His Early Lyrics - Poems - Stories

MR. CLOWN (1990, Age 15)

Mr. Clown was a happy clown.
He loved making children happy.
And they were happy and the parents were happy.
And everyone was happy.

Until Mr. Clown realized he could no longer please children.

They wanted to be transformers and deformers and things with no form whatsoever.
And so then the children were unhappy and the parents were unhappy.

Until Mr. Clown decided to blow himself up into many little pieces and then
the children were happy and the parents were happy and Mr. Clown never had to be sad again.

The End.

THE PUNK ROCK BIBLE: THE BOOK OF JOB aka The Gospel According To Emo
(June 26, 2010)

God runs into Satan at a party. Satan mentions he just came back from God's shoddy creation – ie; earth. God knows what he's getting at, says "not all of it sucks" and points out that "there's this guy Job who's pretty cool"

The devil says "Yeah, but he's loaded, has a rocking business and his family all loves him. If he was broke and alone, then he wouldn't be so cool... He'd probably hate you"

So god makes a sort of bet. Says "Go ahead, trash everything around him, he still won't hate me. We're cool like that..."

So, Satan devalues Job’s stock, kills the staff and sends a hurricane to take out the house party where all of his kids are at. No one survives. Jobs life now sucks

He gets emo but still doesn't blame his creator. Satan comes back and this time it is God who brings up Job again. Taunts him with "Job still thinks I rule, even after you made me mess up his life... See, we're cool like that"

And so Satan says "If we kicked his ass he wouldn't like you anymore"
and God says "Go for it, but keep him alive…"

So Satan gives Job welts from head to toe and needless to say, his wife will no longer let him hit that shit which you'd think would turn Job atheist but instead he says "if we accept goodness from God, we should accept the bad as well"

And this makes his wife think he is stoopid. Then his friends show up to comfort him but he looks like shit and so they don't really know what to say, as "you look like shit" would seem a bit cold given the circumstance

So they just hang out with him silently for seven days and seven nights, which I find rather intriguing, as if a man is being built in silence in the way the world was. The symbolism is intriguing. Or maybe I’m reading into things. Maybe the bus to Jobs place from the other side of town only showed up every seven days, and bros had to make it back. But it could be symbolism as well.

By chapter five the writing gets uber poetic to an impressive degree as Job curses the day he was born. Then a guy shows up with equally uber poetic dialogue and tells Job that life does suck but it’s okay because he can be at one with the animals and the trees. The prehistoric hippie also says that “you’ll live through six shit storms and on the seventh, you’ll come out of it pretty chill.

Then Job replies to the pseudo psychic hippie “God obviously is crushing me on purpose and I’m bummed and just wish that he would kill me.” Job then bitches about not having enough strength, no hope and goes into a 4 page poem about how his brothers suck. It’s the most detailed poem about brothers sucking that you’ve ever heard in your life, to degree that it reminds one of a mid eighties punk or the first violent femmes album. Strangely, for such detailed poem, he left out being pissed at the girl, which is what keeps the book of Job more of an artistic meditation than a factory produced pop song.

Now, in all fairness, he deserves to be as verbose as he wants. This guys life is pretty effed up. He’s lucky he’s not Buddhist, as he’d have so many assumed past life guilt issues going on by this point.

By chapter 7, Job finally asks what he’s done to deserve it, about six and a half chapters after most would have. Then the pseudo psychic hippie guy says “Stay upright and God will give you a whole ultra cool life”. And while that would make most say “I don’t want a new dog, I want my old one back”, he does make sense when he says that those who don’t have God have to try and find their satisfaction in products with poor manufacturing and functionality.

Then Job says “I do believe in God but I’m only human, born to make mistakes…” Then Job goes on to talk about all the cool stuff God makes and does but conveniently leaves out the Platypus and Bush Administration.

And eventually Job gets all worked up and hostile with the hippie – “Is this going to cause you to speak badly of God? To examine him? Imagine if he examined you bro…” Then Job says God is mighty and you don’t want to piss him off.

He then continues with “Even though he trashed my life, I believe in Him. We’re cool like that. If I see him, I’ll plead my case but that’s about it.” Then Job finally addresses God directly and says “I’ll stop hiding from you if you stop kicking the shit out of me. Why are you pissed at me?”

At this point, Job is obviously not completely living on faith as his pleas reveal that he doesn’t exactly believe that all will be good. He then says trees got it easy because when their branches are cut off they grow back but being human sucks because once your limbs are cut off you’re pretty much fucked.

Then another guy says to stop blaming God, unaware of the human version of a poker tournament happening in the sky.

By Chapter 16, all Job is doing is groaning and acting in disbelief over how cruel God can be, ignoring the obvious fact that you get what you expect from this world. When most talk about Job they speak of his patience, loyalty and obedience. I question his lack of faith in the moment. All of his faith statements trout the future. None trout the present. To be honest, I’ve none people who actually have it WORSE than Job, and the still have a glow about them, simply because they know that they can.

It’s a steady stream of groaning for the next several chapters and on 23, he seems to be expecting God to torture him more. At what point will he ask not for mercy but for provision?

Then he talks more about the process of God creating the earth and with it, wisdom. By chapter 29 Job says “I miss how cool God and I were” and it becomes clear that he’s been talking a lot about God but not really to him.

