Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A very Homer Simpsonesque "D'OH"

Shit! Missed a.m. classes for the second day in a row. Alarm went off around 7:45:

Burgeoning collegiate scholar David: Time to get up and contribute to your overpriced intellctual discourse!

Blue collar workcoholic David who just crashed two hours earlier: Go to Hell!

I hate missing class. I hate coming ill-prepared for class. I hate bullshitting in class. I hate that my fellow peers come to me for insight (one even called me a 'genius'--how flattering!) Oh well, Loans kick in tomorrow and if it's one thing I've learned in the past month of joining the majority of the planet in poverty is that, Thank god that T.C. doesn't stand for Tomorrow's Credit.

After my father died I had a hard time writing. I'm very blessed because, even if my writing totally sucks on days, the verbal floodgates inside my chest are almost always cranked open, allowing the slushing torrent of words to splash out of me in dizzying degrees of gushing hydraulics. This stopped for about a month after my old man peeled off his earthly sweater. I couldn't write. I was breaking up with my crazy girlfriend who kept tossing shot glasses in my direction at the bar as she told me how good she was for me. I was snorting cocaine to help get me through the nights where I stood listlessly at the low blue glower of MS Word, waiting for the tempest of words to gradually drain from my fingertips.

So then what happened? I was teaching English at an inner city Alternative school and a Seveneteen year old 250 pd. 7th grader named Marcus fell off his desk and broke his teacher's leg, only the hospital missed diagnosed it (like they misdiagnosed my father's ailment for years) and said that, no, it wasn't broken or fractured only gout. Gout?

All I knew about gout was the Benjamin Franklin had Gout i.e., it was a gaudy rich man disease.

So for about month I hobbled around on a broken leg. I was between cars (and hell if mom was going to help) so I limped the mile-and-a-half to and from work every day, very, very slowly, biting my upper lip in agony, wondering when my gout medication was going to kick in.

I switched hospitals. The cute doctor who scrutinized the X-rays said that it looked like my leg was broken for a long time. Another Doctor, who dabbled in writing, kept calling me Hemingway, claiming that I was a word warrior and because i hated standing still when they gauzed and cast my leg. I actually went through "three" casts because I kept trying to push my recovery. Kept trying to heal myself.

When I went back to work the next morning my dearest student Sherita scribbled on the side of my cast:

Mister V.B.- You is SO UGLY!!!!!! Kids! Even when I'm crippled, hell if I could get them to write proper english.

Easter break came and I still had only my cast to keep me company. I was for the most part, an immobile twenty-four year old alcoholic trying to understand what was going on, but the words finally floated back in my direction, each word flapping, chirping, gradually floating down onto the computer screen, one bird at a time.

I found a cafe within limping distance and had only one motto to adhere to: Your ass doesn't move.

I sat. I already had a strong (yet messy) 600 pages of "the book with the long title." The book was about a year and a half old then. Everyday I sat at the cafe with a blank page, my only proviso was--you sit on your ass and don't leave until you've coherently filled up ten of these white pages.

That's when the magic happened. I was in pain. I was sad. I no longer had a father but as I sat with my legged propped up at C'est Ce Bon swigging java refills, slowly the lingusitic glittter that I've, for some reason, dedicated my life to gradually tapped onto the screen. The sentences began to incubate, peck free and hatch. It was like the tide was finally coming in, washing over the hot sand, cooling off my burnt neck with a quick nocturanl breeze.


3 comments:

none said...

You write well. Not that my opinion counts for much, I´m just a lowly bookseller.

Sorry about your pa.

David Von Behren said...

Thanks Ciara! I'm a piss-poor writer by trade with lofty liteary pursuits! Thank you so much for reading! Where do you sell books at? I was a senior seller at Barnes and Noble for five years, but I kept monopolizing my paycheck on books, wrongly thinking I was saving more because of the discount!

Pleasure meeting you!

none said...

Hi there David,

I sell books on ebay and through my own website. As for turning my pay in for more books... I´m familiar with that. The story of my life. :)

Pleased to meet you as well.