All I have to give.

The minutes tick away and I lay here tossing, turning, finding comfort in body yet far from it in mind. This is no easy task I’ve taken on, and each moment I relive hammers that into my heart, my being.

I don’t do anything half-assed. I now wish that I could but that isn’t me. Honesty is a crippling and exquisite trait, but sometimes, MOST times it;s all I feel I have left. I can’t let you down in the maelstrom of what this beautiful life was, but now I know – it will be more than just one book. This life is more than anything I could ever have dreamed of.This life  of dreams, nightmares, and this life I have created out of nothing.

There is one person that doesn’t get mentioned much, but follows in my heart from a time when I needed her more than anything else from the Forest until a time, THE time when I can escape all of this in the future. Her name is Tea. She has a child with my name. I don’t know why I write this – I just need to, just in case. I need you to take care of her and her family as I always have wanted to but haven’t been able to – yet. Promise me this. Please.

I think I figured out how to make my story readable. I can’t make The Brigade smaller, can not make my time in The Enchanted Forest anything less than it was – but as I write and cross out the things that have made this life so exquisite, I realize that the most important things are the beginning and the end – and I think this end os the finding of my Mother, then Father.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I can physically measure the dissatisfaction around me. The need to be someone, somewhere else. the need to be no one with nothing but a shitty van and a road and life in front of me or a motorhome that held in it promise to one day be able to go anywhere – all I needed was money for fuel. I thinkg everything changed when I found myself dying and had to sell it to afford to survive.
I look around me, see a cheap electric guitar, a keyboard,  things that I pray to no god I believe in that I may create something on, someday. I’ve always wanted to lose myself in music, to create something I can feel and share, but even through it all I still don’t know better – my escape is in words and the road.

I should sell everything I have and buy a car, onee of those things like a RAV-4 that will allow me plenty of room to just fucking GO with Ruby, me, her food and a couple of bags of mine. And my laptop. Find a place in a forest by a lake where we can be alone, where I can be alone, and… and then I may be happy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I set up another appointment with the surgeon who denied cutting away my umbilical hernia yesterday. Before, four months ago, I told him that it was taking the life I loved away, taking me away. To his credit, he didn’t say no – what I heard was that he was terrified, that I have less than a 1 in 4 chance of living due to possible infection, and at the time I realized that as much as was willing to try that, if I did die it was more than only me that would be affected. He’s a good person – this I felt from the moment I met him… but he also hasn’t any idea who *I* am.

He doesn’t know that I shold have been dead long ago but fought with all I had to survive, far beyond what Western Medicine could do for me. He doesn’t know that when I die, it will be y choice. He doesn’t know that each day I live with this – the pain, the way it takes me furthier and further away from who I was and who I AM that I lose my heart, my passion, my reason.
In mid-December, I will go to him yet again, and tell him that the only way I can die through this challenge is if *I* want to – and I don’t yet. My book will not be done then. I need to somehow make someone who doesn’t know me understand that he is released from all responsibility – that my life is in MY hands, not his.
But will that make me happy? If he agrees to the surgery, if I let him cut me open in the single place taht I loathed anyone touching and he fixes it to the best of his ability will taht solve anything?
I think it may be a start – a beginning of somethingthat will let me come back to me again. I will never forget what I went through – but at the very least I won;t have to live with the memory of it every single fucking day anymore. At the very least, I can move forward instead of being stuck here. I need to convince him. Maybe I should make a video of the highlights shere John & Val said I wasn’t a typical person, Maybe I should invite him to tald to any and all of the nurses that called me a miracle when I didn’t die.

I am not a miracle. I just didn’t want to die yet. I had things to do. I still do.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As I create my book, I go through every post I have written over the years, trying to figure out what stays in and what goes. It’s the most difficult thing I have EVER done… but it must be done. I’m closer now than I ever have been but it still will take time. Time and money for a content editor, a professional, hardcore someone who has only the need to let this book be good. For some reason I can’t explain, I feel that it will be only a woman who I trust to do that.  Just waht I’ve always imagined.

As I create my book, I find passages that I will soon begin sharing with others = small gifts for The Brigade and all that have been with me through the years. Small gifts for those who have only just met me.
Though they will be gifts of nostalgia for some, new undertsanding for others, there is an ulterior motive – in order for this pook to help anyone, it needs to be read – and I’m hoping to create a bit of interest in what is coming. THis monstrosity that I will give the world. I want to create hype.
And I’m hoping that anyone who enjoys my words will telll their friends, tell people to follow, tell others that there jsut may be something here.
All I can do is write the words… It’s the only thing that has ever brought me peace.