By Chapter 32, Job has painted a picture of himself as perfect and the three friends condemned him for it. Then a fourth gets mad at the friends for finding wrong in Job without reason and then gets mad at Job for justifying himself instead of God.

Now, this guy is way younger so he has to spend a good 3 pages explaining to them that while he is young, God gives him as much wisdom as life has given the Geriatrics and therefore they should listen. He then says “Look, none of you have come up with anything that says that Job ain’t cool. You couldn’t answer his arguments so therefore you condemned him for simply having them. How wack is that? Pretty effin’ wack…”

In Chapter 38 God finally calls up Job and not in that “hey what’s up bro” sort of tone. He says “Look Job, why are you trying to figure it out on your own when you don’t know much about the grander scheme of things?” Then, God points out that Job wasn’t around when he created earth and hasn’t really seen shit in comparison to what he’s seen during the course of it’s development. He then says that Job also hasn’t seen all of God’s special powers, including storage areas for snow and hail that he has ready in case people start fighting each other for one reason or another. It’s possible that he left out his method for creating instant precipitation from rapid water movements spreading at high velocities out of fear that they’d try it at home and end up with the hydrogen bomb.

God then justifies his power by discussing everything that he created, but what is most interesting, is how “created” takes a back seat to the term “gave birth to”. And this is where it becomes clear how this character God, if you were to look at him as a person, feels about what he made. It came from me, he says. You can practically feel the guys anguish from that point on. He’s seen it all, felt it all and he’s in love with it all. And now, he’s pretty pissed about it all. And he knows that job has no idea.

He then goes back into reminding Job that he has special powers and Job doesn’t. He also points out that he figured out how to do cool stuff like make an Ox a loyal servant by nature so bros could get around. By pointing out that this was done on purpose, he intends to make it clear that lots of things were done on purpose so one must have faith in the grander scheme of things.

He then began pointing out a lot of the cool inner workings of the animal kingdom and how they were all designed for the benefit of man and that one should realize that someone had to actually figure out how to make a chicken not give shit when we eat their young and decorate the eggs. I think that what God is saying here, is that that one wasn’t very easy.

He also mentions he created the Leviathan and if any guy ever tried to pick a fight with the Leviathan, the Leviathan could easily beat the shit out of him. And if the Leviathan could kick his ass, then God could really really kick his ass.

Job replies “You’re right. I haven’t seen much of anything. I’m sure the rest of everything is really complex and awesome and I’m sorry if I spoke like I knew everything…” So basically, the two friends made up. God won the bet and still had his bro, a feat comparable to the whole chicken thing.

God then got mad at Job’s friends for giving crappy advice and told them that they need to take a large chunk of the animals that they use to make cash, burn them and leave them on Job’s lawn.

After Job, mind you, covered in welts and broke, not to mention he probably had to clean up burnt Oxen off the front lawn, was still there, praying for his friends, God decided to make him rich again.

His wife let him hit it like never before and cranked out ten new kids and to top it off, his seven daughters were all uber hot which you’d think would make most father’s lives a living hell but Job thought it was cool and because there was no genetically altered lettuce back then he lived another 140 years and by the time he died, if you’d asked him, he’d probably look back and say his life was pretty rad. He lived it all…

SUMMARY OF JOB written by David N. Donihue
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.


SEVEN DAYS IN L.A. : The true story of a writer, a church, a gun, an HBO
 deal that never existed and a pretty girl with wavering eyes.

