Thursday, September 16, 2010

Those who can't-- teach; those who can't teach-administrate





I am bugged of late by people who want their short stories published here.
Latest supplicant is an old Ryerson U. acquaintance, Tony Mac. I am holding his story on "the ghost out of the swimming pool" on my desk, pending feedback from the "Quarks", my sort-of editorial board...Or is that Editorial Broad? They're all women.
But I felt Tony's story lacked something. What?
And what did I know? I was a mere teacher.
And could I do any better? "You show us, teach!"


This gives me some trepidation. I have been a prof, and am perfectly aware of the riposte by some students, that "those who can't, teach."

Anyway, "Helpless-Can't -do" over here, will now attempt a short story of a kind. The impressionistic kind. And, hopefully intertaining.

RAKE'S PROGRESS

My friend Gogol (of Google) had been a hotshot computer whiz and ethnic writer with a string of published books in English, a Joseph Conrad who one day fell into the Rye long before he realized that what he had been drinking and smoking was neither soda pop nor Vicks.

Occupational hazard. Success brings anxiety. There is an impossibility to relax. With alcoholic achievers, it usually leads to a woman or a bottle. Gogol was married, but he took both. This, of course, led to violent protest from his wife, who told this budding Felix Unger to get the hell out, and that he was no odd guy. Just a little too high on the testosterone scale, the result, no doubt of getting calculus mixed up with cabbageheads and all too frequent "love relations" with his computer. "Your lovemaking has gone from the mechanical to the electronic. I've always been here. Have you noticed?"

Out in the street, like Robert Crumb's Felix the Cat, Gogol (of Google) was beginning to notice. Pawning his laptop and down to his last vial of Aqua Velva, he took the standard step.

Starving, he joined the "between you and I" and "please-and-thank-you crowd" and "sign this for me" group of happy, ambitious illiterates who ran the food bank, secretly humming to themselves about how the mighty had fallen.

Now Gogol of Google was a a natural phenom who had risen so far as to teach Boolean algebra at the local university. His published novels gave him such stature that when talking to the dean in the halls, everybody knew who the important person was. People would say, "There goes Gogol of Google." That's how big he was.

Now, fresh from the food bank with his matched set of Price Chopper shopping bags in his hand, people would say, "Gogol-eyed fraud. And "Get a job, Gogol!"

He tried to re-establish his reputation by writing a play with which he had hoped to make some money, but the local theatre company had been adjudicated and found No Good, like the rejected manuscript of the same play he'd sent to a publisher. It had been, in fact marked by some fuzzy-eared slave, "NG".

No Good Boyo. Under Milkwood and all that.

All because of a Vodka habit and an inability to relax ( He'd had a worm in him for some time, not a computer worm, but,he feared, a real one, the same worm that had goaded his ambition. The worm had seemed to set set up residence in Gogols tummy, with full amenities, the DVD player, plasma TV --the entire entertainment unit. "Hey wise guy, splash a little vodka down this way."
Whether the worm was real or virtual, Gogol did not know, He was beginning to realize, that for some time, something had been eating away at him
Getting a girlfriend didn't seem to help. She may have given him an even worse hitchiker in his tum. Maybe in his brain. Pirouettes and spirochettes. "Our Seargeant-Major's got a hell of a dose of clap!
But Gogol's biggest problem was turning forty.

"It was a mistake," thought Gogol. I shouldn't have done that. If I had it to do all over again, I'd never turn forty.

"Who wants to live with a forty-year-old vodka sniffer and gin-sock," his wife, still a hysterical thirty -three had said. So she divorced him --just when he got fired by the college.
"Boy," said Gogol," this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Now I can drink."

"Not so fast," said the worm. "Where's my toke?" And "Who's gonna feed me now?" Gogol somehow felt that he would never again walk alone.

So now there was only Gogol and his little pal the worm. Both were thirsty as hell. No money.
Gogol's girlfriend lived out in West Gwillimbury, something of a beauty, but careless about her personal habits, a real ditch pig, actually, a Moonbeam McSwine and homeless too. He the rake professor. They were made for each other.

