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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NIGHTMARES ON SALE – GET 2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1

April 1, 2012

I TRY TO IGNORE THE WHISPERS LOUDER THAN THE SCREAMS. IN DREAMS I WALK WITH YOU. You Roy.  I AM TRAVELLING. Always traveling. Moving. New apartment. New house. New CCITEE-Y. NEW STATE. STATE OF MIND. Party goers and house warmers and birthday goers and CHRISTmas mass attendees gather. I know some then I know everyone. I am no one. They don’t see me this way. He doesn’t see me this way. She. You.

 

MR SANDMAN BRING ME A DREAM.. I know you. I love you LOVE! I carry buckets of paint to your house and the party has just begun. I GET NO KICK FROM CHAMPAGNE either Frank, baby. Seven sisters of love pies stare at me and glare at ME AND THAT LOOK. THAT LOOK. IT SENDS CHILLLS DOWN MY SCARS- inside and outside that run against my heart. Let’s get this CHORDETTEONIAN PARTY STARTED MR JIMMY!

 

I put my arm around Grandmom to say I love you. People STARING. People caring. Empty people fill the crowded party. Acting hearty. Listing their character defects. Last chance. MY DEAD GRANDMOM TURNS HER HEAD AND SAYS “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!”

 

 

I wake up smoking and drift back along the sea of asphalt, scraping my fat ass and ripping my favorite dream jeans still wondering what I did. WHAT DID I DO THAT GRANDMOM KNOWS I DID? Was it last summer Jennifer Love?

 

I am alone. ALONE. MY NEWEST OF THE NEW HOUSES. Sir Raleigh comes with news. I thought he said PRESIDENT REAGAN HAD DIED OF INDECENT IMPLOSURE. I didn’t care until I realized he wasn’t just dreaming about my Dream girl locked in his dungeon TIED UP WITH VINES and THE SISTERS OF REJECTION.

GIVE HIM TWO LIPS OF HATRED AND VIOLENCE. RESTRAINING ORDERS, BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SIRENS.

 

“SHE’S A COKE HEAD” HE SAYS.

“SHE USED TO GIVE BLOW JOBS TO HERMAPHRODITES.” HE SAYS.

 

My throat fills with vomit and joy. IN DREAMS I DO COKE WITH YOU.

 

Stolen emotions and borrowed gifts are shared at the airport and train stations and parking lots and I’M STILL NOT SURE WHICH IS WHICH. IN DREAMS I TALK TO YOU. Us is back and you is cornered and still slip away. Reptilian monkeys bred become bread for the children of Elizabethan peasants but I grab two of them and hand them to the girl with ruby slippers and she vanishes like the Dark Knight into the dark night when she hears Bruno approach.

 

“I’ll whip you now my pretty and your LITTLE MAN too! Hahahahaha” Bruno yells but not enough to find her. I find her in her Old Kentucky home with three wooden porch steps away and I go into seizures. Jules Vern hides Tu-Tu Hundred Feet Under The Sea Under The Porch. I pass out. DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM –DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM. MR SANDMAN WAKES ME. The ape lizards have grown by the time I reach the inside. The Dark Huntress awaits me wearing a smile and a bra. I am excited to see her but worry about poor Mr Vern. Guilt reddens my pink face knowing that I shouldn’t be THERE. The Queen would be quite jealous and take away my deconstructed addictive Kingdom. SHE IS THERE AND SHE IS THERE. IT WAS A DUBIOUS PLAN OF THE HUNTRESS OF DARK TO HAVE Mr Vern under the porch and watch my web of lies unfold. The evil one IS not Bruno and I NOW KNOW WHAT GRANDMOM KNOWS I DID. I JUST DIDN’T DO IT YET WHEN SHE TOLD ME.

 

Caught in the trap admiring the salamander gorilla’s ability to change in size determined by the cage they are in. I imagine if they were let loose if they could grow bigger than the entire world. My Darling Queen and my Miss Huntress dance and change clothes despite the height and come out laughing at me and yet forgiving me and I feel a calm as MY DEAD GRANDMOM SAYS “ I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID.”


