I lead a sad and pathetic life. I mean I have family and friends who love me, but at the moment, because of circumstances that are only marginally under my control, I’m not doing much with my life right now—other than this blog. Totally weak.
I never labored under the impression that being a writer was glamorous, in part because I never intended to become a writer. When I was in college my writing sucked, and if you ask some people today they will claim it still does. I was a horrible writer in college. I discovered this fact one day when I was working a job for which writing was a requirement, and I had thus set out to learn the craft of writing; there was nothing glamorous about it.
At one point about six months into it, I stumbled upon a report from my college English Lit class. I was a big science fiction fan, and I really loved Isaac Asimov, so I decided to choose him as the topic of my assignment. God it was awful. It was incoherent, rambling, disjointed—kind of like many of my blog entries today.
I then began to scrutinize memos that circulated around the office and gradually became appalled at the way my colleagues brutalized the English language. For those of you just out of diapers, a memo (short for memorandum) was a brief communication drafted by an executive, typed on a piece of paper by someone called a secretary, and circulated manually to a list of people provided by the executive. I suppose it’s an alien concept in a world in which the bedrock of business communications is e-mail.
I became a writer gradually and during my journey I fooled enough people into thinking I was good enough to actually be paid for my craft. Allow me to be clear: although I practice the art of writing, it’s not up to me to say whether the result is good or bad. Others will be the judge of that and, one measure of its quality is whether someone who has read the words is actually willing to pay for them.
As an aside, at the time of this writing, since July when I left my steady job to restart my freelance practice and promote my book, I have acquired one client and have sold exactly five books—one of which was returned. The amazing thing is that the price is only $.99. That’s right; my book is so freaking awesome someone actually asked for their $.99 back. Really? You took the time and effort to go to Amazon, have it lifted from your Kindle, and put the $.99 back on your credit card? In the modern vernacular: epic fail—on my part not on the part of the person unfortunate enough to stumble upon my book.
So to the point of my opening line, these days I spend a lot of time doing basically nothing. Here’s a sample; what I did yesterday:
3:00 a.m. – Wake up. My right hip is killing me from laying on my pistol because I sacked out next to my wife without undressing while she watched the last episode of Mad Men season four. I undress and lay down on my back.
3:10 a.m. – Wake myself up multiple times because of my snoring.
3:15 a.m. – Rotate to my left side. My outer left ear begins to ache from the pressure of my fat head pressing on it. I ignore it as long as possible hoping to return to the hinterlands of slumber.
3:25 a.m. – Rotate back to my right side. I awaken multiple times in a cold sweat because of dreams that activate my acrophobia as I stand on an 80-story building ledge with 40 mph winds whipping around me.
3:30 a.m. – Rotate to my back. Wake myself up multiple times because of my snoring. Dear sweet Jesus.
3:45 a.m. – I climb out of the bed in disgust and sack out on the couch so as not to disturb Heidi’s sleep. Turn on the ceiling fan, turn down the AC, and turn on the History Channel. I curse the History channel for broadcasting infomercials completely unrelated to History. Change channels to MSNBC.
4:00 a.m. – Listen to U.S. Senator John Kerry talk about how cutting 3% of the budget isn’t possible because Republican members of the recently appointed budget Super Committee won’t give up the “Bush tax cuts.” I execute a numbing facepalm as my hatred for politicians rears its ugly head, wondering whether we should either secede from the Union or return to being subjects of the Crown. I start to develop a headache from the impact with my hand.
4:15 a.m. – I change the station to Syfy. I become disgruntled about the way the language is devolving. Syfy? Really? I become immediately intrigued by a gruesome film entitled Chain Letter in which the premise is that a serial killer goes on a murderous rampage against people who receive a chain letter and do not forward it to five other people.
5:00 a.m. – Go back to MSNBC. My hatred for politicians grows exponentially. Switch to the History Channel.
5:30 a.m. – I begin neurotically switching to MSNBC and then back to the History Channel and back again, with brief pauses on CNN to watch Robin Meade say nothing of any consequence in a way that forces me to watch her with the utmost interest.
6:00 a.m. – I begin to nod off as I settle on a History Channel presentation of The Real West.
6:30 a.m. – My sister-in-law, Cindy, begins preparing hot tea in the kitchen. Weary of continually falling asleep and waking because of my snoring, I head to the bedroom to try to sleep in earnest. Grandma is awake and asking Cindy repeatedly “Where am I?” Discover that Heidi is awake and cleaning the bathroom. Sack out on the bed, spooning with the dog.
7:00 a.m. – Heidi moves her cleaning campaign to the kitchen.
7:05 a.m. – I tire of repeatedly waking because of an acrophobic reaction to sleep stage one dreams of being on an 80-story building ledge with 40 mph winds whipping around me. I turn on the shower and step into the glass cage for the first time in a week.
7:45 a.m. – Check my e-mail.
8:00 a.m. – Make coffee and small-talk with housemates.
8:30 a.m. – I retreat to my office and begin surfing Netflix.
10:00 a.m. – Grandma’s caregiver arrives and begins talking loud enough to drown out my documentary on how the advent of Peak Oil will end civilization as we know it. I sigh rudely and close the door.
11:00 a.m. – Curiosity overcomes me and I succumb to the temptation of watching Chain Letter from beginning to end.
12:00 p.m. – Heidi offers to buy lunch. I mention that I’m probably going to be having lunch with Jeff.
12:30 p.m. – I call Jeff. We agree to meet at 1:30.
3:30 p.m. – Finish washing Fish-n-Chips down with my last beer.
4:00 p.m. – Return home with a six pack of beer and begin writing thank you notes to the individuals who interviewed me at the last agency that took an interest in me.
4:30 p.m. – I begin writing this blog entry. I pause occasionally to engage in mental arguments with my former friend who was the subject of my last blog entry.
6:00 p.m. – I stop writing and embrace the waves of self loathing foisted upon me by my over-active Super-ego. Damn you Freud.
6:05 p.m. – I pour my first round of the evening and put on Neil Diamond.
6:30 p.m. – We all sit down at the dinner table and I drink more beer as my housemates eat dinner.
7:00 p.m. – We adjourn to the den to endure two hours of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I graduate to Scotch.
8:00 p.m. – I heat up my dinner and as I’m eating I remind my housemates that Real Housewives is, in point of fact, about ego and drama and not about relationships. I’m immediately assaulted by daggers from their eyes. I shut up and return my attention to my pathetic little bowl of spaghetti and Italian sausage.
8:30 – 9:00 p.m. – Grandma repeatedly bids everyone goodnight, leaves the room, and then returns to her chair to watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as she inquires whether her mother will be picking her up in the morning.
9:30 p.m. – Grandma is finally in bed. Exhausted from working on the dozen or so projects for that day, Heidi asks me to come to bed and bribes me with a Netflix presentation of Collapse, a documentary on the end of Civilization as we know it.
I suppose there are worse ways to live—I mean at least I’m not homeless. And as I sit here contemplating the meaning of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I’m trying to remember that I have a lot to be thankful for. How about this though: could I just get a damned client or a job or something? I think my brain just turned to oatmeal.