Mugged

December 7, 2011

I got mugged. Mugged in my own town just because I ventured out of the house at night in Camden, NJ. Since I haven’t had a car for the last few months I’ve had to walk to the stores. I used to only venture out in the day but things seemed ok at night after a while. As a matter of a fact I’ve been feeling safe in my neighborhood for weeks. It only took me a year.

I was walking to the store in the main square in Fairview village section of Camden and I had a guy start talking to me like he knew me. He mentioned something about quitting drinking and I thought he knew me. It’s a little blurry right now. He followed me talking to me and had my hand in my pocket clutching my money out of habit. He reached in my pocket pulling my hand and the money out. He told me he had a gun so I better give it up. I wouldn’t let go of my money as he pulled it from my hand. We struggled. It was all I had and I tried. I got hit and thrown to the ground and banged my head on the ground and my glasses bounced off and I didn’t even realize it. I still tried to get my money back. He finally got away and wanted me to follow him to give me some money back.  I walked off and realized I lost my glasses. Luckily, I found them intact. Unlike my sense of security in my own neighborhood.

Just when I was getting used to not driving and walking the neighborhood and felt safe after living here over a year. It only took 2 months to get mugged and fear my own street. I’m lucky to be alive. He could have had the gun he threatened me with. I’m lucky I didn’t have a heart attack. I’m lucky I didn’t get hurt besides a cut on my hand.

I’m a lover not a fighter. At this point I’m not either but you get it. I got it. I don’t have it. I’m not a violent person. I fear it. I’m rarely an angry person. I don’t fear it. I have been pissed off since the shock and fear subsided. Anger whenever I think about it. You know how it goes. I replay the event in my head and think I should have done this and could have done that. If only I didn’t go out.

When I moved in my landlord (also my friend and next door neighbor) warned me not to walk the neighborhood at night. He said he doesn’t go anywhere without a car. “Stay on the road. Stay off the moors” like David and Jack were warned in the movie An American Werewolf in London. Instead of a werewolf  it was another type of animal that preys on anyone that looks off guard. I was off guard. I was comfortable in my own neighborhood. It doesn’t sit right that I have to keep my guard up all of the time now. I thought about buying a gun (if I could afford it) but I’ll stick with pepper spray.

Life goes on and I’ll deal with it one day at a time. I’m sure the fear and anger will pass. As long as I try and learn from it and move on. I can take comfort in knowing that the mugger’s life is worse than anything I could wish on him.


Cabbage: the Poem

December 6, 2011

I wake up to the smell of cabbage

I am sleeping on a giant cabbage leaf

The blue . . . no green . . now orange

Rib caged baby lion in a now current

Monster of coolness of sorts sorts the

Mail on his autumn leaves in Louisville

A cup of Earl Grey tea you fancy?

Fancy me? What did I do?

Where did I go?

Carpet cleaners are coming around noon.

Can they, would they spray me down with pink poison?

So, I can breathe again

Slim Gilliard would love the gibberish singing you screech

To me about fried ice cream and potato chips.

Alternatives? Drink snot and call me in the morning.

Call someone before you snuff it, off it, give up.

Please.

I’d like to catch up first.

Not save you. Live, learn and breathe with you.

You can go anytime just talk to me first.

Please

Something in the way she crowds around me

Grinds spines in the old chop shop

Aunt Dollien operated by herself

I should have, you should have

Helped her. Bloody mess it was.

Not she. 117-years-old and still

In charge. We listen and obey

She rides off into the distance towards the rising sun

Like the girl with no name in a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.

Bang Bang. You shot me down.

Bang Bang! I’m vested and not crying yet

Ready

To meet my Angels. Are you?

Powder blue suntan, flowering yellow hair,

Insects in your eyes, resting, not doing any harm

They need rest too, ya know.

Sink deep into an opiate coma with me

With him, with her, everybody sing

“All we need is Love”

The bed drops softly to accommodate

Our bodies.

“Everybody is just a little homosexual. Whether they like or not” Allan Ginsberg once sang through my departed allies.

The piss in your pants somehow comes off

As a romantic gesture. just not sure who or whom or me.

Romance, courting and foreplay have changed.