Within two days, I’ll give my first small gift of what’s to come.

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Stubborn as f*ck.

Hey everybody!

I’d like to thank you all again, while I have you here in such rapt attention, for your support those few short months ago. You guys taught me a lot – or more accurately said, reminded me of something: The book is the most important thing. Getting it written, sharing a story that will be crazy enough for someone else to read and most likely say something akin of “All of the sudden, my life doesn’t doesn’t seem so bad!” or, of course “Okay, screw this miserable life. I’m going to follow my dreams like this guy!”

(I’m going to need to put a legal disclaimer on this book, aren’t I?)

So yeah, the book. That’s what I’ve come to talk to you about. Dig this:
In 5 days, on November 1st, I begin an incredibly optimistic endeavor. Y’see, I’ve joined a thing called NaNoWriMo, which is short-ish for National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, it’s a thing.
While “they” encourage you to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I did the math and that’s, like – 126 pages, or something. Half a novel.

SO, me being who I am (which is somewhere between a damned fool and a very ambitious dreamer) I’ve decided to shoot for 120,000 words in 30 days. Because maybe I work better with an impossible challenge. Or maybe I’m a godsdamned genius. Or maybe I’m a friggin’ moron.  I still haven’t figured that one out.

But what will I do with an entire novel, an earth-shattering, life changing, epic opus of literature sitting around on my computer? What good is THAT?  No good at all, that’s what good it is.

So this is the plan: Somewhere around the 13th of November (if I’m not catatonic from trying to write 4000 words/day) I’m going to launch an IndieGoGo campaign. It’s like Kickstarter, except you get to keep the pledges of support – which is a fancy way of saying “the cash”. This time, instead of reaching for the stars, I’m only going for the moon. Enough for good editing, publishing, promotion & marketing, and paying the artist who helped me in the original campaign. Not in that order, The artists time comes first. Maybe some so I don’t have to eat my shoes or dog. (This “starving artist” thing is SO not as cool as it sounds.)

Yeah. 120,000 words in 30 days without going completely insane, just mostly. Then edit the crap out of it, and get the book published. And as an afterthought, not die.

Wish me luck! And hey – if by some strange chance you want to support my eating AND getting the book out to the world, you can feed me through Paypal! Not actually food as it’s not one of those rat-maze reward trigger things (which is the official scientific name), but a way to get some. Gods, I love this modern world. Sometimes. My Paypal address is Casey@kseaflux.com. That’s also my email address. Cool, huh? TECHNOLOGY! (Accepting food help starting now. See “Starving Artist” reference above.)

NOW, I need to go prepare more for this insanity. Currently I’m hiding sharp things and padding the walls & my laptop (which might or might not get thrown across the room). And giving anything that could be considered poison to the nice family in the apartment next door to hold. And figuring out chapter titles to kind-of keep me on track so the book doesn’t explode.

I’ll be talking to you all again soon, and again – thank you! (If you DON’T hear from me, please send help. Coffee or whiskey. Or new fingertips. )

LOVE YOU ALL!
~ Casey

Waking Dreams / NaNoWriMo

A few days ago I looked backwards at my life, saw the roads I had taken. There were those that I joined most everyone on, all of us working as hard as we could to stay in one spot. That is what I was taught. Hard work & no dreams. They tried to take them away from me at an early age, my dreams – but even though I might have forgotten them, my dreams were still there, deep inside, dormant but alive. The story begins when I broke trail, headed off the road into the trees and hoped I survived. I was dying anyway.

I tried to look forwards to see if I could divine anything. I could, but I can’t be sure it was honest. We all see where we want to be, few see how to get there or are willing to do the work. I’m speaking of dreams. Waking dreams, of who we wish to be.

Who we know we are, somewhere inside.

The most difficult part is believing. In ourselves, in what we truly are capable of. I am reminded of a quote I’ve always loved from Marianne Williamson ~
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

My own shine has grown harder to see & remember over the recent past years. If you know this blog you know why. I’m not making excuses. The pain made me lazy. The morphine made me unreliable. Maybe I am making excuses.

It’s time to SHINE again.