Pooling their Canada Pension cheques, bottles in hand, they would chase each other up and down hillsides, past garbage cans and into town, where Irene never said goodnight. She was a nonstop two-four guzzler, always complaining it was too hot at the Bonanza tavern, where she would attempt to take her clothes off. Like Scott's Zelda-- and try to sully the owner's beer, though it seems that women can't aim very well. This was great entertainment for the men, but disgusting for the women. She would dance on tabletops, knock drinks over with her high heels and generally make a fool of herself. Like Gogol.

Soon, they were "disinvited". Thrown out. Professor and Blue Angel from Georgina. The last thing they heard before the door slammed on them was White Stripes singing "Seven Nations Army."

But in fact, the following morning, broke and hungover, they hit the Salvation Army. There had been some trepidation over the decision. Just before they'd been thrown out of the Bonanza, the White Stripes had sung:

"And the feeling from my bones says find a home..."

Now they had to find a home. Hard to do when you're down and out in whitebread Newmarket.

"People just don't behave this way."

It took the Salvation Army two years and six thousand dollars to finally straighten out Google and his Moonbeam.

And would you believe it? Gogol got his computer back. One of his novels became a local bestseller, especially one aided in creativity not by "Seven Nations Army", but by the Salvation Army. Story for ya.

And Moonbeam got an unexpected inheritance from a developer relative. Moonbeam and Gogol moved in together and lived happily afterward.

.....

Now, have you read anything more awkward?

Small wonder that I teach. :)

24 comments:

ivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

Crazy times for me, lots to tell you:

1) Just a reminder that my novel officially launches into the world on Sept 22, 7:30 pm, at the Company House, 2202 Gottingen St., Halifax, with live music by Kev Corbett and Heather Kelday, spoken word by the multi-talented Shauntay Grant, and MC duties ably handled by CBC's Stephanie Domet. Hope to see you there.

2) I have a new one-minute video out, this one of me blahblahblah'ing about 'character' in the novel. It's at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvPtD5Xcnpw.

3) My latest column is up at The Coast, and it's on a really great Mi'kmaq heritage garden in Truro: http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/native-green/Content?oid=1858342

4) I'll be travelling around Eastern Canada from Oct 4 to Oct 22, doing readings at bookstores. The schedule is up at http://www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com/chris-benjamin-writing-blog/book-tour. Take a look and see when I come to your town, and please come on out and cheer me on.

5) I'll be the special guest Stephen Patrick Clare's 'The Book Club' on CKDU on Tues, Sept 21, 1:30 pm. For Haligonians, that's 88.1 on the FM dial. For everyone else, you can listen live at http://www.ckdu.ca. If you miss it, CKDU also archives their programs for a short time at http://ckdu.dal.ca/~radiologger/schedule1.php.

Whew. That's it for now. Happy reading,

Chris

(Chris Benjamin has fast become an important writer from Canada's east coast
--Ivan).

Charles Gramlich said...

success brings anxiety. Truer words were never spoken.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

For sure, Charles.

I think it's how I got to be the way I am. :)

the walking man said...

This broad is still digesting trying to find some meaning neath the words. As for Gogol and his worm/muse ask Bukowski if it was any good to mix success with women and vodka.

ivan@creativewritng.ca said...

Ya pole-axed me on that one, Mark.

As for Bukowski, I got to him late.
I think I should read more of that annointed San Francisco rubby with the Polack name, which, translated could mean, "he with the stick."

Gogol of Google as a stick man? The mind boggles.
People have called me
Bukowski. But that's when I talked softly...Now no stick. :)

TomCat said...

I am holding his story on "the ghost out of the swimming pool" on my desk, pending feedback from the "Quarks", my sort-of editorial board...Or is that Editorial Broad? They're all women.

Brood? ;-)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

:)

Enough to drive this old dog katatonic.

JR's Thumbprints said...

As a convict teacher and editor-hack-wannabe, my only concern with your story has to do with the lonely worm. Gogol needs to switch from vodka to tequila.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Migod, JR,

That's it. The thirsty worm only needed some Mescal!

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

"Gogol's girlfriend lived out in West Gwillimbury, something of a beauty, but careless about her personal habits, a real ditch pig, actually, a Moonbeam McSwine and homeless too. He the rake professor. They were made for each other."

Ivan, are you a prophet? If so, how are the profits?

;)

eric1313 said...

