On April 5th of this year I received an email from one of my employers. This email stated that – effectively immediately – I was being let go. Budget cuts, the employer explained. And just like that, 90% of my income was gone. Worse yet, I had nothing in the coffers. For months, I had been skating on cobwebs. I had been dodging final notices; sweeping out mist from the sepulcher. I was cashed out, maxed out, pursuing offers for a stimulus. When my father became aware of this situation, he issued me a loan.
I am 43 now, and I have become a different person than my father. My father is a provider, and I am a rogue. Throughout my adolescence, my father and I argued. We argued so frequently that I eventually relocated, first to Wildwood, and then State College, and then Sea Isle, and then Orlando, and then Philadelphia, and, eventually, New York. My parents, on the other hand, have remained in the same house for the better part of five decades. My parents are retired. They enjoy stability. They spend their summers along the Chesapeake. They lease a slip. They own a boat.
I am intimidated by my father, and it is for this reason that I had initially neglected to inform him about his inclusion via Moving On. During June of 2013, my father made it clear that he did not appreciate the way my fledgling series had been portraying him. Since then my father and I have made amends, and it is in preserving said amends that I spoke to my father a little over a week ago. I wanted to explain to my father why I had intended on mentioning him during the sendoff of my series, and I wanted to apologize to my father for not having conferred with him before.
It is a tricky business, being so transparent about one’s affairs. In December of 2015, by way of example, I was selling Christmas trees on 39th and 2nd, and I met a woman who would bring me fruit and coffee, and who would chat with me toward the end of every shift. The more I got to know this woman, the more I began to consider when – or even if – I should tell her about my website. On January 1st, I sent this woman a URL to ifearbrooklyn.com. “I think it’s great that you write about your past,” this woman responded, “and I hope the writing helps to heal hurts and demons. I am at a point where I am not capable of handling your history, but I wish you every success in your work and in your life.”
Oh, well. The trials of commitment. In the end, the meat outweighs the bone.
I have been asked how I plan to proceed now that the writing phase of Moving On is over. I could reedit the first two seasons, which are lacking, but my inclination is to let the series function as a real-time dossier of my progression as a writer. This is a rough sell in that commercial publishing is an industry, and a lot of its proxies evaluate a book’s worth based on mathematics. Once, I emailed a book proposal to an agent who, in turn, refused to consider my query unless I resubmitted it in a format known as “the hook, the book, and the cook.” I would never entrust Moving On to a careerist like that. Then again, what careerist would want it? Moving On has only generated 42,000 hits as of this post.
But enough. The hour is late, and the brief period for 1990s nostalgia has come and gone. I need to rest up. I need to catch up. I need to pay off debts and spend time with old friends. I’d like to join a scene and I’d like to solve a mystery. I’d like to write a movie script, and I’d like to be interviewed for a podcast. I’d like to visit Italy. I’d like to move to Venice Beach, and, once there, I’d like to own a dog. But more than anything else, I would like for my writing to sustain me. And I would like for my writing – and this series – to endure.
Onward. Upward. We still have mountains left to scale.
I’ll See Ya at The Summit.
(Moving On is a regular feature on IFB.)