A post I’ve been told to not write, Part Two
April 25, 2014 by Thomas Wictor
My economic history cont.
To satisfy the gods of SEO, I must write “not write.”
Having done so, back to my résumé.
In January of 1992, I sent a proposal for an article to Jim Roberts, the editor of Bass Player. He accepted it, and it was published as “The Bass Gods of Japan” in the March 1992 issue of the magazine. Here’s Hiroshi “Narucho” Naruse of Casiopea, one of the three artists I covered.
Narucho was in another band back in 1988. His keyboard player was a friend of my pal Steiv Dixon, so one night Narucho’s other band played my tune “The Dinosaur Song.” Narucho asked Steiv to tell me that he really liked the bass line.
Just for fun I decided to see if I could still play the intro to “The Dinosaur Song.” Guess what? I can. Though I don’t have an amp anymore, here’s the beginning of the bass line that Narucho said he liked. This is the first time I’ve played the bass in over ten years, not counting my attempt to turn my Squire into a one-string.
My hands are killing me, but fuck ’em. That was fun.
“The Bass Gods of Japan” was the first piece of writing I ever sold. In August of 1992, I revealed to Carmen my full past. She was unable to accept it, and our relationship immediately ended, even though we continued to live together for almost another year. During that year she did everything in her power to drive me away. She hooked up with a female psychiatrist who told her that I was a dominating woman hater who was trying to control Carmen.
We both knew it was a lie, but Carmen needed a rationale to make me leave, so I became The Dictator, as she called me. I slept on the sofa and continued retrieving documents. From August of 1992 to May of 1993, my 1980 Toyota Corolla was broken into three times, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. This wiped out my savings again.
In August of 1993, my brother Tim invited me to live with him in one of the houses that our parents owned. I quit my job, left Carmen, and drove to L.A. with no employment prospects whatsoever.
Mom and Dad were two doors down, and our friend and neighbor Nellie—a widow in her late eighties—had the house between us. I moved in with Tim and continued to write articles for music magazines. The pay was nearly nonexistent. Mom and Dad were in failing health, but neither wanted to live in a nursing home. We ended up with an unspoken deal: They paid for my health insurance and gave me an annual stipend in return for me becoming a factotum. It was unspoken because their sense of self-worth required that it be so.
Tim and I both took care of Mom and Dad. They were very low maintenance. Even so, I earned my stipend.
From 1993 until my parents’ deaths in 2013, I stripped seven layers of paint from a house an inch at a time using a hot-air gun and a scraper, I painted two houses, I dug trenches under Nellie’s house for plumbing after she died and Mom and Dad bought the property, I built a garage, I painted a garage, I built an extension on Mom and Dad’s house, I filled in two empty thirty-foot-deep cesspools by hand, I put in brick walkways, I replaced all the grass on one side of Mom and Dad’s house with bricks, I replaced all the grass on the parkway in front of Mom and Dad’s house with succulents, I put in a water-pipe system at a local landmark, I installed double windows on two houses, I reroofed three houses, I refoofed a garage, I reroofed two carports, I fenced in a lot by using a manual post-hole digger and filling each hole with cement after the steel poles went in and then wiring the metal fence to each stanchion, I built a pergola, I painted the insides of three houses, I installed two ceilings, I remodeled a bathroom, I helped my brother-in-law demolish his garage, I helped him convert a laundry room into a bedroom, and I ran errands for and physically protected my increasingly enfeebled parents.
Here’s half of the dirt that Tim and I dug out from under my current house, once owned by my neighbor Nellie.
What you may not know about ancient dirt is that it’s full of ancient microbes. The dirt under Nellie’s house dated from 1913. Tim and I ended up covered in boils. Every cut got infected with hardy 1913 germs that were immune to soap, unguents, and alcohol. They left permanent scars on our skin. When we went under the house, we had to wear industrial respirators to keep from getting these little bastards in our lungs.
From 1993 to 2013, I was a manual laborer who published unsuccessful books. Recently I went crawling back to a particular military Website that I hadn’t visited in two years because the people there are unreachable, combative nutcases who are pathologically unable to accept new information. I told them the story of how I’d been scammed and asked if anyone who’d read my military books would be willing to write an Amazon review. I also posted extremely rare images from the fourth military book I plan to publish someday.
Not a single person commiserated, but the same asshole who attacked my work in the past criticized the captions I put on the photos I posted. He said they were inaccurate. As before, he was wrong. For some reason he’s considered an expert, but he’s almost always wrong. He didn’t want to help me; he just wanted to assault me.
So: You who thought I’ve been living the good life are totally off the mark. I’ve been a working stiff for most of my adulthood. Oh, and I’ve been a disposer of corpses. Tim reminded me of the many rotting cats and possums we’ve encountered over the years. Some had liquefied, so the bones fell out of the sludge as we moved them, dry heaving the whole time.
The thing is, all of you who are envious of wealth also want to be wealthy yourself. If you could press a button that would deposit a billion dollars into your checking account, you would. Therefore, you need to stop with this stupid class-warfare shit. Stop being a poseur. The assumptions you made about me were wrong. I’ve done far more manual labor than just about all of you. And as a direct result, I’ve got arthritis, my back is shot, my knees are ruined, and I have both hearing loss and chipped teeth.
Even though I’m mentally and physically disabled—I permanently injured my back by carrying that seventy-pound copying machine—I’ve never taken a penny from the taxpayer.
You class warriors who felt I got what I deserved? Go fuck yourselves. I forbid you to read anything I write, including this post.
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