Starving Writer SOS - Page One

» The Homeless Starving Writer

Girly, I just learned today that, due to circumstances beyond my control, I will be more-or-less homeless come January 1st. (The day of new beginnings.)

SOS written in the snow from the film Arctic (1 Feb 2019)

Though, I must say that it feels right. It feels like change is in the air. It feels natural and organic. And timing is important.

(Eddie Glenn knows what I am talking about. Poor Eddie Glenn.)

I have been homeless before .. but that was back when I had a car, and a drivers license and some money. And some credit cards that werent max'ed out yet. And I still had good physical stamina. And a voice box that did not have radiation scarring.

[ All my doctors say that long-term stress is not good .. because it weakens the immune system. ]

» Responding to Anxiety-Inducing Events

Perhaps I am not articulating this accurately .. but you feel me when I say that anxiety can sometimes be a good thing. It can provide you with the motivation that you did not have before.

And it can even be the thing that helps kick you over into your true voice.

» Maybe I am Taking this Authentic Thing Too Far

Perhaps I am taking this authentic thing too seriously. Perhaps I should compromise my sense of artistic values.

Dont think I havent thought about it. More than once. Shakespeare knows what I am talking about.

'To thy own self be true ..' says Polonius in Hamlet Acts 1 Scene 3.

In the end, the thing that a writer is really after (.. okay, besides the super-hottie singers who sing from their hearts) the thing the writer really desires is ..

.. is simply the ability to speak to whatever-thing might need speaking to.

"Yes, I can speak to this thing here because I have been there. I have done that myself. Remind me to tell you that story sometime. That's a good story."

You gain insights and understanding while actually in a thing .. that you can get no other way.

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When you are talking to a dude who is trying to portray themself as something that they are not .. and he doesnt know that you have already been there and done that .. well, I am not even going to finish this sentence. But you feel me.

"I can converse on a meaningful level about this thing because I have been there."

This right here is the heart of (for me) the existential mindset and approach. By which I mean how all these experiences affect me personally. On a personal basis.

And being as clear and honest as I possibly can .. regarding how my personal experiences affect me personally. And what lessons I might have learned from living through these experiences.

Always seeking to expand and conquer new territory into this ever-present push into an honest appraisal of my life .. because, ultimately, I am the one who is responsible for this life.

If someone does not agree with the values that I have established in my life, and by which I seek to live my life .. well, let me know how that works out for you.

» Why Am I Feeling So Chill?

I was surprised at myself .. for reacting so calmly to the news. (Plus I got a flu shot today and was feeling a little achy.)

I was wondering "Is this because the Zoloft is so good? Is this why I am feeling so chill when I should probably be freaking out?" 

I could easily justify taking an Ativan right now with this kind of news .. but I dont feel like I need it.

Or maybe I am just in denial.

» The Kind of Stuff that Needs to be Captured and Documented on the Same Day

These are the types of things that I like to capture on the same day that it happens. It's not always possible, but when I can, then I try to capture the essence of the thing and how I feel about it and what effect it may be having on me.

Because you can never really know for sure how you will react until you actually find yourself in such a place.

» The Value of Real-Time Documentation

A piece of writing that was written on the same day as some significant life-event .. this writing is naturally going to be more accurate than something that is written a week later. Or a month later. Or a year later. This seems obvious.

This does not mean that writing about an event after much time has passed is bad. I love the advantageous perspective that is provided by the passing of the years .. when you can look back and see how things actually turned out.

But this is not the same type of writing. And if a discrepancy or a contradiction arises between the two, the writing done at the same time as the event will always trump and take precedent over the documentation which might be done years later.

(These FBI guys know what I am talking about.)

It is not easy to be a hero when life kicks you in the balls. When life kicks you squarely in the nuts. (Ask me how I know.)

» Saw My Shrink Today

This news came right after I left my shrinks office today. I like him. He renewed my script for Ativan (5 pills per month). I love this guy.

When I saw him last month, I thought that he was saying that he didnt want to give me any more Ativan. (After 2 refills.)

He told me that they are not only psychologically addictive .. but that they are also physically addictive. I have not needed one for a few weeks now.

(I am still on the Zoloft, 100 mg, and the Propanolol.)

He said that he is not worried about prescribing only 5 pills a month for me, and he knows that I am not abusing them.

» Talking About Celebrity Mental Health Issues

He was talking to me today about Catherine Zeta-Jones [ "You dont want to be around her when she is off her meds." ] and Lady Gaga and Selena and Demi Lovato .. about their mental health situations.

He is qualified to diagnose mental health conditions. This is what he does. They dont let just anybody prescribe meds. You have to know your shit.

He said that it is a welcome development that people are starting to talk publicly about their mental health issues .. because this makes people feel less alone who suffer themselves from such things .. with whatever they might be going through.

And this dialogue helps diminish the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

I took Ativan every night for three weeks straight during the worst part of cancer treatment. I always made sure that I was ready to go to sleep at that very time I took it .. because they hit me fast. I was heading deep into la-la land probably within 5 mins.

I never felt any sense of addiction with Ativan. I did not know, at the time, that they were addictive.

