That Next High — Making Thousands of Dollars

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So, prior to Lo, I was a respectable, bourgeois, suburban father, husband, mortgage-owing homeowner, stock holder, professor, and, with the exception of some eccentricities, obsessions, and extreme oscillations of my moods, a rather humdrum fellow, safely ensconced in my little patch of green domesticity. I didn’t hate it all, but I was looking for something — something to make me feel alive. You see, along with those mood swings comes rather pendulum-like motions of an inclination toward now the vita contemplativa, now the vita activa.

Then, along came Lo, and like the proverbial frog jumping into the pond, I dove into the muck of life from which all lotus flowers emerge. I recall, at the time certain lyrics from a Bruce Springsteen song kept circling in my head:

I took a piss at fortune’s sweet kiss. . .

This fool’s halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell

And I feel like I’m comin’ home!

Well, here I am, approaching four years since that fateful crossing of our stars, and I realize that the ole professor with the tweed jacket (complete with elbow patches), pipe, slippers and a steady income has yielded to a new me — a poor me who is constantly on the make for my next fix and that fix comes in one of three forms: money, sex, and booze. Now, I have to qualify that list quite a bit, of course.

First, as regards money — the song lyrics that reverberate in my head these days are from Cage the Elephant:

There ain’t no rest for the wicked

Money don’t grow on trees

I got bills to pay I got mouths to feed

Ain’t nothing in this world for free

No I can’t slow down

I can’t hold back

Though you know I wish I could

No there ain’t no rest for the wicked

Until we close our eyes for good.

The last two months have been slow at work. Well, work has been busy, but collecting what’s owed me has been slower than molasses in the winter time. Cash reserves have gotten low. The bills have piled high, and I go from day to day looking for that next fix. It’s gotten to the point where, if I go for Chinese food for lunch, I expect my “fortune” to read: “You’re broke.”

Back when I first left my former life and I needed some large amounts of money fast, I asked a friend how I could raise it. His answer, “Sell drugs.” I wasn’t about to do that, but I did have some other talents and credentials that could raise that kind of cash quick (or so I thought). I was loath to use those talents at the time because of the conception I had of myself as above the fray of these mundane concerns — money, work, problems. I was a thinker, an intellectual who pondered the nature of the universe, not the nitty-gritty of negotiations. I studied the eternal laws of God, not the laws of man. But Necessity is sometimes a cruel pedagogue and I resorted to my skill over my intellect.

Here’s what I learned: the first time a client put two thousand dollars in bills in my hand I felt like a drug dealer, a criminal, like I was getting away with something quite illicit. . . and I liked it. . . a lot. I wanted more. It ain’t as easy as it seems — if it were easy, everyone would do it, right? But that makes the high from the completed deal all the more intoxicating.

[Excerpt from the story, “Sex, Drugs, Money, and Sex,” from the blog: More to cum.]

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Just your average nymphomaniac next door. I love fan mail:

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