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Monday, December 7, 2015


I will admit, first and foremost, that I am the worst at calling myself a failure.  For some strange reason I'm a "glass is half empty" kind of person.  If anyone has ever read my novel, PUZZLEMAN, or any of my stories, or seen my films, know that all my characters are some aspect of me struggling in the face of failure.  But not just any failure, "inevitable" failure.  In fact, at least one close friend has said to me: The way you look at life, I don't know how you get out of bed in the morning, let alone finish a novel, or a story collection, or write a lyric (I was a professional drummer/lyricist for quite some time with my bands ABOUT 9 TIMES and THE JUDAS ENGINE).   I'm not sure I know either.  Because the first thoughts in my head every godawful crack-of-dawn –– even before one of my eyelids creaks open –– are: Really? Seriously? Another one? Another day?!

Nonetheless, I always seem to drag myself into some semblance of a standing position and stumble off into the horrid light of a new 24.  Or at least stagger into my kitchen, where I generally moan, growl, and sometimes yell at no one, while I fumble through making my morning mocha and another mess on the countertop or in the sink or in the microwave –– or all three.  By that point I plop down in front of my computer and look a little like the pic below.

Yet somehow I trudge on.  So what's my point with this diatribe that's now already too long?  Well... hmmmmm... just to answer my friend's question –– and, at this juncture, maybe yours too.  Why do I keep trying in the face of "the glass is half empty", inevitable failure?  Why did I not give up on writing my novel that took me almost 20 years?  Why did I keep my bands going until finally one day I just couldn't anymore?  Why did I re-launch my novel and then complete my new literary collection (also spanning 20 years of my life) SUICIDE THE HARD WAY: And Other Tales From The Innerzone?  Why did I make my films when no one would even let me in one festival?  It's simple, really.  In spite of my almost always-moribund faith, I'm far more haunted by the things I haven't yet done in writing, film, and music.  And I'm especially haunted by a project left unfinished.  And worse still, I hate myself for being less than what I believe I can be.  That last one is really the killer –– and it is a dangerous knife-edge to traverse.  I suppose it makes me a consummate narcissist, but herein lies the real truth about slogging forward through the muddy trenches of life: how could I live with myself if I didn't keep trying?  I've been there in a dark, deep way and have asked myself many times: What on earth would I really do if I simply stop everything right this minute?  I guess I wouldn't even be on earth anymore, I'd be in it, six feet under and deliquescing to muck.

So, until that day, I have my morning ritual of utter defeat –– sometimes many times a day, actually.   And I remember that in giving up I hit bottom and usually bounce up again –– hard to bounce if I don't bottom out.  That feeling of just floating in an empty air of neither up nor down just seems like riding on a haze of apathy.   I might not be reaching the stars or even seeing the stratosphere (yet), but at least I know where down is.  And that gives me bearings on where the true sky is beyond all those stormy, thundering clouds above.

Welcome to FAILURE DAY on FISHING FOR AVOCADOS!  Read on below and enjoy the articles, quotes, and music!

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