How to enjoy unemployment

[Note: I didn’t lose my job. This is from 1994. A bit risqué but I sanitized it.]


January 11, 1994

I haven’t worked for over a month and am falling behind on the bills. I wrote a letter to the student loan vampires and asked for a six-month reprieve. I threw the utility and phone bills in the garbage. I made the minimum payment on the credit cards but I have to pay the rent IN FULL. I went to an interview today and have five more lined up. They made me take a typing test. 65 words per minute with two errors. Champion.

I visited Ann. It was 10:00 at night on Sunday and bitterly cold so I took a cab uptown. $7. That son-of-a-bitch came off the FDR, turned onto Third Avenue and drove right past Laura’s apartment. I craned my neck out the window to see if her light was on and was desperately looking for her on the sidewalk.

Ann keeps a case of Veuve Clicquot in the spare bedroom and she’s always got a few cold so we popped a cork, took our clothes off, got into bed and watched reruns of Get Smart, House of Buggin’ and The George Carlin Show.

I always feel kind of bad when a woman goes down on me. That can’t possibly be any fun, can it? I don’t feel bad enough to stop them. It takes very little to bring Ann to complete and full satisfaction. It often occurs more than once. I don’t take any credit for this. She is so in tune with her body that she’s able to practically do it all on her own. Sometimes, the glorious event occurs before we take our clothes off. Good for her! There was an unusually large wet spot. I slept on the edge of the bed and woke up with a sore back.

The next morning I was going to launch a new assault but my breath was bouncing up off the mattress and back into my face. It was so horrific that I lost interest. Ann tried to coax me but I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I stank. That reminds me…Laura used to leave in the morning without brushing her teeth. And she smoked! I can’t abide by poor dental hygiene but I miss her terribly.

Ann made a pot of tea and some whole wheat toast with raspberry preserves. She put a little honey in the tea. It was good. I confirmed my interview with Prudential Bache. Ann was in the kitchen rinsing our tea cups. I walked up behind her and put my hands under her T-shirt. I told her I wanted her and she shouted, “OKAY!” and said it with such unintended glee that we both laughed. We stumbled into the bedroom and did it. We laid there for a bit and then I got up and washed. It was the first time I had to wash my genitals prior to an interview.

I went to that David + Amy Sedaris play in the East Village by myself last week. Today, The New York Times gave it a good review. That guy is on his way. The Times said he’s developed a cult following. Can you believe it! It said he’s a “social satirist” and that’s an accurate description of what I remember him being like. I went to the library and read his pieces in Harper’s and they seemed like elaborate diary entries. Is that a type of writing? Maybe I can do that?


Adieu to summer. Summer is the coldest month. My office and commuting buses are like meat lockers. My bride keeps the house thermostat set to Pluto. Here are some bugs courtesy of my iPhone.

Hot moth love.

Butterflies are beautiful from a distance.

Pollen party in my backyard.

The whites are a bit hot in this pic but I don’t know how to fix that.

Game of Thrones dragon.

45 thoughts on “How to enjoy unemployment

  1. Memories, eh? I wish I’d kept diaries because I sure as hell can’t remember much anymore about being young! LOL Perhaps that just self-preservation on my part. Have you read “Calypso” yet?

    Love your photos! I have to get a new phone, but not having one (dead battery) has been a sort of vacation for me. Fortunately, the MITM is home and the Krewe all use Facetime, so I’ve not lost touch completely. xoxo

    • I parse through these journals and don’t remember most of what I read. A memory or two will be knocked loose but overall it’s a fog. It would’ve all been lost.

      I really liked Calypso. He went kind of dark on a few places, which I appreciate. Lucky, talented guy.

      My God! Get a new phone! It’s more than just about photos for you. It’s a lifeline.

    • There’s no doubt about it: cats are God’s most photogenic of all his creatures. Including man.

      I did NOT get that job. I don’t remember the interview but I do know that I’ve never worked for Prudential Bache. So, apparently, it didn’t go well.

  2. You’re nearing Penthouse Forum here, just need to incorporate a handyman somehow. And a “friend.” Loved the Sedaris irony there…and the photo of the pollen party. No coke jokes!

      • Smut sounds like its definition. “Erotic” does too. One is a chafing and the other, a stroking? Ok sorry, I have to go now.

  3. I always enjoy your photos especially the cat pics and now you have included some nice “outdoor” shots. The second pic of the butterfly is a giant swallowtail. They are found here in Texas too. I see then off and on in my butterfly patch. I’ve had around 28 species of butters- I can’t remember exactly. I posted a series of butters about 4-5 years ago. Since that time butterflies have not been as abundant. I have no idea why.

