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Teardrop Road

You look in the mirror and you think you know who you are. You have a firm grasp on the things that happened to you and the things you’ve done, the people you know who have been good, positive influences in your life. And the people you wish you’d never met. You’ve got some of the pieces that don’t fit in the puzzle you created. For me, it was obsession with knives. Where that had come from, I had no idea. There was a deep gnawing ache that I couldn’t explain when I thought of one person in particular. Pieces of stories, bits of legend that had been handed down through my family that weren’t adding up. And I realized there were a lot of people like this.

Then there’s the diagnosis. When I was going through therapy, I was diagnosed with a disorder nearly impossible to explain. Nearly impossible to live with. There was so much misinformation to be found out there about this disorder. There was abuse, deep abuse from my past. When I looked in the mirror, there were still so many things I didn’t understand. There was a movement in painting years ago called pointillism. When you step back and look at a picture, you see exactly what it is. But when you step closer, you can see that it was just a series of dots. You weren’t looking at a picture at all. And I realize that after 19 years of therapy, most people in my life could see the picture. They were too far away to see the dots. I felt like my story meant something to people who were going through abuse, to people who were struggling with this disorder, to people who just didn’t understand the world around them. So I’ve invited everybody close, to look at the canvas, to look at the dots and see the spaces in between that are holding the whole picture together.

I sent Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 1: Teardrop Road out to agents and realized the story I had to tell would not make any sense to them. Selling a three-volume epic length autobiography would be hard for anyone, impossible for an almost unknown author. No matter how well-written. No matter how important the story.

For Father’s Day we took a one-day trip to Milwaukee. We were actually only in the city for three hours. And I stopped at my father’s grave to talk to him for the first time. Because as I was painting the canvas of my life, those legends and bits of story started to show themselves in different ways. I started to understand my life and what I’d gone through. I found a certain truth hidden in the legends and the shadows of looks and behaviors. And for the first time, I was standing before my father with the knowledge of who he was.

I talked to him. I said every possible thing I could to explain to him what I knew and who I was, and how I was going to proceed with my life. Poured a beer on his grave. Smoked a cigar. I left a Father’s Day present for him. This was our first Father’s Day. We got in the car and drove home. I had the Pandora on random. I noticed something weird, thought it was just me, a trick of the mind, flip of the brain, until my oldest son pointed it out. Then everybody in the car agreed. Songs that were playing were talking to me. My father talked to me all the way home. That’s a ten-hour car trip. I’d be in the middle of a conversation with my wife, take a pause, and the lyrics of the song we were listening to would fit right in to the middle of the conversation. I came home intent on having a break. Took a day off, and the next day I published Teardrop Road. There was no warning. Nobody knew I was doing it. Nobody could have had any idea to prepare for it. But there it was, dropped in front of the world. A third of the story of my life.

I’ve talked before about how much you discover about yourself when you do something like this, but I’ve never talked before about how much you discover of yourself when the rest of the world sees it. But that’s a newsletter for another time, after more people have read it and I’ve gotten more feedback. All I know is, I’m not the same man I was when I made that one-day road trip. Something has changed. Something has made me into another kind of Jesse Teller. There’s a hard spot now. My source of unapologetic. There’s a warm spot now. My source of compassion for others who have gone through what I’ve gone through. And behind me I leave the treads of white fire burning pure for every place I have stood and every field I’ve walked through.

Publishing Teardrop has changed me. I’m learning who I am now. After such an event, I’m showing the world who I always have been. Look for Teardrop Road. Lay it all out in front of you, and look at it. And let Teardrop look at you. It’ll see the dots and form your picture, and it’ll show you the spaces between that hold you together.

Song of the Leviathan

Song of the Leviathan is coming out. It’s a collection of poetry written by my wife. Poetry books are usually around 40-50 pages. The big ones stretch to 60. But the Leviathan has a lot to say. Her song is long and cold and wet and hot, and at some times the Leviathan will rise from the waters and breathe fire. In the poetry world, Song of the Leviathan is a behemoth at over 100 pages long. You’ll find the Leviathan in Teardrop Road. You’ll find the heart, the will, and the mind of the Leviathan in her Song.

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Download this free ebook available exclusively through my newsletter. This short story collection includes "The Banshee," "The Slave," "The Gilded Mares," "Son of the Demontser," and the most recent addition, "The Forge of Souls."



Jesse Teller


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Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

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