 Tuesday night. Around 10 p.m.
 When he handed me the pistol in a parking lot just off
 Hollywood, I wondered how I was going to give out hugs
 in the Bible study room without anyone noticing that
 there was a forty- five in my pocket. His eyes looked
 unsteady. They always do. Sadly, I know where the
 guy’s coming from. If things could just slow down, I
 could get my bearings. But my life is mine, and never
 really slow. Except when around a few solitary
 Justine is one of them. That super cute platonic
 friend that you can wrestle with and be made fun of
 by, and you both know exactly where everything stands.
 No confusion, just straight up love and understanding.
 She calls me every day just to check in; I dig that
 shit. I’m lucky to know her. We keep each other in
 “Take it easy” she said the other night. She reassured
 me of my talents and good looks and I talked to her
 about her endless crush on my brilliant space case of
 a friend Noel, who can’t seem to figure out where he’s
 coming from or what to do with her. Matters of the
 heart seem to put more panic in us than matters of
 guns and finances.
 Jumping back to about 8 p.m. I’m at church. Tonight,
 as part of the young adult Bible study, we’re tested
 on spiritual gifts. This is an odd one. A series of
 tests that show what areas you are gifted in and what
 areas you suck at. I score high on Prophecy, Wisdom
 and Intercession. Low on Speaking In Tongues and
 Celibacy. Go figure. Midway through the test, he shows
 up. I don’t know him well. His name is Eric. He’s good
 looking, charming, and seems like a bit of a loose
 cannon. I met him the first time about a month ago.
 Justine had told me about him, how his brother had
 passed away recently and she knew he was in need of
 someone to talk to, but feared spending time with him
 as he obviously had a thing for her.
 “Don’t worry about it. Have dinner with the guy at a
 public place and just listen to him talk. It’ll be
 Well, he had charmed her, and she brought him to my
 birthday party, I suspect to make Noel jealous.  He
 gave me a cigar and told us all about having to trek
 across the country to deal with a D.U.I. I wasn’t
 shocked. Something about the way he moved seemed
 familiar; not so much “from liquor or drugs,” though
 that wouldn’t surprise me. More, he seemed to be
 shifting in his shoes but playing it off as party star
 energy. Masking his depression and anxiety with an
 enthusiasm for small talk and sheik brattiness.
 Respectable. Sad.
 That was also the first time I saw Kara again.
 Kara is a beautiful girl. She’s tall and rail thin
 with cool loose dark blonde curls and huge amazing
 eyes that seem to shift between the sophistication of
 an ambitious and confident young woman, and that of a
 “wow – holy shit world” 10-year-old kid. I went to her
 birthday party not long ago. She looked stunning in a
 long black dress. I found myself stumbling for words.
 Cute girls never make me stumble for words.
 I know very little of her, but what I do impressive.
 She’s a flautist. Not always the center of attention,
 yet gravitates towards the stage. She holds herself at
 a distance as if she’s consistently careful not to
 give off any wrong impressions.
 She turned her back on the Catholic church as a kid
 because they wouldn’t let her be an altar boy anymore.
 She must have looked adorable, the outfit, the hair
 pulled back.
 She’s had started her own summer program for kids.
 She’s twenty seven, and a take charge of your own
 destiny type. She’s remarkable.
 Her eyes constantly dart off into the distance in
 thought, and then revert back to pick up wherever the
 conversation was headed. But her face and eyes can’t
 hide what her mouth often doesn’t say.
 “I’ll bet you’re a shitty liar,” I say.
 “Yeah, I’m terrible at it.”
   She might not always be forthcoming about her
 thoughts, but when she is, they are genuine, and I
 have nothing but respect for that sort of
 self-preservation-honesty mix.
 Thursday 9pm. Kara and I sit down for Indian food.
 I’ve been a bit whip lashed lately by life, but par
 for the course. Money is quickly deteriorating in my
 world, as the company I work for still hasn’t paid any
 of us writers.
 I’ve lived in LA for two and a half years, have been
 making my meager living entirely off of my writing,
 have seen one film produced, a war-type epic I
 co-wrote, and have been struggling along as a
 screenwriter for hire, choosing only projects I
 believe in.
 A producer, Wayne, and Jesper, a creative consultant,
 wanted to meet with me in regard to a mini-series on
 ancient Rome, knowing my background in writing on
 topics of politics, war and religion.
 I met them at a Starbucks in Encino. Jesper was from
 Denmark. Looked around forty, blonde hair with a touch
 of grey. Clean cut. Wayne had a Roman style mustache
 and goatee, and was apparently a Roman expert. They
 were blue collar fellows, and it made me trust them
 In a town like LA, often the real movers and shakers
 are in jeans in t-shirts, while bullshit middle men
 take the time to manicure, put on silk and drive small
 penis automobiles. They were friendly, warm, and spent
 a good hour and a half drilling me on how I write and
 work with others, and whether or not I can meet their
 stringent network deadlines.
 I read them some samples, and they hired me on the
 spot. $3,477 per week for 13 weeks to co-write on a
 mini-series for HBO. I would be one of a team of six
 writers who would come together with a staff of
 researchers to whip out some brilliance, as HBO
 apparently had a production called ROME that was
 experiencing delays, and they would need a teaser to
 quench the audience’s thirst. That’s where we would
 come in.
 THE REAL ROME, you know kinda like Real Sports or Real
 Sex, would be a docu-drama, three episodes, small
 budget of 4 mil per. The last few months of my life
 were filled with family tragedy, death and the
 ever-present holiday inspired lack of work. I was dead
 broke, and getting broker. Needless to say, this was
 the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
 The group consisted of quite the talented mix. Anna, a
 brilliant writer and script consultant, who I was
 partnered with. She’s fifty, funny, warm, and not