I didnt even know what they were .. until after the panic attack, and I wondered, "What are these pills that work so good?"

That was when I started researching Ativan (Lorazepam).

During treatment, you are just trying to stay alive. That is the main thing that you are trying to figure out.

» Living Someplace Uninhabitable

Anyway, I already called the Homeless Services in San Diego (211). The sucky thing is that you have to actually be homeless ("living someplace uninhabitable") .. for them to do a housing evaluation on you.

If you call them and say, "I am going to be homeless tomorrow," they will say, "That sucks .. call us the day after tomorrow."

If you say, "I have no car. I have no drivers license. I have no money," they will say, "Wow, that really sucks .. but call us after you have slept outside in the cold for a night. Then you are eligible for us to begin a formal evaluation. Have a nice day and try to stay warm tomorrow night .. because it look like rain is on the way. Bummer."

So this means that I would probably need to get dropped off at a campsite somewhere .. probably at the shore, because that is where all the campsites are.

And then you call them the next morning when you wake and tell them that you are sleeping outside, and that you slept outside last night.

» You Need to be Patient Because It's a Process

Another sucky thing is that it gets cold at night at the beach during the winter months. And the guy today told me that I need to be patient because "It's a process" .. which suggests that I could be freezing at the beach for a while.

After cancer treatment, the cold bothers me more. The chemo wrecks your blood. During the winter months I sleep with a heating pad set to the lowest setting at my feet.

There would be lots of interesting things to learn from going hardcore homeless .. but I dont think that I am up to it, physically speaking.

And I have no car, and no drivers license, and no money (a hundred bucks or so), and no income. (Google de-monitizes most of my non-technical writing. Definitely not doing it for the money.)

» The Writer's Value-Structure Affects His Writing

There comes a time in the life of every writer .. where he asks himself, "Do I want to make money? Or do I want to write what I need to write?"

This question is not really an accurate representation of the writer's dilemma .. because every writer wants to make money.

The question here would be better posed like so » "Do I want my primary focus to be making money, or do I want the freedom to write whatever I need to write?"

I can't find it right now, but I recently saw an ad to a Masterclass by James Patterson, which he begins by saying, "If you want to make money ..."

I couldnt help but notice how he put that statement right up front like that. Obviously, most people are going to meet the qualification .. because most writers need to eat.

If however, you value other things more than making money .. then, you are obviously not going to be limited by his principles.

I thought that this was very insightful of him .. to present his advice that way. I was actually surprised.

» Kicking Much Generational Ass

I am at the age right now where my dad and both grandfathers died. If I live another year, I will have kicked all their asses .. going back two generations.

It's not easy to stay alive as a real, no-shit writer. Hemingway knows what I am talking about. I dont know how Cormac McCarthy does it. Because he writes the gnarly shit.

But I know that I have the Thing .. so I know that I will be Okay .. no matter what happens. It's just a matter of how interesting things will get for me.

Sometimes I think, "This is the craziest shit. You could never make up shit like this. So why even try?"

» Goodbye SSI .. Hello Panic Attacks

I was getting $650 a month SSI disability for the cancer. But that ran out in July. (That's why I started having those panic attacks.)

Cousin Patti said, "If someone sent you a million dollars tomorrow, these panic attacks would stop immediately."

I said, "Really? You think so?"

She said, "Absolutely."

This is when she said, "These types of things are actually very common."

I was not thinking about this crap when I was having these panic attacks. This is why I didnt think that they were connected.

If I had known that the disability people were going to cut me off at 3 years, I wouldve squirreled away a few acorns. A few nuts.

» Figuring Out How to Eat

As a starving writer, I am well familiar with the feeling of scraping by, financially speaking. (Cormac knows what I am talking about.)

I called my brother today and left a message. I gave him my bank account number and asked him to transfer a couple hundred bucks for me.

My ego hates to ask, but he is cool about it. This is only the third time I had to hit him up. Maybe the 4th. (If there is any other way, I take it.)

After the first time I asked him for some cash .. I started to pay him back $25 every month. He said, "Bro, you can keep sending these checks every month .. but I'm just gonna keep tearing them up."

So I stopped trying to pay him back.

I have to be desperate in order to call him for cash. One time was when the court ordered me to take a 13-week co-parenting class up at Chapman college.

That was three hundred bucks that I didnt have.

They actually ordered me to go twice. It was the second time that they ordered me to attend those classes .. that I didnt have the money. I learned a lot from those classes.

They were well worth the effort and the cost. Both times. A few years apart. I was the only one that I know of .. who was ordered to go twice. That's how ugly things got.

These classes were the best part of my Family Law experience .. which mostly consisted of me bending over and taking it up the ass repeatedly.

A few times, there was actually a line of people .. waiting for their chance .. to give it to me .. with gusto and glee.

They were fighting over the who got to have the first go at me. It's so nice to feel wanted so badly.

» The Type of Guy Everybody Loves to Have Around

I dont get why some people seem to take such pleasure in trick-fucking me like that. Maybe I remind them of somebody. But I am a pretty nice guy.

