The Bad Habits You Develop From Being Homeless

1. Sleeping with your clothes on (like, you have a choice!) You never know when somebody’s gonna wake you up and tell you to move. Even worse, you can get your clothes and shoes stolen by another homeless person.

2, Sleeping with your contact lenses on. Several times I’ve been rudely awakened by the police or property owner who want me to bounce. I need to be able to see who they are right away in case it’s just someone coming to rob me. Death of the homeless on the street is a common occurrence. People get shot and stabbed routinely and a lot of it doesn’t get reported because, well, society considers the homeless as being unimportant, insignificant pests.

3. Mastering the art of the one minute bath. This is accomplished in public restrooms like supermarkets, gas stations and department stores. Of course, if you’re on candid camera, you might have just 10 seconds to wash it and beat it.

4. Wearing the same clothes two or more weeks in a row. That’s easy to get used to. All you have to do is not change your clothes. It’s really simple when you’re starving and, therefore, lack the strength to change anyway. You learn to deal with the ornery smell and try to stay away from people because they’ll hold their noses and cross the street which in itself is embarrassing. Yeah, some of us do walk around with track marks, shitty pants and pissed on shoes, but what can we do? We’re waiting for the construction of free public showers nationwide. Until then deal with the funk.

5. Eating food right out of the can. The can opener is your best friend. Eating vegetable soup, green beans, chili or whatever right out of the can is more than a way of survival, it’s a fashion statement. Think about it. People walk around with saggy, low hanging pants because it’s cool; it’s the style. The style, of course, comes from prisoners who wear their pants like that which means they’re always on and opened for business, so to speak. And since whatever’s subservient becomes the norm, eating out of a can will be, too.

6. Learning to do with less: less items of clothing, less money, less food, less protection, less friends, less encouragement, less will to survive. Here in Seattle the I-5 overpass is a homeless person’s best friend. One simple leap off and his troubles are over.

Being close to death changes a man’s perspective. You learn to appreciate life. I was pushing my bike up a steep incline on the NY highway years ago. I was so dehydrated I felt like Chris McCandless in Alaska. When I stopped to gave over a promontory, I wanted to take a flying leap to the valley below. The will to survive kicked in and I was able to drag myself to a store about a mile away. I was lucky.

There is a constant war going on in my head. It’s between emotion and logic, between the limbic system and the pre-fontal cortex. It sucks because I hope logic will win 100% of the time but it doesn’t. Every so often emotions get the best of me and I turn to shit. I hate it.

 

 

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Going On Tour Soon

Beach BoysI’ll be going on tour soon. What band am I currently in, did you ask? None, really. I’ll be having a book tour of Wetland and Other Stories that should last about a month. Hopefully I will get me some sweet reviews and, even better yet, purchases of my first book. It’s the dilemma of modern authors today. You can’t just sit back and let the small press publicize your book. Those days are over. You have to roll up your sleeves and take the bull by the horns yourself. Yes, it’s very tiring and time consuming, but it comes with the writing territory. I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s all good. Whatever’s clever, right?

Seattle Wrote Interview

Yay! I’m having my first interview for Wetland on Wednesday, July 31, 6:30 pm at the Starbucks on Elliot Ave. with Norelle Done from the blog Seattle Wrote. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. It feels kinda strange promoting myself and not MOON, the band I was in. I got used to promoting them so much it became 2nd nature. To just put my own self out there is a little nerve-wracking. If I fail I only have myself to blame. I’ve also been looking for another author to do Seattle readings with, but I guess those will be one man shows as well.

Book distribution

book013As we speak, the paperback and Kindle versions of Wetland can be found on Amazon. I contacted the University Bookstore (UB) yesterday but they told me my book would have to be available at Ingram for a discount, and returnable, before they stocked their shelves with any. According to my publisher, only their best selling titles end up at Ingram. I guess it’s way too soon for Wetland. What a Catch 22, huh? UB can’t carry my books unless they sell, but my books can’t sell unless they’re being carried by UB! I do plan to hit up a few brick and mortars like Third Street Books and Elliot Bay Books in the coming weeks so I’m optimistic.

Wetland and Other Stories

Wetland Simple CoverMy publisher, All Things That Matter Press, just informed me that my book, Wetland And Other Stories, will be released next week. Kewl. When it drops I’ll break out the bubbly. I’ll probably go all out and splurge on either Moet or Veuve Cliquot. I’ll post the links for the book when I get them. I don’t know if the book will be released in paperback or hard cover. I suppose that’d depend on how well it does on the internet. I know what having a physical copy of the book would mean, though – interviews on TV and webzines, speaking engagements in bookshops and maybe even setting up a stand at a convention or neighborhood faire. Even though I’m the shy type, now is not the time for it. I’ve got to keep my chin up, hoist the mast and get ready for my close up. You know, it’s funny. When you need something everyone in the world is your friend. When you stand alone make sure your life jacket is secure.