Piss, spit and a clean T-shirt is all we desire

Under the brown, dark chocolate brown, chair

That wiggles when I turn on Wagner.

Maybe it’s German. Jewish.

“You should burn it and find out.” Jack said to me

Wiping the cocaine off his Skrewdriver T-shirt.

Salute the master. Carry his bones to the crematory

Make sure he’s powdered. Maybe a nice face powder someday.

Bring your tired looking face back to life.

They call you “face job” ya know?

I call you love.

Is life worth the sadness, the happiness, the ups and downs?

Worth love? Worth death?

Worth money?

(pause and take a deep breath.)

Tuna. Grazed grazed 2 day old fish  marked down 58 percent.

Thank God for the rain or the smell would have turned on the perverts and scared the little girls.

Take me back to the thousand foot

Red tranquil trees hanging over my head

Terrifying peace as the sun goes down.

Dreams don’t have to die

Ya know?


I Live to Avoid and Void to Live

July 14, 2011

I live to avoid. I avoid to live. My Mantra. Was my Mantra. Not now. Not sure I have a Mantra. Right now. This moment.

It started when I lost my job last year. It was still livable.

I floated. For the first time in my life I had money in the bank. A savings. Comfortable. Unemployed and comfortable. Besides the creeping anxiety and blossoming agoraphobia I was comfortable living at home.

 

I move. I found a great deal. Bargain. A roommate. Money in the bank and unemployment checks. I was set for a while. A while comes fast my friends and enemies. I had enough money for a few months. The plan was to get a job when the money got low. Plan. Plans come and go. Low. Half assed job search. Job offer from a friend.

 

The face pain came back. Trigeminal Neuralgia. Over a 2 year remission it came back fierce. I lost the job on my second day of training. Pain held me down and kept me from working. Ego went down. Depression went up. The social anxiety got worse.

 

Since the end of 2008 I’ve been become more reclusive. More agoraphobic. More social anxiety. I was happy but didn’t . . . couldn’t go out much. I didn’t. I stayed home and felt better and worse. The money problems kept piling.

 

I applied for disability at the advice of my mother who is against people collecting disability. She read about bipolar disorder and trigeminal neuralgia. She understands it can be crippling and maybe just maybe I can’t work. I applied through an agency that takes a percentage of my retro pay if I am approved.

 

Somewhere along the line a few months ago I started feeling social again. I went out everyday starting off to save money on the air conditioning. Central air is expensive. Not cheap. Can’t afford. I’ve been begging and borrowing just to pay basic bills. Yeah. I was talking about socializing. I’ve been motivated to apply for other things, look for other ways of making money. I sell things. I sell my art. I do art for money. I sell my novels. I sell and sell and sell. Sold. I still have nothing. I have several web projects that will take a while to generate money. Nothing right now. Nothing. Nothing is my Mantra.

 

I neglected my car registration and a silly surcharge NJ issues if you get over 5 points in a year. I got 6 points on my license in 2009. Flukes. I’ve had zero points for over 15 years and now I am paying $150 a year for a surcharge. My insurance went up and up again because I live in a low-income town. Low income. Raise the premium. Makes sense. I was pulled over coming out of a store a couple weeks ago. I knew I had no registration. I figured I’d get a ticket for that and that would be it. I go get registered and bring it to court and pay a fine. Nope. My license was suspended for non-payment on my surcharge and it showed that my insurance was invalid.

 

I begged and borrowed the hundred to get my license and registration. The insurance company assured me that I was covered on the date I was ticketed. I went to court and asked for public defender just to have the date pushed because I have no money. Money. Ha. The Judge read each violation and told me the possible fines and threw in a possible jail time. Too fast for me to comprehend. I heard over $3,000 in fines and possible jail. I was freaking inside. I filled an application for a public defender. My next court date is in a week. No time to get money. Money. The even charge me $75 for the attorney. Isn’t that illegal? Should be. I have right to an attorney and if I can’t afford one then one will be appointed to me. Should I beg, borrow and steal to pay a real lawyer? Will it be cheaper? Run out of people to beg. Beg. Maybe Ill start panhandling. Busking would be better. At least I provide a service. A friend said to sell my body. Who would pay for me? Money. It all comes back to money..

