique cranial nerve palsy. I quickly devised a course of treatment in which I start smoking at least two packs of cigarettes a day, in hopes that it will stimulate the nicotinic cholinergic receptors in my central nervous system. It’s my theory that this sudden extreme influx of stimuli could trigger what amounts to a cold-reboot and reversal of the palsy. There exists no actual data to suggest that this might improve my condition, and the considerable cost of cigarettes will never be covered by health insurance. I’m on my own in this battle.


Also, yesterday the food-maker at the Chipotle told me I couldn’t order a quesadilla face-to-face. You can only order a quesadilla online. I thought, “What does that even mean?”, as I staggered back to the car. “Do I still belong in this world? What is anybody talking about anymore?” Quesadillas aside (and across the political/philosophical spectrum for that matter) this really is an increasingly gutless, iniquitous, and silly society, and my whole town seems to stink like skunk weed all the time.

Where does a man drop anchor and say, “This is what’s real”?




Patrick McNally is a songwriter and front man for the band The Fox Sisters. He has a wonderful wife and two very cool children, who he is incredibly proud of. He is captain of his soul and is licensed to fish in the state of NY.