Excerpt from My First Novel Yellow Socks Confessions of a Non Don Juan

June 4, 2012

An Excerpt from my 2010 novel Yellow Socks- Confessions of a Non Don Juan

 

Skeleton Woman or Things Like Me Don’t Happen To You

 

Christ it happened again. Another notch in my “girls that want to be my friend” belt. It made sense. We were perfect friends and she was real cute too. I kept thinking that I was ok with it. I’d be happy just being a friend again. I keep turning to God for strength to accept my fate as “Friend to all women” that I’m attracted to. My acceptance level seems to be ok. I go to my happy place. I go to my cave. I say the serenity prayer over and over I am sure that I will be ok with this. Yes I will. (no I won’t)

 

Cut to a scene from Fight Club

 

TYLER

Stop it! This is your pain — this is your burning hand. It’s right here! Look at it.

 

JACK

I’m going to my cave. I’m going to my cave to find my power animal!

 

TYLER

No, don’t deal with this the way those dead people do. Come on

!

JACK

I get the point, ok, please!

 

TYLER

No, what you’re feeling is premature enlightenment.

 

Ok. I get the idea. Feel the pain. Feel the hurt. Feel the rejection saturating my heart until I bleed more than just these words all over the place and finger my open sore of a brain as it wants to dwell on her over and over again. Screaming and roaring her name with anger and grief and sometimes a slight relief that it’s done and I know that she will not reject me again unless I go back for more and more or less or a little bite of her cheeseburger and a sip of her Pepsi to tide me over until the next one comes along with better food and spirits for my, for me for. Four scores of seven years itch as I scratch the weathered tired out mongrel of an ego that was left stray years ago in a pound for wayward hearts and letches that can only love and never be loved.

 

The pain of being a friend. A friend. I’ve heard that “Let’s just be friends” millions of times in my life as I gargle a new mouthwash and toothpaste hoping my breath will be the answer to my problem. My problem is as follows: me, myself and I. We altogether are the problem. We want to be loved so bad that we give off the vibe that scares the shit out of women so they just want to be friends. Friends. Friends. I think to myself that will be fine. Friends is ok. It’ll do. I can accept that. Bullshit! Feel the pain I tell myself. Embrace it. the pain is your friend. To hurt is to be alive. I’ve never been so alive. I’m alive. So alive.

 

“Did you ever hear about the skeleton woman?” Morton asked.

 

“Was that a Glam rock band from the seventies?” I ask.

 

“Ha. Ha. Nah. It’s an ancient Indian story. This guy was fishing in the middle of a lake. He was totally into it. He was relaxed. Not a care in the world except catching the next fish. All of a sudden he feels a tug on his line and he yanks it up. A skeleton appears on his line. He doesn’t realize that it’s attached to his line and he gets scared. He starts paddling his boat away from it but it follows him. He still doesn’t realize that it’s attached to his line. He gets out of his boat and runs into the village and he is carrying his fishing rod and the skeleton is still right behind him. He jumps into his Tee Pee and it follows him in. He lies down and tries to hide not looking at it for a while. When he finally turns to look at the skeleton it has changed into the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. She is his. The moral of the story is that he was minding his own business doing something he enjoyed and that’s when the right woman came along. In other words when you are not looking for love is when it will find you. ”

 

“I know that but it’s so fucking hard to stay focused on other things without thinking about how much I want to be loved. Fall in love. Ya know?” I responded.

 

“I know. I know.” Morton said.

 

“We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.” Tyler Durden

 

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Rich Hillen Jr’s Digital Art

February 6, 2011


Going Out of It: Excerpt from Yellow Socks Confessions of a Non-Don Juan

February 1, 2011

“When one’s in this world, surely the best thing one can do, isn’t it, is to go out of it? Whether one’s mad or not, frightened or not.” Louis- Ferdinand Celine

It’s true, I confess. I want out. Don’t you? Any escape will do. Movies, television, solitaire, drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, eating, dreaming, drawing, reading, writing, music, dancing, games, working, relationships, sleeping, socializing, surfing the internet, etc.

