Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You asked for it!

Well, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve written a blog entry, long enough that some folks have noticed and complained - mildly, of course.
Good-natured and well intentioned though those kinds of prompting may be, it has evoked in me a sense of guilt. I really should write something, I would tell myself, only to find myself staring at the keyboard and realizing I have absolutely nothing to say. Whenever an ember of inspiration emerged it quickly faded away. And so, here I am: A writer who doesn’t write.
A close friend has suggested that my lack of creative energy is most likely a sign of depression. I strongly suspect she is right. Without health insurance, anti-depressants run about $500 for a month’s supply. So, since I cannot afford to be depressed, I’ll settle for being despondent, an ailment that doesn’t require a prescription.
As I am writing this, I realize that this must sound pretty pitiful. At this point, if you were among those who encouraged me to write something you are beginning to regret it.
This week I realized that another writing gig fell through. Phoenix Magazine was looking for an associate editor, sort of an entry level position, best I could figure. I had hoped, at the very least, to get an interview for the job. But it didn’t work out. In fact, I didn’t even get a “sorry, but we’re going another direction’’ e-mail.
No knock on Phoenix Magazine, though. Heck, There are thousands of magazines, newspapers and other publishing interests who won’t give me a shot, so why single out Phoenix Magazine?
It’s sorta funny, really. I couldn’t even get an interview with U-Haul, which was looking for a copy writer a while back. That's frustrating because I am confident I could make renting a trailer hitch quite poetic. Their loss, right?
You know, I’ve probably applied for 100 jobs since getting out of prison. I was called in for an interview only once. How I would love to be able to simply be able to make my case in person. But I can’t even get a half-hour of an employer’s time.
So, yeah, I’m despondent.
I guess it’s time to move on, to forget about a career in writing and get a real job, but the truth is I have no appetite for anything else.
Somehow, I’ve got to get an appetite. How do you do that, anyway?
I love to write, have some aptitude for writing and a fair amount of experience at it. Most people seem to like my writing. Unfortunately, none of those people have writing jobs to offer.
But I have to do something. I’m almost 50 with no home, no car, no real security and sometimes it seems to me that I’m a lot closer to ruin than redemption.
I am tired, really, emotionally exhausted, bone-weary. Like the hired man in Robert Frost’s poem, I’m inclined, in my darker moments, to concede that I have nothing to look back on with pride, nothing to look forward to with hope. Some people just get smaller and smaller until one day that simply disappear. Sometimes, I wonder if that's what will happen to me.
That’s probably a lie, I tell myself. It is also an affront to all of you who have been so very kind and supportive and encouraging. I do not mean to be ungrateful.
I guess I’m just despondent.
But it does feel good getting another post out, even if it’s dripping with self-pity.
Maybe the next one will be a little brighter.
Tomorrow is another day, right Scarlett?

5 comments:

CJinPhoenix said...

God, Slim, you are depressing even me. Quite an accomplishment too, all things considered.

I applied at U-Haul too. For a typesetting job. Didn't get a response either. But when I questioned a recruiter at a job fair about it, she said they had something like 500 applicants for that job. It's not just you, baby. Everybody is hurting out here. I can't even find a waitress job right now.

I would try my hand at street walking, but I am not sure I could handle the rejection. SEE -- it could be worse. Cheer up!

Matthew Self said...

Don't sweat U-Haul. They didn't even give me the time of day, and I had three other job offers at the time. I imagine they're looking at serious layoffs now that the Real Estate/Growth Complex that drives this economy has come to a grinding halt.

animadvert4 said...

Well, if it's any consolation, it seems to me that there hasn't really been all that much to blog about recently anyway. In the regular press, its' as if everyone is holding their breath or something. Near as I can tell, from actually reading some of the stuff being printed, they all ought to be turning blue shortly. When people start going cyanotic around a newsroom, it tends to liven things up a bit.

Maybe it's time to start writing along a different line. Instead of being civil, maybe you should consider cutting people to ribbons instead. I know, I know, at first it just seems, well, unnatural to consider such a thing. But the creatures on this planet seem to be devolving at the moment, at least the two legged ones that prefer to walk upright and claim dominion over everything else.
Interesting bunch when you get to know them. Probably will continue to be such, at least until that big asteroid they claim is out there comes back and like a cue ball strikes the earth as if it were the eight and sends it careening into the sun giving true meaning to the concept of global warming ala inferno.

Otherwise, you should think... "cool".

xfevv said...

hey brotha, miss seeing you around. good to see a post from you, even if it is "dripping with self pity" ;).

Larry said...

Hey Slim,

Why the hell do want to write for UHaul anyway!

Its like being the..... OK, I can't even think of a clever analogy.

Your better than that! NOBODY from Tupelo EVER gives up!