Sleep is the wife that I neglect for things like work and other pursuits. She isn’t pleased. She says we never spend any quality time together anymore. Even when I do manage to get her in my embrace, it’s always fitful, never very deep, and rarely lasts long. She always stalks off, leaving me alone, red eyed and clutching a pillow. She’s threatening to divorce me for good . . .
Let’s see…it’s been awhile—what’s gone on in the last month:
Flattery Will Get You Nowhere
On Wednesday, I had to pull yet another 33 hour 3rd-shift/day-job/3rd-shift day. During the day I subbed for a friend, teaching an after-school magic class. I was told the kids were “wild”…but the children turned out great. They were wild because they were very young (the youngest I’ve taught), but they were just very enthusiastic. Many were actually trying to be helpful. I even found two of the little girls waiting outside the room when I left—they were worried I might get lost. It was the most fun and easy $100 for an hour of work.
That night, I sat on the sofa, somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, watching Boston Legal with my parents to pass the very short hour before I had to go to 7-11 for the night shift. I’d been awake for well over 20 hours. I wasn’t happy.
My mom got up to get a drink. “You have a cute ass,” my Dad said.
“I appreciate it,” I said, groggy and gloomily, “But, man….that’s just not cheering me up.”
Bubbles and Bullets
The weekend before Halloween I got to visit my goddaughter, Reese Her grandfather took me and her daddy out shooting his handguns. I don’t have much experience with guns. But, as it turns out, I’m a pretty good shot and did the best that day. Afterwards I got to play in the bubbles with Reese and her mother gave me the coolest Halloween card ever.
I had to work Halloween night
The weekend after Halloween, I did manage to go to a Halloween party at Jerry and Robb’s apartment. I went as the great pumpkin. My mask never came in the mail…so I had to get creative with make-up. I didn’t manage to get any pictures…other than these webcam shots (the makeup was a bit smeared by then and I didn’t have the costume on):
Of Music and Memories
A friend and neighbor, John, died just over a week ago, suddenly and unexpectedly of some sort of heart problem. He was only 53. I got the call about it just before going to bed, after the 3rd shift. My family and I rushed over to his house for any emotional support we could offer his wife, Deb. The police had to shoo us out right away, though, as the coroner hadn’t even been there by the time we arrived.
His wake was a few days later. My little sister, Danielle had never seen a dead person before and I think it weirded her out a bit. A lot of people came out. John touched a lot of lives. He’d told me stories about his wild days working at a ranch and entertaining. He always wanted to sit down with me and put those stories to pen and paper. Meeting him later in life, these exploits were just stories for me…until I saw some of those character manifested at his wake. For music, they just plugged in John’s iPod. I think this was a good move. It was his music. I was impressed how an iPod could become a sacred reliquary of someone’s life. Another neighbor made a touching speech about John, about how he and Deb had a big family with lots of other siblings (the other neighbors on the block) and a lot of kids (us neighbor kids growing up on the block). Deb pulled me aside at one point to tell me how proud he always was of me.
There’s more to type . . . but not in the scope of this entry. Maybe later—all the normal clichés this type of thing inspires. But I hate to be cliché…I might have to filter the sentiments through odd, metaphorical characters—maybe in this case it would be dialogue between a living vampire pumpkin and manic-voiced anthropomorphic personification of nostalgia (in this case, personified by a talking pogo stick with a chicken leg and rabbit head). Maybe.
I’ll really miss John come the next Buffett concert.
I have a tremendous compulsion to keep my iPod updated.
7-11 No More
On a particularly impulsive Wednesday, I quit 7-11. I’m going to write my novel full time, for the next couple months, get that done and work on fixing my shattered sleep cycle. I’ll worry about regular work after that.
Book of Dead Things: A Nomination
On November 25th, I and some of my fellow anthology authors did a live reading and book signing at Café Aeon, for our book, Book of Dead Things. It was fun. We sold a few books. I love doing live readings and Café Aeon is a great place to do them (the other authors agreed). And now a few copies of Book of Dead Things can be found on the cafe’s shelves.
Also, over at Dark Scribe Magazine, Book of Dead Things was nominated for Best Dark Genre Fiction Collection. If you click the link and register, you can vote for us (come on! do it!!!).
Danielle got the job as princess at Medieval Times! She’ll start up sometime in January. You should go there, eat without utensils, and cheer my sis on.
Me and Sleep are getting along a little better. She’s even shared the same bed with me a little. I told her we might get therapy. Maybe there’s hope for us after all.