 afraid to flip you shit. She has a remarkable list of
 work under her belt, doing script consulting for some
 major writers and producers. I forgive her hippie
 nature on account of her kick ass personality.
 Jeff K., a former stage and commercial actor slash
 Roman buff from Toronto with a wife and kids. He’s a
 straight man who likes Broadway.
 Jeff B., an ambitious 23-year-old writer who had moved
 here with his wife just after his father-in-law’s
 death, to take on this job and crank their lives into
 some form of positivity amidst the grief.
 Don, an East Coast indie filmmaker with a constant
 smile and a real life to him. Husky and fresh faced,
 Don is a real sweetheart. He gets excited when the
 others pitch stories of Roman castrations and 100,000
 people getting impaled.
 And there’s Patrick, a talented former sci-fi writer
 with short silvering hair, good looks and a zest for
 action stories. He has a very fast paced, high energy
 personality that could either be brilliance, dementia,
 or substance abuse, God bless him.
 We got passes to eat lunch at the commissary on the
 CBS lot. We started mapping out the series. We were
 told Glenn A. Larson, a hot shot TV producer, was
 partnering on all of Wayne’s projects and he would be
 joining the gang shortly, as would be Jim Caviezel, on
 a project with Wayne as well. I had visions of asking
 him to turn the bottled water into Merlot, but we
 didn’t have any.
 Things were moving fast. A man by the name of John was
 introduced to us as a producer from HBO, who we told
 our pitches to. He seemed impressed, thought he was
 quickly out the door to his next order of business.
 Bobbi, a costume designer, apparently recommended by
 the studio was sent over, along with a director of
 photography. We took a tour of Western Costumes and
 saw a room already set up, with HBO / THE REAL ROME on
 the door and costumes already being made, collected,
 and ordered for mass production somewhere in India.
 Wayne called a meeting. The order for three episodes
 has been pushed to six. We would now be employed for
 26 weeks guaranteed. All of us immediately started
 making calls, canceling other employment, thanking
 former Latin instructors, looking at new cars online,
 etc. There’s only one problem. There’s  a three week
 delay in payroll. Peripheral conversations of
 borrowing money from family and friends occur.
 Justine keeps calling to ask if I’ve met Jesus yet.
 “No, and I don’t think it’s really him, he just played
 him on TV…”
 The creativity and research goes blasting into high
 gear. Wayne continues to feed us scenes from his vast
 knowledge of Rome, much of them involving penises.
 Wayne is one of those truck driver gay men. The type
 who get busted hooking up at Park & Rides and Highway
 Rest Stops. Most of his Roman knowledge seems to
 center around sexual practice, with the researchers
 having yet to confirm any of his tidbits.
 Synopses are handed to wardrobe and production
 designers. John the producer, continues to be seen
 coming and going from Wayne’s office, presumably
 checking in on our progress.
 Nearly two weeks ago, we were told very suddenly we
 were moving offices from CBS to either Sunset Gower or
 Universal. That HBO had pulled us from our current
 location due to a problem with the lease being too
 We’ve spent the last two weeks working from home, and
 stressing about when we’re going to see a check, as we
 are continually told that there is just another glitch
 in payroll.
 The costume department has been paid, and now as of
 Thursday, we’ve been there six weeks and not seen a
 dime. By contract, we are all already owed an enormous
 amount of money. Last week, the writers started
 speaking of going to the guild with this issue. This
 would bring our employer under scrutiny by HBO, and
 it’s almost certain that when that happens, some
 middle management producer from the studio is bound to
 step in and “save the project from chaos” by replacing
 the staff with all of his friends. This is what Wayne
 tells us, in his very calm and gentle nature.
 Wayne admits to being new to the producing game.
 Online, he has no producer credits, but there are some
 legitimate articles from legitimate press on how he’s
 donated a million dollars to give fire engines in his
 home state of Alabama
 I tried to keep the other writers from doing anything
 This job is everything I have been working towards,
 and the thought of failure, even if it’s not my fault,
 sends shivers down my spine like no other. I’m
 embarrassed to even admit the unsteadiness of the
 present situation.
 My mother keeps floating back to my mind. My
 grandfather died a week back, and that – combined with
 my brother’s passing in August – has her in one of
 those “Was I good mother, was I a good daughter?” sort
 of states.
 My grandfather is still in a freezer somewhere, as no
 one can find his 35-year-old bitch of a wife who
 married him several years back, took him for
 everything he was worth, and is now impossible to
 reach as a signature from her is needed to complete
 his request of having his ashes sprinkled along with
 my grandmother’s over Mt. Rainier.
 So I’m sitting across from Kara, Thursday night, and
 all this is on my mind, and I’m trying to stay engaged
 in the conversation, not come off to heavy.
 Writer’s syndrome. I wonder for a moment if I’ve
 forgotten how to speak. If I have fallen so far into
 being human that I’ve left the human fold entirely.
 The human fold is guarded and jaded and disconnected
 from anything that is human. Even those white girl
 eastern philosophy bitches who shift their furniture
 around to feel more in touch with themselves would
 condemn me on accounts of emotional instability.
 You see, I have nothing to say that isn’t too heavy or
 too light. Everything you say is a product of your
 experiences, and if all you are currently seeing is
 shit, than your just going to say a bunch of shit that
 seems to bring on more shitty experiences that causes
 you to say a bunch more of shit.
 Everyone that I’ve ever known who has wanted to kill
 themselves were motivated by the thought that they had
 nothing left to offer that would be positively
 received. I find it interesting that some of the
