Police State

They’re after us. Every state is broke and every city is broke and the way they can bring in revenue is with speeding tickets and parking tickets. I was going 61 in a 50 mph zone somewhere near Athol, Mass. — I had left Providence a few hours earlier- with a parking ticket attached to my windshield.  The parking ticket was issued after a ticket machine failed me– yes, put a note on the car, ran into library for two minutes to return a video. Back out to car – my note gone, ticket issued. Need to get to court by 8 am but am now in Vermont. The days of governmental clarity are over. You are guilty from the moment you wake up in the morning until you collapse at night– just trying to live simply and carefully. No. They’re after us. The credit card companies, the meter maids, the corner deli, where a cup of coffee is suddenly $1.30 up from $1.12 — seems like a little thing in and of itself but multiple, multiply — a sea of desperate business owners, cities, states, countries.  They will gouge you mercilessly. They are drowning and they are grabbing at you in subversive, mini-small ways.

Suddenly, you’re broke, too.  You consider gouging to get by. And the whole mess explodes into an underbellied world of rip-offs.  We all go down together.

I wonder what happens to us if we refuse to participate. There is no debtor’s prison. What if we all refuse to pay our parking tickets? I refused many years ago, in Newport, RI– and they towed my car away. I owed 23,000 dollars and could not pay, so they smashed my car into a piece of metal the size of a toaster oven.

You can’t get water from a stone and that is our strength, as struggling beings in a police state. So far, they cannot waterboard us to extract payment.  So much has been stolen from so many of us and we are the majority. Our strength comes from our collective weakness. When we foreclose, the house of cards collapses. When the squirrels stop running in the cages and the machine stops moving forward, entropy ensues, and as I said – we all go down together.

The meter maids, the policemen, the deli owner, the man who shingles the roof– the 2 bucks they add to the invoices, the notes they ignore on the windshields, will bring the whole thing down.

Friend bribes me with Cash to write a Book

Things I’ll do before I sit down to write: almost anything. Delayed gratification is not an option for me because I do not believe that tomorrow ever comes. So why would I do anything that requires waiting for a pay off, or worse yet, work on anything without a guarantee that I will reap some reward? I hear many drummer’s and they’re all playing a different tune. My mind jumps, so a good friend is bribing me to write a book. He is bribing me with cash per finished chapter. My response to this Pavlovian exercise has been astounding. All I have to do is write a chapter, and then another chapter, and each time I finish a chapter, I get a reward, whether or not the chapters are good, whether or not the book sells. I am just writing the book — not worrying about whether it’s good or whether it will sell. I am off my own back. Because my sponsor has no conditions other than finishing a chapter before a payment, I just sit down and the words roll out of me from an entirely different place than usual. I am free to just write the book and a book is evolving without an outline.  This good friend is not a money-bag, which makes this arrangement all the more poignant. Suddenly I feel tangible– which makes me realize that I do not think of myself as authentic. More of a poltergeist, floating above a past of futile effort, bad luck, bad timing, false starts, failures heaped and hidden behind a sardonic sense of the world that I have lost faith in. I’ll admit it: I have lost hope. I feel I have some ancient Irish curse on my head which prevents me from any monetary success. And of course, now I am addicted to the money struggles– which take up a huge part of the day– just the worry and fret of it — and the time and energy it takes to worry about money detracts from the time I have to fail again. Failure takes time. You have to work at something to fail successfully. You have to dream. You have to methodically and courageously participate in that dream. You have to brainwash yourself into believing in the dream. There’s no room for second guessing or mindless worry. My past weighs so heavy on me. A realist, I don’t believe in the tooth fairy or destiny. I did, yes, long ago. Hey, look at me. I should be writing a chapter now instead of discussing why I wouldn’t bother writing a chapter if not for my Fairy Godfather.

What the Hell am I doing Now?

Where does the time go? I haven’t posted anything on this site in a long time, firstly because as I mentioned, I am fascinated with the posting of photo and short blurb on Facebook that I can change daily without too much trouble. In fact, it’s easy and the return is, in my opinion, great. You can write a book for two years and not have it published, but no one stops you from whining on Facebook to your collection of pseudo-friends who don’t give a shit but, being that they are browsing Facebook, will come across the little turds I spurt out.   It is vey difficult for me to focus on any one project, being that I have failed at every creative project I have ever undertaken, and I must tell you that I have tried my very best and still faced a brick wall of consistent rejection…therefore, I now have several brick walls, each behind the other, and it will take more than a stick of dynomite to remove them. It will take random good luck and a renewal of hope based on denial, as usual. Who cares? Hope is a precious commodity- a hallucinogenic drug- and denial is the drug pimp. It’s all you need to beat the odds. If you want success, “they” suggest redoubling your failure rate.

The whole thing makes me gag. I want all the success behind me and before me. I want the work to be done and finished. I desire to rest on my Laurels. I yearn to be a has-been. Many people despair at that notion. They believe they must keep up the cloud they inflated or else be left sitting on a deflated cloud- a white vaporous nothingness. And forced to make stimulating conversation at the cocktail parties that you are now invited to, due to your limited success. Everyone is waiting for the inevitable follow-up. I have heard it is not that easy. That is why I am attempting to be famous for not doing shit– or more specifically, kind of fucking around  with  ability, possibility, potential and a sense of humor.

Because I have never made any money and have worked very hard –sacrificed my youth, happiness, health for my art– I don’t have a lot of desire to continue on a path that has caused me hardship and insanity. Who would if they had a sliver of common sense? I cannot fathom making money doing anything  other than waitressing in a fancy restaurant or taking a government job. It seems that the dumber the job is, the more potential there is for making money.  I have a good friend who recently went into real estate as a fluke and is now, after a couple of visits to certain properties and becoming adept at filling out several forms, has a huge chunk of cash in her bank account. Supply and demand is one thing… but there is something warped about this ability in our culture to generate cash with an I.Q of 100 and no talent– excepting talent to smile gratuitously in the presence of people who resemble elephants in linen.

So, the problem and you may be suffering from same — if you have been working very hard without success– the problem is to reignite your passion, hope, focus, vision. — Find an ally. Find a patron.

There is somebody out there who believes in you, still, Ask them to help you. How? Ask them to pay you for working on a project that you are convinced will come to nothing. I have a dear friend who offered to pay me 300 bucks for each chapter of a book I could complete. Is that too good to be true or what?  Hell, how long does a chapter have to be, if you are a modernist exploratory experimental writer? Three sentences?

It has started me writing again. But more than that, it has given me hope in the humanity that surrounds me- and that renewed hope has spun itself into a belief that life is worth living after all. Because it is all about me, for me, and has always been about me. Those who believe in me have figured that out and they have determined that my potential greatness is worth more to the world than their ego. They have stepped aside and encouraged a truly great talent to move forward– and in doing so, take their place in history as the patrons who allowed genius to thrive. Even a real estate agent can accomplish such a task.