 

Weird thing happened after I left the court house. I felt a rush of hope and happiness despite the stressful situation. Money situation. I still feel the stress and the usual anxiety but I am still in what I’ve been calling solution mode. I can’t come up with one. A solution. I might not but if I go down trying it’s better than waiting for more balls to drop. The balls. Drop. Life is problems and sorrow a lot of times and it’s my job as an American artist to work through them. Create. Produce. Sell. Maybe make money.

 

Today I am just worried about today. What can I do now? I’m doing it.


Mom, Birthday, Mother’s Day & Love

May 9, 2011

I was going to post this yesterday on Mother’s day but I didn’t. Here’s a story about my car accident, mom’s birthday, and love.

A few weeks ago I was invited to my adopted mother’s birthday dinner celebration at a local semi-fancy restaurant. I drove up around 4:25 pm. I was 5 minutes early. The parking lot was empty and I pulled into the closest spot to the fenced in mini-outside dining area. I drive a huge car. It’s an old Lincoln Towncar. I’ve had it for over 3 years now and I still have trouble judging space. As I pulled in I heard a bang so I backed up and parked farther away from the fence surrounded by cement planters with plants and flowers in them.

I got out of my car mostly concerned if there was any damage to the fence. The fence looked ok but the planters were moved and there was a little red paint from my car on the cement. I moved the planter back in place and didn’t worry about it. I met up with my great aunt and uncle then my mom and we were at and had to wait for my mom’s friend and her mother who are always late.

Just as I settled down at the table the woman who greeted us came to the table and asked if I hit the fence outside. I admitted to it. Even if I didn’t have a conscience, I couldn’t deny it with the red paint on the concrete planter. I followed the woman (who turned out to be the owner) outside to the “scene” of the crime. She was quite upset as she pointed out the black painted metal fence was bent slightly and broken at the bottom where it meets the corner. I was full of guilt and apologized way too much. She was more upset about telling her husband (the co-owner) because there was an accident that broke another part of the fence recently. I told her I’d take care of it and give her my information. I went back to my seat and tried to get my mind off it since it’s my mom’s birthday and all.

Everyone eventually showed up and we ordered our food and I tried to have a good time. I got up and went outside to have a cigarette. I passed the owner and she said she talked to her husband and he was calm about it. He would be coming in soon and we’d work it out. Cool. I had my smoke and re-examined the damage. It looked fixable. Even though I was a little relieved I was broke and didn’t need this.

I went back to dinner and enjoyed the meal and the people. My aunt was pretty funny and so was my mom’s friend. We joked, small talked and some serious conversation. After the meal my uncle joined me for a smoke and on the way out the female owner stopped me and said her husband was at the bar.

I went over to him and introduced myself. He wasn’t the friendliest of people but he was polite and trying not to be angry with me. I apologized and told him that I’ll pay for it etc. I gave him my phone number. He told me how much it would be to replace the fence piece. $240. Yikes. He said the other one was destroyed and that was the quote he got for that one. I told him I’d be in touch and joined my uncle for a smoke.

My uncle was examining the fence when I arrived and lit up. He didn’t think it looked that bad and he makes a living fixing things. I told him how much it was to replace the fence and he said that was crazy. He could fix it close to nothing and they didn’t need to replace the fence. Then he went on to say how stupid it is to have an eating area right outside the front door and in the parking lot. I was thinking that the fact that it was hit twice in a month might be saying something. We went back in and my guilty feelings came back.

We left and luckily my mom had a great time and that’s all that mattered. I made the mistake of telling her how much it was to fix it. The next day she sent the restaurant a check for $240. She told me that she did it because she likes to eat there and I can work it off around her house. Weird. Most of my life my mom has no been the one to bail me out unless she really sees me working. We have a deal that I never ask to borrow and she never offers to lend. She’s been bending that rule lately but I never ask. She has made the effort to understand what I am going through and where I’m at and she’s been a big help. I don’t take her for granted but appreciate the help. God bless mom

My Mom is also a talented wriiter and published author.