 people with the most love to give had the most
 self-hatred because no one wanted to receive it. The
 purest of emotions can be seen as a threat by those
 who are conditioned by this jaded little spectacle we
 call life. I can’t believe I just wrote that dumb ass
 line. Why does anyone ever pay me for this shit?
 Now, obviously, this tangent has drifted away from the
 autobiographical. I have more people in my life who
 love me and depend on my love and words of support
 than I know what to do with. I have a zest for life
 and a passion for the minutia of all types of
 personalities that borders on habitual. And I rock it
 too. I still find massive excuses to laugh and be
 irreverent and silly and just enjoy the ridiculousness
 of our little ball o’ dirt, but there are some days,
 when you can’t force yourself into that mind set.
 Something lightens inside of me when I see her shift
 from her sophisticated stance to her uncomfortable
 moments of weighing things out in her head. I don’t
 know why, but I find it really charming. Kara has a
 boyfriend who recently cruised to somewhere in the
 middle of the country to do something. I forget what.
 Work and family I think. She had mentioned possibly
 cutting it off.
 I know she loves him, so I had resigned to being
 nothing more than a friend to her while still being
 massively drawn to knowing as much as I possibly could
 about who she is as a person. Through my thorough
 study and research of the creature that is her, I came
 to the scientific conclusion that she fucking rules.
 So, whatever the nature of our relationship is, I’m
 cool with it. I think I caught her checking me out in
 the club lights one night.
 For a moment, I showed my hand of cards stretched
 across my face when she mentioned she was leaving town
 to go see him. The boyfriend.
 I managed to utter “How’s that going?” and the moment
 became built more on what wasn’t being said than what
 “It’s going well. I’ll be there for four days.”
 “That’s awesome.”
 I was actually genuine when I said that. You see,
 Kara’s cool. I have no desire to bring confusion into
 her life. I’m just stoked to get to know her.
 Monday was her actual birthday, which I am suppose to
 spend with her. The weekend is spent going out to see
 a show with them, me working and stressing about the
 absence of my check and three day pay or vacate notice
 I got on my door.
 Monday. 7pm. East Hollywood.
 The writers were up in arms. My mother calling to ask
 if I wanted my dead grandmother’s bedsheets that were
 still in the package, the woman still hoarding away
 mounds of odds and ends ten years after her death.
 That takes talent. And Wayne, who currently owes me an
 enormous amount of money, was supposed to at the very
 least bring petty cash down to appease a few of my
 bills as he had been promising all weekend to throw me
 a couple grand until the checks arrived.
 Patrick, our beloved hot headed paranoid, allegedly
 “coke-addicted” writer had suffered a burst appendix a
 few days prior, his fear of ever never getting paid or
 the project going bust guiding him through the
 operation. Now, back on his feet, he had spent the day
 looking for the new offices that we had yet to move
 into on Lankershim out of fear he was being fired,
 going from building to building trying to find Wayne.
 He can’t even get addiction right. He should be just
 going into the same building over and over and over.
 But, in any case, his deranged idiocy delayed my boss
 in meeting with me and giving me any cash. His writing
 partner has grown weary of him as well, as Wayne seems
 to be trying to find a way to let him go without any
 disturbance, continuing to ask us all if we see any
 signs of drug use.
 Too embarrassed to tell my new friends I am too broke
 to go out and realizing once again how this unstable
 career can utterly destroy my best of intentions in my
 personal life, I am a lame ass. I finally called Kara,
 telling her I’m going to be able to make it out at
 My phone is still ringing off the hook as I try to
 ease everyone’s panic, as I am balancing momentary
 thoughts of feeling like a total freaking loser. All I
 feel like doing is buying my friend a birthday drink.
 Grabbing her some birthday flowers. She had consumed
 much of my mind over the weekend, wanting to see her,
 but too broke to go out and to proud to admit it.
 My mind is racing with fears of failure. I had
 recently abandoned those fears. I stopped caring about
 where my career was heading right before it started
 soaring full speed ahead. Not financially, but things
 were falling into place. People were noticing a
 particular style, I guess.
 Seneca said “Cease to hope and you will cease to
 fear…” There’s some truth in it. The constant string
 of jobs and pats on the back brought some hope into
 the mix. The other writers and delayed checks brought
 the fear.
 Monday. 10pm.
 I’m pacing back and forth down the street trying to
 make sense of all the work chaos, as Anna pep talked
 me, strangely. That’s not her style as much.
 “I want the career your friend Robert has,” I say, as
 I suddenly feel annoyed with my ambitious side taking
 precedence over the craft itself.
 “He was 38 and ready to call it quits when it finally
 clicked. Now he makes millions. It just took a long
 time.” She says.
 I’m 31 and have written over forty feature scripts and
 plays. Part of me feels like an old vet while the
 other part of me still fresh faced inexperienced kid.
 “You see David, there is a problem with your work.”
 Great. She’s about to add insult to injury.
 “Your work has a voice. It’s exactly what you think
 and feel, which will make it a nightmare at first, but
 trust me, there will be rewards because of the way you
 do things in the long run...”
 Coming from her, the words settled me. My phone beeped
 again as I was walking back into my apartment. It was
 Kara again. Inviting me over. We partook in small talk
 with her roommate and classical guitarist friend whose
 masculinity momentarily slipped away when he admitted
 to liking Titanic. I didn’t ask him what he thought of
 that Celine Dion song, I couldn’t bear to hear the
 answer. He’s one of my favorite people I’ve met
 recently. He’s from Toronto, and has a strange mix of
