30 August 2014

I Say Hi and Indulge in Some Retrospection and Write About My Day and Writing

“If you don't say what you want, what's the sense of writing?” -- Jack Kerouac.

Hi. You read that right I started a blog post with "hi." Felt like it. We don't always follow our instincts and do what we feel like doing. This can be a good thing. I know that in much of my misspent youth I did precisely that -- just what I felt like doing. This led to some colossal mistakes. They can't be undone but they can be learned from. I was an aspiring young journalist, quite prolific with a nose for a story and possessing the dogged kind of persistence necessary to that kind of work. I loved it too. I was on my way to a successful career. But being in excellent circumstances isn't always enough. I've had a tendency over the years to have something wonderful, maybe even perfect and  to then want to change it, make it better. Trade it in for something new. This is a horrible character flaw.

I left the newspaper business at the ripe old age of 25. I took a job that I was ill suited for as the development director for a student lobbying organization in the state capital. I subsequently was a sandwich maker, a furniture sale man, a gift shop employee, shoe salesmen, a bank teller, and a proofreader before finally going into teaching, a profession I've been in for nearly 30 years.

So let's see if I got this straight. I was enjoying a budding career as a journalist and dropped it on a whim and never returned wandering from job to job and from city to city for seven years before I became a teacher. Well at least I've been a good teacher and have enjoyed the work. But still....

I am not the least bit unhappy with my life and spend virtually no time pondering what ifs and why the hell did Is. No point. I am in the greatest marriage possible with two wonderful grown children and love my current job beyond measure. My health is excellent and the joy of my work is augmented by a deep love of film, literature, music, sports and my own scribblings. Not bad. The kind of spur of the moment whim I currently indulge in is more along the lines of starting a blog post with "hi."

Rumination and retrospection and self reflection are not to be overdone. Indulge yourself from time to time but don't make a cottage industry of it. Better to occupy large chunks of time in the pursuit of happiness. Wisdom for the ages.

Happy happy happy.

Delightful cafe americano earlier today helped make up for an inadequate night's sleep. Actually. Sat down watched a full American football game cause it was Cal opening their season after 1-11 face plant last year. The Golden Bears actually won and I'm all smiles and tonight will follow tradition and  eat ice cream.

I have the next week off. From work. I will write. Watch films. Go to the gym. Read. Talk a long walk in the hills. I will do research for a novel. I will send out another one. (Interested?) It's funny how people react when you tell them that you've written a novel or are working on one. Some people -- not many -- will ask a lot of questions and may even offer some encouragement. A lot of people will offer a nod and maybe a comment or question but quickly try to change the subject. And a lot of folks will just out and out ignore you as if you said you'd just spent the night being probed in an alien spacecraft. They don't wanna know. I'm sure a lot of them think what an idiot you are for joining the long ranks of those who dream of being published. In their minds you might as well say that you're planning on winning the lottery. To some of those who give you the silent treatment you are speaking another language. You are talking about something that is well beyond their imaginings. These are generally people who don't themselves do a lot of reading. I have no illusions about the chances of being published but given my nature I'd be insane not to try. I've wanted to have a novel in print since at least the fourth grade. My dad believed in me anyway.

So there's that.

But like I said at the beginning of this post -- hi. Sometimes people will greet you with "hi there." I don't understand this one but don't worry about it either. I once had a coworker who "hi there'd all the time. A few of us shared -- but not with her -- that we were not fans of a hi with a there at the end. But not a big deal. What's wearing on me is the overuse of words like grab and guys. "You guys wanna grab lunch?" Everyone is guys and and guys are always grabbing stuff. I grew up in a golden age when grabbing was impolite. "Don't grab!" We were admonished. But like the young people say, "whatever." I could do with out all the whatevers too. Most of all though I hate "no worries." This just crawls under my skin and eats at my brain causing searing pain and gastrointestinal distress and great waves of overwhelming depression and thoughts of homicidal rage. Please don't ever "no worries" me if you know me or chance upon me. I'm liable to lose it right there. What I'll lose I can't say. And whatever I do lose I hope I find it. I've heard of people losing family members. "We lost our father this year." Have you looked everywhere? Is he hiding? Maybe he was kidnapped! Shouldn't you still be out looking for the old coot? Oh you mean he's dead. Well for crying out loud why didn't you say so? Fact is then that he's not lost at all. He has ceased to be among the living. Happens to all of us. No shame in it. No need to say he "passed" or was "lost."