It’s time to live, to do what I need, to do the things that remind me of who I am. It’s time to remind myself that no dream is unattainable. It’s time to challenge myself again.

So I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those who don’t know what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. 1,667 words a day, and construct something like a gorgeous vagabond – unrefined, dirty, maybe even angry – but beautiful.
Many people try. Many more fail. It’s not easy – but then again, what good thing is?

The thing is – that’s not enough. Not enough for my book, Not going Gently, about a man who gave up everything to follow his dreams, and through incredible adventures and near death, found himself. The thing is – mine is true to the letter – or at least memory. Edited very well, I suspect it will be more along the lines of 120,000 words.

So that’s what  am shooting for. 120,000 words in 30 days? Fuck me… but I can do it.

At the recommendation of a few trusted friends, I have decided to set up an IndieGoGO thing to help me through it all, and hopefully through that be able to afford editing, publishing, & coffee. LOTS OF COFFEE. You’ll be alerted to that soon.

If I don’t make it financially, at least my book will be written.

You’ll just never see it.

So wish me luck, and… in 11 days, THIS SHIT IS ON!!!

Love you all.
Make good dreams, and keep reaching for them.

 

another day

Wednesday comes around again just as it always has & probably always will in my lifetime, gods willing. I wake up early and feel uncommonly refreshed from a good nights sleep with strange dreams I don’t remember enough to write down.

Give the pup a hug, crawl out of bed & make my way to my kitchen, make a small cup of coffee to warm me, take the herbs that sustain me, the first set always the ones I need to take on an empty stomach. Later, after I dig up something to eat, I’ll take the herbs that require something in my stomach. A daily process. I’m weary of it, but the alternative is far worse than a bit of inconvenience.

Adjusting the pillows I crawl back on my bed, put down a little more than 1600 words of a book that might get done but never finished and wonder at the futility. I try to push that thought from my head and bring it back to the passion of a dream.
I don’t succeed. Not this time. I haven’t been able to believe in my future since I was nineteen years old & was told I had contracted HIV. The book seems so horribly far away…

Today marks the twelfth day I didn’t take morphine in order to get out of bed, the sixth I didn’t desperately want to. Nine fucking years and at long last I’ve broken the chains that held me. Right now it feels wonderful, I feel like I’ve won another battle, but I know that eventually this will fade into the past like the others I’ve made it through.

It seems as if the more I go through, the less surviving and making it through the battles means to me, and I wonder if that’s a product of the life I’ve been living, where so little happens these days. It seems as if it should be the other way around, where things like this are lost in the excitement of life, but… perhaps it’s because this is my life.

Just as I don’t celebrate the ability to get out of bed anymore, just as I don’t think about the way that only a few years ago I couldn’t walk without aid to the bathroom or breathe without a tube down my throat.

I’m not ungrateful. Every night after I crawl into bed, before sleep, I thank the Universe for that day, for my life, for the amazing things that have happened since I walked out of the hospice – but I wonder where my life has gone.

So many years watching the world go by and not able to be a part of it, is it disdain for who I’ve had to become to survive? From working on CultureFlux ten or more hours a day directly to not doing anything but fighting for my life – and suddenly it was all about me. I don’t think that has ever sat well in my heart, and perhaps even now I carry it there.

I’m trying to figure this out.

There’s the oppressive frustration of feeling bound by income, of not being able to even earn the simplest things I require to survive – the herbs, nourishment, hydration – and beyond that. Trapped by my own needs this poverty, this impoverished life I’ve been living for so goddamn long has taken its toll on my psyche. The walls of the city constrict me, suck the wonder & light out of my eyes & spirit.

I’ve never been one to live a static life.

Regardless, I’m alive. Not living, but alive, and I still have the ability to change this life into whatever I want it to be – if I can find the way out of this. When I find my way out of this, and rediscover the passion I once felt.

It’s not up to anyone but me.

I just need to do it soon.

Right now, Wednesday is nothing but just another day that I need to make it through.

A life for a life

 

I look at this page & it stares back at me, a subtle, defiant edge to the font that would likely go without notice if I wasn’t looking for it – but oh, it’s there.

WriteGunPic

Some reading this may think that it’s my imagination, that I’m creating it in my mind, that the certain lean, the extra hint of teasing, judging serif in the font is something I’m making up so I can blame something other than myself for the distracted words that my fingers put on this page, but I know different, and besides, what you may think of my sanity has no consequence.
On with it.