In my Detroit adventures, i have been staying with my old HS sweet water love-flame (...and drinking the vodka on rare occasion, though we get along fine cold sober which is something that really makes me glad and relieved as well, since neither of us have pension checks to pool). She's writing a novel again, one that she had almost completed until her hard drive was zapped about a year ago... She's raising 2 kids in a house with no power since the former tenants were stealing power right from the lines out back. (trying to get that straight with the city of Detroit is like asking a crocodile to share lunch--even though the bill is paid to current, they won't share power, even with a family who only needs a little bit for survival) And these last couple months I've been there with them as much as I can be, sharing all of what little I have. And to be perfectly honest, I have not been happier in quite a long while. Sharing the bad times and and trying to make them better, while pooling our imaginations and desires in a bedroom lit by a neighbors 3000 wat floodlight has been something I'll never forget.

The no power thing is a heavy metaphor to be slapped with, but we're taking it in stride. (yes, soon, according to the crocodile-god City of Detroit--when they feel like it.) Of course, I still have a home I can go to, one complete with power and my little space that i can write at and share in all the creative powers of friends like yourself and the rest of the crew. But I already miss being there, buying pizza for the kids and sitting with them in the park while she charges her phone on a power outlet on the side of a school building (stealing power, guilty as charged... where and whenever and however, I guess...), miss being there in the morning to get the kids off to school and go out on the hoof looking for work in a dead city wiating to be buried, one more time and time again.

I miss being there to pass the time at night, talking about writing and possibilities of publication and listening to music with her from her phone while slowly steaming up the windows of her room, dampening the glare of the 3000 wat floodlight next store, the one that wards off that which rumbles in the Detroit night.

And all I need now, what I did not really want before this time, is a silly, stoopid donkey job to help ease the burden for her, maybe share a little bit of power, god knows I don't really need it for myself.

Times are tough, and only getting worse. Odd, how in the grip of misery, can we find ourselves crunched together with someone who we can love, have loved before and it seems will always love no matter what... someone who loves us just as much in return, even if we have nothing to share but the power that comes from inside, that comes from dreams and hopes resurrected, because dead hopes won't feed the kids, let alone our selves. Living hopes feel just as empty at times, this i know well. But that does not mean they are completely devoid of nourishment.

Hope is in bloom right here in front of me, and I smell the blooms in all their glory, though the season of life is fading fast to winter all around me, around us. Still, something wonderful has happened. All i can do is keep trying and hope that in the end, it all works out (whatever that means), hope that the seemingly feeble power of will and earnestness and love will make things just a little bit better for us both. I keep hoping, and maybe one day, it will be for us to dance on the tables and the the hilltops. It has to be, because the alternative is darkness unfathomable by the the light of what passes for power here and now.
----
Would be nice to fall into a teaching gig! Because right now, the feeling of "can't" weighs like a singularity on my chest, telling me that I must be ripe.

Hope all is well with you.

Erik Donald France said...

"With alcoholic achievers, it usually leads to a woman or a bottle. Gogol was married, but he took both." Now them's some fine sentiments. Good Golly Gogol!

ivan said...

Erik Donald France,

I thihk White Russians are closet rednecks.
I still have to smile at this group of White Russians who started a bluegrass group called Bering Strait. Egad. And they drank corn likker too...Bettern' vokda.
Gogol got to university because in part, he was a master of Slavic Languages and Literatures besides english and Greek philosophy. And he played gypsy songs on the balalaika, which made him attractive to women.
...But he had this worm...And it was thirsty. And Gogol, he liked the Vomans.
"Never mind this bourgeois lovemaking, Natasha," he would say. "Let's fok."

He did not remember Plato's warning against the promotion of foreigners...At least mad white Russians.

ivan said...

Eric,

Prophet and profit.

Yes, we could like pinkies on similar relationships.
I have had every kind of girlfriend, I think, that is known to man... myself a rogue elephant (miniature version) who has gone over the hill and crazy...One of the girls, in fact, before she left me, said I was "a smart turned asshole."...(I think it was my actual former wife who said it, not one of my duchesses...The ex-husband, me, that Beast! department}. Well, one was something of a beast. And drunk. Midle age crazy. Prof gone over the hill. The land of Chaos, is not the familiar college, Professor! you have to find order! But there was no order, and for a very long time.
At forty every man gets the Wham! don't you know...But then you are still a smug 34. :)
At 34, I was not without chick nor child, though I must say it was my poor wife that financed my undergraduate, and even my graduate work. Then the crazy ingrate Theseus cuts to string Ariadne has provided....almost cuts his own throat.
Men are fricking crazy!
From order to chaos...Because one had found oneself too secure! Tamper with your security. Go back to the chaos of your youth.
You figure it out.


