For the want of a hairdryer
I had a hairdryer installed in the gym the other day. One of the female students mentioned that it would be a good idea so I ordered the parts and had one of our buddies install it.
And because I’m fucking psychopath these days, that started my brain on a two-week downward spin.
In onea my favourite books, On Writing, Stephen King talks about writing a story about a teenage girl undergoing puberty and some horror (of course) that came along with it.
He didn’t think that he – as a middle-aged man – could or should write about such a thing, so he crumpled up his nascent story and tossed it into the trash.
His wife found the papers, pulled them outta the dustbin, smoothed them out, read it, walked over to him, and said something like, “You have something here. You should finish this.”
It ended up being Carrie, which is the first story he sold for anything substantial.
King and his wife were living in a trailer park at the time and he was washing blood and shit – and the accompanying maggots thereof – out of hospital laundry when he got the call that he sold it.
King said, he was so broke, he didn’t know how to celebrate so he walked into some drugstore, asked what was the most expensive thing they had for his wife, and walked out with a hairdryer.
He goes home and gives it to wife, breaks down, and tell her that they finally made it.
They made it, because he’d still be some dude living in a trailer park washing shit, blood, and maggots outta bedsheets for hospitals if his wife never pulled those pages outta the wastepaper basket.
Team effort. Yay, team.
Years ago, Alison and I sat down to have an honest talk about what we wanted to do and be to have the best environment to have a family.
Her: I’d like to work for myself, like you do. Go into non-profits, and help them be as efficient and productive as possible. Help people. What about you? If you could anything?
Me: I don’t know.
Her: My mom and I always felt you’d be a great law professor.
Me: (laughing) I’d love that. But who’s gonna hire me? I’m a nobody when it comes to that.
Her: You lectured in Paris! You won awards. You beat [a fortune 100 company]. If you want to be a professor, you’d be a great one. (smiling) But no pretty TAs, ok?
Me: That would never matter to me.
Her: I know. Do it. I believe in you.
Got a call from a buddy of mine. A small law school here in the city is looking for a starting professor in my field of the law. Honestly, I’m a perfect fit.
But, I’m not that guy anymore. 10-12 years ago? I woulda killed to even be considered for that position.
Now, I have zero desire to be a professor. It would just remind me that that part of my life is over.
The only teaching I do these days involves the stabby-stabby, slashy-slashy.
Me: Thanks, I don’t think I’m going to apply for it.
Him: Why not? I’ll put in a good word for you. Just try.
Me: No. But thank you for thinking of me.
Years ago, told you about a fella named Arnold Glasow that once said, The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.
In my fevered mind, late at night, when I can’t sleep, I wonder if Alison would be proud of me and alla these crazy things that I’ve done after she was taken – like Scenic Fights and Paxibellum.
She thought I was the greatest things ever – she never saw all my faults.
In my entire life, I’ve only cared about my family being proud of me and two, maybe three, women.
My dad’s gone and my remaining family is always proud of me, no matter what I do. Alison’s gone from the universe, while the other(s) are just gone from my life.
It’s nice that Scenic Fights is doing so well – 28,000+ views on our latest video in just two days.
And I’ve got a great group of guys from Paxibellum including, not just Chad, but a world-famous actor, an almost billionaire, a brilliant lawyer (not me), and a respected director.
But, to me, they’re just “the guys.” Ditto for my law firm. Ditto for the other professions I never talk about.
In the end, I have the respect of those I respect and I’m grateful for that. Truly.
But, I have no one that I want to be proud of me, that is proud of me. It’s been so fucking long since someone believed in me. That I was someone to be proud of.
Well, that’s not completely true.
Him: That’s you!!!! Papa, that’s you and Uncle Chad!
Me: (laughing) Thanks, kid. I needed that.
All this, because of a hairdryer. And the job prospect.
I’m clearly starkers. The insomnia’s back.
Everything’s turning grey and soupy again.
Music: Stay awake, stay awake, stay awake with me
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.