 East Coast hard edge and northern “I could give a
 fuck” passivity. Rather impressive stories to tell as
 Which brings us back to Tuesday. And the gun. And
 Justine. And Eric. And the spiritual gifts exercise.
 Prophecy, Intercession. As I take the quiz, knowing it
 would be retarded to put much stake into its answers,
 Eric wanders into the room, looking high as a kite.
 It’s likely he’s here looking for Justine, who has
 been avoiding his calls after his romantic persistence
 made her feel uncomfortable. Damn, he really looks
 I fucking hate how substances attach themselves to
 those who are the most sensitive. I only get around to
 a night of real drinking maybe once a month, so
 therefore, with my tolerance low but thirst for
 nothing more than hydration high, it’s easy to
 stupidly consume to much and find yourself speaking in
 ways that would have helped me score higher on the
 “:speaking in tongues” portion of the test.
 Eric stammers around, loudly makes fun of the quiz and
 seems to make most in the room both humored and
 uncomfortable. I can’t tell if this is a substance or
 crippling anxiety-prone depression, but something
 doesn’t seem right, as I sit here with the results of
 the quiz in fingertips, feeling proud that I scored
 low on Celibacy. My mind is flying high with work. My
 family. And strangely, amidst it all, a girl.
 Yet, as he shifts all over the room, needing to charm
 those who seem somewhat concerned about his current
 mental state, I feel the need to pull him away and
 find out what this guy is all about. I notice the way
 his body was working to shut off his mind and heart,
 and I really feel for him.
 “I’m going for a cigarette. Walk with me,” I say.
 He follows. He looks paranoid when a cop drives by,
 and tells me he has a gun across the street in his
 car, that he had been to the shooting range earlier
 and was driving on a suspended license due to a
 D.U.I., so if he got pulled over, they would search
 and he’d be fucked. I ignore it. And I start hammering
 him with questions. You can tell me anything. Nothing
 fazes me.
 And he lets’ loose. The stories of his fist fights,
 heroin and coke addictions of yesteryear, never
 admitting to even having so much as a beer in the
 present day, are unsurprisingly followed by stories of
 an abusive childhood, his brother’s death. And how
 just after the night I first met him, just as Justine
 had turned him down, he had to catch a flight back
 home to see his grandma.
 Scared shitless of facing a past that he rarely
 connects with, he had stalled just before getting in
 his friend’s car to head to the airport. “I left
 something upstairs.” He tried to tell them. They
 wouldn’t accept that and shoved him in the car.
 “I was planning on going back upstairs, pulling the
 gun out of my closet, and blowing my brains out.”  He
 says to me as we sit down on a planter next to
 church’s entrance, and I ask if I can pray for him. I
 don’t know if it will do much good. I’m no pastor. I’m
 no missionary. I’m just a guy who’s seen a bunch of
 shit and come out the other side as a generally happy
 camper who really loves people. But we pray. For a
 long time. Lord, let the sins others have placed on
 him not turn him to self-destruction. Let him see how
 his gifts of charm and humor can help the world around
 him. Let him find a peace through knowing that he
 doesn’t have to be a product of his environment, his
 environment can be a product of him. Let him realize
 that the sick feeling beneath his skin is the result
 of others, that he isn’t innately born feeling this
 way, and that you can bring him back to the core of
 who he is. Lord, this world has really fucked him
 over, don’t let him fuck himself over as a result.
 Lord, let him forgive the people who have hurt him,
 forgive himself for the way he has reacted to it all,
 and lift that weight.
 We hug hard. I have no idea if I’ve reached him, but
 having just lost a friend to suicide months prior, I
 was really praying that this would work. I’m sick of
 people dying who were dealt a shitty hand, people
 thriving who shit all over everyone else, and me
 feeling helpless when I get the phone calls after the
 It actually takes a bit of work to ask him for it. “I
 don’t think you are in a state where you should have a
 gun in your possession.”
 He immediately offers it, using reasons of not wanting
 to get pulled over with it. Thank God. We walk across
 the street to his car. It isn’t loaded. The clip lies
 next to it.
 “It’s clean,” he says. “Make sure it stays that way.”
 If it was clean, he hadn’t been to the shooting range
 earlier that day. There was a reason it was in his
 car, and fear swept over me for his safety and others.
 I put it in my pocket and we walk back into the church
 together. The bulge is huge, but luckily, I am wearing
 my longer green checkered polyester jacket with my
 black Fubu jeans. The jeans have deep pockets. The
 jacket covers the majority of the bulge. I suddenly
 realized how handy this particular combination would
 be to gangs across America. Visions of Crips, Bloods
 and L.A. Locos in plaid polyester sweep through my
 mind, and I feel happier than I’ve been in the last
 two weeks.
 I hug a few friends goodbye and start the long trek
 home, being careful not to jaywalk and get stopped. I
 had lost my I.D. a few days back, and being without
 any identification with a forty-five in your pocket
 wouldn’t look good to Officer Friendly. It crosses my
 mind if Kara would return my calls if she were to
 drive by and see me in handcuffs with a forty-five
 lying on the front of a cop car. Hey, these things
 I suddenly wonder where the gun has been, and I
 immediately dial Justine, to reaffirm that she is not
 to answer his calls. I don’t think he’d harm her, he
 doesn’t seem to be a danger to others. I think with
 some tight friendships, this kid could come out the
 other side of it all.
 Justine doesn’t answer her phone at first. Ten minutes
 pass by as I continue home, suddenly getting really
 scared for her. This girl is one of the best friends
 you find in this city. We tell each other everything.
 I’ve never gotten bored talking to Justine. Never
 waiting for her to finish a sentence so I could start