In the middle of his chaos, the prof himself had to get a donkey job. You have to. As Ukrainians would say, "No money, no funny."
So yep. You might have to put your narrow poetic shoulder to the wheel...I had to find this out the hard way.
It finally dawns on you (at least on me) that there is more to life than the writing of books...Or maybe I'm too much on reading the little apochrypha, Ecclesiastics, possibly the wisest book of the Old Testament, where it seems to turn almost Buddhist. Vanity, all is vanity, says the preacher.
Still, whatever you turn your hand to...do it. Even at minimum wage...I used to clean parking lots. But it kept one woman happy.

No power at the poor single mother's house? Damn. That's out of silent movie. The mother turned out to the elements! Dark ages!

Here in Ontario, a single mother going through hard times will immediately get her rent paid by the authorities and never, never is it an unheated apartment...(Yes, yes, Mafia Miltie has been cutting back money for welfare recipients here so he could chisel some for himself. We had a Premier (Governor) named Harris who said more mother's allowance would only lead mothers to drink more beer. So he cut a third of it off, the bastard...I am positive that that third went to organized crime. That's how corrupt our government seemed to be at the time. Right now it's just plain fascism and behaviour modification...And still welfare remains cut by a third. You can't live on it. So the poor single mother has to fake illness or say she has "issures" to get a medical disability, which allows her to at least have electricity in a halfdecent apartment.

I would say for you, Get that donkey job and go to night school, to maybe not take creative writing, but theatre. (I think that's called "Speech" in the U. S.) You can get a degree out of it and then maybe teach....You are damned bright, even if you might not know it.
But it does seem to me that it's deadline time. "Whatever thy hand taketh to do.."

Well, what do I know. I was once forty seven and fucked up.
Now I'm seventy and some say I am still fucked.
But they might envy me my my ISBN number. And I think that's where it counts.

Well, what else

Keep the faith. Uphold the right! :)

ivan said...

Eric,

Prophet and profit.

Yes, we could like pinkies on similar relationships.
I have had every kind of girlfriend, I think, that is known to man... myself a rogue elephant (miniature version) who has gone over the hill and crazy...One of the girls, in fact, before she left me, said I was "a smart turned asshole."...(I think it was my actual former wife who said it, not one of my duchesses...The ex-husband, me, that Beast! department}. Well, one was something of a beast. And drunk. Midle age crazy. Prof gone over the hill. The land of Chaos, is not the familiar college, Professor! you have to find order! But there was no order, and for a very long time.
At forty every man gets the Wham! don't you know...But then you are still a smug 34. :)
At 34, I was not without chick nor child, though I must say it was my poor wife that financed my undergraduate, and even my graduate work. Then the crazy ingrate Theseus cuts to string Ariadne has provided....almost cuts his own throat.
Men are fricking crazy!
From order to chaos...Because one had found oneself too secure! Tamper with your security. Go back to the chaos of your youth.
You figure it out.


In the middle of his chaos, the prof himself had to get a donkey job. You have to. As Ukrainians would say, "No money, no funny."
So yep. You might have to put your narrow poetic shoulder to the wheel...I had to find this out the hard way.
It finally dawns on you (at least on me) that there is more to life than the writing of books...Or maybe I'm too much on reading the little apochrypha, Ecclesiastics, possibly the wisest book of the Old Testament, where it seems to turn almost Buddhist. Vanity, all is vanity, says the preacher.
Still, whatever you turn your hand to...do it. Even at minimum wage...I used to clean parking lots. But it kept one woman happy.

No power at the poor single mother's house? Damn. That's out of silent movie. The mother turned out to the elements! Dark ages!

Here in Ontario, a single mother going through hard times will immediately get her rent paid by the authorities and never, never is it an unheated apartment...(Yes, yes, Mafia Miltie has been cutting back money for welfare recipients here so he could chisel some for himself. We had a Premier (Governor) named Harris who said more mother's allowance would only lead mothers to drink more beer. So he cut a third of it off, the bastard...I am positive that that third went to organized crime. That's how corrupt our government seemed to be at the time. Right now it's just plain fascism and behaviour modification...And still welfare remains cut by a third. You can't live on it. So the poor single mother has to fake illness or say she has "issures" to get a medical disability, which allows her to at least have electricity in a halfdecent apartment.