The Artsy Girl – an Excerpt from my novel Yellow Socks

July 11, 2011

The Artsy Girl (as it originally appeared in Yellow Socks: Confessions of a Non-Don Juan)

 

Living with Terry and Morton was a blast. They were both in their early thirties and I was in my late twenties. We are all artists in one way or another and we were all on the prowl for the ladies as we clumsily tried to pick them up at coffee shops, AA meetings, bars, art shows and anywhere else we thought that we could find our type.

 

Our types varied. Terry was obsessed with finding a “Vampire chick” or a “Goth Chick’. Ironically he dressed kind of standard 1988 in 1995. He had that bob cut hair. It was kind of long on the sides and real short in the back. Morton was after the “Rocker Chick Slut” or the “New Age Hippie chick.” He usually dressed the part either wearing his new age outfit or his Rock star clothes. He had long black died hair. As for me, I stood by with my usual requirements: any good-looking girl that actually liked me. We rarely found what we were looking for after obsessing day and night about these fantasy girls we would never have. We had fun in our bonding of failures with the ladies.

 

We all lived in a house that Terry owned in a town on the outskirts of Camden, NJ. It was a poor neighborhood and was becoming racially mixed. It was mostly poor minorities and white trash. The chances of ever seeing hot chicks that fit our tastes were next to impossible.

 

Then she appeared. A young girl of maybe seventeen walked by our house every day around 5:30 pm. She dressed a little on the “alternative” side. It was around the end of the grunge years and that’s when the poor neighborhoods usually take over a style is when the middle class is done with it. Always a step behind. Kind of like us. So Terry nicknamed her the “Artsy Girl” because he says she dresses artsy. It was a style that was once artsy but not now. The three of us became obsessed with her. Everyday at 5:30 one of us would call to the others “Artsy Girl!” and we’d all come running to the kitchen window to see her.

 

“Artsy Girl!” I said.

 

“Where?” Terry said.

 

“I don’t see her. Did I miss her?” Morton said.

 

“Stop fucking with us, man. This is the highlight of our day. We don’t need to be teased.” Terry said.

 

“Sorry. I just think that it’s funny that we all start salivating the minute someone rings the Artsy Girl bell.” I said.

 

She was cute in her little flowered dresses and her Doc Martins. She had medium length reddish brown hair and pretty brown eyes.

 

One day I was walking home from the train and I ended up walking home with her. She didn’t acknowledge ever seeing me before. Thank God. She didn’t know what a letch I was. Her name was Megan. She just got out of High School. She was going to start working at the local convenience store. I was going to hit on her then I realized that she was just a regular little girl. That’s ok but not for me. When we got to my house I felt sadness in her eyes that I was going home without hitting on her or asking her for her phone number. After getting to know her the thrill of the “Artsy Girl” vanished. I realized that I am not the letch I thought. She was too young and too inexperienced in life.

 

I still fucked with the roommates though. I still gave them the mating call of the Artsy Girl. They still kept a running. I never felt the same again.

Purchase your copy of Yellow Socks; Confessions of a Non-Don Juan here.


Epiphany Shmiphany

June 20, 2011

 

I’ve been waiting to sit down and write about an “epiphany” I had a little over a week ago. Epiphany. For such a soft word that is almost pretty as it rolls through my mouth it is a powerful word. I’ve had these changes in attitude and  realizations ( a harsher sounding word that’s way less powerful). I was basically going to tell you about the “epiphany” that I have told you about and have experiences over and over. I guess I should mention it briefly then move on, huh?

 

I was watching a documentary about Hubert Selby Jr, author of classic novels like Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream that were made into fantastic movies, about a week and a half ago. Learning about the struggles of the life of an artist is just rehashing what I already knew. An artist is born that way. Born to struggle through life so he can create art. That is his purpose and contribution to life. In a world of money oriented and materialistic people, we the artists, are giving instead of taking. As soon as we share our creations with at least one other person our art is art.

 

Ok, I’m not going to go on on and on about my purpose in life and your role in it. Basically I was just reminded of what I need to remember and keep forgetting. The struggle is the burden and consistency and I have to comment, react and create from it then give t away.

 

“I am an American artist I have no shame.” Patti Smith

 

The past few weeks have been terrifying, incredible, amusing, and on and off weird.