Check out her Monday Morning Blogs at http://theresemarlin.wordpress.com/

Buy her book at

http://www.amazon.com/War-Distance-Therese-Marlin/


I’m at Wit’s End . . . Help Me

January 26, 2011

I’m at wit’s end right now. I’m at wit’s about everything but I’m not going to talk about right now. Not the personal stuff. Maybe some of it will slip. Ok a lot of it will because it’s all connected. I’m thinking out loud so to speak. Or should I say I’m thinking on paper or ..well “I’m thinking on a word document so to write.”

 

I am frustrated about money, creativity and various projects. I have a lot going on at the same time and between my ADHD and being Bipolar my focus and follow through is all over the place. Top it off with the Trigeminal Neuralgia popping up now and then and it’s difficult to even finish writing a blog sometimes.

 

Ok. Hopefully you’ve been reading my blogs so I don’t have to repeat myself. I probably will anyway.

 

I am desperately trying to figure out a way to make money on the internet and or through my art specifically. I have books published for sale, art for sale, T-shirts for sale; I have affiliate programs with dozens of web sites and my own social network. I have made a little money here and there and don’t know what to do next. I keep doing what I’ve been doing. I promote on all of the social networks I belong to. I promote on my blog sites as you know and I’ll get to that at the end of the blog.

 

I have other options for the books. The publisher has several marketing packages that cost money. That option is out. I sent several press releases about my books and no write-ups except by my friend at the Philadelphia City Paper. Maybe I need to send more. I did one book signing and little success. I can also send the book out to more publishers because my publisher doesn’t have the rights to it. I do. Everything takes time and money. I have the time but not the money. Yet.

 

It’s weird how I post links to my novel, Yellow Socks and the Best of the Serial Killer Coloring Book several times a week. I think I am spamming sometimes or over kill it. I get responses that people like the post then they don’t buy it. I also get people that say how bad they want to purchase my book but they haven’t gotten around to it yet. They don’t. Then there are the people that ask me where they can purchase the books when the links are posted all over my profiles and blogs. I tell them politely and then they don’t buy anything. It’s the same with my t-shirt site. I lower my expectations but keep my hopes high. I end up with constant repressed frustration. People are people and I do the same thing sometimes.

 

I knew starting a new social network at the same time that the almighty king of social network’s prime. My social network, Novaboon, was created out of pure anger and rebellion from my own personal “persecution” from facebook. I kept falling victim to censorship and constant regulations on my profile. Facebook can be pretty controlling almost fascist like. There is a limit to how many friends you can request or have then hypocritically constantly post profiles suggesting you add them. There is a limit to how many messages you can send in given time. They remove images that they claim to violate their “terms” yet don’t say which one.

 

I don’t want to get into details about but I have a lot of complaints about them and was angered and decided to create my own social network. I didn’t expect to in anyway compete with facebook or even the dying MySpace. I wanted to create an alternative for those as frustrated as I am. I wanted an unrestricted social network with great customer service. I grabbed the best person I knew to partner up with me to do the back end. The technical computer knowledge to help me make this happen. He was into the idea and we wrote up a business plan and set our goals. Novaboon was born in October 2010 and was launched in November 2010. My duties are the promotional, system tester/user, creative and marketing end.

 

I started it to fill a void I suspected existed and to give people similar to me an alternative site to post what they want. We set out to make it the best we could. We also decided we want to make money through obtaining advertisers eventually.

 

The Novaboon promotion took off immediately and we grew pretty fast in the fist few weeks to a month. I promoted mostly on other social networks especially facebook. This of course got me into more censorship issues with facebook. Sending too many messages especially. I actually personally messaged 100s of people announcing our new site. I used groups, my blog sites and any other internet means I could promote through for free. It was frustrating on and off and still is.

 

The same things were happening like they did when I was promoting my books. People asked me questions about it then not signing up. Some people signed up then didn’t come back to the site. I overkill the posts about it and people still ask me what it called. I keep on pressing on. I have a vision and I secretly expect everyone to understand it and join me. They won’t. People are people.

 

I’ve come to understand that most people if not all people on facebook are either satisfied or addicted to facebook because that’s where their friends are. That’s what they are comfortable with. Hell, I still go on there as much as my own site. I also use it as a vehicle to continue to promote Novaboon. Novaboon has shifted from not only an alternative but a fun unrestricted supplement. We don’t expect anyone to abandon king facebook.