I’ve personally experienced the joy and escapism of all of the above. Everything I do is a distraction from someone or something else that bothers me. To be trapped alone with my thoughts is the worst thing possible. That is my world. My thoughts. My ideas. My unfulfilled dreams and fantasies. Unrealistic goals that I will never meet. I run tapes in my head of every failure and every success. Wishing to avoid one and get more of the other.

Did I ever tell you about my dancing Grandmother? She has no legs. What has two legs and bleeds a lot? Half a dog. What do you get if you cross a cow with a camel? A lumpy milkshake. What’s Mary short for? She’s got no legs.

See? I’d rather do anything else except write about how I feel inside. Terrible. Thanks for asking. Insanity is the only route I haven’t taken besides Jail and Suicide. I’m too chicken for that. I’ve experienced some forms of insanity like depression and anxiety but not the full-blown Psychotic or Schizophrenic. Not yet. I’m working on it.

There is a fine line between denial and acceptance. I’ve crossed it. I am in denial. Well maybe not now that I’m aware of the denial but I was. Denying all of my pain. The recovery of  failed marriages and relationships. The mourning of a thriving business I once had. The loss of  jobs. The thrill of new experiences of my life like sexual fantasies coming to life. The lack of obsessions because I am obsessed with too much. My heart’s been broken several times in the past years and I didn’t even know it. The pressure of not knowing how I am going to pay my rent yet alone eat in the next month. The bills and debt of the last year or two that I was depressed beyond repair. It’s piling up and it’s all coming out at once.

Add this up with the goddamned heat and the miserable people around me and you get – me- a walking talking time bomb. I repress all of my problems. No closure on them as they say in therapy. I can usually maintain my composure like a tough guy but I haven’t been able to shed a tear for my self in along time. I’m either angry or I have that fake happiness that I even fool myself with.

A rush of fear, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness, anger, depression and heartache at the same time wearing me down like a sleepless night of pills and vodka while running a two hour marathon that has no winner only destitute losers that beg for someone to take care of them. Take care of me. Hold my hand and tell me everything is going to be all right. I won’t believe you but it’s a start. Maybe then I can at least plant one good foot on the ground and be part of the world instead of hiding from it.

Click here to purchase Yellow Socks-
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/yellow-socks-confessions-of-a-non-don-juan/12437981?productTrackingContext=author_spotlight_65502234_


Another Excerpt from my Novel Yellow Socks- Juan and Carmen

September 21, 2010

Juan and Carmen

I met Carmen and Juan Ramirez in third grade. They were Puerto Rican twins that I started to hang out with. They were School Safeties and I met them in Safety training. Yes, folks, I was School Safety responsible for crossing hundreds of other children from one side of the street to the other. I was good at it.

Carmen and Juan were pretty advanced street kids. They lived on the street that I was told where the really poor and bad people live. What that meant was blacks and Puerto Ricans lived there. Remember that my Grandfather was a racist. I didn’t care back then. They were fun. They knew things that I didn’t. They did things that I didn’t. They smoked cigarettes and had a lot of girlfriends. They were the first to tell me about sex. What it was and how good it felt.

