Is anyone is familiar with the "doomsday clock" that is occasionally featured on the news? This lovely little piece of work shows a clock face with the minute hands headed ever nearer to 12 midnight upon which there is supposedly some culmination of cataclysmic world events..

The reason I mention it is because most of my life, I have had the worst sense of the time….Rather I have next to NO sense of time or time management….Especially since I have been unemployed… I can sit at the computer after Adam goes to work, and before I realize it the day is GONE.

I have always  seemed to wake up behind the 8 ball since I can remember…Good old mama used to call me the "Very late david" constantly telling me that I would be late for my own funeral… Nice thing to tell a kid mama, real nice…I don't know if it has to do with the whole ADD thing or that I was just never taught the tools for time management, but the fact remains that I have waited most of my life for it to begin…Waited for some anthemic musical score that only I could hear  to begin signaling that it was MY TIME…

I've spent most of my life inside my head while others have kept their heads to the grindstone working towards whatever goal they wanted…I developed a bad attitude early on when mama and her best friend decided to NOT send me and my best friend to dace school because they were afraid that we would turn out "sissies".. LOL    Gee THANKS mama. I hate to break it to you but for the investment you could have at least had a famous sissy.

 I  still remember that tight feeling in the pit of my stomach that I always got the day before a book repor was due and I had not put the first word to paper yet… Yes some of my best work was done under pressure the night before. Mama would come out the next morning after the alarm clock had gone off to find me either still working feverishly on the report or asleep at the dining table with drool on my completed work… i did get some A's for those works, but it set up a pattern early on….a marriage procrastination and pressure; fear and panic. Coffee and mammas diet pills to keep me awake during class the next day…Yepp…I started using early on. Mmmm …white cross….(ZOOM ZOOM)

Even being diagnosed hiv in 1986 didn't kick start me into overdrive…or even drive for that matter…I continued at the same nightclub job for nearly a decade more, going through the numbing cycle of  working nights, paying the rent, eating, sleeping days,  and going to work again…I would dread nights off because from my experience, people who works the nightclub business generally fall into two categories: Those who party and quickly flame out like a bright comet and those of us who treat it l like the job it is…" In it, but not OF it" I used to tell myself…But this is in fact the way that I had spent most of my life on the sidelines as little more than a spectator.
One of my favorite songs is Mic Jaggers " Old habits Die Hard" and if you've ever heard it he puts it so succinctly. 

HIV didn't rattle me out of my routine. Neither did the death of most of my friends and just about everyone I knew from the early days of the epidemic. For those of you too young to remember, there was NO treatment back then and most people were living a average of a year after the initial diagnosis…I personally believe that this was partly due to the drug scene and some unconscious death wishes but we''ll never really know…While others were planning their big gaudy funerals, i continued to show up at work . I was constantly 10   minutes late, but with the exception of my early melt down after losing my partner, i never missed a single shift unless I was sick in bed with the flu.

Here I'll jump to August of '98 when I finally realized that it was time to do what I had put off for as long as possible if i wanted to go on. My immune system was beginning to resemble  noting less than that old family game called JINGA….you know that construct  of sticks where your opponent pulls out the strategic one and makes the whole thing collapse?

During the one to two months that my body adapted to the meds, it felt as though my brain was on fire at times…I didn't have my good old ID doctor anymore as he had accepted a research job with Phizer so I was going it with a nurse practitioner….He never proved it with a Catscan ( that might have cost the government some money!)  but his theory was that I had been living with somewhat of a low-level brain infection for some time and that upon beginning meds, it had kick-started my flagging immune system into recognizing ridding itself of it….It was NOT fun …

On the downside, I had some really weird hallucinations during that period as my brain re-calibrated….The best way to describe it is that if felt like my brain was rewiring itself…making new connections around the old damaged ones. Whether or not this is accurate, I can only tell you that something changed….I began to write again after decades of not….

lately , I've had the nerve to look back at some of these handwritten pages and I have to admit that much of them constitute the scribblings of a mad man…but then again, there are also a few some gems amid all the chaos….The best ones in my opinion are the ones at the peak of the madness when it was not unlike some peoples description of  being possessed or doing some sort of automatic writing…

Last spring, not long after I had joined the tribe I mentioned that I was writing a book….I was also writing stand-up that had been in my head for years and I auditioned at a local comedy club…It was was a real ice-breaker even if i didn't get the job…

Then complacency crept in again and here I am nearly a year later….Tick, TOCK, the minute hand moves another notch….

Maybe I'm just the kind of person who needs a huge kick in the pants to get motivated but when my mama went through the latest of a line of life-threatening health circumstances, I realize that neither she or I would be around forever. Recently during one of her more lucid moments she told me how proud she was of me..I wish so she could had said it sooner when I needed it the most .During those early awkward years of coming out gay in a hostile family environment, I so needed someone on my side but she let her fears and insecurities rule her. Still, it was good to hear , if a bit late…

I know that most likely, my mother will not live to see me complete this book and that is probably for the best because it's a doozie…It tells the good and the ugly…and unfortunately there's a LOT of ugly before it gets good. Knowing that I can't embarrass or hurt her anymore has freed me in a way that I've never been free before…The rest of my family can just frakin DEAL with it.

Last week while in the shower of all places, I had an Epiphany of sorts.  The anthemic music that nobody but I can hear began again and I knew what I had to write. The launch point of my book that had eluded me for so long was finally revealed to me..I ran out of the shower soaking wet and headed for the computer. That day I hammered out the prologue  and two chapters. I also wrote titles for 6 more chapters as memory logs  so I wouldn't forget them…

Now the hard part begins…One of my best friends from high school and one of only three that I've kept in touch with though the years is an English major and is a writer herself who has been looking for a publishing house to take her book for the last two years…When she visited me last year, i confessed my pet project and instead of being derisive or even worse patronizing , she has been wonderfully supportive. She passed on a gym of advice: something she had learned at a writing workshop she had taken from a vary published author. She said that he had advised her to " write at least a page a day…and when she was finished to put it UNEDITED into a drawer or computer file…"

In other words , she told me,  don't second guess what you've written or go back and edit for spelling or grammar…If you do you may never finish your work." The best piece of advice I could have gotten…

And so, the work begins…….( cue anthemic music please)

Loki

1 Comment
  1. Bobby56 11 years ago

    Like Sheree's quote says "IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN !" …….Looks like you've had a Break- thru, just go for it and if it starts fading …..get back in the shower !!

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