A Jew Hope
I always thought one day I would be part of a story and then I would write it, because then my life would actually be interesting. But it hasn’t happened.
I’m gifted with a teenage girl’s compulsion to express myself and tortured by living in an place and era where that’s so easy to do that. Expression for me is beyond political and is just banal and tiring, like two pundits fighting. I have never been a successful blogger. The two sites I’ve done the longest— Satprepnews.com and ListeningtoDepression.com— are niche news sites that I need to develop and post on with some energy at some point in some time. I’ve been kicked off my favorite blog— sneakmove.com— because of my pedantic take on culture and pseudo-comic penchant for feuds.
So now I’m back to ValleyJew.com. I will always be the Valley Jew. It’s just me, because I am in every way atypical and against-type of everything that is birthed from the San Fernando Valley. I was born in Panorama City. Grew up in Granada Hills, Chatsworth and Northridge. I was Bar Mitzvahed at the Ventura Club. Simi Valley seemed exotic to me growing up. The first time I’d heard of an art house movie theater I was in one, stoned off my ass for the first time in my life throwing tortillas at a midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with the drama kids from high school. I am a-cultural. I am the front of the track home with oil stains designed by Jackson Pollock on the driveway.
So, there is no story here. I am not telling stories or making stories up. I’m just doing to communicate. I’ll try to be interesting, post some links to some stories/songs I’m interested in and move on. I’ll write about my life. And then I’ll never think about it again. I’ll try to be honest and not too smarmy— but I am the Valley Jew.
I was laid off over a month ago. I was good at my job. Being a loud mouth really paid off for the first year and a half of the engagement. When things soured, being a loud mouth made me a loud target. I didn’t blanch. I probably got nervous and perhaps a taste sticky, but I spoke up. Spoke truth to power, and it didn’t work at all. So that’s done. I’m 30. Debt-free. Enough money and government assistance to last easy even if I don't find a job until I find out if I got into the one graduate school to which I applied. In somewhat related news, I’m 90% done with the first draft of a novel. Writing the first draft of the last chapter now. Endings are fun and like the beginning is at least a dozen drafts away from readable. (The novel is sort of about a 12 year-old boy who meets and falls in love with a 14 year-old girl who is the daughter of her mom's crazy best friend from high school.)
If I were to drive myself to Las Vegas to drink myself to death while befriending other empathetic low lifes, there might be a story. But I won't, so there’s not.
I have my time all to myself. My only commitments are a writing class on Thursday night and two volunteer obligations on Saturday afternoon. Besides that if I stayed in my bed, only my sheets would know.
I volunteer because it makes me feel important, of course. But I also like helping people and knowing what they’ve gone through. Probably because it makes me feel important. Being important is probably my main yearning. Very pathetic. But it sets up nice irony when it’s time for me to blow it when I get what I want.
The guy in the computer literacy class I volunteer for with bleached blond hair said, “You know what my favorite website is?” He immediately answered, “Bang Bus.”
The next week he was working on his essay about turning his life around. He said that he was HIV positive. He wanted to be a counselor and a mentor for other people suffering from drug addiction. Almost every one of them wants to be a counselor. Who doesn’t? That’s why we have friends and why we write or create anything, to counsel ourselves.
I tried to not imagine this bleached man’s past. How his thin nose got crooked. How he was infected. How I might be. How close I should stand. It was 1985 for me. The AIDS crisis finally as real as it was paramedics and newscasters back then.
But I recalled the facts. Open sores. Blood contact. We’re all sinners. Some one still had to dress this man’s hair. And he needed to know how to center align his essay. I could do that. That was easy.
Was thinking today why the French as so sure about Iran's military intentions. They are so close to them and with all of their nuclear reactors there country would be an atomic pinball game with the right direct hit.
I find this Requiem for a Dream/ Toy Story II extremely re-watchable. Reminds me that I loved the Requiem trailer and hated the film. Also, Jennifer Connelly's voice makes that little cow girl unbearably sexy. Can't wait for Pixar to do a take on a gritty graphic novel.
RJD2 covers Radiohead's Airbag Via Palms Out.
Photos of dense apartment buildings.