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Young Mort
Young Mort




Excerpt from Striking Through the Masks
P. 17

Many patterns were set in these early years. I was a terrible and inattentive student. Not only was I unable to read, I refused to obey the teachers’ commands. I was often sent from the classroom to stand in a corner of the hall, staring at a fire extinguisher or broom, or I remained in the class, sitting
in a corner, wearing a conical paper dunce cap. Left to myself, with no contact with my father and only a few visits a year from my mother, I tried to imagine with a child’s natural curiosity how things worked. By the time I was ten, I had a complex cosmology in place. From popular cultural assumptions, Old Testament Bible tales, radio programs, advertisements, and comic books, I created an eccentric if not absurd universe where everything from why the stars came out at night to how can openers worked took on serious, convoluted, and, in many cases, interconnected explanations. These explanations were accompanied by a variety of daily rituals it was my responsibility to perform in order to maintain the order of the universe.



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