 one. She is an example of a nearly perfect, selfless
 person. I would never forgive this world if it harmed
 I walk up the steps. Finally the phone rings. It’s
 Justine. We talk for hours. She needs to know it isn’t
 her fault he is this way. She did the best she can. He
 needs guy friends. Not a girl. No girl can save a man
 from treating himself poopy.
 Wednesday Morning.
 I woke up early this morning and took a long walk.
 I fucking hate guns. I can’t stand the fact that the
 no-good piece of scrap metal is buried in the back of
 my closet, even though it has no bullets. I have no
 intention of giving it back to him anytime soon, and
 my friend Mason who leads the Bible study kindly
 declined via phone this morning to take it, even
 though he loves shooting ranges.
 I thought long and hard about Eric. How easy it would
 be for anyone to get smacked around by life’s
 circumstances and fall into that frame of mind. About
 how much he wants to give love right now, and how his
 instability makes it impossible for someone to want to
 receive it, which makes it impossible for him to get
 stable. The viscous circles of life. The fact that he
 carried a gun. So tragic, his life circumstances
 inspiring such fear. The desperate need for control. I
 suddenly feel more tenderness towards Republicans.
 As I sit in front of my computer, wondering if work is
 going to blow up in my face, if I’m going to lose my
 job, not see a check in time, get evicted, and look
 like an idiot in front of everyone, all I feel like
 doing is typing about a pretty girl with wavering
 Wednesday 8:55 p.m.
 I have no cell minutes left. Kara calls. I tell her
 I’d call her back. After nine, cell time is free. It
 crosses my mind how many relationships have been
 destroyed due to delays in expressing emotions during
 anytime minutes.
 9 p.m. I call Anna.
 “David, I have bad news… As bad as it can get.”
 “It doesn’t exist. None of it exists. HBO has never
 heard of our employer. There is no tie between us and
 them. There is no money.”
 I went into denial. I hung up and called Kara back.
 She told me “I just wanted to thank you for coming out
 on Monday night…”
 She seemed so formal. So calculated. The
 sophistication had morphed into over-diplomacy. I
 figured I’d go for broke. Share it all. Let her know
 I’m a loser and she’s amazing yet guarded and I’m
 honest, yet my world is falling apart.
 So, I read her what you just read. No joke. I read it
 all to her. I had just found out five minutes prior
 that I had lost a $90,000 contract, had not a dime to
 my name, was on the verge of eviction, and now
 suddenly realizing, that I was destroying a friendship
 with someone I was really enamored with.
 She hung up the phone within sixty seconds of the
 completion of the reading. Obviously, she wasn’t
 impressed. My level of honesty isn’t good for anyone.
 Once again, too human for the human fold.
 The truth sets in. My life is fucked. All of my
 connections know about this job. With my reputation
 trashed, my crush quite possibly looking into
 restraining orders, my career over, and my family once
 again destined to see me as a letdown, I thought about
 the gun in my closet.
 It was as if God took it out of Eric’s hands, and the
 devil put it into mine. However, for some reason, I
 still didn’t want to die. The seratonin-dopamine fight
 or flight phenomena had even failed me a way out.
 I got on the phone with Justine. We talked for a long
 time as I walked back and forth down Hollywood
 Boulevard. It didn’t matter what she said. Just the
 sound of her voice. It didn’t just calm me. It made me
 feel really good. She made me laugh.
 “It’s hard to be upset for too long when I’m talking
 to you… It doesn’t matter what happens, when I talk to
 It was so true. Somehow, I related to this girl’s love
 for others, lack of self-preservation, and irreverent
 humor amidst the evils of this world. For a second, I
 felt like an asshole for pursuing Kara, who I couldn’t
 even talk to, when the person I wanted to share
 everything with was right there. There was only one
 problem. It’s not that way between her and I. Both of
 us, chasing after those we can’t fully talk to. I wish
 God had never created bodies, just spirits that choose
 what they project.
 The phone rings again. “Dave, we found his house.
 You’ll never fucking believe it.” Patrick says “We’re
 gonna make sure these guys don’t try to go anywhere
 tonight. Do you want to come take turns keeping
 Three of the writers had spent the last couple hours
 looking for the producer’s assistant’s car, who was
 rumored to be staying with him somewhere near the CBS
 “We’re gonna get these mother fuckers…” Patrick says
 to me.
 Thursday. 10 am.
 We are all gathered at a diner near the CBS lot and my
 mind is already racing with ideas on a script I had
 put on hold before this all had started. It isn’t
 over, but my mind is ready to move on.
 At the table is John, the supposed HBO producer, all
 the writers, the costume designer, and the art
 director that has brought some of the most impressive
 designs with him that I have ever seen. Incredible
 really, the minds and talents in the room.
 The truth comes out. John isn’t from HBO. We were told
 he was. He was told that we were. The costume woman
 wasn’t recommended by HBO, even though her credentials
 were far beyond needing that. She was referred to
 Wayne by Western Costume. She hasn’t been paid a dime.
 Wayne had convinced John that HBO was slow on a wire
 transfer, and John convinced the line producer he
 hired to put up about five grand to get things rolling
 in the art department. Petty cash.
 Jesper is here, having known Wayne off and on for 17
 years, looking shell shocked, claiming he lost seventy
 grand of his fiancĂ©e’s money to the whole thing,
 believing Wayne had a deal the whole time fronting the
 John relates his end of the story. He finally calls
 HBO. They’d never heard of Light Force Entertainment,
 Wayne, or any project called The Real Rome. Why would
 anyone do this? You would have to be insane. Fucking
 insane! Wayne probably believed that he could string
 us along for long enough to get some amazing pages, go
 into pre-production, get his deal and become
 Now, all in all, John and his line producer friend are