The first time I was invited over their house I was excited. Their parents weren’t home. The decor was different than anything I’d ever seen. Zebra print furniture. The one wall was a giant mirror. There it was on the wall behind the couch. The first velvet painting that I have ever seen. It was a tiger resting with a black background. I liked it even though it was much different than my Grandparent’s framed needlepoint pictures and standard couch and chairs. I sat on the couch in front of their large twenty two inch television. I rested my feet on the glass coffee table resting on the black shag rug. Juan pulled out this four-foot square box from upstairs. Carmen grabbed it from him and opened it up. There was a stack of magazines and on top was a big wad of folded aluminum foil. Carmen unrolled it. Inside was what looked like dried grass inside. It was dried grass. Marijuana. Mary Jane. Pot. Reefer. Weed. I had no idea what I was about to try. They took some more foil out of the box and made a make shift bowl to smoke it in. I didn’t know that’s what they were doing and I had no idea we were going to smoke it while they were getting it ready. Juan put the weed in the foil bowel and Carmen held it to his lips. Juan lit a match and Carmen inhaled the smoke. He then passed it to Juan. Juan imitated Carmen perfectly. The fact that they were twins added to the effect. Then it was my turn. I took the foil thing and lit it up. I tried to inhale and did the first time smokers initiation cough and gag. Once I got passed the first time it went down easier the next few times. I felt pretty good.

After a while we started blowing smoke in each other’s hair just to watch it rise out of our hair when we shook our heads. It was funny. This was true.

After the buzz took effect Juan pulled out some of the magazines in the box. They told me it was their father’s porno collection. Porno. What’s that? I thought. Ahh. Naked women. I knew what they were. Photos of woman. Photos of men putting their penises in the woman’s vagina. It was another new experience to add to my thoughts. New goals. I felt really good in my penis as I looked at these photos. Page after page. Naked woman after naked woman. I wanted one. A woman that is.

Juan and Carmen told me about the girls in the neighborhood that they had sex with. I wanted to try this sex thing but I still wasn’t real sure what it was exactly or how to go about getting it. I was hoping that they would show me. I mean with another girl or something but I had no real sex drive yet so these interests passed. I didn’t smoke pot again until I was thirteen. I didn’t see porno again until I was twelve.

To order click here or the picture below.


Excerpt from my Novel Yellow Socks – Atlantic City

August 26, 2010

“Everything dies baby that’s a fact

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty and meet me tonight in Atlantic City” -Bruce Springsteen

Mom was really going off the deep end. She started reading the Bible day and night reciting passages mostly to my Dad. She was telling him he was a sinner. Her personality was getting meaner towards him. She snapped at him on many occasions and threatened to kill him. The next day she would cry and apologize and beg him not to tell her parents. When she wasn’t mean to him she was too nice. She had conversations with people that weren’t there. She was convinced at one point that Dad was Jesus Christ.. He was the son of Joseph. He was the Son of God. He was the Son of Man. He was born on December 25th, Jesus’s birthday. He dismissed it. He thought she was just over worked with raising me. All we needed was a vacation. We went to Atlantic City for the weekend.

One of the nights we ate at a boardwalk restaurant called Captain Stan’s. We left the restaurant and took a family walk on the boardwalk. It was really dark. Not many people around. We watched another couple standing near a rail looking at the ocean. They were interrupted by a group of three black men and were beaten near death. I watched through my wide child eyes as this couple was beaten with pipes and a chains. They robbed them and ran off. My Dad called the police. Mom and I went to see how they were. The woman was a blonde. Her eye was swollen shut. Her entire face was covered in blood and she couldn’t move her arm. The man was tall and had dark hair. His head was covered in blood. They were hysterical. The police and ambulance arrived shortly. We were questioned while the couple was taken away in the ambulance. I have never seen so much blood in my life since except the horror movies I later grew up with. Mom told the police her theories.

“It was Jesus Christ’s will for the black man to kill them. The black man is the devil’s tool to take down the white man. The couple were racists and deserved it.” She told the police.

“Sorry officer. She is in shock right now. She is taking nerve medication.” My Dad told the police.

Luckily, I wasn’t paying attention to my Mom. I missed all of her off color comments and insane rants. I usually blocked her out when she was acting strange.

My Dad left when I was six years old. He took me to a movie before he left and explained to me that Mommy was sick and he couldn’t take care of her anymore. He said that Grandma and Grandpa would take care of us. He told me he loved me and would never forget about me. I don’t remember this. I didn’t see him again until I was twenty-two years old. Mom told me he wasn’t home from work yet. She told me this everyday for the next year. It took me even longer to realize what really happened. He left me with a crazy woman.

