11.20.2012

10 a Day: The Last Stand


Every so often, life sneaks up from behind and ambushes you just to remind you that it's not all lollipops, jokes and bullshit. I already talked about how hard adult life can be, but that was largely theory. This, friends is practice...and as everyone knows, practice is not a game. (One of the many lessons Allen Iverson taught us.)  Yup, I find myself at yet another crossroads in my kindadult life...I'm about 2 weeks from being homeless (or at the very least, replacing the fake Christmas tree in my parents' basement on a seasonal basis). 

That is, unless I sell 10 books a day for the next 2 weeks and make rent.


In case you give a damn, allow me to give you some background on how I ended up here. My old job was a soul-sucking, spirit-crushing, unfulfilling government-sponsored waste of time...but it paid the bills. So I figured I'd just keep going until I could make my current one do the same.

That's what I thought, anyway. Around the time my little accidinfant exploded into my life, during the parental leave that men won fair and square in the whole equality between sexes thing, I was...well, let's call it "laid off", since attorneys have advised me not to go into too much detail publically. Imagine my surprise to open my account from home on payday and see...nothing new. It felt like the scene in "The Dark Knight" where Commissioner Gordon opens the mob safe at the bank expecting to find the stash and finds nothing but a small pile of marked bills he had placed there beforehand. (I would have went down there and kicked it everywhere in frustration too if I even had enough bills to form a stack.)


A few weeks later they were kind enough to inform me that I no longer had a job there. I'll admit, it was a new and scary feeling. Here I was, out on my own, walking the tightrope of adult life with my safety net yanked out from under me...but the bonus was that if I could manage to bring balance to the situation, I'd be hailed as an exceptional entertainer. With one eye on the job market the whole time, I set out to use my skills to pay the bills. Finished book #2, reloaded (umf...), expanded my networking reach, and generally aimed my life towards becoming a real, authentic, honest-to-IRS writer. (I even found time to babysit my own child every so always.)

Through a combination of odd jobs, book sales, and parental/government assistance, I managed to make it so I wasn't laying in the streets slowly dying as the summer went by. I was doing okay. (Hey, I wasn't eating out of dumpsters, that's okay by my standards.) Unfortunately, the work dried up after a while and my parents ain't what you'd call rich, so half of the half an income I managed to scrape out for myself slowly evaporated. Fast forward to mid-November, and here I am, months behind the rent. 


My landlord has been uncommonly patient with me and my situation, but I knew the whole time promises and good intentions are not legal tender for all debts, public and private. It was only a matter of time until he wanted his money...and that time is now. I swear I'd give him some if I had it, but my printing press is down and I'm out of currency toner anyway. 

I needed a fair lot of money fast...I thought about knocking over a local 7-11. Of course, I'm just not that guy...besides, I can't expect Shannon to write me in jail when I probably wouldn't do it for her. Should I sell drugs? No. Hov did that, so hopefully I wouldn't have to go through that. I thought about selling sperm, but I figured mine is causing enough trouble as it is. I heard you could get a quick $5,000 for a kidney, and I do have a spare, but I don't know the proper channels to go through and I'm not sure I can buy it back one day. I began to feel vaguely fucked.

As I laid awake one night recently worrying myself into my early 30s about what the future held, I figured out that there was still one thing I could sell...books. Lots and lots of books. "Expecting (the Worst)", "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge"
...didn't matter, as long as they were mine and eventually yours. I sincerely hope this works out, because if it doesn't I'll obviously have to take an extended break from writing to concentrate on the direction of my life. I put my faith in the idea that neither of us want that to happen.

I realize that more or less leaving my fate in the hands of my readers is a risky plan at best, but it's the only one I still have. "Look for another job" is a little harder when I'm joined by about 25 million of my closest friends, the ones we discussed a paragraph ago are so one paragraph ago, and my less-than-total beliefs aside, praying without actually trying to do anything about it is pretty much talking to myself in the dark...so there ain't a lot of other options.

As an adult, I realize that much of my existence depends solely on my contributions to it. As a side effect of what I happen to be kinda good at, much of that depends on yours. (I accepted this when I chose to be an artist.) I'll quit playing my sad violin and just ask you to consider buying one of my books.
What might seem like a drop in the bucket to you might be the drop that fills it and allows me to start putting out the fire. You get some new reading material, I don't have to tie all my shit in a cloth on the end of a stick and walk sadly into the night...we both win. 

Hey, I'm not sure this is going to work...in fact, to expect it to will be mildly farfetched...but fuck it, I've always went down swinging before. Why stop now? Besides, 10 books a day doesn't sound as bad if you make it 9 (or less...books also make great gifts for the holidays! *smile, thumbs up, crosses fingers*).

No matter what, thanks for everything, y'all.

4 comments:

Dan Bonser said...

My situation was a ton different, but I can relate, and its never ever fun. A few years ago I had to walk away from my life in NC, which meant letting my house go to the bank, and moving back to Texas. It was tough, and I did everything I could think of to stay. Part of me sometimes wishes I had fought harder, but fighting harder would have been let the house go to the bank and then live in my car for awhile....

The only advice I can ever give is make the best decisions you can, because no matter what happens, you seem the kind of person that will make whatever you can work.

Rum-Punch Drunk said...

Wow, you are deep in it and I've got no real answers to get a positive real response. But, maybe I can just give some tips on long term ways to get cash.

1. Car boot sale of all your old clothes, DVDs, CDs, jewellery etc... cash in hand at the end of the day is good stuff
2. Ebay can work well to sell stuff but count the cost of using that service.
3. You could ask family/friends to come round with a bottle of wine and then sell any goods you want to get rid of to them
4. Go to many bookshops and ask if they can promote your book and you will give them a small percentage of the sale. As long as it would be beneficial to you of course.

Anyway, just a few ideas. I hope it works out well for you though.

captNaj said...

Thanks for the kind words and ideas, everybody! They actually do mean something to me. I'm just really hoping this situation can be resolved somehow...

Anonymous said...

I bought both books today.....best of luck...talented young man...wonderful Dad.....lucky Captain with a very. Special First Mate...Hang in there AJ....