After The Fall

I schemed. I came up with plans and timelines. I cut down to essentials. I figured out a way to skate through it. Somehow between PBJs for supper, minimum-due credit card payments, no IRA contributions, cheap(er) beer, $10 ATM weekend withdrawals, drink specials, downloads instead of CDs, I got by. I winged it. Made it up as I went along. It became a check-to-check situation and whenever I looked at my cash position for the end of the month, I realized I had to figure out some way to make rent. Then I would look at my money clip and see I had a twenty to get me through Saturday. And it would have to do. And it did. I went and saw bands, played pinball.

When the President said get back to business, I took it to heart. My job, I decided, was to be a smartass. I quit writing violent poems in my notebook. I attempted to, as a character in James Ellroy's The Cold Six Thousand advised, "smile more and hate less." Because more so than ever people wanted to talk, I tried to be a better listener. I tried, I really tried. I wanted to be there for the talkers. I mostly kept my thoughts to myself. It felt better that way. It usually does.

I realized and remembered that writing means more to me than being comfortable. I'd rather fight through the tough times being self-employed and live in debt than strap on the khakis and blue shirt and take a bus downtown in the morning dark to do temporary accounting. I have lived the American Dream of working in slippers, shorts, my teeshirt, and Denver Broncos cap; creating spreadsheets while pounding coffee, blasting Radio K, calling up my fellow lieutenants, emailing my gal pals, chewing sunflower seeds. Small business is the engine of the US economy - to go get a temporary accounting job or work for The Man in any other way would be un-American. I refuse. I will remain self-employed. I will wake up after a night of late writing and reading, make coffee and work at this computer. I may go broke but I will not get laid off, be condescended to, ignored, made to feel small, or made to feel like just another number. I won't get overworked or underpaid.

Repression ... recession ... Man, it's all the same thing. I only regret that I have but one small business to give for my country's economy.

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