 

I’ll start with right now. At this moment I am sitting inside a coffee shop in Collingswood, NJ. I just finished talking to a friend I’ve hung out with only a few times but when we see each other there is this bond we have and we end up in deep conversations about art, music, addiction and sometimes the meaning of life itself. Ha. He’s in a similar situation as me and we always get along.

 

I went to the welfare office at 7 am this morning and spent over 2 hours trying to get some kind of assistance. I followed it up with a visit to unemployment to waste another hour or 2. It wasn’t a complete waste. My unemployment is back on. I just had to fight for the weeks they held back. This is fantastic news after waiting almost a month without the money and bills are adding up.

 

When you’re broke. Really broke. You start thinking about every coffee, donut, dinner out, pizza delivered, soda, etc and you over analyze what you wasted money in the past while still spending the same money on the same things. Oh yeah, the air conditioning is killing my roommate and me. Both he and my landlord suggested I turn it off and leave the house each day and hang at a coffee shop or somewhere with internet connections. These days that’s pretty much every coffee shop and eve restaurants and bars.

 

I went home after the unemployment office. It was about noon. 5 hours spent on trying to get help and it was semi successful. I still had the entire day ahead of me. I still do. I rubbed one off watching Judge Pierno or whatever her name is to relax. Not long after I got a phone call from the lady I spoke with at the unemployment office to tell me that all of the past money owed to me will come through. I was more floored by the fact that the woman called me back as soon as she found out than I was about the money. That was just really nice. I was ready to get out again and head to the pharmacy and then relax at the coffee shop. I am relaxed despite the caffeine.

 

I just ran into a girl I knew from a group I used to attend. Young, beautiful and great body and she is a fellow writer. A talented writer. I had such a crush on her a while back. I had so many fantasies about her in the past few years. I haven’t seen her since this past winter when I fist grew my beard and hair long and she called me a Wooly Mammoth and I was embarrassed and I was already anxious borderline agoraphobic. Weird. It was just a cute little name-calling and borderline flirtation that helped speed up my already progressing reclusiveness.

 

Irony. Now that I am leaving the house I run into the girl that I not only had a crush on but made me not want to go out anymore. I have to admit when I first laid eyes on her I got a little anxious and I pretended not to see her. I wanted to hide and jump up and call her name. I didn’t. I went back to writing what you just read. What I just wrote. I felt comfortable when she approached me on her way out. She was actually working, looking for a story to cover for one of the publications she writes for.

 

We talked a little bit about writing and how good it was to see each other then she left and here I am. This is the message of my writing today. Random events that mean nothing and mean everything to me.

 

When I got here I randomly started talking to a guy I never met before about misery versus happiness. I happen to be learning and relearning that life is a struggle and it’s what you put into it. This is before I met the others here today.

 

Last week I went to Philly to sell my cds to a shop where I’ve known the owner for a while. We had a great talk and he gave me a great price and I left a happy man. I wandered to a coffee shop I’d never been to greeted by 3  barista angels that worked the registers and coffee machines. People talked to me and greeted me like I was someone. I grabbed my drink and tipped then sat right outside so I could smoke. Huh… I haven’t had a cigarette yet since I entered the coffee shop. Usually I jump right out side and smoke. If I did that I wouldn’t have run into my friends. Shit. Now I want a cigarette. . .  .

 

*Dramatic pause for Rich Hillen Jr’s cigarette break*

 

Great smoke break. I’m texting my friend maybe girlfriend that lives in New Orleans all about my day. She’s another story. We’ve been talking about moving in for a while but we can’t afford it yet. A long drive and she has a pooch.

 

Just 3 weeks ago (maybe 2 and a half weeks) I was so desperate and stressed about my financial condition and it’s slowly pulling itself together.

 

Once I had my “epiphany”, I felt better over all and knew things will work out if I make the effort and try not to feel or come off desperate. I was ready.

 

My roommate told me about a music shop in Collingswood that would probably give me a good deal on my amp I’ve wanted to sell. I headed out one night to sell the amp and I ran out of gas within 4 blocks from the store. I laughed. My gas gage isn’t always working right and it says that there is less gas than is in there. I was on empty and was planning to get gas after I sold the amp.