I would say for you, Get that donkey job and go to night school, to maybe not take creative writing, but theatre. (I think that's called "Speech" in the U. S.) You can get a degree out of it and then maybe teach....You are damned bright, even if you might not know it.
But it does seem to me that it's deadline time. "Whatever thy hand taketh to do.."

Well, what do I know. I was once forty seven and fucked up.
Now I'm seventy and some say I am still fucked.
But they might envy me my my ISBN number. And I think that's where it counts.

Well, what else

Keep the faith. Uphold the right! :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Whoops! Verbal diarrhea.

And doubled!

eric1313 said...

Full moon riding low
gold doubloon beyond grasp
insomnia ensues...

Been looking around a lot up here, only now do i see and feel the urgency of life.

Good news is she was able to get them to come out, but it's not until Thursday. She's been there in the new house for 6 weeks with no power or gas. It's enough to make one go a spit crazy, and here I am, helpless to assist in any way except for my company and buying some food here and there.

But this might work out well, she loves my poetry. She loves what I do and loves that no matter what I can make her laugh and smile until we're both sore. And she knows I still love her.

Funny, feelings one thought were buried in the passing of years are now more alive and deeper than they ever were. Not funny that I'm able to do so little to help her out down there beyond my presence as a living space heater beside her at night. Ukrainian proverbs are damned right, gotta say. And yes... I've already worked the lowest of the low. Not even that is available now... Detroit has an effective unemployment rate of over 50% currently, people are knifing each other to wash dishes currently. Best hope as I see it is to convince her to go with me back down south... at least there I was able to find work in 2 days of looking for it. Up here, it's just dead. Dead dead dead.

But hope springs eternal from the heart. Now I just need to see it manifested.

ivan@c reativewritng.ca said...

After seeing that movie with Dustin Hoffman, I worry about the Ratso Ritzo syndrome when it comes to going down South, though it's certainly tempting now that fall is upon us.
...But the kids would have to change schools, there is the back- to -school expense, another house hunt and all that.
It's not news that when I was in your situation, I dumpster-dove.
What a treasure there is beneath our Winn-Dixies! :)...Or Dunkin' Donuts? I never quite got out of checking out the big automatic dumpsters behind the supermarkets.
They eat stuff, automatically, with a screeching grind, but here and there, Voila! Out of a hole, three not-yet-stale-dated steaks pop up,still fully wrapped and ready for the barbie... Out in the back yard or the balcony?
Yesterday afternoon, I was in the big dumpster behind a halfway house for wayward boys and girls...Somebody yelled,"Get out of our garbage, garbage picker," and I yelled back "My garbage- picking taxes go to support you, ya welfare bum", which shut him up and I was able to liberate two huge not-yet-used apple pies and two cakes. They sure throw a lot of stuff away at the halfway houses.
I was however depressed. I was beginning to fully realize my situation.
Until last night I got a postive call from an editor!...Jesu Cristo! My life is a movie. Cinderfella and the Sisty Uglers.
Paparazzo's already hounding me even as my adidas-shod feet stick out of the dumpster. Charlie Chaplin, I swear, without the awesome talent.

I swear my family motto should be, "Give it to us. We'll fuck it up." Or Semper in Excreta...But so far, always the lovely flower out of the crap pile...It certainly can't last. It is hard to be cute at seventy. Somebody might kick your ass, and here and there somebody has. Too many bar fights too many blows to the head. There is a full moon out righ now. The trick is not to take any, I repeat any thought or mood seriously, especially making a major move. In two weeks' time, you will be out of this and maybe even rich.
In Canada, nobody ever really fails. The safety net is still pretty good, though you have to plead insanity to get about $ 900 a month disability over the $500 or so you'd get as a single man.
At one time I went and said, "I'm crazy. Ask somebody." Well they agreed. So between the crazy pension and driving a truck I managed to wend my way out.

Come to think of it. Can you drive commercially? Used to work for me.

