Will Write for Food

Will Write for Food

Suggested Listening: The Fixx. “Stand or Fall,” 1982.

There’s a new landlord in town. He saw dollar signs in his eyes when he first toured the building I currently occupy in a ghetto north of the city proper. This place was a cash cow. He bought the buildings without a proper inspection. He took one look at the rising rents int the neighborhood and probably said to his investors, “We’re nailing this.”

He ignored the 1% rule, which is to say, one doesn’t purchase a commercial property unless the gross monthly income should be equal to or greater than 1% of the purchase price. That’s for a building in pristine shape. Make it 2% for a building with issues. Either way, the new landlord is screwed — for the short term, at least. 

But this place hans’t been touched in decades. There are bandaids holding windows together and toilets aren’t attached to floors. The apartments have never been painted. The carpets have never been shampooed. No one comes to visit. I wouldn’t let them. I’m too embarrassed to admit I live here although the corner dive has the best tacos in town. 

The elderly man downstairs urinated into bottles while in bed. One day he up and left leaving everything he owned, including the mold, for the new landlord to deal with. 

Meanwhile, here I sit. Too old to work for startups and not networked to pull in the startup funding I need to get any project off the ground. Here I am. Underemployed and unfed. The tenth job in so many months can’t seem to spare the cash the pay me. Here I go again. But, they’re on vacation. Never trust an employer, I guess. And the refrigerator is empty, the one I had to purchase when the former landlords’ went on the fritz. It’s clean and white and pretty. It sits empty. Rent is due in six days. 

The new neighbors downstairs where the man urinated in his sleep are pounding the stereo at all hours of the day and night. They have a dog that barks incessantly even though canine breeds are against the lease. Me? I get the five-day notices. Everyone else? A free ride. 

The landlord, who has raised most everyone’s rents by hundreds of dollars per month, has traded out the rusting commercial dumpster for a micro one that’s half the size we need. The dumpster, of course, in’t big enough to hold the trash, so bags of coffee grounds, half-eaten pizza, and gawd only knows what else are piling up on the crumbling asphalt. Neither the landlord nor the manager have been around to pick up the mess. As I tweeted yesterday, “If I see one rat.”

But if I did, I think I may snag the rodent for breakfast because I’m still waiting to get paid. I look around and think, “What’s holding me back from picking up and leaving? Too much stuff. Books, CDs, memories. Precious memories that may, in eleven days, be scattered to the wind. 

Every day is an obstacle I can no longer seem to overcome. I’m not the only one who suffers that’s for sure. This county is one hell of a mess right now, but I can’t seem to muster up a clear head. If you’re wondering whatever happened to the third book I wrote, the “ex” came after me with a Cease & Desist. I’ll rewrite it as crime fiction. Infer what you will. Amazon has nixed my Affiliate links for not enough traffic. What does that even mean?

That, my friends, is the main reason I haven’t set aside the time to finish a story, solve an adaptation issue, or write an essay on what matters most. No, I’m sitting here at a keyboard complaining while the floor beneath my feet is shaking with a bad vibration and my stomach is growling. I’m battling those ugly, miserable thoughts. I have should have never stopped writing when I’d had the chance oh, so many decades ago. I gave it up for love, which it wasn’t. I should have never given up pursuing my goal.

Is it too late? That’s the mental battle ground I traverse every day. Maybe. Too late for that career change. Too late for so many things.

Yeah, but I’m an optimist, and it will all work out. I hope. Maybe someday I’ll figure out what people want to read and how to market my abilities. It’s a lot harder than it seems. I’m old school, I guess. I wanted a literary agent in Manhattan who would edit my handwritten pages a la Thomas Wolfe. But alas. Those days are gone. And missed. 

Novelist for sale! Have typewriter, will travel. Will write for food. The End (for the day). 

Thank you all for reading. Thanks for sharing, too.