Nana said to me on the phone one time, "Oh, honey .. you're the type of guy that everybody loves to have around .. you're smart, you're funny, and you're good-looking to boot."

I said, "I love you, Nana." .. because Nana tells it to you straight.

Anyway .. I would love to live with bro for a while. For a season or two.

My brother is so cool and so much fun and so smart and so funny. He might be the funniest person I know.

Except when he is having psycho ex problems. He becomes a different person then. I understand .. altho there was a time when I didnt.

» I havent Laughed Like that in a Long Time

Remind me to tell you about the time I made his ass laugh good-n-hard at the Sorrento Grille there in downtown Laguna.

We were sitting downstairs in the middle. The joint was packed with a mid-summer crowd obviously feeling good. The noise-level was already at a low roar and getting louder by the minute.

He had a new girl with him. He gets all the hottest hotties. He had already been through and done with the first divorce (another doctor) and had finally turned the corner of being on the mend.

Bro is very much like dad .. in that he seems to be overly self-defined by the relationship that he has with his significant other.

Not so much anymore .. but back in the days of his first marriage, and before.

I was very happy to see him. He was out for a long weekend convention in Anaheim at the convention center there. But we hung out at night.

When I was making him laugh so hand .. it felt like his funny bone was there in the palm of my hand .. and I couldve made him laugh so hard that he couldnt breathe. I felt like I couldve killed him with laughter .. if I wanted to.

But we started laughing hard. And the Sorrento Grille can get echoey and loud. Especially on a weekend night during the summer months.

» Lemon Drops

We were drinking martinis. Sorrento is known for its martinis. That is their signature drink. They know how to martinis right.

Supposedly martinis are the drinks that get into your bloodstream fastest. The choice for those who want their buzz right now and who dont want to wait for the party to start.

And for when you want your party brought to you in a fancy glass. And when you want it brought freezing cold.

Two is my limit. I am feeling no pain at this point. I dont drink very much, so when I do .. it really hits me hard-n-fast. I am actually something of a lightweight. (Not enough practice.)

Bombay Sapphire. Nice, clean buzz. No hangover. We were feeling fine for the sunset hour.

We got there at the perfect time. Fifteen minutes after we sat down, the place was packed. Even the waiting area was full.

Anyway .. I felt like I couldve killed him. But I had mercy on bro. I mean, I know him .. he's my brother. I know his sense of humor. I know how to tickle him.

After I had mercy on him and let him breathe again, he wiped his eyes and said, "That felt good .. I haven't laughed like that for a long time."

It felt good to be able to make him laugh like that.

I was doing my impression of gram .. reinacting some of her adorable quicks.

Tunie does great impressions of gram, too. Tunie adds subtle nuances that nobody else can achieve.

» No Laughs at Ti Amo

We also went to Ti Amo in south Laguna on PCH on another night. That was a trippy experience. We were waiting outside for a table .. and we heard this loud boom .. like two cars crashing into each other.

Except is was only one car .. who hit two brothers who happened to be crossing the street there at the light by the 7-!!. What a trip that was. Not an easy story to tell.

No laughing that night.

» Severe Psycho-Ex Drama

But he is having psycho-ex problems right now. Major psycho-ex problems. So this is not a good time for him.

But he has a huge place. On a mountaintop in Tennessee somewhere.

Nana was there recently, for a 2-week stay, but she came home early, after only a few days .. because of the insanity there.

She flew down and then road back with Tunie. Tunie had to get back.

This is bro's second psycho ex-wife. He told me that he is never getting married again, period. "I've learned my lesson." (I bet that this guy knows what bro is talking about.)

About his first wife, he said, "It cost me a lot of money to divorce her .. but it was worth every penny. A bargain at any price."

When you call back home and talk to the family .. you sometimes get different sides of the same story, depending on who you call and who you talk to.

» You Were the Only Smart One

They have all been married and divorced twice. Tunie might even have been divorced three times. (Tracy knows what I am talking about.)

Tracy McMillan TEDx Talk on marrying yourself (Feb 2014)

It's hard to keep up with all the divorces. Most of them got nasty and psycho.

My brother said to me sometime after treatment, "You were the only smart one .. you never got married." [ .. of the five of us cousins who grew up in the same 2-family house. ]

It struck me that this was my brother who said this to me .. my Ivy League brother, my Yale-graduate brother, my Tufts Medical brother .. who graduated at or near the top of his medical school class. (He was one of the top five.)

My brother the surgeon .. the board-certified surgeon .. is the person who happened to tell me that I was the only smart one.

(Girly, if you need an operation, I can get you a good deal.)

Bro has a much more healthy and realistic perspective now. I feel good for him after talking to him. It was not always this way.

When I was telling him how good he sounded .. how healthy he sounded, with a healthy, realistic attitude he had, and how this made me feel good about him, and not worried, he said ..

.. "I finally realized that I can't do everything for another person. I can't make them happy. I can't be everything they will ever need. There are some things that they and only they can do for themself." (Something along these lines.)

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on November 1, 2018 11:01 PM.

Sublimating the Soul-Fucking Torment into a Creative Outlet was the previous entry in this blog.

Starving Writer SOS - Page Two is the next entry in this blog.

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