Clinton, S.C., Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 1:15 p.m.
Another month, the fourth, is about to end. I’m mildly saddened by its passing in that it was the one in which I was born, but that was a long time ago, and my birthday isn’t the wild celebration it once was.
Another year. Oh, great. I’ve reached the point where, when I go see a doctor, if everything looks fine, he looks some more.
It’s funny how life has changed since I stopped going to NASCAR tracks.
The days are different. The segments are one at a time. It’s not that they weren’t all the same when I lived out of my suitcase. Tuesdays were always my recovery days. I usually arrived home sometime on Monday, mostly afternoons when I was driving and nights when I was flying. On Tuesdays I felt tired and, quite often, sore. I don’t know whether everyone is like this or just me, but I seldom felt overtly tired. My legs told me. They got restless, sitting in a car or a plane, or lying in bed. The rest of my body could handle denial; not my legs.
Nowadays, my legs are seldom tired, and if they are, it’s for a damn good reason.
It was a routine. Then it was the same every week. Now it’s the same every day. Then it was get home Monday, rest Tuesday, do the routine chores (bills, clothes, grass) on Wednesday, travel on Thursday, spend Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the track, travel on Mondays, and then another lap on the same merry-go-round. There were small adjustments to accommodate races on Saturday nights and nightmares for the two on Sunday nights.
Now I get up in the morning, take some meds, fix some breakfast, fire up the laptop, and away I go. At night I usually read books and watch TV, often at the same time. If the Boston Red Sox are playing, I watch them.
At this moment, I haven’t left the county in three weeks. I traveled lots more when I was twelve and my father sold fertilizer.
I’m thinking about playing a few songs in Columbia on Thursday night. I’m way overdue for a trip to the movies with my niece’s kids. In a couple weeks, I’m going on a long trip involving my music and my fiction. I’m hoping to wander a bit, take my time, see some sights, experience things I can describe either in song or story.
It will be nice to break free from the pattern. It was nice to do that when the pattern was different.
I sleep, read, write and play my guitar more. I make less money, and that, really, is the rub. I’m trying to make my own living because I don’t have any choice. As ways to go broke go, this is a pretty good one. It’s like the doctor telling you, “You’ve had a stroke, but if you’re going to have a stroke, this is the one to have.”
But I haven’t had a stroke. I just don’t have a job, and it has become patently obvious that I’m not going to get one, at least not one for which I am prepared and established.
So I write. And I contact people, hoping they will find something in that writing that leads them to make me more prosperous because they think that writing will do the same for them.
I’m a natural as a writer, but nothing seems natural about being an entrepreneur except standing in front of a crowd with a book or a guitar and entertaining them. I think I’ve gotten reasonably good at that part of it. People enjoy me once they get there. What’s difficult is getting them there.
Somewhere, someone is thinking, Ah, he should’ve majored in business, or asking, Why didn’t he go to law school?
Because I suck at business. I’m too hardheaded to be a lawyer.
I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. I just didn’t bargain on it going out of style.
Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. But, if you really must worry, I think buying one or more of my books would be therapeutic. That’s the effect writing them has on me.