Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday 4 April 1998

It's Saturday morning, the best morning of the week ("Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week," sings Frank Sinatra). Saturday afternoon has its qualities, too, and is fast approaching. I've really mellowed out lately, the past few days, or whatever—not in life, I don't think. I felt much better, but then came along Friday—my most feared and hated day of the week. I know I should just get over this—but—it's not just me. It's society. It's me. It's society. It's me. It's these damn lobsters. Thank god for the obsession with old movies, here on the west side, the Hollywood neighborhood. Breakfast here at The Casablanca Burger Counter is a nostalgic ride into the illustrious film history past—Jimmy Stewart's here, and he's fielding questions and settling arguments. "Here you go—NO TOAST." The waitress, old Norma Desmond, brings my breakfast—two eggs, potatoes, and no toast. I always have to specify "no toast" because of my wheat abstinence—it's interesting—a negative order (it certainly brings to mind the scene in Five Easy Pieces where Jack Nicholson tries to order toast by ordering a chicken salad sandwich: "hold the lettuce, hold the mayo, hold the chicken salad." It's gotten so they call me "No-Toast," one word, like it's my name. It's not the first time I've been named after food. When I used to frequent Kline's Market back in old Kent, Ohio, Mr. Kline would call me Cole Slaw ("How ya doin' Cole Slaw?") because for awhile I came in every day to the deli and ordered their excellent cole slaw. I guess I'm lucky he didn't call me "40 ounce Colt 45!"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Friday 3 April 1998

I'm at Niki's Restaurant on the corner of Morrison and Grand, a real classic breakfast/lunch/dinner storefront corner diner, Greek owned, American food—the hamburger. Sandwiches. Nice, but not overly so—cheap, good, plain food. Window into the kitchen—it's spotless. Bad radio playing, but no lottery games. Earlier the week I went to breakfast at the Grand Cafe—on Broadway and Grand—kind of a mirror image of this place, in location (in a sense) and in every other way—but good, too. Insane, over the top kind of business—breakfast, lunch, and bar—karaoke every night—piano bar, dance lessons, huge TVs—lottery games, buffets, theme nights—a crazy menu with personality to spare. I like both these types of places—and both have their regulars.

We (Heather and I) took the cats to the vet earlier this week to get their teeth cleaned and found out Psyche has diabetes. So we spent the week dealing with that. Heather had to buy insulin and syringes at the pharmacy and now start giving Psyche insulin shots once—maybe twice—a day. It doesn't seem like it'll be too hard—but expensive! But maybe she'll feel better—and Dr. Fallini said it's very treatable in cats.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Thursday 26 March 1998

Yesterday I didn't write anything at all because I felt just fine—fairly calm and comfortable with the world. I guess the point of my new journal being—I'd go to therapy if I could afford it, but I just cannot. I mean, I really cannot. I was going to a therapist last summer or so—a guy I called "Guru Dave"—and damn if it wasn't really helping me. I had to pay $20 a visit—which is even a lot for me, but my insurance was paying the balance, however much that was. But then my insurance ran out, and I certainly can't afford to pay more than $20 a visit. The insurance I have pays for something like a dozen visits in a two year period—so I guess it's like if you're having a crisis. It's not meant to pay for a long term like every week indefinitely thing. The thing is—I really really think our whole society—our whole world—would be so much better off if everyone who wanted it (and lots of people who needed it were convinced to want it) could go to free therapy on a regular basis. Yeah, but who's going to pay for this? I mean, it's expensive. Just the $20 a visit co-payment is really beyond my means—it's, well, like anything else in the heinous new modern world of plastic wealth. I can pay for it—I just can't afford it. I can pay for a lot of things—but I have a $20,000 debt. Any money I spend is money not going to pay off that debt. Why do I have a $20,000 debt?—more on that later—it's got to be good enough right now just to admit it. My theory is that a lot of people have huge debts and aren't admitting it. That kind of denial is eventually going to lead to lots of crisis situations.

To get back on the subject, this journal is my supposed solution to not being able to afford therapy. We'll see how it works, okay? Right now it's looking good. Two days ago I was ready to go through the roof—but I wrote in my journal instead and calmed down. Yesterday I felt better. Today I don't know. I'm just trying to get oriented today. I woke up and didn't know where I was. Like I said, the concepts of where I am, who I am, what is home, and when is now are all complicated subjects. Actually, now is now—that's easy. I'm a guy named Travis Williams and I live in a suburb called Hollywood in a city called Portland in the state of Maine on the East Coast of the United States of America. I might add that I am fictionalizing these details in order to be able to tell the truth more effectively. A work of fiction cannot be, I don't think, by its nature, libelous or incriminating—and so we'll call this a work of fiction with the usual disclaimers like any resemblance to things or people living or otherwise is simply a coincidence of the highest order, etc., etc.—of course, we know about fiction that this is a lie—it's not coincidental—it's all based on something actual. Fiction is lies, lies, lies—but it's all true. That's how I named my small publishing company: True Bullshit Publications—"We Publish Fiction!" more on that later.

Okay—anyway, Portland is a sleepy seaside micro-metropolis—kind of an upstate New York town on the sea (Upstate Upstate On-the-Sea)—voted the "Best Place to Live and Drive" by Sport Utility World magazine—there's a lot of outdoorness, rednecks and stupidity, but also a lot of tolerance and hard working, humorless hard work for social change. The lobster is what this city was built on—lobstering, the lobster harvest, and lobster export business (you can only eat lobster so often yourself). Everything is lobster that and lobster this—Lobster Hardware, Lobster Paint, Lobster Realty, Lobster Oil Change, Lobster Rooter, Lobster Thermodynamics... You get the picture. The word lobster becomes abstract and absurd after awhile if you say it enough times.