My partner and my enthusiasm have shifted up and down for the past few months but we’ve come to realize that Novaboon is actually doing pretty good. We are growing at a steady pace. I’m beginning to understand that slow and steady is better than too much too fast and too slow. I just keep getting stuck and frustrated.

Where do I go from here? Are we ready to get advertising? How do I get more people to join and use the site? These are typical and reasonable questions at this point. I’m frustrated mostly because of my need for money.

When I first published my Serial Killer Coloring Book I went through similar things. I built a huge underground following, distributed it internationally, sold thousands of comics and in the end I never made a living off of it. I made a lot of money spread over 3 or 4 years and if it was my only income I would have been screwed.

I am an artist first. I have never been into it for the money but sometimes I wish that I were. If you asked me a few month or so ago, in the height of my frustration, what was more important the art or the money I would have said the money. I love the fact that I have published and sold my first novel. I enjoy the praise but I would really love to have the money.

Most of my life I have had jobs, not careers, that required little work hours and I made a lot of money in the few hours. I never wanted to commit to a full time career oriented job. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out why. It was because deep inside I know that I am an artist. Whether I am writing, drawing, playing in a band or creating new websites and social networks. I am an artist and I want to one-day make the money that I deserve not as a person but as an artist.

Now let’s move onto my promotions.

My novel Yellow Socks: Confessions of a Non-Don Juan is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

Or Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Socks-Confessions-Non-Don-Juan/dp/0557562597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296071667&sr=8-1

 

My Best of the Serial Killer Coloring Book is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

 

My T-shirts are available at http://richhillenjr.spreadshirt.com/

 

Check out my videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/crawlspacebro

 

Don’t forget to join my free unrestricted social network NovaBoon now. http://novaboon.com

It’ll only take a minute to join and check it out. Don’t forget to say hi to me


New Job. New Day. New Life.

January 18, 2011

Yay. Rich Hillen Jr is starting a real job. Close enough to a real job for a guy like me. After 7 months or so of unemployment I am going to be working. Not just any job but a job that I can potentially make a lot of money. I’ll be entering the world of collections. Phone collections. Hopefully it will start tomorrow.

To be honest I really don’t want to work. I don’t want to work for someone else that is. My friend suggested the possibility of working with his company as a phone collections agent when I first lost my job the end of May 2010. I had a lot of money stashed away and started getting a little bit from unemployment. I was living with my mom and had no interest in working I wanted to finish and publish my novel among other projects.

This lasted until the end of the summer and my mom was getting a little frustrated having me around the house all of the time. I did manage to get a once week gig working for my uncle cleaning offices. It wasn’t enough.

Then a friend of mine casually mentioned he was renting a house next door to him. When I found out how much it was a month and saw how huge it was I couldn’t resist. I knew my other friend needed a place and could afford it so we moved in October 1st 2010. To be honest, I didn’t want to move. I was happy where I was at but I thought it was best for my mom. I kind of thought it was best for me. You know be independent and all. Grow up etc. I rebelled mentally against the move. I thought it was force me to get a job because my unemployment wasn’t enough. I waited and lived frugally off of my little savings I had left.

I even started a “business” with my roommate. A new unrestricted social network called  (join right now folks) http://novaboon.com

We anticipated to make money eventually but not before my savings ran out.

My friend that offered me the phone collections job brought up that they are considering remote calling so I could do the job at home. I’ve been considering getting into collections on and off for years. I have over 10 years experience in telemarketing and collections seems more honorable and potentially more money to be made. My friend told me the possible money I could be making and I was in. I wanted this job. I need money. I can finance my other projects, pay off bills and live like a human again.

My friend set the interview up for me. All I needed was my resume and a suit even though it’s a casual dress code. This was mid November 2010. I showed up early for my interview. My future employer and I hit it off. We barely had to sell each other to the other. We knew it was going to work. There was one glitch. He told me that the remote calling is an idea in the works. It may happen but I have to prove myself for at least 3 months. I guess I can deal with it. He told me he would call me the following week and I would start either the last week of December or the first week of January.