Words. Gotta love 'em.

I think I'll prod the wife into making dinner. This can be dangerous. She is an utterly delightful woman but you hit her up on dinner at the wrong time and there's hell to pay. Wish me luck.

25 August 2014

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

When the Jazzman's testifyin' a faithless man believes
He can sing you into paradise or bring you to your knees
It's a gospel kind of feelin', a touch of Georgia slide
A song of pure revival and a style that's sanctified

Jazzman, take my blues away
Make my pain the same as yours with every change you play
-- From Jazzman by Carole King

My god some memories come piercing into your mind wreaing all manner of havoc and disrupting the calm of the day tearing at you and rendering your psyche a bloody pulp and leaving you wondering if you should just bag it. I mean why go on given the mess you made of things. But then you remember that some good somehow came out of it too as if flowers somehow managed to grow from all the shit you planted for years. You just go on and you wonder and you ache and you did blunder. But there is always today to be sorted and the possibility of something worthwhile coming out of tomorrow if you can just somehow get there with your sanity in tact.

Adhering to the precepts of hedonism and nihilism as religiously as I did ensured that I was not to enjoy great financial security nor awards nor honors nor a legion of admirers. It’s done now. Look back at your own peril. Sure the mistakes are to be learned from and those precious few moments of glory to be relived. Forgive yourself, admonish yourself, draw lessons and comfort and conclusions and solace and most of all gaze into eternity with a fixed stare. Let it dare stare back and challenge you to push forward.

I have exhausted myself writing and thinking about my childhood with an undiagnosed schizophrenic mother who abused me and yet I never tire of the subject. Sometimes it seems I revel in my misfortune as if a source of pride. Look what I managed to survive without blowing my brains out or anyone else’s. And here I am a functioning adult managing to make something of myself. I also made my way through drugs and alcohol consumed constantly for years and in such great quantities. I also made my way through acute panic syndrome and the paralyzing attacks and the medications that left me variably a raging maniac or a brain dead zombie or a babbling mad man. Then there was (is) the depression (is is is is) and the veil of blackness that can descend quite unexpectedly and totally. I never hesitate to point out these crosses that I bear. Yes yes yes they point to who I was and who I am and who I will be. They are me. Myself. And I. They are wrapped neatly within my ego. I. Function. How very special. How spectacular. How amazing.

Not to change the subject but...

I remember a Summer rain once — rare in these parts — when I was a child. Being by a lake with my friend Mark. My mother had left us there for the day while she visited friends. I don’t recall if rain was in the forecast. But there we were. The two of us the only ones at this place that was usually at this time quite busy with families and teens swimming and sunning and playing. But it was just Mark and I. Finding different places to get out of the rain. A tree here or there. With thick branches for cover. One spot wouldn’t do. We were about ten or eleven years old so had to move. Boys don’t sit in one place for very long, unless there is a TV set or movie screen in front of them. At times we just hunched and watched the rain land on the lake. It was goddamned depressing and it seemed as the day wore on that my mother would never come. The day just stretched out eternally. Thick dark rain clouds dropping their load ceaselessly and we gradually got sopping wet. Mark and I were expert at playing and had been doing so together for years. But not outside on a rainy day with no toys.... we had our bathing suits but….

My mother finally came in late afternoon and seemed oblivious to the fact that we’d had a perfectly miserable day. She chattered away. Mark was dropped off and I always wondered, though I never asked, what his mother said about her oldest boy being left by a lake in the rain all day by his best friend’s mother.

I remember coming home and pulling off my wet clothes and watching the rain from the comfort of my house feeling a little angry and a little depressed that I’d been robbed of a Summer day. Summer is precious to a child, especially lads like me who so enjoy the freedom to run about and play play play.

Well mom you did have the excuse of being a total loon although at that point I was the only one who knew it. It wouldn’t be long before mom could no longer control herself and the raving and raging she did in my presence would be seen by anyone who happened her way.

Sweet dreams are made of this.

20 August 2014

Creeping Sneak Attacks and Some Fellow Commuters

Creeps up on you then grabs you. Weird how you feel it in your feet and in your ass. Standing sitting and moving are not possible. Being conscious is horrific and you are wide awake as awake as you have ever been in your whole life and as you ever could be. Horribly awake and aware of everything every feeling every sound every thought every molecule and you hate it and it eats you. You don't exactly want to die although it would provide relief. Death seems so very remote because you are so attuned to everything but not in a good way. Like your brain is overloaded with sensations. It is a bombardment and oh it is awful.

