Looking Forward by Alexander Girshin

This here is an honest effort, that’s all I’m saying. I’m not much of a writer. Never have been. But I figure about this point in my life I ought to put something out there, you know, or else forty, fifty years from now I might be looking back at my life and finding that it didn’t amount to much of anything, not really.

I mean, I’ve done things, but not much more than an animal could or would have done. It’s just the basic everyday staying alive kind of thing. I mean, I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, but I’ve been more poor than rich. I’ve been poor as dog vomit but I haven’t been that rich, not filthy rich. I’ve done the girlfriend/boyfriend thing, I’ve roamed around here and there, I hear rumors that I’ve even fathered some children. But again, any horse could of done that.

No publisher will ever publish this so I figure I’ll write it and then I’ll put it up on the internet, just to get it out there, you know. Other folks might be interested in hearing about another folk’s life, even if he is just a sop.

Sure I want to make money with it. Who in his right mind doesn’t want to make a buck here and there? But I know the chances are slim to none. There’s this video I watched on YouTube that tells people how to make money by being a writer. I watched the other night and I was like, alright, I could do that but then this guy says that in order to find out how it’s done you gotta click on his link and that will take you over to his website. But he fails to mention that to read his “insider secrets to becoming a published writer in 10 easy steps” you gotta pay him $49.95. And I’m thinking that if I had 49.95 I wouldn’t be here trying to write a book right now because I’d be out over at the art supply store buying some more painting materials because that’s what I’m really interested in is painting. But there ain’t no one out there who wants to buy my paintings and they’ve been piling up over the years. I used to store them in odd places like people’s abandoned sheds and trailers and the house next door to where I used to live but then things eventually started getting to them -things like the weather and varmints, and pigeon droppings cause they don’t know any better and I can’t blame them. They all need a place to land, just like me. And then one trailer got caught on fire one night and pretty much everything in it burned so those paintings were lost. And the ones in the shed up in Pitcarrin all got molded due to all that rain getting to them, and the plastic I’d covered them with somehow had gotten torn away. So nothing was left of ‘em ‘cept a pile of mildew stretched over some rotten sticks. Back at art school I heard about being archival and all but what’s the point of that if the stuff keeps on piling up and there ain’t no more space to archive it at? So I left art school early cause I was living back in the woods near the art building, built myself a little hut, you know - just a sort of shack abutting a couple of trees. And inside of it I had myself a tent also, double protection against the weather, and intruders. But it didn’t keep me from getting caught. Soon enough someone must have seen it cause the authorities came one morning and said that I better get out of there, that it ain’t allowed to be building on public property, and I said that I hadn’t built it ‘cause I didn’t want to get a fine but they told me that that don’t matter who the hell built it! I shouldn’t be living there anyway. So I had to pick up all my stuff and drag it out of there or else they’d a put me into custody and I didn’t want that cause I was already late to my class. And Parrino didn’t tolerate no tardies. If you were late he wouldn’t let you in or he’d say things to make you cry right in front of the entire class, things like “go shoot yourself and do the world a favor”. So I when I got to the art building hauling all my stuff with me and I looked at the clock I decided that I better not come into class that day. That’s when I quit.

Born in Odessa, Ukraine, 1979
Emigrated to NY, USA 1984
Graduated from Purchase College 2008, with a concentration in painting
Now living in Rye, NY