Monday, April 30, 2012

Existing in New York City: Waking Up in the Still of the Night With Nothing to Write About

Foto by tgw, New York City, 2012
In the Still of the Night

I'm up at 3 am after sleeping all day Sunday--due to the meds I take for my damaged heart--and I'm sitting here empty. Usually I'm full of words that have to spill out onto something, like a notebook page or these blog pages. But not this morning. I'm sitting here instead shuddering. It's cold, still cold, like chilly cold, as if I'm sitting on an iceberg. In the cold I'm trying to fire myself up with just writing...writing nonsense...writing gibberish. I've never forgotten reading a William Saroyan collection of short stories where he advises writers to get up every morning and put a sheet of paper in their typewriters and just start writing...even if it's nonsense. The idea is to write...and soon the words will coagulate into something readable. If a writer writes just one page a day for a year, at the end of that year he'll have 365 pages of something. Why not a book of gibberish? Or a book of conversation, which is what I feel like I'm writing right now. This is keeping me warm.

I could write some anti-Mayor Bloomberg diatribe. That little jerk is openly showing his despite for those of us who aren't rich by denying New York City service workers currently making $8.00-plus an hour a $2 and some-odd cents raise. One of his cry-baby rich-boy sentiments is that workers's pensions and Social Security and Medicare are breaking the cities of the USA. His solution to everything is fire 'em: school teachers, firemen, police, etc. Fire 'em and replace them with his rich buddies who are into privatizing the world--especially the Mayor's great backing of charter schools, a couple of which he's doled out to a couple of his rich investor buddies. But I don't feel like bashing Bloomberg today (Monday morning, April 30th).

Today, our check clears on the new Mac computer we've bought, though today may also be the day Blogspot does away with this interface we love so dearly and puts their new interface into effect, an interface which we can't use due to our browser (Mozilla Firefox 2.1) being so out-of-date Blogger's new interface doesn't recognize it. So I think this will be the last post we write until we get the new computer--in 3 days maybe--when we can work out of the new interface--that is unless Blogger trashes our old posts--over 1,200 posts compiled over the past 6 years. We are staying optimistic. [We're also looking at Word Press's blog offering.]

Hard times are ahead for writers, especially journalists...hell, hard times are ahead for all of us. Hard times are certainly ahead for me, the heart patient without pay-or-die health insurance. Obama is running for president but he isn't mentioning the hard times that are ahead for all of us. He's ignoring the Occupy movement; in fact he's supporting the FBI's and the local police departments's criminalization of this movement. He's for criminalizing all protesters. Protesters now are considered terrorists because Obama refuses to end this stupid War on Terrorism started by that little pig-rat G.W. Bush, a man who Obama still refuses to repudiate his policies. To end his phony War on Terrorists. As usual we have a choice of presidential candidates who aren't really that far apart on bashing poor people and unions and still kowtowing to the wealthiest crooks in the world, like Warren Buffett, Little Billy Gates, all the CEOs of these bailed-out pirate banks--Bank of America, the biggest crooks of all, running ads on television talking about how civically responsible they are and how they are rebuilding America via their "fair" and "liberal" banking policies. Or how 'bout those Exxon-Mobil ads where they say these crooked bastards are working to bring our kids's math scores up. Which means to me, Exxon-Mobil is investing big time in charter schools. Or how about British Petroleum's ads talking about how they've miraculously cleaned up the Gulf of Mexico to a pristine state using local people to promote these lies--reading just yesterday how the Gulf Coast shrimp industry is still not finding safe shrimp--I mean so your seafood tastes a little oily, so what?

I just returned from spending Saturday over in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the Great Eastern Paper Show with two of my collector (and musician) friends, good friends, too, I might add, searching this large show full of dealers for things we can sell to make a little extra money during these hard-ass times. We spent most of the time talking about the hard times--one of those friends also a heart patient survivor like myself--and how hard it is trying to sell collectibles that used to fly off our shelves they were so desired by the serious collectors.

One thing I noticed about being in Allentown, which is in the heart of the Amish Country, is that the Amish seem to be doing just fine--I mean in the Allentown Farmer's Market you see the most beautiful vegetables and fruits for sale cheap; and the market also has tons of food stands selling everything from Amish barbecued meats to a great Mediterranean food stand to an authentic Vietnamese food stand--and candy makers galore and a stand selling fruit drinks sweetened with honey (I had a most delicious strawberry drink)...and the market was packed with shoppers. And I'm thinking, what the hell am I doing staying in New York City when there's this little paradise over here just a few miles due west of me? At least it looks like a paradise to a man who's lived in New York City for as long as I have, though I'm sure there are horror stories over there if I lived there.

Things in general don't look so hot for the average American citizen. I watched an old PBS documentary on the Stock Market Crash of 1929 earlier this morning and oh the similarities galore between those days and today. The stock market set up to where its crooked controllers had convinced stupid Americans that this rigged gambling device was going up forever and ever more, a handful of rich men manipulating the stock market, keeping it going up then selling off with profits while their selling off caused the stock market to plumet leaving those investors who they charmed into buying into it holding the bag full of losses. Then these charming crooks developed all these easy credit schemes. Right before the 1929 crash, credit mania had hit us. Furniture stores and clothing stores, department stores, all stores were offering easy credit--$5.00 down and $5.00 a month--and the stock market was offering margin buying--where you put up $1,000 and you got in return $10,000 worth of stock. And all the while the wealthiest bastards in the world were pooling their monies and thereby manipulating stock prices. The same as is going on today; and President Obama is still considering these crooked bastards as his heroes.

I'm entering a time in my life, or what little life I've got left, where money is going to rule my freedom. I already owe hospitals and doctors a month more money than I make a month. I'm having to dispose of all my possessions, selling a lot of my finer things at big losses in terms of value. Like an ancient coin collection of coins I paid thousands of dollars for now selling in some cases for less than $100 a piece. I'm not quite desperate yet, but I can see a future where I will be. My medicine expenses alone could send me into bankruptcy once I'm off these generic drugs I'm getting cheap from the hospital through their co-pay plan.

Well, there you go. It's now an hour later after I started this post where I worried about what to write about. Writers have to write and being a writer is no fun, folks, trust me. Writers living off their writing in this country are rare. The lucky writers are the ones that land college jobs. You know, selling a hit book and then getting a college writing class usually at your alma mater--or unless you're lucky like the Harry Potter woman or Judy Blume and make your living off filling children with imaginational hypes. Me, I can only write sarcastic children's stories and there's no money in that.

for The Last Daily Growler (for awhile)

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Hemingway said that a writer's life is easy; all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. (or something like that. I'm paraphrasing.)