You have just had a major league panic attack and in your mind it is never going away it is your permanent state of being for ever and ever.

Drive you crazy. Literal

These are the moments that define your madness. A horrible grip the tentacles of insanity choking the soul
your being.

As they say in the ads: but there's more. Other times there is: Anticipation. The sneaking creeping feeling that one is coming. Paranoia. Is this the start of another one? What's going on with me? Life in ruins don't know what to do next. Sit? Stand? Walk or pace or let the coming terror -- if it is coming -- over take me. And this thinking business. How exactly does it work? What should I be thinking about? What should I avoid thinking about? Calming thoughts would be good. If such a thing were possible. Mind is going this way and that and I don't feel I can control it and I guess I'd better take a pill. No no no don't want to become dependent. Don't want to be numb but also don't want the terror. Into your life it will creep. Starts when you're always afraid....

And scene.

But one makes do and gets by and tries not to get high. There is no brain replacement. Shazam!

I see some of the same people everyday or quite often during my daily commute. There is the bespeckled middle aged Asian gentleman who arrives at the BART station at almost the same time I do. He stands at the exact same spot everyday and immediately gets out a magazine. He also gets off at the same station in San Francisco that I do. I do not specifically recall a morning that he hasn't been there nor can I ever recall him being at another spot or without a magazine to study. Mr. Creature of Habit.

Sometimes across the street from where I catch the trolley on Market Street there stands an older African American woman wearing flamboyant clothes and hat. Often bright purple or shocking pink or deep green. She sings. Loudly. Hymns to Jesus. Her voice is grating. Powerful but unpleasant. Especially at 7:06 in the morning. When she is there I immediately turn to my iPod for protection. She's got the joy joy joy down in her heart and leans heavily on the everlasting light. And makes us poor saps who are minding our own business, just heading off to work, pay.

Speaking of obnoxious noises...There is a most odious chap who on occasion is on the trolley I board. He is a very large fellow in girth and height overweight but mostly just big. He can always be found sprawled in the very back of the trolley looking something like he's turned this public transport into his living room. He always -- and I mean without exception -- is on his cell phone having an extremely loud conversation. If I am at the front of the trolley I can still hear him quite clearly and woe be tide those sitting any closer. He is speaking in Spanish so I don't understand much of what he says, which is of little import in this case. Lest you think that my sufferance is purely individual, others are visibly annoyed and on more than one occasion a passenger has asked him to please be quieter. Dude needs to shut up.

There is also a woman who rides the trolley who is being beckoned by 1964. She is, I'm guessing, in her mid 60s and sports a perm very much like women wore 50 years ago. Her hair is a shiny wavy plastic white and is seemingly screwed to the top of her head. She wears make up aplenty including ruby red lipstick. Her attire is most proper as if going to Ernie's Restaurant where she will be in a scene from Vertigo. A martini then a steak and perhaps a slice of cake with coffee. I saw this woman and many like her when I was a small child. And here she is transplanted over a decade into the 21st century. She seems not at all confused by this. She sits primly with a black purse on her lap. No cell phone for this old dame. She's a caution I tell ya, a caution.

12 August 2014

Black Hole of Calcutta on Wheels, The Good Sweat, Melted into a Puddle of Eternal Ecstasy, Not Polite Enough, I'm a Happy Person, Missing Robin Williams

BART train during commute
Good lord but it was a hot BART car made the worse because it was packed. A sardine can is roomy in comparison. Every now and again the AC in your BART car will not work. This is bad. Even if, like on that day, it was cool out.

An overweight hipster's backpack was hanging in my face. At least I had a seat. For many others this was the black hole of Calcutta on wheels and they were standing, clinging to a long metal bar for balance.

There was a young otherwise attractive woman with an ugly growth on her lip. Maybe she couldn't do anything about it but certainly the black polyester pants were under her control. Except for the driver's stop announcements it was desperately quiet in my car. As if we were all fellow survivors of a particularly difficult workday all too drained to utter a word. I thought about shouting out a request for a sing along. A proper knees up in mid commute. But on further reflection I opted to join in the dour silence. No one likes a smart ass anyway.

