The Opening of the Book I’m Now Writing

The Opening of the Book I’m Now Writing July 8, 2010

not actually me

Here’s the (so-far) opening to “All In … Almost,” the book I’m just now writing that I wrote a bit about in My New Book Has Taken Over My Head:

I was thirty-eight years old. I had a job a trained monkey could do, if it could be taught to shave and tie a tie—which I could pretty much never manage without cutting or choking myself half to death. I was making $11.0 an hour, working in a law office with people ten years younger than I who were getting paid $400 an hour to ensure that giant corporations avoided or won lawsuits filed against them by malcontent, working-class losers exactly like, well, me.

My job was to fax things, clean the kitchen and conference rooms, move boxes around, spend mucho hours a day with my gonads pressed against a warm, throbbing photocopier the size of an electrical substation, and deliver mail via a dinky wire cart I pushed around the office that made me feel like the Incredible Hulk doing a little grocery shopping,

I’d had that job for almost a year. That was as long as I’d ever kept any job in my life.

I had been married for fifteen years to Catherine, a woman so smart, funny, artistically gifted, and ridiculously pretty that just thinking about her makes my face melt. The reason I had never had a job longer than a year was because Cat had always been exceptionally keen on supporting me while I made a living writing.

Yeah. And you see how that had worked out for us.

When you’re twenty-three years old, and intent on making your living as a professional author, you’re an exciting (or at least excitable) bundle of potential.

But when you’re a thirty-eight-year-old unpublished wanna-be writer with a pot problem he can’t kick, and a job more suited to a kid just out of high school than a man old enough to have a kid just out of high school?

Well, then you’re just a midlife crisis waiting to happen.

The good news, though, is it means you’ve also got God’s full attention.

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