I’ve spent the past month-or-so, in part processing the demise of my relationship with Zachariah. Zachariah, who I’ve blogged about previously, is an 11-year-old black boy who – while we were spending time together – was living with his brother and Great Grandmother (along with various other relatives) in a small apartment in South Central LA. We were paired up by a well-known mentoring organization that arranges for men and boys to spend time with one another on a regular basis.
After 15 endless minutes – mostly spent trying to decide who in this crowd is going to rob me when I leave – I reach the Plexiglas wall at the front of the check-cashing place. I shove my paycheck, all two hundred and sixty five dollars of it, along with my Massachusetts driver’s license through the little scooped out divot carved into the counter. The stone faced, rail-thin and straight up tough-looking, black woman on the other side of the glass examines the check and then pushes my documents back to me, along with a ballpoint pen with an extra twelve inches of grey duct tape extending from the top of it. I sign my check, noticing the stream of heated air coming through the hole. It feels nice. The proprietor of this establishment must not feel compelled to provide heat to us – the animals – on the other side of the glass.
In another life I write, produce and direct videos. I hope you enjoy this one. I am quite proud of it. Enjoy.
And with those words from my boss, “See you.” I’m done. My work responsibilities are over and time itself becomes something different. Time is a resource, something to be viewed dispassionately, to be used to solve my problem. That problem, as always, being how to get hard drugs into my body quickly.
The LA comedy scene is mourning Harris Wittels today, the writer/comedian who passed away yesterday, presumably from an overdose. I too am mourning. I knew him – or more accurately – have met him several times. My heartfelt condolences and sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
The walk to work is endless in the bitter cold. I must will myself forward, re-commiting to the journey with every step. I so badly want to call in sick and just lay around the apartment watching tube – high – but I have to make it to work. I have to get that paycheck, have to get it to the check-cashing store, have to get the drugs in order to get right. Choice has nothing to do with it.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer – a book review
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – David Shafer – (actual words on parchment) 7/10 – I had read some endorsements of this book on facebook and asked for/received the book for my birthday back in August. It sat on my nightstand for 5 months until I finally cracked it and read it in less than 2 weeks.
To summarize, it’s a kind of conspiracy theory adventure novel with a love story thread woven in. It’s skillfully done and quite original in many respects. Continue reading