Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Word From My Demons

Read the writing on the wall, Johnny. Feeling one of your little episodes coming on, you headed for your new favorite refuge, the inconceivably gorgeous new West Hollywood Library and their free parking lot was what, exactly? Full? Devoid of places in which you might have left your little car — which, we pause to note, badly needs washing because you’re too cheap to spring for an indoor space, but you’re in your familiar Why bother? mode. You pride yourself on never spending the day in bed sobbing like other depressives, but what does all that birdshit say about your self-respect?

So you parked on the street, and what happened when you came into the library? Did the librarian you bawled out yesterday for speaking too loudly wince at the sight of you, or didn’t she? 

Everything you touch turns to dust. You spent months and months sitting there bleeding to produce your latest novel, and how many of the 186 agents you invited by email to read it accepted the invitation? And what did her email of yesterday morning say? That she “wasn’t sufficiently enthusiastic about it to show it to prospective publishers.” The story of your life as a novelist! 

If only as a novelist were the only way you’ve failed! You also failed as a son. You were a perfect bastard to the two people who loved you most at the end of their lives because…why again? Oh, that’s right. Because they’d been less than the perfect parents His Majesty the Baby believed himself to deserve. And now, having lost your little freelance job writing travel pieces that you thought hilarious and your readership found irrelevant or even offensive, you keep the lights on and the tiny car fueled with the money Mom and Dad left you. What a guy!

Because your only income now is the peanuts Social Security sends you every month, you’re going to resume looking for work? Oh, that’s rich. Who exactly do you suppose is going to hire you at your age? Didn’t you get your fill of being interviewed by (horrified) persons whose parents you’re older than in San Francisco, a decade ago?

You’ve failed as a brother. You and your sister haven’t spoken in three years. You’ve failed as a father. Your daughter hasn’t spoken to you in 12 and a half. You’ve failed as a musician, as a songwriter, as an actor, a graphic designer, videographer. And — let's face it — friend, lover, and  husband. Or maybe you hadn’t noticed that your wife doesn’t want to be in the same country with you. You can’t cook. You can’t fix things, and it’s been what — decades? — since you were able to get by on your looks. Those three blonde-highlighted women having brunch on 3rd Street last Saturday…how long did the one with whom you made eye contact, who years ago would have run after you with her phone number, maintain said eye contact? Is there a device sensitive enough to measure that short a time? 

Even your own body hates you. You’ve needed to get your shoulder replaced for months now. Sometimes the pain in your left knee, torn up when you were hit by that car in Beacon, NY, in 2008, and ankle, which you ruined by jogging all those years on city streets, is so bad you can barely get to sleep at night. 

You’re lonely and bored and frantic and getting uglier and more decrepit by the week. Honestly, why prolong the agony? Is it your next novel or song or video that's going to turn the tide, chump? Oh, how very, very funny! LOL! ROFL! LMFAO! 

Here lies John Mendelssohn. Many years ago, he liked The Kinks and disliked Led Zeppelin.

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