I part the dense fog that has surrounded my mind ever since I began working on my Kickstarter campaign, the words listening for the passage that will allow them to avoid the sharp rocks in these treacherous waters & lead them safely to this page. From the tattered pages of past writings I tear away the tangents I had followed when the Sirens of Kickstarter took away my will & made the words whine and shove those in my ears, muting the songs of the campaign. I prepare my mind to find itself again, to write what’s been pushed back – but never forgotten. The thoughts still storm, and it’s time to dance in the rain again.

SingingRain

I will succeed. I will triumph. I’ll do a happy dance!

As profoundly important as the success of this campaign is to me & my life, as much as I know it can and will change the lives of others, I need to remember that somewhere not far behind the ever-present thoughts of dong all I can to make my campaign succeed, there is a soul, forgotten & forlorn, who still has things other than the thoughts necessitated and consumed by Kickstarter to say.

And that being said, there is only a little more than a week left of my campaign – and this book needs to be finished, published & given to the world!

Please – pledge, SHARE, and understand the profound importance that this dream holds for me – I have never done anything that has meant more, including saving my life.
The goal of writing & publishing this book is what kept  me alive – what gave me something to fight for.

NGG THUMBNAIL8.8

This book kept me alive – and now, it’s time to let my book live!

Click the link below, contribute & share – please – and thank you!

http://bit.ly/NGGKickass

Found Things of Ass

For those of you fortunate enough not to be on Facebook, they have this thing. Among their many other things. Things they have.
It’s basically a walk down the ‘ol memory lane, showing what you posted on this day back to the time you joined. When you think about it, it’s kind of creepy, but also strangely comforting in the way that it reminds me of an incredible, absolutely and frighteningly brilliant, beautiful woman I dated for a while in New York, who remembered EVERYTHING that I said or did. Usually it was used to point out how incredibly wrong I was, during one of our arguments, but on occasion she brought up things I did that were all snuggly and nice, as she rested her head on my chest in the rare times that one of us weren’t at school or work, and actually together. (I was working about 70 hours a week managing a kitchen, and she was in law school, working on the weekends. We had lovely dates that consisted mainly of collapsing in each others arms.)

Actually, this facebook thing is nothing like her – but at least writing about it prompted me to think of her again…

ANYWAY, today’s was something I posted on Facebook, and strangely enough not here. I do that a lot, but I think that soon I’ll completely reverse it and post things here, not on Facebook. You deserve them more.

but AS I WAS TRYING TO SAY, this popped up and I thought it was kind-of good and kind of funny, so I thought that I would share it with YOU, my wonderful and faithful blog readers. (Obviously, those who don’t read this will miss out on how beautiful & faithful and wonderful I think they are, so to those reading, just between you & me – you ROCK – but c’mon, comment more, okay? I like that shit. I get lonely – and it inspire me to write more, too…)

SO – here’s the thing I posted there but not here. It was posted when I was in a shitty respite place after an infection that made it pretty much impossible to walk due t the pain, for reference.
I knew that eventually I would get around to it. Thanks for your patience.

Nearing the end of day 9 of the sore-ass marathon. Gods, these beds are horribly uncomfortable. The different shifts and positions you find yourself in for a brief taste of comfort would make an interesting study – comparing the healing speed of someone laying in a 3rd rate hospital bed as compared to the bed I recently left at UCSF, which had so many positions you could swing the thing – pivoting feet up, head up, bringing knees up & down as well as of course your back position…

My theory is that the person in the bricksoft crap bed (up, down, back, legs, with a built-in ‘Sadism’ setting that is permanently on) will be the first one to heal, as the constant position changes and just sheer will and fight to finally get the hell out of this thing and tend to his poor, flattened ass.

In any case, those are the results of this particular one-person case study.

I’m doing what I can to heal – physically & mentally, and last night was able to sit on the edge of the bed for 30 whole secons before the pulsing & throbbing pain in my calf & ankle grew the point of sternly suggesting I bring the leg back to horizontal – but hell, it was progress, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit passively & wait for the healing to happen magically. (Actual Dr. care is surprisingly rare & brief.)

There’s a rumor floating around that I’ll be discharged early next week, ready or not. I’d rather be ready, or as ready as I can be.

I’m going to need to make some changes to my apartment when I get home – so be prepared for a purge of some things that you may like. I’ll be giving them away…

All in all, I’m mostly getting better – I always do & always will, but now it;s a race against time and my distaste for walkers.