Tommy James and the Shondells
As I got off the train Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells was playing on my iPod and I was digging it. I was strolling and sashaying and sauntering and moseying and meandering and strutting all the way to the gym. Sweat city for me. Don't know about y'all but I love to work up a shirt drenching sweat. I do not care for sweats induced by weather conditions and thankfully living in the air conditioner that is the Bay Area I generally avoid such sticky situations. But a good run and other aerobics that produce steady streams of perspiration are most welcome. The sauna that follows and invites still more sweating is also wonderful. Then a cool shower.

So at the gym where all went as planned. More sauntering strolling sashaying and the like. Walked by a little kids' park. There were two very young women perhaps in their late teens cavorting on a play structure. They were mocha colored speaking French wearing short dresses no shoes and were gorgeous. I imagined 16year old boys beholding the site of them. I would have melted into a puddle of eternal ecstasy. As a bit of an old codger I merely enjoyed the moment and went on my way.

You ever feel a person wasn't quite polite enough? On MUNI the other day a guy dropped a folded up stroller and it whacked me in the knee. He said, "sorry" but it was half hearted and perfunctory. It would have done if he bumped me with a pillow but for a whack on the knee I'm thinking a long drawn out "I'm so sorry" would be appropriate. One of those apologies where you begin to feel bad for the person apologizing and you finally respond with an "it's okay, really."  An hour later I'm nearing the gym and this woman walking in front of me gets her YMCA ID card out. As she does a five dollar bill floats out out of her purse and lands in front of me. I could have pocketed the fiver as easy as you please with no one the wiser but I did one of those "excuse me, excuse me," deals. When she turned I handed her the five saying it fell out of her purse. "Gosh, thanks," was her response. It was a thanks worthy of passing the salt, for retrieving a finn it was totally inadequate and made me think I was a sap for returning it. I'd have gone with a "oh, thank you, thank you very much that's so nice of you." What're ya gonna do?

Last week I got a response to a recent blog post in which some college tootsie rips me down one side and the up the other. She had the nerve to assail me for being angry, snarky and having a generally piss poor view of humanity. Surprised she left out my predilection for kitten torture. What I had done was poke a little fun at a small time business and its hokey marketing techniques. I DID NOT NAME THE BUSINESS. No harm done. What I like to do is express irritation outrage and annoyance on this blog. It gets it out of my system and makes me feel better and makes me a nicer member of the human race. Also some people may read such rantings and ravings and relate in some small way and thus themselves feel better. We do that. We complain and kvetch to one another because the whole shared experience makes us feel part of a whole rather than isolated lonely creatures.

Also I am far from angry and my view of the world is remarkably positive considering I am an abuse survivor a former abuser of drugs and alcohol a rare sufferer of an acute panic disorder and have suffered the premature deaths of two close friends and a brother. Not to mention having taught middle school for 20 years. I wake up happy almost everyday and go to bed happy almost everyday and spend large portions in between happy. I think writing about things that annoy and outrage helps.

Life is okay. Trust me on this one.

Now if we could just get Robin Williams back. That whole deal stunk. Drug addiction and depression. I know from this stuff but Williams was clearly on a more intimate level with great waves of depression than I have ever been. Being driven to the point of suicide is beyond my understanding. I've followed, enjoyed and been inspired by Robin Williams since the days of Mork and Mindy. I even enjoyed his show on last season's TV schedule, The Crazy Ones, and was disappointed it wasn't picked up for another season. I wish Robin could be picked up for many more seasons on Earth. RIP.

03 August 2014

So What Happened is That My Room Started Getting Smaller and Then I Started Writing About it and Then Some Other Related Stuff Came Up

Johny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
-- From Subterranean Blues by Bob Dylan

The room is getting smaller and a giant lizard just poked its head in. At least I’m sure the lizard isn’t real but I’m not convinced that the walls aren’t somehow closing in. I should be frightened if not terrified right now but I find myself rather sanguine about the whole thing. I’m used to paranormal activity wherever I am because my brain just does funny things. It’s probably not normal. I mean I can’t really be sure given that my mind is the only one I know. Weird shit could be going on with other people all the time but they just don’t say anything about it. Ya know, societal pressures and all.