Anyway. Back to my old employer, for whom I haven't worked for ten years...But every couple of weeks, I show up to collect my pay anyway. He has become a fan of my novel. Heh. Everybody has to support an asshole. :)

Take care.

ivan@creativewritng.ca said...

Some impressive reviews coming out on Chris Benjamin's premier novel, Drive-by Saviours. Way to go Chris! You have done almost the impossible. Publish a first novel!

Samples:

FROM THE BACK COVER:
In a crowded world, a single connection could change everything.

Chris Benjamin masterfully, magically weaves together the seemingly disconnected worlds of Mark, a failed social-worker-turned-unhappy-grant-writer coming to the end of an even unhappier relationship, and Bumi, an Indonesian illegal immigrant on the run from his past and the ocd that dogs his present. Their chance encounter on a Toronto subway launches them on a complicated friendship that allows both men to finally confront the demons in their pasts and to find the hope in their futures.
— Stephen Kimber, author of Reparations

Chris Benjamin’s debut novel is part contemporary fiction, part social commentary and part kick-in-the-ass storytelling. Although refreshingly unique in its portrayal of Indonesia’s cultural landscape, with its universal themes of greed, betrayal, family and redemption, Drive-by Saviours transcends both time and place. Through weaving Bumi’s tenacity with Mark’s ennui, Benjamin skillfully elucidates how globalization entangles us all in an artificially exploitive web and how escape can only be found through creating genuine bonds, those that deeply connect us one to another.
— Carla Gunn, author of Amphibian

Chris Benjamin has travelled widely in North America, West Africa, Europe and Asia working as a freelance writer. He writes for several national and regional magazines in Canada on a variety of social justice and environmental issues. He is also the Sustainable City columnist for the The Coast weekly newspaper in Halifax, where he lives with his wife and son.

____________________________________________________________
Read a review: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/rss/article/1203544
The launch on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php


Migod, if I didn't have things going, I'd be casting envious eyes. :)

eric1313 said...

Mr Benjamin's work is very impressive indeed. I've always admired how he works so naturally with issues of the marginalized condition. Can't have enough respect for someone who can pull that off without pandering or being over sentimental.

Hat's off to him, for certain.

As for the big move, yes, you are right. Actually tonight i had an offer from another friend who wants me to move out there and rent a room extra extra cheap and all i have to do is help them keep the house picked up. Been there quite often, helped make a mess a few times, nothing I can't handle in a couple hours of intense elbow grease... and they have a truck and a power washer and snowblower and the like without the now how to use the stuff (hello!!!, me right here, I've power washed half the cities that I grew up in.), so there you have it, quick income (and this time I won't blow through the dough like it's my last night on earth before the apocalypse, always been easy come easy go... need to choke the easy go part...). And his wife wants to set up a website for palm reading and rune casting and all kinds of old-new-age stuff... Hello again!!!! I've picked up all kinds of handy skills between my blog and the work i did for the video game company. And to top it off, they are only 4 miles down the road from my lady... I've been walking 6 miles a day or more as of late, trying to borrow Mark's name in spirit (or sole), so that's nothing. Besides, ought to be able to afford bus transfers with a few power wash jobs in hand.

So you are certainly right about that. One never knows what to

But i really did love it down south... one day i'll post the pictures. Was a lot of fun, as I've told you, and I certainly would love to share that experience with she who has never been more than 20 miles from Detroit.

Glad to see ya, seems the servers were screwed this afternoon, could not get your site for all the forbidden messages.

eric1313 said...

ahem...

One never knows what will crop up.

Hey ya, at least I have you as a good sounding board.

Thanks Ivan.

ivan@creativewritng.ca said...

Yeah. Durn servers.

I thought I had screwed up my settings again by trying to italicize words in comment space by pressing control-i for italics.

Looks like server problems on web and not from here. Whew. Glad to have access to--and not forbidden access to--my own site!

Friggin full moon out and my gambit for booze and cigarettes failed, though an old biddy wants to buy a copy of The Fire in Bradford.

In the words of Pink Floyd?

Hey Piker
Leave that biddy alone
All in all, you're just another prick in the hall.

Down to living off my novels, which is damn dangerous, certainly insecure.

Fulll moon out. Real bad.

Heh. Brings out the madness.

"I am schizophrenic, and so am I."

No booze. No smokes. What's left here butone's awful self. Yikes.