Order Yellow Socks : Confessions of a Non-Don Juan at LuLu.com


Damned Yellow Socks: the Biography of a Novel

July 10, 2010

I started writing blogs in 2003 mostly on a social networking site called MySpace. I act like you’ve never heard of the now dying site. It was the beginnings of it’s popularity back then and my friends and I would write blogs day after day and comment back and forth and we even started a writer’s group that met in the real world once a week and read our prose or poetry or whatever and critiqued and commented on each other’s work. Good times. During this time I decided I was going to write a book based on a few of my blog entries on MySpace. One of the titles and storied mentioned a pair of yellow socks and won’t into it because that is the title and I want you to buy the book and find out for yourself.

Anyway, I decided on the title at the start. I knew how it was going to begin and decided ho it was going to end. I needed to write the middle. You know the book itself. So, it started as talking about my relationship with my natural parents especially my paranoid schizophrenic mother. The more I wrote this personal stuff I realized that I am going to fictionalize it. Although I drew from personal experience I added and made up a lot of great stories. It became a confessional fiction about a man’s relationship with his crazy mother and how it effected his future relationships with crazy friends and especially crazy girlfriends and wives.

I was extremely committed to writing this book. I had to write at least a few pages a day. Then one day my computer died out on me and when I put in the new software the 64 pages or so were gone. I freaked out and didn’t write for a little bit. Then I remembered that I posted some of it on MySpace and I emailed some of the stories to myself as a back up. I pieced a good portion of it back together and I was off to the races writing again. I was more determined to finish this and I kept backing it up on disk and emailing it to myself for safe measures.

Somewhere along the line I drifted away from it. I would only write occasionally towards the book. I never stopped writing blogs, journals, stories and poetry. It gave me a quick fix. The book was a slow endeavor. It was always in the back of my mind. Year after year I would move up 50 pages or more but I kept putting it on the back burner.

From 2004 or 2005 until 2007 I found myself in a band that I wa more committed to. Right before our final fall and break up I actually believed we were going to take it to the next level of making money at it for a living. Of course we broke up. Everyone was too talented and were going to move on eventually. Except for me. I play solo sometimes with my acoustic guitar but it’s not the same.

I tried again with a new band the end of 2007 to the middle of 2008 and my heart just wasn’t in it as much. I was also diagnosed as Bipolar and took some heavy drugs and I was on pain pills for my Trigeminal Neuralgia. Look it because I don’t feel like writing about it now. Painful disorder. The mix of all of the pills threw me for a loop. I couldn’t function well especially at my job that was giving me horrible anxiety attacks. I was the walking dead with frequent anxiety. Ha. What a mess.

I still dabbled in the book now and again. I managed to get reviews published in various online magazines and such but the book was this heavy weight that I knew in the back of my head I must finish. I wasn’t concerned about publishing it or selling it. All I wanted was to finish it.

Good things eventually happened for me when I decided to sober up from the pills I was taking. I was so far behind on rent. I was going to lose my job. I lost my girlfriend. I lost 16 years of continuous sobriety. I finally surrendered. I went to a new Doctor and lowered the medications I was taking. I stopped taking the pain pills. I started working harder at my job despite the anxiety.

Then I was given the opportunity to move back in with my adopted parents in March 2009. I was adopted when I was 11. That’s another story. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good. My adopted father was sick and one of the main reasons I moved back in was to help take care of him. Despite his illnesses he was a constant creator of some fabulous art. His artistic energy was inspiring and I found myself writing my book again. My adopted mom is also a published author so she kept pushing me. It was a pain in the ass but it was working.

My adopted father started to get sicker and sicker in May of 2009. He died June 19th 2009. It was a little over a year ago. This set my depression and anxiety off for a long time. I took care of myself and my mother the best I could and continues my treatment, medication and AA meetings. I started to feel better then the beginning of November 2009 I had a breakdown for a few days. I literally thought I was going ot lose my mind and be institutionalized. I wasn’t. It was like a miracle. I woke up happy one day and I haven’t felt anything like that since.

