After I put my son to sleep last night, I came down the stairs and noticed the wife had gone outside to have a cigarette. I thought it would be a great idea to scare her. Hey, a man has to entertain himself somehow.
So, I threw the door open and yelled, “Get your ass back in here!” At that exact moment, the three hundred pound security guard for our complex was walking by. I guess I scared him more than I did my wife, he high-tailed it to the exit gate and didn’t look back.
I feel so safe and secure.
December 17, 2015, my son and I accompanied the wife to the mall today to finish some Christmas shopping. She ended up buying an armful of stuff at a hip clothing store for various family members. Once in line, she said that I should walk around and look to see if there was anything I wanted since they were having a big sale.
Lucas and I wandered around a bit. And eventually, we found a leather jacket for $40.00. I have a couple, so I was thinking of getting one for the boy. I say:
“Nice leather jacket, want it?”
The boy says:
“No, you should get it since you’re the gangster.”
Then he walked off grinning.
Ever since I started working on Misconceptions of Hell, last year, my son has been constantly giving suggestions. Sometimes they were great other times I would be done with a story and he’d want me to rewrite the whole thing and tailor it to his idea.
After a few times of me saying I finished that part he said he was going take my character and write his own book.
So, in the back of Misconceptions of Hell, there will be a preview of Lucas’ book A Crooked Man. Here is his opening sentence:
“I’m in a dark room tied to a chair. Only one light bulb is hanging from the ceiling.”
Back in 2000 or 2001, I bought tickets for John Taylor at Billboard Live for my wife and her sister. They were old-school Duran Duran fans.
Once inside and seated in the balcony the reality of how sad this was hit. There were dozens of women in their late fifties and sixties, dressed like Duran Duran did in their Rio video. And many others with lunch boxes of the band.
The first band, the opening act, was a rap band. Four or five thugged out Armenian guys. While they performed, I saw a guy in a beanie walking around smiling ear to ear. Checking the band out from the balcony, then in front of the stage.
After a few minutes, I recognized him. It was Scott Weiland. I went over to talk to him. He had just got out of jail and put back on a little healthy weight. Turns out while in jail he met a few members of this rap band. They looked out for him while inside. Once out he agreed to manage them.
We shook hands and I wished him the best.
As I was dropping my son off at school this morning, I noticed one of his classmates, a young boy, was wearing a kilt.
Well, the 12-year-old in me went, “Hey, he’s wearing a kilt.” Now, in my school days, he would have been ridiculed and bullied. I know that’s wrong, but in the 70’s everything was a reason to get your ass handed to you. But, luckily, it is a different time and different kids.
My son looked over at the boy and said, “Cool, now all he needs is some bagpipes.” No jokes about his manhood or lack of manhood, just bagpipes should accompany a kilt.
The boy’s heading in the right direction.
I don’t know if this happens to other people, but it happens to me a lot. I’ll be watching a movie or TV show and a song will come on, and I’m instantly digging it. I write down the chorus or title and I end up searching for it online or ask my buddy Scott in Boston (major music collector) if he can find it. 99.9% of the time he’ll send me the album or the song itself. I get excited, queue it up and . . . it sucks.
I don’t know if it’s because the music fits the scene so well that my brain thinks it’s a good song or what, but this has happened several times in the last month or so.
I need help!
Since around 2003 or so, I’ve always had one or two extra copies of A Million Little Pieces in my room. I find them at book sales, thrift shops or an occasional garage sale. I always have people calling me asking for recommendations.
“I like reading, but I don’t know what to read.”
I always suggest A Million Little Pieces, for two reasons. One, some of these people are going through similar situations and I know they’ll relate. And secondly, the sparse writing style of the first chapter will draw them in instantly.
On occasion I’ll have someone say:
“Isn’t that the book Oprah said was fake?”
To which I reply:
“If anything a few incidents might have been exaggerated, but any book written about addiction by the addict can’t be scrutinized. How are you really supposed to remember what you did to the exact detail while running around town huffing gasoline and smoking crack? No one faulted Hunter S. Thompson for not actually seeing bats in Barstow.”
When I buy these copies, I usually throw them under my mattress to keep them flat and so I don’t lose them. I’ve had a few people hit me up and ask, what books I “have under the mattress?”
Another book I hold onto is Kite Runner. It’s more for people that aren’t addicts but complain about their quality of life. I’ll tell them I got something for them. It’s a bit heavy but definitely topical.
So, if we’re talking one night and I say, “The best first chapter in the last twenty years . . .” I might be sending you something by James Frey.