It’s been awhile, but wouldn’t you know it, I feel like I have malaria so I can hardly move from my bed except to type what will probably be rambling, delirious thoughts, and I say type not write because to claim that I were about to write something would insinuate I am capable of coherent, planned thoughts, capable of thinking of something and, at the moment, I’m not.
But didn’t Capote say of On the Road: “That isn’t writing; that’s typing” or something like that? If that is the case, I’d much rather read typing. And tomorrow is Kerouac’s birthday so I guess this is appropriate.
Maybe you’d like to hear about my day. It started out with some coughing up bloody phlegm then barely making it downstairs to walk Jen Junior. Then back to bed where I started an article and read, finishing The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie, a book that made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever until the last two pages. (Though all of the words in between were pretty and how could I resist a book about a Sorceress?) With that finished, I *finally* read Candy by Terry Southern, which made me LOL my ass clean off. It’s shocking now and I can only imagine its reception in 1958. In between finishing these books, I sent my resume out to at least 20 different employers. I got one response back, from an ice cream shop looking for an “ice cream server.” I have an interview there tomorrow right before meeting my agent for coffee at Balthazar. How is it that I can be so unemployable as to be going for a job interview for a position normally reserved for 15-year olds yet so accomplished as to have an agent who is meeting me for coffee to discuss the possible sale of my next book?
The problem is that I am too eccentric to get a decent job and too sane to get disability.
Why can’t someone just pay me to live at the Algonquin and make brilliant sentences?
And herein lies my other major problem: my living conditions. I just learned a new term tonight: Constructive Eviction” which is where your slumlords don’t fix anything until you’re forced to move out. Without going into too much detail, I got in a huge fight with my super, the least super person on the planet, today. I’m in my sick bed and the pad is freezing. Also, I’m freezing (cuz of the Malaria-like cold I’ve got) so I’ve got the space heater plugged in. Only, I’ve got it plugged into an extension cord going into the hallway since anytime I plug it into my outlets, I lose electricity if I so much as turn a TV on while using it. And this exact thing happened to me the night of the steam pipe explosion (since I was blowdrying my computer while also using the space heater to try to suck up the humidity) and when I called the “Super” and asked him to go into the locked basement to fix the fuse, he refused. Hence I spent that night in a cold, dark, flooded hellhole. Eventually, he did have a bedraggled looking young man come to my front door with said extension cord, which I’ve been using ever since even though my electricity was turned back on. (Since I’m not taking the chance of losing electricity again!)
Well, I heard him unplug the cord very angrily so I went out into the hallway and explained to him that he should lay off the extension cord since he’s proven himself unwilling to turn the electricity on in an emergency. I gently reminded him that his failure to fix a rotten valve led to the wreckage that is now my apartment (11 paintings mangled, computer destroyed and a whole lotta other stuff.) He screamed “Stop STEALING electricity.” I said, “I’m not STEALING it; I’m ensuring I have it.”
This led to a very scary screaming match wherein I pointed to the many problems in the hallway alone, which could be considered housing violations like a bunch of cords jutting out of a hole in the wall. He said, “It’s like that because you people broke it!”
“Yes,” I said, “Everyone in this building loves to go around ripping cords out of the walls!”
What the hell? The man is insane. The last thing he screamed at me was, “You steal electricity you’re gonna go to jail!” And the last thing I said was, “Yeah? Well, you’re gonna go to hell!”
Quite an awful day. Am hoping I feel better tomorrow so that I can drink myself into a comatose stupor!
Things are shitty. Wish I could be more positive but they really are. Sitting here, surrounded by my warped paintings, feeling like hell, it all feels pretty hopeless. I wish I had money to restart ASS Magazine. But I don’t. I know it’s darkest before the dawn but I’m not sure the f**king dawn is ever gonna come. Someone recently accused me of being attached to the “cult of failure.” I’m not. I have no interest in failure or in being a failure, but I just can’t figure out how to be a success.