Right after I pulled out of that funk I finally finished writing my novel. Yellow Socks: Confessions of a Non-Don Juan. I was so excited and I talked about it and told everyone and wrote about it and then I had to edit it. I asked around and had a bunch of people read it and one of my friends did a great job editing it and footnoting it but it was in a different file format and I had trouble transposing it to my documents. I priced editors and it was too expensive for me at the time. I had to do it myself. I was a bit deflated. I lost my enthusiasm.

Editing was a pain in the ass.  I had to read and re-read my novel and watch spelling (thank God for spell check), grammar, syntax and continuity. It was a slow process that I had to force myself to do. Again my mom bugged me about it. Months went by and I was still editing. “Almost finished. Almost done. Keep going.” I’d tell myself. I’d always end up writing other things. I have always preferred the quick fix.

On May 26th 2010 I lost my job. Well I didn’t lose it. I knew here it was but it wasn’t mine. I got fired. Read one of my first blogs –

https://richhillenjr.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/i-got-fired-from-my-day-job/

or my YouTube video blog about it –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0cgoudLTGc

My mom was away and I was afraid to tell her I was fired like she was my wife or something. The first thing I did was file for unemployment. The second thing I did was finish editing my book/ I was in so much confusion about the job loss I needed to accomplish something.

Now it’s finished. I was a little disappointed when I reduced the typeface from 16-point type to 12-point type that it went from 286 pages down to 164. I thought to myself “I spent almost 7 years writing a 164 page book? What took so long?” Ha. Well I think I covered that.

So it’s done. I only found one publisher that I think is appropriate because some of my content is a little sexually graphic. Although, everyone that read it so far doesn’t think so. I finally got all of the requirements down for them and Ill hopefully be sending it out soon.

I asked a few of my published friends what they think I should do and they all agreed that I should self publish it. One gave me a website that will publish it and get it on Amazon.com and the Barnes and Noble website. They are a make as you buy company. In other words they only publish a book when someone orders it so it will only be available online unless I buy a bunch and resell them or give them to independent book stores on consignment. I figure most people buy online these days anyway and I’ll have my book out there and in my hands while I still shop for a publisher. My friend’s book came out really nice so I know that they are good quality too.

Meanwhile, I need a cover design. I had this vision when I finished the book of what I want the cover to look like. After about a month of trying to get a model to get photographed in Yellow Socks I’ve got a commitment for tomorrow with the photographer, model and other models for the back cover. I still needed a pair of yellow socks.

I figured I’d wait until the last minute in typical Rich Hillen Jr style. I did pick up a pair that were the right shade of yellow but not the right kind. Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart. Nothing. Actually. I found a pair hat were the wrong shade. I went to a dollar store after that. Nothing. A few friends suggested Target and urban Outfitters so today I was on a mission. I found one pair almost the right color at target but it had a leopard pattern on it. I bought them anyway. Then I tried Koels because it was in the same shopping center. Nothing. Next up was Sports Authority because someone had mentioned that soccer socks come in yellow. There was nothing there either. I went to Urban Outfitters across the street at the mall next. Ugh. I hate the mall especially after working at restaurant inside the mall for almost 6 years. Parking was tough on a Saturday afternoon. Luckily Urban Outfitters has an outside entrance so I didn’t have to enter the mall.

I looked around and the girl at the register asked if I needed help. I told her my dilemma and she brought me to the women’s socks section. There was nothing. She suggested I try the men’s department upstairs. I was directed near the show department and there they were. Yellow socks at last. They are going to be a little too big for the model’s feet but they will do. One more step closer to having my novel or book or whatever you call it published. One day at a time. Just like you put your yellow socks on one sock at a time.

The End (for today)


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