 out the cash. Writers and researchers aren’t going to
 see any of the money (none of us having worked
 elsewhere for nine weeks and canceling upcoming gigs),
 the costume lady is screwed and the art department
 just plain baffled.
 This all on top of Jeff B’s research, finding out the
 fire stations were required to hire new employees in
 order to comply with Wayne’s requests, and have yet to
 see the million dollar vehicles promised by Light
 Force Entertainment. Jeff B. looks at me and says
 “Wayne told me his first sexual experience was in a
 fire station.”
 I had thoughts of Rosebud
 I am facing eviction. Have nowhere to go. Jeff B. and
 his young bride have nothing and a six month lease,
 wishing they could just go back to Ohio. I hear vague
 conversations about Bush making it harder to file
 bankruptcy in the background.
 And Patrick, the paranoid coke head, wasn’t paranoid
 or even on coke. He was right all along. It was a
 He puts his hand on my shoulder. “I hate to say I told
 you so..”
 I laughed, holding back my tears. “I’m sorry for you
 man. I know this hits hard,” he says. He was so
 genuine. He even turned out to be a damn fine writer.
 Now, we just had to find Wayne. And our contracts,
 w4’s, the researchers’ hundreds of dollars’ worth of
 library books, you name it.
 We got in the car and trekked over to where Wayne,
 Brent and Jesper were staying. Wayne wasn’t there. We
 later found out he was in court at the time on
 Indecent Exposure / Lewd Conduct charges, filed in
 Pasadena, for crying out loud.
 When we got there, the true horror set in. They had
 been staying in a converted garage out behind a little
 old ladies house. Wayne and his assistant in one room,
 Jesper in the other. The poor woman had been giving
 them free rent, as they had promised she would be
 working as a production coordinator on the HBO series.
 My gawd, how did he pull it all off?
 How did this guy, without any cash to his name, get us
 on the CBS lot, a rented bungalow office, a new lease
 signed on Lankershim, a costume department employed
 and put into high gear, an art director, six writers,
 two researchers and two office assistants all working
 full-time, and all of this he masterminded out of a
 little old ladies garage?
 I am impressed, to say the least. I get him on the
 phone. We’re all standing in the woman’s  front yard,
 as she looks traumatized by the news, that this lovely
 man could do such a thing. “I was counting on that
 job, since I wasn’t getting any money from them for
 rent of the back house,” she said, looking as if she
 was going to cry.
 Patrick is yelling “Fuck you Wayne” over and over,
 flipping off the phone that is currently up to my ear.
 “Wayne, we know there is no deal between you and HBO,”
 I say.
 “Well, that’s news to me,” he says.
 “Wayne, how could you do this to us? This is sick.”
 “So, the writers are going on strike then? Maybe it
 would help if we showed HBO some of the pages,” he
 “Wayne, HBO has never heard of you. Sam, the woman at
 HBO has never heard of you. There is no Light Force
 Productions. Wayne, you need help. I’m going to pray
 for you brother. You really need help.”
 I believe that Wayne actually believed he had a deal.
 That to con us, he had conned himself. We were dealing
 with what seems to be, a total fucking sociopath. God
 bless America.
 It’s been ten minutes, and Patrick is still jumping up
 and down and cursing the phone in the background, as
 the rest of the writers sing “Liar, liar pants on
 fire.” I feel like my heads going to explode as I hand
 the phone over to someone else, and lament the fact
 that I’m sure to be homeless in the matter of days.
 The little old lady announces that Wayne won’t be
 staying with her anymore, and that I am more than
 welcome to the spare room in the garage if I need a
 place to stay.
 I suddenly realized that for me, the worsening of life
 circumstances had only begun.
 While this was happening, my phone ran out of minutes.
 Shut off. No contact with the outside world. No way to
 have known that Justine’s mother was in the hospital
 due to an irregular heart beat. No way to check up on
 Eric, who I was really worried for, and suddenly felt
 as if there was no way I could reach out to him while
 dealing with my own dire needs, and a family to whom I
 owe money, and have suddenly no way of being
 supportive of, as my dead grandfather is still hanging
 out in a freezer somewhere outside of Sumner,
 The ripple affect of this unstable career is showing
 its instantaneous power. Plus, I still have yet to
 find a way to get rid of that fucking gun, and I know
 Eric wants it back.
 What’s funny, the biggest lesson from all of this, was
 how I felt that night that Justine talked to me on the
 phone. The sound of her voice. The way she didn’t
 judge my failure. The way she listened and made me
 I still feel so humiliated.
 Life comes bashing away at full speed even without the
 help of something as unbelievable as all this. People
 die all around you. They kick the shit out of each
 other and lie to each other. Desire and depression
 mold some into creatures of compassion and humor, like
 Justine. Some into bottles of escapism, anxiety and
 self-destruction, like Eric. Some into guarded
 diplomacy, like Kara, and some into brilliant
 sociopaths who run a fraud that leaves over a dozen
 workers screwed for hundreds of thousands of dollars
 in lost wages, not to mention the humiliation and
 feeling of a career headed towards doom.
 Even having tested high on Prophecy, I never saw any
 of this coming. My test scores on Intercession aren’t
 seeming to be of much help either.
 But I’m still off to pray. Pray for Justine’s mom.
 Pray for my co-workers. Pray for Eric. Pray for
 family. Pray for that bitch that is responsible for
 the fact that my grandfather is still in need of
 thawing. Pray for Wayne. And pray that I can sell this
 story overnight and get enough money to keep from
 getting evicted, losing my mind, and finding myself
 living in a little old ladies garage near the CBS lot,
 promising my elderly landlady  a job on a project that
 only exists in my head.
 Written by David N. Donihue. ©opyright 2005.

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