    • Hi! Nice to see you. Thanks for your kind words. These phones have made me a better photographer. They’re fantastic. I shoot 50 shots to get one good one. That’s used to be impossible. You had 12 chances. 36 max. I have dozens of cat pix. They’re highly photogenic. Thanks for the info on the butterfly. I had no idea. I can identify a monarch but that’s about it. How about those moths? Any idea who they are?

      • Mark, those look to be butterflies to me. Those that are yellow or faint yellow are collectively known as sulphurs. They have always been difficult for me to correctly identify. I can usually name maybe one or two in the group- there is so much variation even from spring to fall colors. I see sulphurs mainly in late summer and fall. But don’t take my word for them, Perhaps you are correct. The light is kind of over powering the butters or moths which makes it even more difficult for correct identification. In Texas we have a Texas field guide which is one that can be carried in hand and seems to be laminated, It contains all the common butterflies and costs about $8 or so. I bet there is one for New England or New Jersey if you care to learn more.

      • Thanks for all the great info! You carry a lot of butterfly knowledge in your head. It’s admirable. I took most of those pics at a local botanical garden. It’s a bug paradise.

  4. I remember reading David Sedaris for the first time and thinking something along the lines of, “Wow, that’s great; I wonder if I could do the same thing?” I learned in time, no, I couldn’t. But even then he made it all look so effortless.

  5. Some of your journal entries are very similar to my past. Especially between the clean up lines. Hair triggers are great, it take the pressure off. I always wondered what they were thinking. How is this good for them? Dumb question! It can ruin the lust.
    These pics are like the ones in National Geographic. Who would of thunk it, what we can do with that ultra slim 3 X 6 inch rectangle?

    • Hi, Tom. How’ve you been? Rain much? Our past commonalities is what links us all together. Those are the slender threads that runs through all our lives. We are not so different.

      Thanks for your kind words about the pics. Nothin’ to it. Just point the phone and let technology do the rest. Take 20 or 30 photos and one of them is bound to be brilliant.

  6. I suppose the mark of a good writer is the reader forgets they’re actually reading while reading. And it’s hard as hell to write like that! I think you could be the next David Sedaris! Just come up with a catchy, oddball title like Let’s Explore Sex with Butterflies.

    • It’s nice to see you out and about. Did you do a new post? I’ll go check. Thanks for your kind words. If I knews where you lived, I drive up there and bake you a cake with $100 bills inside. There’s only one David Sedaris. I think a lot of folks have tried that but only he seems to be able to pull it off.

  7. Oh the joys of unemployment, someday i’ll get around to musing about how i got myself laid off so i could concentrate on my real job back in those Wilderness Years, seems like you weren’t doing badly yourself… and Happy Anniversary to you and the Mrs.

    • How, in Bog’s name, did you remember it was my anniversary? That’s miraculous. Thank you, sir. It is much appreciated. I will pass that onto my bride.

      We need to find a way to generate a decent income doing what we were doing while unemployed. That’s the trick. You need the cash flow to make everything work.

      • You seem to be using “Bog” in place of “God” in the comments – and “Bog” is the Russian word for “God”. I don’t think you’re Russian, so is that “Bog/God” a thing now, or have you been hacked by the Russians?

      • Is that true?! I’ve used that for a while although I’m not sure where I first saw it. I just thought it was so clever. I think Orthodox Jews aren’t allowed to speak God’s name so when writing the use G-d. It’s so crazy. God don’t care if you call him Bog or G-d. I’m not even sure She’s listening.

        I haven’t suffered a hack. I *am* a hack.

    • Being unemployed when you’re young, carefree and single is pretty bad but it’s not the end of the world. Being unemployed with wife and two daughters, which I have been, is a completely different matter. It’s a shit-storm panic.

  8. Hello! I lost my computer so have been out of the digital world. You’re one of the few places in it I’ve missed.

    Ann sounds great. Has she got a sister? In England?

    I used to have the same misgivings about blowjobs, but then if you return the favour in some way, it’s a win-win all round. And the last girl who used to do that did say she liked doing it, so if that was a lie it’s one I’m happy to believe!

    • How on earth did you lose your computer? That’s awful news. You might just as well lose your left nut. I see in my feeder you’ve posted. Well, I hope you provide an explanation. It’s nice see you back, sir.

      This is how I know I couldn’t possibly have any latent homosexual tendencies. The thought of a blowjob kind of makes me sick. I’d rather swallow my own vomit than another man’s jizz. Neither sounds very sexy. Ah, Ann. Moved to Florida. Never to be heard from again. She had a wealthy family. They owned a tremendous tract of farmland in Kansas.

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