Thom was known around town for begging, puking and always appearing overly tanned. He was the town pariah since the ripe age of fifteen years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. All of Thom’s family and friends were saddened by this news and disappointed in Thom. Some said he had become obsessed with gambling, others spoke of excessive masturbation, while some said he was guilty of simple self-righteousness, the sin of pride.

Thom blamed his upbringing. Growing up with an abusive single parent had caused him to reject the love that anyone had to offer. He was two years old, Thom said, when he first remembered internalizing his confusion in a masocistic way. His memory of the time is vague, but it definitely involved mirrors and rice pudding.  Since he could speak, Thom refered to himself as “The Weirdo”.

That’s what led to his eventual cancer diagnosis. He now spent more than fifty percent of his days on illegal tanning beds.  Thom shared the commonly held belief that tanning was the best way to treat tumors if you couldn’t afford radiation or even find an underground clinic with up-to-date equipment.


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