Speaking of Long, Strange Trips
I'll just get it out of the way right now. As this New Year has already been strange and thick for us here at Pottersville, rarely if ever in a good way, I can tell you that by the 29th, I will have already forgotten that my 9th anniversary as a blogger is coming up. Coming up 13 days before that, or in the next five days, is my 55th birthday.
As I've stated recently, everything is hitting me all at once, namely annual auto inspection, the renewal of my license and registration plus the annual excise taxes and the monthly auto insurance. All told, that'll add about $250 between now and February to our usual expenses, namely the rent and all the utilities (and my next gas bill, after this frigid month, is going to be higher than the national debt.).
Even though I'm a writer and a pretty damned good one, it's hard to convey in words what it's like being me. My life, especially since I was forced to start all over again at age 50 in the spring of 2009, is like a combination of a Rodney Dangerfield monologue and Murphy's Law, where everything I write, say, do or even attempt is met with scorn, ignorance and outright disrespect. This goes especially for my Godot-like job search and hunt for a book contract.
Oh, every now and again someone will be reminded that I'm still kicking and breathing. Just today, Monkeyfister linked to the post below, "The United States of Bubba" on Crooks and Liars. And last night, adding to the strangeness of this still infantile New Year, I was approached with an opportunity to write a story and maybe a book that could shake a venerable Massachusetts institution down to its very foundations, if my potential source is for real.
I'm blocked from access to sources on stories I want to write yet am offered source material I'm reluctant to write (As was the Boston Globe, so says my longtime reader) on account of my fears for mine and Mrs. JP's security. It hasn't been that long ago since Hal Turner alarmed me by threatening to send skinheads to my house.
It's unusual the only attention I ever get is from those whose attention I either never solicited or never wanted. Otherwise, it's almost as if the planet earth had collectively realized a long time ago that I'm some anomalous object it could do without, like a splinter in the finger, and it's doing its damnedest to purge me from it. On bad days. I'm persecuted by wingnuts. On a good day, I can expect to get completely ignored, despite my having nearly 1200 followers on Twitter. Hence the lead image. Blogging is like writing on the shoreline of a beach because it's at once the most forgettable, most disposable and most perishable of writing mediums.
Whatever. My potential source tells me I have an impact in the progressive community and while people tell me that from time to time it's hard to take that to heart considering my readership and hit count is at its lowest levels since I first began writing about the recent 2004 election back in January 2005. Yeah, the Rude Pundit and Charlie Pierce may link to me but that doesn't mean they read me. Hell, I myself haven't been to their sites in months on account of trying to keep a roof over our heads, the lights and gas on, my 16 year-old Ford legally on the road and writing my damned novel that very few people will want to read.
So my little bloggy odyssey will stagger into its 10th year as of the 29th although it can't be said the Paypal donations are even worth it anymore. Mrs. JP and I recently lost our biggest benefactor, a man whose heart is bigger and warmer than the Arabian desert.
But if I decide to take this story and if it goes viral as my source is telling me it might, it'll still be a while before I reap any financial rewards, if any come at all. It's going to be dicey making the rent and all the bills after this February, barring a miracle, and we spent a lot of money on Christmas and, to a lesser extent, New Year's. I know the money's not there because the readership's not there and maybe that's a trend or maybe it's because my readers have been alienated over the years because of my chronic inability to find even a part time job or, as I suspect, both. When you're in your mid-50's and have been out of work for over 4 1/2 years, you're among most undesirable people in the country. I don't cite that as an excuse for my chronic jobless state. I'm just stating a fact. Add to that a place to which I'd applied twice over the years just closed down at the same time the Intel here in town, once our largest employer, just laid off about 90% of their people, meaning my job hunt just got a lot more competitive.
So, guys, please do whatever you can to help out Mrs. JP and me. This would be a really shitty time to get evicted for non-payment of rent, considering how brutal this winter's been, lately.