So the truth is that I know the room is not getting smaller. However that is not to say that this is all a figment of imagination. If I was going to be imagining something right now it wouldn’t be a shrinking room. It would probably involve a Victoria Secrets model and the full consent of my wife to do as I pleased with said model. So imagination…no. It’s my current perception. I perceive a shrinking room. That is my reality. No no no my reality is not that the room is getting smaller but that I think it is. And I’m not being metaphorical here. There is nothing symbolic about this at all.

As for the lizard that was probably just a dash of LSD that was left over from years ago. Things like that happen every now and again. I’m used to it now. A momentary glimpse of something totally bizarre or completely out of place. Like a green polar bear dancing on the roof of a Honda Civic. Okay extreme case. More like a dog doing a back flip. And they don’t all include animals either. Sometimes a flash in the sky or a tree changing colors or Theodore Roosevelt walking by.

The whole deal with Ernest Hemingway being in my room the other night was totally different. I don’t have a category for that sort of thing at all. No explanations I just live with it. Time to sort it out later I suppose.

I eschew the terms hallucination or acid flashback. I just do. I want to call them something else and again haven’t got this one sorted yet. I’ll get on it.
But later.

When I was a little kid I was afraid that the ghost of Abraham Lincoln was in my bedroom closet. At least at night when I went to bed. By daylight ole Abe’s ghost was somewhere else maybe scaring the beejezus out of another kid. But I was really afraid of Lincoln’s ghost. Don’t know how that all got started but there you have it. To this day I like to keep my bedroom closet door closed when I go to bed. This amuses the missus but she plays along although it costs me some teasing. I promise you though that if I ever do see Lincoln’s ghost I’ll write about it here pretty soon thereafter. Just as soon as I’ve got my wits about me again. Lincoln’s ghost finally appearing after all these years would really mess with my head. And this, as you've no doubt gathered, is not a head that needs any further messing with.

Like fer instance  how do you further mess with a head that sees things and feels rooms closing in and is otherwise generally pretty fucked up.? Well I’ll tell you, it can always get worse. Brains are like that. No matter how bad they are you can always take it another step.

All this said I’m not doing so bad. This brain has suffered childhood trauma, alcohol and drug abuse, nuclear bomb like panic attacks, bouts of depression and extreme anxiety yet still functions well enough. Well enough that I remain gainfully employed, able to write, in a happy marriage and the father of two daughters. I can navigate social situations well enough too though I prefer to avoid them. Get me around other people socially and I just start thinking how fucking weird everyone else is.  I mean I know I’m goddamned nuts but what the hell is their excuse? I mean seriously such banalities. Imagine the state of mind that enjoys small talk? No thanks.

It’s really bloody hard to get people to open up and say anything interesting let alone meaningful. Conversations skip along the surface of what people are really feeling and thinking. Course they generally just touch upon trivialities. Nonsense talk that is trading of minutia. People don’t feel comfortable really talking to one another. They need to be lifelong friends before they open up and discuss what’s really going on with them or how they really feel. The kind of shit I’m writing here could not be spoken at a garden party. It’s all about the weather and vacations and day-to-day activities and sports. Sports. There’s one. I used to love talking about sports. Now I refuse to say more than a few words on the topic unless I’m talking to someone who I know knows what the hell they’re talking about and shares a love for the same team or at least doesn’t love a team I hate or hate a team I love. Sports talk is generally just obvious observations and swapping bits of information. Like statistics. There’s also rumors and ill founded opinions. Some people absorb that sort of crap for hours a day. Just how good is Jones and is Smith overrated and will Brown be traded and are Johnson’s statistics misleading and will the Polecats beat the Jumbo Shrimp tomorrow and what was with that call in the Otters/Calvinists game last night and who’s rebuilding and who is getting ready to make a run and who is what with and who are they when and where. Blah blah blah.

But who am I to judge?

Anyway the room has stopped shrinking but its still smaller than it should be and I wish to hell it would expand back to normal size. Last thing I need is something strange to have to deal with.

02 August 2014

Trip Down Liquor Aisle Causes Trip Down Memory Lane

The cracks between the paving stones
Look like rivers of flowing veins.
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane.
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house.
Yesterday she passed me by,
She doesn't want to know me now.
Can you see the real me, can you?
-- From The Real Me by The Who

Shopping at the supermarket with the missus this afternoon we found ourselves going down the liquor aisle.

