Friday, June 02, 2006


For those of you interested, my novel, General Trinh is Delivering Papers, is now posted up to chapter 70. It still has quite a way to go. You can access it in the Nov. 2004 archives or over on the left in the Best Of list. For those of you reading this in the Google blog, you must go to I cannot control the archives in the Google blog.

My output recently has increased tremendously because of a drug. Up until now I have never used drugs if you don’t count alcohol and nicotine (which are the two most dangerous drugs in the world).

I twice tried marijuana cigarettes. They didn’t work for me. They had no effect.

Every time I’ve had a checkup, the medical people commented on my high blood pressure. I refused to use drugs to relieve it. I had always heard that if you lower your blood pressure you also lower your sexual potency.

What a choice.

It’s like a line Elaine Boosler used, “Is sex worth dying for?”

“Well, yes, sometimes,” she’d answer herself.

For me, if the choice was sex or high blood pressure, I’d take my chances on the high blood pressure.

“Screw it,” I’d say, meaning it literally.

I got the ‘blahs’ recently. Blahs for me might be the equivalent of elation for those suffering chronic depression. When the gifts for life were strewn out at birth, one of mine was a sunny disposition. Blahs for me mean that I play computer games while watching movies all day. I cannot write.

It has always interested me how a writer’s mood can be reflected in the progression of his words. When I was a kid I read most of the OZ books. The feeling of wonder and adventure was on every page and had to be felt in the writer’s heart.

I read an interview with a leading writer of romance novels. Before she wrote a love scene in one of her stories, she read pornographic literature to get in the mood. That is precious advice for a writer.

For me, the secret of writing is energy (I call it zest in other places; same thing). If the energy is not there, such as in William Faulkner’s works, reading is tedious.

In an only remotely connected subject, it has always stuck in my mind that Ernest Hemingway said he wrote his weight in words every day. His meaning was that he weighed somewhat over 200 pounds, so his goal was to write somewhat over 200 words every day. That may seem like a small goal, but at the end of a year he would have more words than any of his novels contain.

I digress.

So I got the blahs. Some weeks ago, before the blahs, I got these pills from a pharmacist here in Bangkok. They were tiny little (what were they? Tiny or little or both?) pink pills that had a perforation in the center so you could make them even smaller. That’s a red flag, I think. That might signal, “This is something strong.” The pharmacist said they were for ‘tension.’ Was I feeling tension? I didn’t think so. It was more like a lack of tension.

Anyway, I took a pill. The result was excellent (I was going to write “miraculous” but I am trying to tone down my usual overkill). I not only woke up at my usual time (3 AM, don’t ask) but with a hard on (which can’t be called unusual, it’s just not frequent on waking). On top of that I was bursting with energy, and not just in my lower regions.

So I am now a druggie. I take one of those little (what happened to tiny?) pink pills every night. My work output has grown to be immense (that’s overkill, larger would have been sufficient).

One pharmacist told me the name of the pill was Xanex. On the package it is labeled Zolam, Alprazolam, 0.5 mg.

I looked up the side effects. Constipation. That happened, it was minor and disappeared. Depression. That occurs for one hour on most days. I schedule a nap to coincide. Addiction. Wow, yeah, I’m 75, I’m scared of getting addicted to a drug that’s going to make my life better.

So, anyway, I’m a druggie now.


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