September 29, 2010


It's Wednesday morning, September 29, at about 5:45 AM. That I'm posting this at all after the last three days is a triumph of sorts. Unbelievable. Well, fuck it: if extreme heat is going to be a precipitating cause of my demise, it had better damn well be historic! And it was! As you may know, on Monday Los Angeles experienced the highest temperature ever recorded since they began noting such matters in 1877: 113 degrees in downtown L.A. I live not far from downtown, so it was about the same here, perhaps a little cooler in my apartment (maybe only 105!). Sunday and Tuesday were pretty bad too, but Monday was truly unreal.

So I'm basically catatonic. I've tried not to move at all except when absolutely necessary; moving my fingers to type this is about all I'm capable of. But I did want to let you know that I'm still here after a fashion -- especially because a number of you were so wonderfully kind and generous in response to my plea. A multitude of thanks to you all. My gratitude is immense. I'll be able to pay all the immediate bills, and I should have enough to get some limited medical attention.

I'm going to wait a few days (unless some clear health crisis hits in the meantime), both to see how I'm doing generally and until it gets cooler, which it now appears won't happen until next week. The rest of this week isn't going to be nearly as bad as the last several days, but it still won't be comfortable (high 80s-low 90s in my area until Sunday or Monday). But it would appear I need medical help of some kind very, very soon; I doubt I can go on this way much longer. I am very averse to going through the 911 experience again barring a clearly life-threatening emergency, so I'll see what (cheap) alternatives are available.

I don't expect my brain to be back in gear until next week, although I've noted a few developments in recent days that have prompted some thoughts for future writing. And I still have a huge backlog of planned essays to get to one of these days.

So I hope the work will continue soon, although I'm unable to specify exactly when that will be. Once more, my great thanks to all of you who have been so kind. And now, more rest for me.

September 23, 2010

Much to My Surprise, I'm Not Dead

Yes, I badly need some financial help. Yet I must acknowledge that you may well consider a donation a very bad investment at the moment. I'll explain briefly, since a brief post is all I'm capable of right now.

Given my weak heart, I suppose severe downturns in my health could occur at almost any time. Since I have no access to ongoing medical care and medication, I have no idea what's happened with my heart and related problems since I was briefly hospitalized over 18 months ago. They obviously haven't improved and appear to have gotten worse since then; beyond that, you know as much as I do.

The severe heat in Los Angeles at the end of August and beginning of September affected me very, very badly. I've almost called 911 a number of times in the last month (I stopped counting after 10 incidents that led me to get dressed and sit by the phone, ready to make the call if the crisis got any worse; so far the crisis gradually subsided). In short: I've spent most of the past five weeks wondering if today would be the day some sort of ultimate crisis hits. For me, a constant preoccupation of that kind leaves no room for much else, certainly not for writing of the kind I try to do.

For the past several days, I had been trying to regroup very slowly. I had hoped I might be able to write an article or two before asking for some financial help. But I see the evil weather gods have different plans for me: four or five more days of hot weather, just to make sure we remember we live in fucking Southern California. (During the last hot spell, the forecasts were consistently wrong in two respects: it was hotter than predicted, and the heat lasted longer. Thank God for our mastery of the elements!)

I dread the coming week, and I'm already feeling considerable anxiety when I think about what the heat might do to me this time. (Given my health problems, the anxiety itself is far from helpful.) Without air conditioning, and living in a second-floor apartment with poor ventilation, I find that anything close to 90 degrees makes my days unbearable.

Which leaves me here: who knows when I'll be able to write again. Certainly not before toward the end of next week. At the same time, I'm close to completely broke. I must once more acknowledge and express my deep gratitude to the five or ten regular donors, who send donations to me whether I'm able to write or not. Bless each and every one of you; you're the only reason the cats and I aren't already eating cardboard, or each other.

Assuming I survive the next week, I'll have to pay rent, an electric bill, and an internet bill. I can't pay any of those expenses. And if I should have to call 911, I'll almost certainly be given some prescriptions (assuming I survive the crisis and am able to return home). I won't be able to pay for those, either.

So it would be a great blessing to have a very small financial cushion, and it would reduce one of the causes of my psychic discomfort. But as I say, I can't recommend a donation as a good investment; in fact, it might turn out to be a remarkably bad one.

That's not at all cheerful, is it? Imagine how I feel, every single goddamned day.

Many thanks for your consideration, as always. If I'm able to do so, I'll let you know on Monday or Tuesday how I'm doing [see here].