She asked if it was torture to look at all the booze. Here’s what I said: It’s like seeing an old girlfriend. One you had a lot of really good times with but it was a bad break up and while you have a lot of fond memories, what ultimately sticks out is the pain that she inflicted.

I did sigh looking at the Guinness Stout. I loved that stuff. A bottle of it would be quite tasty and leave my body with a warm and wonderful glow and a sense that all was well in the world. The after taste would be sublime, the drinking of it divine. The completion of the bottle satisfying. Pure contentment.

Then I’d want another. I’d have to build. It wasn’t enough. That feeling had to be doubled. Tripled. And quadrupled. Oh of course sooner or later it would be something else. Maybe just a cheaper beer to keep the high going. Maybe a glass of scotch to intensify it. And why not a few lines of coke to allow for more and more and more. I would be feeling so damn good it would seem like utter folly not to keep it going.

I would fly. I would bounce up to the stars and dance in mid air and score rhapsodic touchdowns of unending glory. I would be in the perfect body using the perfect mind and every utterance would be poetry and my soul would soar around the planet and every ounce of splendid youth would course through my body.


Sure the world would be fuzzy. But I wouldn’t notice that I was talking too loud. Sure my gait would be unsteady. But I wouldn’t be sure what her name was. That beautiful girl I was talking too. Or even if she was beautiful. Sure my words would come out jumbled. But I wouldn’t care what secrets I was revealing. Sure I’d sway too and fro. But I wouldn’t see the way some people were embarrassed for me. I made perfect sense to me and I was the only person who mattered. Or ever did.


Drunk. Blasted. Toasted. Shit-faced. Wasted. Smashed. Bombed. Stoned. Ripped.

And the next day. The morning. Greeting the dawn with a “fglmshchx?”
That awful pain residing in my head. Driving though and around and within and without my brain which as it was felt covered in syrupy sand. Hello guilt. How are you today? Hello depression, I guess you’ll be around for awhile. Hello weakness and lethargy and confusion and wonder. And a great big hello to what-the-fuck-did-I-do-last-night. And who did I say what to and where and how much money did I spend and never again. At least never again that loss of self. Control always and forever. Changes are coming. Reform. You’ll see. Lesson learned.

Yeah, right.

So I did feel a longing going down the liquor aisle. But I have now drank deeply from the cup of memories that I keep six packs and pint bottles and jugs of in my house and wherever I go.

I need to always remember that shit and what I used to do to myself. Because I am still and always be recovering.

01 August 2014

Ernest Hemingway Just Visited Me and So I Wrote About it

Ernest Hemingway sat down next to me while I was watching a movie on my laptop. Just now. There was no other chair in the room but he sat just the same. He patted me on the back. He had a large toothless smile. He was wearing an olive green jacket and dungarees. The shirt was checkered.

I wonder now why Ernest Hemingway came into my room and sat next to me. I haven’t read anything by him lately. Recently when I had trouble sleeping I thought of what my 25 favorite novels are and none of us his were included although he is one of my favorite writers.

He’s still here by the way. Watching me type this. It’s okay. I’m not freaked out by it. I don’t feel compelled to offer him a drink. Oh he’s got a small cap on too. Ernest Hemingway seems shorter than I would have thought. But then again he’s long dead so there’s that. I hope he’s not bored. If he expects me to talk to him he’s got another thing coming. Well he just shook his head no. So I’m off the hook on that count.

I’ve had other famous writers pop in on me too. But this is a lot clearer than the others.

Watch while I type this: “Hello Ernest Hemingway. It’s so nice to have your spirit or whatever is visiting here in the room with me. I greatly admire your work. Not a fan of the hunting or the bull fighting but let’s let that pass. I hope you are enjoying being in whatever form you are in as you visit me here. And I want to thank you for acting as a muse for me here today. Is that what this is about? I was watching a movie instead of writing and maybe you were sent by the Great Dead Writers Guild to get me going.”

Ahh, he’s just nodded his head in the affirmative. So that is it. How nice of you. I also want to thank you, Ernest Hemingway, for not talking. Hearing someone who has been dead for over half century speaking to me would be upsetting. I should think so anyway. The presence is really effective enough. Hearing voice would be too close to psychosis. Don't need that.

I sense you're fading, Ernest Hemingway. Mission accomplished I suppose.

Goodness he sure seemed real. Well not like I could have touched him but like his presence was real.

Ernest Hemingway in my room. Imagine that.