We gathered on Mother’s Day. There was nothing to talk about. After the weather and Netflix I mentioned the feral cat I had been feeding. That narcissistic cat wasn’t much, although a young racoon had been coming by at 10 pm most nights and cleaning up the bowl of cheap cat food. I took to looking at it through the sliding glass door. I would get down face to face with it at first. Then I would slide the glass door open a bit and that scared it a little. Soon we became friends and I went to the extent of putting racoon calls into YouTube on my phone and inviting him over for nightly dinner. I’d stick my hand out there and his wet little nose would sniffle me. He’d take Cheetos, over and over, with his cute little hands. That cat would sit ten feet away, gawking like an idiot…
My mother said, “Did you see the forum? Someone just got bit by a racoon earlier today. The thing was under their car and it lashed out and snapped at them, it bit the neighbor. Your brother saw the EMTs go by and he asked them what the hell had happened. They said the racoon was jumping on the kids and everything.”
Father chimed in, “Yeah, I read on there that it got on the back of their dogs and bit em’, wouldn’t let go. The town’s new animal control officer cornered the thing in our yard, down near the swamp, she shot that bastard.” He says to my brother, “Have you seen the new officer they voted in? Cute blonde, and the way she got out her Glock, she really can handle that thing.”
I knew the forum, it was the hive of Karen. These people adored controversy. If it wasn’t a local teacher they were lynching it was some bullshit about the price of beef at the market. Everything was a conspiracy, a non-stop manic episode, lunacy. I knew all about these busybodies and I knew they were lying about that racoon.
The next two nights my friend didn’t come by… The cat sniffed the bowl, then walked away. He only likes the Rachael Ray stuff. I waited a few nights but he was a no show. I felt deeply saddened, and responsible, for my little buddy’s death. I acclimated him to trust the meanest of the forum. He was the only one who showed an ounce of love to me.
Almost a year ago Pig Roast Publishing was granted the honor of re-issuing Nick Zedd’s autobiography Totem of the Depraved. It was at this point that the voyage began. I had a 2.5 hour phone call with Nick, me in RI and him in Mexico City. We discussed everything from The Swans and his having been roommates with Michael Gira, to modern government conspiracies and living through the hell-scape of Covid. It was a great call and I’d say we really clicked. It was such a treat speaking to an icon like Nick, and we ended the call feeling optimistic about the re-issuing of his legendary book.
The publishing process was difficult, as one printer scammed us, and another seemed to sabotage the process (although I cannot prove this, it seemed they were offended by the content and made a great effort to ruin it and charge hundreds of dollars for ineffectual printing work and general fuckery on all levels.) We spent months and many sleepless nights working on formatting this book. It is a facsimile and since the photos scan at different resolutions, blah, blah, you get it, I hope. It was a rocky road! But it got done.
Nick was ill and sadly passed away on February 27, 2022. We were very sad and wish the book could have been delivered sooner, but such is life and death. He will be missed. Nick’s work is unprecedented and it is doubtful such an innovative force will ever come through the world again.
It is our sincere hope that you, the reader, can understand the content of this book, appreciate it, and read first-hand the story of Nick Zedd’s life he conveyed within.
We give you (once again) Totem of the Depraved by Nick Zedd
THERAPISTS GONE WILD – Jonathan is a young mental health therapist, fresh from the ivory tower, who naively embarks on an eye-opening and destructive experience within a dysfunctional healthcare system. He navigates through many difficult situations, both personal and professional. A cold break-up with his girlfriend, coupled with difficult client sessions and a cynical supervisor, make matters worse for Jonathan. Trouble intensifies when one client, a professional criminal, exploits him. Through a series of tragic events, Jonathan ends up in a mental state of anhedonia and eventual psychosis, a “client” in the very system he once passionately believed in, that now traps him in a schizophrenic hell. The plot is a reflection on societal collapse, satirizing the blind faith that is so often placed in therapists and the health care system.