Sixth Self-published Book of 2018, Book Three of a Trilogy B/N 2012-2015; A Rainy Week in Da Nang
I think it was somewhere in Denver, Colorado when I got offered a contract to write a book about paranormal shit. Can’t remember why or how. I was probably looking for a job. Writers are usually pieces of shit when they’re not writing. (In soul and spirit and soul-spirit-suck job.)
Ummm. My good friend lent me some money to get back to the east coast when I was thinking about jumping out of the second story window in a pillow factory where I was working while sleeping on floors, in the grass, eating crickets, getting fed by beautiful, strong women who took pity on me because they were strong and I was stupid. Bashful. Nothing to show for anything. I looked good in a collared shirt. I guess I had that going for me!
Wait, what? No, well. And so, my friend lent me the loot.
“Sure,” he said, “I’m pretty comfortable right now.”
Then he started talking obsessively about some girl he was with knocking boots. (The sentence ends HERE.)
“I’m gonna marry that girl,” he’d (always) say. She’d be gone within a few weeks. Slam, slam. Such is the life of a chef. Or anyone in this crazy fucking world. They come and go. Friends stay. I think.
I was on my way back.
I think it was a Greyhound bus. I was used to taking those. Back and forth across America while writing and shitting and staring at the green grass in the hinterlands. The sunlight pouring down into my guts. Well, so what?
I got back and it was the summer, I think. Three years of traveling like that kind of blurred together. Fuck. I don’t remember.
Did I mention it’s New Year’s Eve?
My friend was a reckless drunk. But he was really good at his job. And so was I. I just didn’t have one. But he did!
And so, we lived together like that. I was on the couch, sleeping when I could. Actually, I didn’t sleep much. I was worried about writing something good. Each night, he came back from the job. Drunk as a skunk. He’d just broken it off with a girlfriend of a few years. We were there for each other, I guess. It came natural. — LY.
He was my angel. Hmmm, they wanted me to write about Angels and Spirits. That was the contract. I’d even done a buncha research at a library back in Colorado Springs. I had a pile of books with me while sitting at a computer in there, all the hippies, skanks, hoodlums, derelicts, apropos of nothingness — surrounding me.
“Get outta here, you crazy bats!”
A librarian came up to me.
“Sir, that’s the second time you’ve screamed out loud. If you do it again, we’re going to have to ask you to…”
I swung my arms and knocked over the books.
“Jesus! Who needs this place anyway! These books are good for nothing!”
“Sir, that’s not proper English.”
“ALL THEY’RE GOOD FOR IS KILLIN’ FLIES!”
I was escorted out of the building very promptly by two overweight, misshapen, gray-haired security guards.
“Your breath smells!” I told them.
“Take a shower, kid.”
Like a eunuch. I wrestled with my demons of yesteryear.
Ummm. I was supposed to be writing a book. But I guess I got carried away. One night, after New Years. Maybe? Wait. Hmm.
My friend and I went out hammered drunk on whiskey, taking a cab. Drinking whiskey and beers on the way. We got to South Street.
“YEAH I KNOEW RIGHT?”
“What do you guys want to drink.”
The bartender, nonplussed. Handed us two shots and two beers — the Philly Special.
We downed our drinks.
I danced to jazz music.
My friend stood as a wallflower is wont to do.
“MY HEART’S BEATIN’ REAL FAST, MAN.”
“You’re a maniac.”
“NOW YOU TAKE THAT BACK!”
More drinks. Dancing. More drinks. Dancing. Drinks. You know how it goes.
I had to piss.
“I GOT AN IDEA.”
“ADFASASF LIVES CLOSE BY HERE.”
“YEH> SO WHAT.”
“I’LL GO PEPEPEEPEPEPEPEPEPE ON HER DOORSTOP.”
“YOU BETTER NOT.”
In the morning, I felt a terrible distaste of all and sundry. I thought, well — can it get any worse? There were empty beer bottles all over the apartment. Empty boxes of cigarettes. Darkness. No light whatsoever.
I was very hungover.
“It can’t go on like this forever. Can it?” I’d texted my friend.
“Dude! Last night was crazy!”
“Fuck. I know. I feel like the worst human being ever.”
“That was fucking crazy!!!”
