Unfinished Short Story About Leaving School and Becoming a Writer

I didn’t want to finish college so I figured I had to become a better writer. I started to drink wine. Bacchus helped a lot of writers. But I got drunk. Often. Being drunk is not conducive to writing. I wanted to dance and have sex. I did both. Danced more. I’m no Casanova.

There was always experimenting with drugs. From what I’m told there’s a rich history of drugs in literature. I’m not a fan of paranoia and faux spiritual visions so I stopped after the fortieth time. I kept count.

College was not an option. I washed my hands of my GPA and any dreams of law school. Let it be crucified and be reborn in someone else’s fantasy. I am a writer. The problem was that I had no writings. I had been fooling around with poetry for a bit. Muddling myself in abstractions and philosophical arguments of extreme importance in today’s modern world, I thought I was on to something. I was just high. That was the thirty eighth time. I told you I kept count.

Honestly, I am a good writer. My papers in college were good and long and convoluted, and complicated, and had words of extreme length and complexity and really in the end just a bunch of bullshit. Sort of like that sentence. But that’s what the teachers wanted. I was a masterful producer of bullshit. But it got the A. Nothing creative, nothing subversive, just assembly line papermenship. See that’s what I like about writing in a creative sense. You can make up words. Like papermenship. It’s not a word but you as a reader of modest intelligence understands it. If that was a paper it would be underlined with a question mark and a little polite note that basically means “What the fuck?” Maybe you wrote in the margin of this book after you underlined the word and wrote the same thing, but you’re not handing me back the book with a paragraph at the end in red ink commenting on the fluidity and mechanics of the piece. It would be funny if you did though. That would take a lot of effort. Dedication.

I guess you could say I lacked dedication the junior year of college. I had a lifetime of dedication my first two years. I would’ve bled for those books. Nothing like laying your life out on the line for St. Augustine. It’s impressive. I did that. I would read every line, highlight, and comment. If there were Sparknotes I would read the Sparknotes first and then read the book. What the fuck? Sparknotes was for not reading the book. I took the shortcut and then walked all the way back to take the scenic route. Very sensible.

This sensibility and rational mindset led to the most noblest of anxiety attacks. A series of noble anxiety attacks. I didn’t bleed for the books but I sure did hyperventilate and contort my arms and legs into awkward positions. The doctors say they are called carpal tunnel spasms, looking back at it I call it funny. I like to laugh at that stuff. The first few times I thought they were heart attacks. While my heart was pounding and my body going numb I was thinking to myself, “Shit Eric you are having a fucking heart attack over homework. If you live there has to be a medal given out for this.” If it was a heart attack I would’ve lived because I didn’t finish the reading and I really would have loved a medal and a picture in some newsletter for neurotic students. Instead it was an anxiety attack. Quite a disappointment. You get no medals for anxiety attacks. Just an appointment with a psychiatrist and some pills. At that point I couldn’t even swallow pills. The first night at the hospital I told them to give it to me in liquid form. The nurse gave me a look. She was amused. I’m sure she laughed as she walked away and told the doctor. It’s in my chart. I’m almost positive. I couldn’t swallow pills.

Three weeks later I saw a therapist. After eighteen minutes she prescribed an anti-depressant. Actually two. I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t even tell her what was wrong. I guess that’s what they do. I stopped going and forgot to call twenty four hours ahead to cancel my appointment. I was half an hour late with the call. They charged my insurance company. I guess that’s what they do.

My friend suggested a psychotherapist. He wouldn’t let me sit on a chair. Or chew gum. He said he wanted any tension vocalized not chewed. Interesting. He must have read Freud. I laid down on some Jennifer Convertibles lounge bed. Maybe it was Ikea. I don’t know. I’m not a designer. It was green. More of a blue green. A seafoam. I know colors.

It was already two days into my post college life and there were no masterworks. Barely a few pages. I was drunk though. Wine is tasty with breakfast. Even better with lunch. I’m usually passed out by dinner so I can only make assumptions here but I’m sure it adds a nice kick to your pot roast. I’m not an alcoholic. Rather, I’m sacrificing my mental state for the sake of art. Some of that vomit probably could’ve been auctioned off. Sotheby’s and that crowd would have loved it. More complex than Pollock, created with such force and tension. I’m an artist even when I vomit. It’s the wine. Bacchus helps an artist in every aspect of life.

