Rock Bottom?

10개월 전


Puta Vida

It's 2am on Wednesday, and I can't sleep.

Here I sit at the keyboard in my shabby, fungus-ridden, cockroach-infested little apartment in downtown Buenos Aires. I've just poured the last of the cheap Malbec out into a stained little wineglass, and I'm smoking the last of the weed from a makeshift bong. I desperately seek distraction, but I've watched everything on Netflix Argentina even remotely worth watching, and Popcorn-Time is equally barren; I'm reduced to choosing between Ralph Breaks The Internet and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3.

And so I turn to the written word, in some ways the most powerful intoxicant of all. Words are my damnation. If I was to make a list of all the times in my life when I found myself in deep kimchee for speaking when I should have kept my big mouth shut, and then I made another list of all the times I landed in the shit for keeping silent when I should have spoken, the first list would be longer than the second by several orders of magnitude

Did Ernest Hemingway or even Robert Ruark ever face such a barren and hostile page demanding to be written upon? Well, maybe, but they were drunks, and the wacky tabacky is my vice of choice, though Argentina is well on the way of making an alcoholic of me. Alcoholism runs in the family. My mom was a drunk, her dad was a drunk, and his dad was Irish, thus almost certainly a drunk as well.

Chinga la Madre

It's 2am on Wednesday, and I can't sleep.

I will be 60 years old this October, and you way well ask, how did I rise to such dizzying heights of success and validation? Well, it wasn't easy. I had my first ride in the back of a police car when I was 12, got roughed up by the cops the first time when I was 13. I have smoked weed on an almost-daily basis since I was 15, with the exception of two years when I quit entirely, only to discover that it made no difference in my life. I was still a loser and a chronic fuck-up.

And yet words are sometimes my salvation, as well. I have more than once gotten students here in Argentina simply by chatting up random strangers. Here, as in Yanquilandia, the young are wary, and generally unwilling to converse. But those my age or older are usually open to random conversation. I always carry an ample supply of my business cards, because you never know.

And it is by words I earn my bread, or at least the flour, salt, and yeast with which to bake it. At this stage in my long and wicked life, I am an English teacher, and so like the shannachie I make my living by the gift of the gab. On a good day, I may perhaps make 6 US dollars an hour. On a bad day it can be 3 dollars or less. But the bitch is that my employer pays me in the states, not here in the Southern Cone, and I lose some 15-17% of the value of my all-too-scarce dollars in the transfer from USA to Argentina. Fucking bankers never miss a chance to slip it up your ass, do they?

Hijo De Puta

It's 2am on Wednesday, and I can't sleep.

Words can be so treacherous, and writing is such a thankless task. Why do we bother, those of us who scribble? Because we are word junkies, as pathetically addicted as any skank tying off her arm with a length of rubber tubing and slipping the needle into a much-perforated vein. Our muse is like the monkey, hopping angrily and impatiently on our shoulder, gibbering, shrieking and chewing our ears bloody. We know that no-one is listening, but we must speak through what we write.

In the 1960's a certain book by Kahlil Gibran was hugely popular. Published in 1923, it was mostly ignored in its day, only to be discovered and celebrated 45 years later. This book was called The Prophet, and it begins with these words -

Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.

And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist.

Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

I read these words when I was 12, and I've been waiting for my ship ever since. Just between you and me, I'm starting to doubt the fucker is ever coming.

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Oh wow. I didn't know you could be that open about smoking weed @redpossum. Brave :)

It seem that you're going through difficult time in your life. Or am I wrong? Your post is quite depressing.

Is it very difficult to reach that age? Sometimes I wonder how is it once I hit 50. Perhaps you could share with me experience from your life in past few years. What things are important for you. What do you value? I would really like to hear.

We know that no-one is listening, but we must speak through what we write

That sound so very very sad ...

I just discovered "love death +robots" on netflix. Did you see it? Perhaps you can find it interesting. It's very unique and you may either like it or hate it.



All of Argentina is "going through a difficult time". I am in Argentina, and I have the soul of a poet. How can I not suffer? Besides, are you not aware that great art arises from great suffering? ;)

As far as my compulsion to write being "sad", the only sad part is that my work is so poorly rewarded. If that little green number at the bottom of my article, to the left of the number of votes, was showing $60.00 instead of $0.06, I would be one happy marsupial.

And yes, I have seen Love, Death +Robots. I have watched the first 5 or 6 episodes, and I found it mildly amusing, but the short story isn't my thing, (with the lone exception of Anton Chekov). I like long movies and thick books. I like the old fashioned style of story-telling, in which time is spent on character development and the tension builds slowly to the climax, followed by a proper denouement.


Dear @redpossum

Besides, are you not aware that great art arises from great suffering? ;)

I surely wasn't aware. First time Im hearing those words. But then I have no clue about art and poetry. Not my pair of shoes.

Cheers, Piotr

Wow.. Tio tu sabes escribir, tienes un don.


Muchisimas gracias por tus palabras amables, camarada :)

Oh, your words are eloquent in meaning and thought. Keep it coming and I will keep on reading.



Thank you, my dear. Coming from you, that means the world to me :)

Did you see last week's epistle on Dating After Fifty?


I will in a bit. Thanks.

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