I waited a week and a half and no call. I called him. He said things are really busy and he’d call me the following week. He didn’t. I called again and left a message for him. No return call. I called a few more times the following week and no return call. My friend that got me in said that the boss told him to tell me that he will call.

So he never called me. Instead my friend forced him to set up a date and through email from my friend I was to finally start work today.

I got a phone call from the boss finally yesterday to postpone my start date to tomorrow due to the weather. Put off the excitement, fear and anxiety another day.

The other story of the week relevant to my new job is my physical, mental and anxiety issues. Anyone that knows me or reads this knows about some of my disorders like Bipolar disorder and my frequent anxiety attacks. I just wrote about my physical ailment called trigeminal Neuralgia. Read the post: https://richhillenjr.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/trigeminal-neuralgia-again/

After a 3-year remission I had my first Facial attack this past Thursday. This created anxiety. I went to the Doctor and got my medications. It presented me with a mental problem. What if it  acts up at work? The telephone is how this started years ago.

I have the extra pressure of possible anxiety and facial pain in addition to the usual fear and anxiety of a new job are all there. To top it off I’ve had trouble sleeping the past week. I’ve been either getting no sleep or staying up too late and sleeping to late.

We’ll see where my first day of work will lead me.


Justina – Purest Evil

July 16, 2010

I wrote this in 2005 about a girl who participated in a murder in 2003 that I wrote a song about for my old band the World Famous Crawlspace Brothers. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to upload the mp3 to WordPress and I haven’t made a video of it yet. Yet.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Justina

I was exiting Starbucks in Olde City ( the one that took away the business of the smaller coffee shops) and I looked at the Newspaper box on the corner. I never look at the newspaper or the box but yesterday I did. I saw this pretty teenage face of a girl on the cover. The headline read “Purest Evil”. Hmmm. I was curious. It went on: The Chilling Testimony From Teen Temptress In Fishtown Murder Case. Interesting, I thought. How Much? Sixty cents. Yup. I bought it. I couldn’t wait to read it. I ran to my car and lit a cigarette, took a sip of my Venti Coffee with two shots of espresso and started reading. A few years ago this girl, Justina Morley, used the promise of sex to lure Jason Sweeney into a trap where three of Sweeney’s best friends beat him to death in order to gain the $500 Sweeney had, which after being split gave each of them $125 to use to get high.

Now she’s in court on trial. It went on to say that she was on a date with kid pretending to be his girlfriend and she watched as the three boys beat him to death with a hatchet, a hammer and a brick. When they were finished they had a group hug and went off to buy Xanax, weed and heroin. After reading this I was intrigued and disgusted but part of me was kind of turned on to this sick little girl. Pure Evil, I thought. The past day and half I’ve been reading more and more about her looking for something to satisfy my desire. I can’t figure out why this sick twisted event and this evil manipulative teenage junkie is exciting me. Maybe she reminds me of my mother or my ex wife but I hate them. Hmmm.

So, I wrote a song about her. My partner in my band, The Julian, and I have been talking about making a new World Famous Crawlspace Brothers’ cd anyway and this song is perfect for it. Amazingly once I wrote it, I was no longer obsessed. I stopped staring at her picture hanging on my wall. I took it down and moved on to my next project.

So, here’s the lyrics. It’s a country song.

I saw your picture in the paper today

You looked so sad and blue

The headline said you’re the “Purest Evil”

And I just stared at you

You lured that boy with the promise of sex into the nearby isolated woods

‘Bet your face looked purty with the moon shinin’ down

As your three friends bludgeoned him real good

Justina, won’t you do something bad to me?

Justina, do me wrong.

Justina, won’t you set me free?

Justina, hear my song

First kid hit him with a hatchet to the head.

You smiled as he hit the ground.

Second kid hammered him with all of his might.

Third kid used a brick he found

You left a bloody mess where his face once was.

All for $125 each

Hope you got real high on the Xanax and weed.

Hope the heroin gave you what you need.

Justina, won’t you do something bad to me?

Justina, do me wrong.

Justina, won’t you set me free?

Justina, hear my song.

I hung your picture on my wall today.

I’ll dream of you at night.

Justina, won’t you do something bad to me?

And everything will be all right.


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