Perhaps my personal life was suffering a bit. It’s hard to interact when you are creating art. And drunk. But mostly when you are creating art. A writer lives a solitary life and must hermitize himself in order to produce. There’s another made up word. I’m clever.

I don’t like to self promote. It’s a bit pretentious. That’s why I have friends. They tell my stories. Other people hear them and are impressed. They want to know me and meet me. The wonders of a middle man. Saves me the label of asshole for a few weeks.

A deep wish of mine was for my street team of Eric Santiago promoters to find a beautiful woman to serve as my muse. A gentle voice singing the sweet song of inspiration never hurt. In fact, it’s necessary. Homer, Dante, and even Milton needed one. Keats, on the other hand, he begged for the sweet serenade of the muses and silence sung. What happened? The epic died . . . twice. What else happened? He arrived at the feast and it was a ravaged table of crumbs. And the magic elixir? Just drops remained. I could care less about the food but I’m not missing the elixir. I’m thirsty for creativity. Some Xanadau visions. That’s why I need a muse. I’m not missing the elixir. I want to be there before the cork is popped or however the elixir is opened. I hope its not just a turn of the cap. That would be pretty anticlimactic for a magic elixir. I’d still drink it, but you’d think there would be a bit more gusto that goes along with opening a bottle of magic elixir. I would settle for some sort of special bottle opener that only works when all the powers of the Gods of creativity combine. Some Captain Planet shit. That would be theatrical. I could settle for that. A twist off cap though, that’s malt liquor. I can get that for two dollars at a corner store. You need a muse for magical elixir and that magical bottle opener. I hope.

Some may argue that signaling toward the muses for inspiration is merely a gesture of literary tradition. I agree. However, being a man who lives a life of art it would be foolish not to have an actual muse. I could always sing to myself for inspiration like Joyce. But there’s already a Ulysses and it’s long. This will be no Dubliners, I’m not that good. Yet. I need a muse. Ideally a petite brunette with an interest in post-modern European poetry. I could settle for a blonde, even a red head, but there must be an interest in post-modern European poetry. It’s the deal breaker. I won’t settle. I’m an artist.

My street team of Eric Santiago promoters failed. They brought back some pretty girls but there was no interest in post-modern European poetry. “They don’t know Trakl? Send them away.” “She’s pretty?” “Okay bring her in let me see.” This was my usual response to the bringing of the potential muses of Eric Santiago. Some of them were pretty. Kissed good too. One could even play the guitar and sing. Sweet songs but no interest in post-modern European poetry. I’m adamant about the interest in the poetry. It’s a deal breaker. I’m still searching. I fired the street team of promoters. We are still friends but they don’t promote. It’s a complicated situation.

Motivated by the suggestion of a former Eric Santiago street team promoter and friend, I looked into taking out a personal ad in the newspaper and all of those online personal sites. It didn’t take to long to realize that you need money for this sort of venture. Being a man living the life of art I obviously had no money. One site offered a free month membership but there were just pictures of naked women looking for the most interesting of fun that will not be repeated in these pages. I might join when I have some free time away from creating art. I need a muse first. The search will continue.

Writing a masterpiece is not easy. You can’t just go out and write one. You can but it makes no sense. I want to write two or three good works first. Then hit the world with my magnum opus. Strategically place it after the good works. Give the readers a nice taste and then bam just give it to them. The greatness. Even if I wrote my masterpiece first I wouldn’t release it right away. These sort of things require timing, some strategy and thought. You need a PR firm to handle these affairs. A debut masterpiece would certainly be career suicide. After the masterpiece you would just be wallowing in mediocrity. I don’t have time for that. If I’m going to write a masterpiece you better believe it’s going to be done right. With posters and shit. That always attracts attention. I need a PR firm. And a muse. Writing isn’t easy.

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