It wasn’t until a few months of more improper English and very late nights that I decided to start writing the manuscript. Before I did though, I’ll say I remember one night of he and I sitting on the couch or lying on it like lunatics, drunk, fucked up, talking shit at four, five, six in the morning…
“Dude, did you leave because you were trying to get away from me?”
“No,” I said to the ceiling.
“It’s spinning,” said I.
I saw my friend as an angel. Whether fallen or not was beyond my spectral comprehension. I didn’t know Shit — unless I was at the keyboard.
I’d been there before, using his computer. Typing.
I’d have a cigarette in my mouth. (One he’d invariably lent me.)
“You type that fast?”
I looked at him, taking the cigarette out of my mouth. Blowing a big cloud of smoke.
He was ashing his cigarette at the kitchen table.
“That looked awesome. You just typing lightning speed with your cigarette dangling.”
I no longer remember if I began writing the manuscript at the beginning of February, March, or April. It was winter — into spring. I think. I’d like to tell myself that I wrote it within three or four weeks. But now that I think about it. Maybe it was over the course of a few months. Who knows?
(Of course, looking back at my words. It seems highly stupid to write “began” and “beginning”. But I’ve been drinking.)
It was helpful to write about the angels in my life. I went with my friend, chapter one. All the shit that had transpired between us over the years. It just came out. That’s how I was getting used to writing my long manuscripts … letting it flow … waking up each day and going directly to the keyboard … ignoring the internet, not checking my phone, only writing. Coffee. The keys. That’s how it went — I got into some kinda groove.
And at night, the recklessness of our lives intertwined again — but. We were there for each other. Somewhere, our Italian mothers were proud of us. In some other dimension of time and space…
The next chapter was (for) my brother, one of them. (I have three.)
I went deep into the past. My earliest memories. I thought I was a philosopher at three years old. The terror of the world I projected onto him! I didn’t know any better. That stuck with me for most of my life. Some kinda lie. Unless I got it out of me. With these words. The truth.
Shit. That sounds like philosophical bullshit.
Ummm. Chapter three was (about) a girl with whom I’d been in love for most of my life. And on and on, I went. All the people in my life who’d made an impact on me — to be a writer, to be anything at all.
10, 15, 20 pages at a time. Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten thousand words at a sitting. The season was changing and there was no heat in the apartment and I was living on my friend’s couch.
Let’s skip all this shit and get to the end.
I finished the thing and I felt good about it. I hadn’t written anything like that up to that point in time. Some kinda hemorrhage was happening in my writing. I had the recurring dream. Wide-awake. That’s what I’d wanted. To live while dreaming. That’s what everybody wants. Isn’t it?
The editor or publisher or whatever the hell he was … he wrote me an email … finally … after months of waiting to hear back from him once I’d sent him the final product … yikes … he said … or rather it was his “brother” who said that He was in the hospital … he … He won’t be publishing your book.
That was about seven months later, after the fact. Well, okay. Fine. I’ll publish it myself. So I tried that. And it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. The script was published anyway … like that … wait, I’d told the self-publishing company … I don’t want it up on the internet … sir … okay … we’ll take it down.
They never did.
Well, what was there left to do? I got a job. Just like all my friends (!!!) had told me to do.
I put that shit on the shelf. And forgot about it.
Time to get a job and an apartment!
That’s what I did.
I wrote and wrote. Submitted. Drank.
I got tired of it all.
The next year, I started other projects. I did the same thing in the following year. At the beginning of 2018, I decided to self-publish six books.
So I did that.
This is the sixth one of 2018.
Angels and Spirits. Book Three of a trilogy I wrote between 2012–2015. Seven Years of Bad Luck.
I’ve submitted scripts to publishers. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Why wait seven months to be told, “No.”
I did the painting on the cover. Additional editing in Chiang Mai, Thailand while staying in a tree-house for three weeks. Then I did most of the formatting in Da Nang, Vietnam on Xmas Eve and Xmas. Working on it, over and over. Dedicated. A nut.
It’s New Year’s Eve. And I’d like to do something else now.
Like finish the few remaining bottles of beer in the mini fridge. And think about the beautiful Chinese girl flying into Bangkok tonight — on her way to see me. Of all people.
And listen to emo music, of course.
On the beach???
A RAINY, CLOUDY, WINDY WEEK IN DA NANG.