Now, my ass has taken over my train of thought, so I must bid a temporary farewell.
Never thought my ass could hijack my brain, but then again, I’ve never given it much thought.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And then it goes into thanking people about helping me with the herbs I can’t afford to get myself due to the $200/month I get to try to survive on from disability… but you don’t want to hear about that, even if not having the herbs I needed WAS the reason I almost died because of the infection & would have prevented it in the first place.

Okay, back to work on my book project. It looks like the Kickstarter for it is actually gong to launch THIS WEEK – and I’m fucking terrified.

Have a beautiful Weekend – and keep dreaming! Love you guys…

OH! And if you could do the whole “Share, Follow & Like” thing… yeah. I really like that stuff, and would appreciate it. It gets lonely here sometimes.
Lots of times.

 

Into the Dungeon (book excerpt)

(A tiny, rough-draft taste of my upcoming book, Not Going Gently. I would love to hear what you think! ~ Casey)

I wasn’t surprised when I walked up the stairs & found the eviction papers taped to my apartment door. I was just surprised that they took so long to appear. When my new house-mates first rent check bounced however, I knew it was time to start packing.  In a strange way it was exciting – I imagined the papers as a passport to a new life, like a baby bird kicked out of the nest and into a tornado.

Having a feeling that this was coming I had already began to prepare, and now my entire life was portable, fitting into two duffel bags and a backpack. I put the books I couldn’t bear to part with and a few sentimental things into boxes to be stored at a friend’s house, and after I had sold or given away everything I could, I set the rest out on the sidewalk and went back inside to clean.

San Francisco has a wonderful system – many people I know have furnished their entire apartments with treasures found on the street, and much of mine was as well – from the gorgeously ornate wrought-iron wall sconce the size of a semi-truck tire to the beautiful hand-blown glass bowl which I kept on the coffee table, filled with the soft glow of blue Christmas lights that I bought at a post-Halloween sale. They were cheap, so I stocked up. A person can never have enough tiny lights to practice their patience – or failing that – their cursing, as they tried to untangle them.
I put the remainder of my things in front of my apartment and went back upstairs to do some cleaning. After about an hour I glanced out the window & was astonished. What was a somewhat sizeable pile before, with chairs, a couch, various lamps, clothes & random other things that had found their way into my apartment had almost entirely disappeared. It was as if I had missed the middle part of the sped-up video where the maggots clean a dead rat down to bone.
Curious about this phenomenon, I wanted to gather more of my things and set them out there, then peek out from behind a curtain with a video camera and watch what happened. I imagined that there was a network of scavengers who prowled the neighborhoods in cars & on foot, looking for piles such as the one I had put outside, and when they found one the alarm went out. They got on their phones or cupped their hands around their mouth & made strange animal calls, alerting the rest of the foragers to the booty. Of course, in my head, they weren’t normal  people – they were some post-apocalyptic creatures, some with mechanical limbs, dressed in dusty black leather with wild hair & eyes, who had trailers made of steel & lethal stabby-things hooked to their flat-black Prius’s, and worked with lightning fast efficiency.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a video camera or anything else to set outside and lure them, so the mystery still remains unsolved.

I had previously announced on a social network my imminent eviction, and was offered a few places where I could rest my head by the wonderful community of freaks I called friends. Bean made it more difficult, as most were apologetically not able to host a tragic, homeless Klown as well as an 85 pound dog.

All except one, offered by a person named Bob who I had met only once before. It was a home in the middle of the Mission District of San Francisco, Bob spent five days of the week at work in New Jersey, flying back on the weekends on his employer’s dime, and the only other person who lived there was the woman who owned the house.
There was just one catch. Bob’s dog already called it home, and while to most humans he was the sweetest, most loving beast – he had been trained by a former owner to joyfully rip the throats out of any other animal he came within destroying distance of. Bean was welcome though, and that was the most important thing.

Bob picked me up a few days after we talked, and when we arrived at the house I couldn’t believe where I would be living. It was a beautiful two-story Victorian with an enormous red beauganvilla draped over the entry gate as if it were a portal to a different world. Shortly after, I realized how fitting that observation was as I met the owner (a woman who was perhaps in her late forties who had the look of someone who rated personal upkeep pretty low on the chart) & she told me about what the 2nd floor was primarily used for in this quiet, seemingly ordinary house…