 

This teenager appeared out of nowhere and started pushing my car. We couldn’t budge it for some reason. I was a foot from the corner street wedged on the curb. I called my close friend that lived in Collingswood and he was on the road going to a show and couldn’t help. I was pretty far from a gas station. I racked my brain finding someone in the area that could and would help me out.

 

I called my filmmaker friend who I’ve worked with on a few projects and he came through for me. I was still in a decent mood. I was also lucky enough to have had a gas container. So my friend picked me up, took me to the gas station and back to my car. It worked out because he wanted to talk to me about his upcoming projects. Just as we pulled up near my abandoned giant red beat-up 1994 Lincoln Towncar there was a Mini-Cooper in front of it and my cell phone rang with an unrecognized number. I just said to my friend that it looks like my mom’s friend’s car and it was my mom on his cell phone. I laughed again. My mom and her friend were parked there checking to see if I was ok. I was. They left. It was starting to get windy and a storm was on the way. I gassed the car up, thanked my friend and drove off to get gas.

 

I debated going to the music shop because of the gas problem and the storm brewing. I went anyway. It was a great decision. There were 2 women sitting in there with a guy that worked there. I jumped right to business and didn’t even check out the ladies. I wanted money. I knew exactly how much I wanted for it and the guy looked at and tested it. He left to get the owner to look at it and appraise it. While he was gone I looked at one of the now noticeably pretty women and she said “Hi Rich.” I knew those eyes of hers. It’s been over 20 years but you don’t forget her eyes. I said hi and I was a little uncomfortable yet happy. Memories rushed through my head of all of the nights I hung out with her, her friend and my weirdo friend. Many drinks and many other things. I tripped on acid with this girl at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She was at my college graduation party. One night we got really stoned and went back to her place to look at her art (she was an incredible artist). We had a most memorable passionate night that we agreed not to tell anyone about. I wonder if it made it special because it was a one-time deal. It doesn’t matter. Here she was face to face 20 years later and looked the same.

 

I knew she lived in the area for years and heard about her musician boyfriend/fiancé through a friend of mine. I did run into her once 10-12 years ago and it was a brief conversation because we both had somewhere to go. So you can probably guess who owned the music shop I was standing in hoping to make a buck from. It was the infamous boyfriend/fiancé or whatever. Then I talked to him about the people we had in common. We talked after he paid me righteously for the amp of course. I left feeling good.

 

Then came the storm as I was leaving. A physical storm followed that Sunday afternoon after “helping” out my uncle who is really my great aunt’s live in boyfriend clean offices. I pulled muscles in my arms and shoulders. This triggered my infamous Trigeminal Disorder. The pain was at its’ worst since I was first diagnosed with it in 2005. I was running out of pain meds and I couldn’t refill them for a week. I took migraine aspirin and sleep aids. I spent most of the next 3 days away to escape the explosions in my face. I was in extreme pain for 3 days then the recovery took a day or 2. I was finally back in the world and that’s when I sold my cds and hung out in Philly.

 

This past Saturday I did my usual “helping” out my uncle whose not my uncle. Afterward, I met up with my adopted mother, the one that raised me, to have lunch in honor of my adopted father whose 2nd year death anniversary that also fell on Father’s Day. We were supposed to meet up the next day but she changed her mind and we had a great dinner and conversation.

 

On my way out I ran into another friend I’ve known for years sitting on a bench and I voluntarily joined him. This is a big step for me to be social and I hung out with him for an hour in the hot sun drinking an iced coffee from Starbucks. I was in a good mood. I headed home and watched some movies and did a little writing.

 

Sunday was Father’s day and my adopted father’s death anniversary. It was an awkward day. Having 2 dads can be difficult. My focus was on the dead one who raised me and not my biological father who came back in my life as an adult and has been there for my for over 20 years now. I called him and text him. We decided we will celebrate when I can afford it. It ended nicely.

 

Shit. This was a random bit of writing that went on forever. If you’re still reading, God bless you and thank you for sharing my life as it’s still spinning in and out of Epiphanies, pain, poverty, good memories and hopes of tomorrow, meanwhile, living in the moment no mater how good or bad it gets.

 

Ride on.

 

Right on.

 

Write on.

 

 


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-
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