I hate begging. I will do so if I am a quarter short to getting on the train, or dying for a cigarette or in need of a weed front, but little else will get me there, okay? But.. Since I am trying to better my existence, and be a bit more like the great artists I so admire, it is time for me learn the fine art of begging. I had a horrible vision of this one day when I was very young and very sure that writing was some kind of financial boon like being a rock star or something, as I read through a hard bound, beige copy of bowdlerizing letters. Most of them were to his mother. Something like twelve or more opened with the line,
"My Dear Mother,
I will never, ever again ask you for money but I must do so once again."
I called my mom and told her about this at the time and can still remember her bitter, bitter laugh. She knew. None of us in my family who matter ever chased the bucks for a lifestyle. She started reading to us while we were still in her womb and filled us with an alternative way of seeing the images that would one day splash across our eyes like acid.
Baudelaire's letters letters begging your parents for money. . . . That should probably be on the curriculum of every high school freshman English class, to avoid a bunch more souless art fucks like me too stunned by the damage already done to even know where to start cleaning up the bloody mess...
Those embarrassing letters baudelaire wrote are another one of those things we piddling nobodies can (with varying degrees of conviction) add to the long lists that those of us who are not famous need to convince ourselves our lot is better..... We play our own conman's, forever our own mark ready to believe the spell/lie that we don't even want to be JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR -- that life in the muddy world outside the pretty, pretty tv land is just fine....
I have been leading up to something here, obviously.... so, unless you are too self absorbed, involved in a phone conversation, watching southpark, or making sure your boss can't see that you're reading my site, or simply just too head dented to get much of anything and are right about now reaching for the keys to find a site with more mountain jugs and furry crotched near children.... You should realize that I am whoring myself here. Begging for alms. Sort of. I like to consider this more of a knock on the back door from a weary traveler, who wouldn't mind doing a look work for a sandwich and a few coins.
I am basically saying that since I can't work due to the porous nature of my lower spine and hips (I hate always mentioning this, sorry -- I deal with it better than you would think, so never let the mention of it matter, should you be the kind of psycho to bond with a misanthropic human hunter such as myself who is indeed, and I am sure much to your chagrin, both a dog and a cat person).
Not that I am going to start charging people to read my work.
I just want to offer some other services, like getting a tax break for making a donation to the arts, or sending off old sets of paints and brushes that someone has left over and has sat in the garage forever. An actual money order would be fine, as well. My social security check is so small that I can't even afford a bank account anymore.... And money orders are easy to cash.
As far as earning a few bucks? If you know of anyone who needs tutoring, like writing a paper on a book, I would be glad to help them over the internet. I have done a lot of this kind of work, and once made 75 an hour doing it. But now, I would read a book and help you for like 30 bucks. I can send you signed, framed whatever sizes of all of my paintings for various prices. I will frame them and send them off and sign them. The same with all the paintings in here. Tell me which one you like and will send you the size and the latest picture, etc....
To this end, I did something last night that I am kind of embarrassed about. They have a free newspaper here, the reader, and a column where you can publish in the classifieds for free. The title is wanted. I decided, what the hell, I have nothing to lose...
Pulled up the page and wrote something about being a disabled painter and writer who needed help and directing them to my websites for further instructions. It might be a good way to get a bunch more readers? I don't know if anyone will actually come out of the wood work and send me much needed money. It is kind of an experiment. When I woke up all straight the next morning, I had a flash of embarrassment for writing the damn thing.... But, as they say, strangers things have happened.... like that chick who got 75 grand to pay off her credit cards.
So, there it is, the article for the people who start coming to my site tomorrow to see if I am for real or anything. I even put my phone number and address in there? What the hell do I have to lose?
My fans will probably one day support me, when the books finally start coming off... Speaking of which, I am happy with this weeks work and will write about that next....
I worked 12 hours a day and went to school full time for twelve years. I took plenty of time to do art, edited a magazine, wrote for two little TV shows, a play, published songs and short stories and collages... Then later, the paintings began to sell for a bit of money, though I am no Picasso. I do hold designs on being better than most prints and all rock posters, okay?
When my health failed, a fusion from twenty years before began falling apart. Pieces of bone as big as the end third of your finger are like inches away from the spine. Wondrously, all this cartelidge and assorted stuff surrounded the bone and is keeping it mostly away from the spine. All on its own it did this. Thinking without me. I'm no mystic, but I was impressed with the body that day, for sure.
Now, I can get along a bit. I have to take way more pills than I want, which is a lot, believe me. The pain is such though that only something like morphine would take it away, and that shit would mess my life up so bad that I would rather live with some pain. I mean, I will take everything short of it. The pain of having these bones stabbing into my nerves all up and down my back is such that I end up spending the night in the hospital without pills.
Luckily, I live in a town with a free hospital.
I get less than 600 a month on social security and 150 in food stamps. This is not enough to pay half of my utilities most months, let alone new shoes ... The converse I have on my feet are full of holes.
I am kind of used to living a very non materialistic life, and take a certain pride in my ability to let go objects.... But lately I have found myself unable to afford something that I desperately need--the money to continue sending off my stories, canvases to keep painting, and the money to get to all of my doctor appointments,
Now, anyone who has been reading me for awhile knows that I am often begging my readers for only two things -- open minds, and hamsters. Sorry to add a third, for now... The money will be used to finance my room divider business, which I know can take off if I can get the space and materials that I neeed, but if I apply for an arts grant, they cut off my social security... No win for the poor.
So, here is how the ad reads.
Disabled fine arts painter and novelist broke his back a few months
before graduating. Please help. 773-973-5095/ 1333 West Fargo 3-s
60626. For an example of my work see http://theelvesattic.ebloggy.
Bad Ad. So today, I rewrote another and put that in also, saying that I could use any kind of assistance, even old paint and stuff. I gave them addresses to both this site, and the new elves attic site, which I am going to try to make as funny as possible tonight, because the reader comes out tomorrow. I even put my address in there, like it matters.... Because I hope to get money sent to me.... Money orders please, or boxes of paint, or gift certificates to THE ART STORE, or grocery stores or canvases I can paint over or.... Any kind of writing job would be cool, too... I can write very funny commercials, and am a great MC. I developed that talent doing weekly shows last year.
So, if you can help, fine. I am sure I will muddle along without any help. There is also the paintings that you could buy, or even order 8 by tens of anything from me and I will frame them and sign them and send them back for twenty bucks.
I have no room right now to finish a room divider I am trying to paint, and my bad back makes moving it a bitch. This would be a booming business if I got it going. I talked to designers, store owners, etc... There is a huge demand and they would love to have someone who doesn't mind painting in the scheme the decorator comes up with. So far I like painting dark, brilliantly lit Chicago nights with skies filled with stars and great puffy clouds tinged by a yellow moon. Mot that I am so great at this yet. I need to do a series of paintings. I presently live half a block from the lake, so I could go there and paint if I could get my easel down there.
So, once more, the reason I am asking for donations (tax deductible) from you, as a patron of the arts, is so that I may remain stable enough to keep producing those occasional laughs I give you. I mean, unless something changes, M. Is going to sell me to some Korean guys who are going to force me to paint landscapes for those STARVING ARTISTS sales that are advertised not so cleverly everywhere....
So, that list of things you can send (and remember, people are getting money donated for breast transplants and shit, so you will helping to fight a deadly trend of giving where it is not needed). I am also willing to paint any of your animals that you ask. I will do this in my own way, but I will do my best to make them beautiful. Just send the picture, a canvas or the money for one of a specific size, and any dominant colors that you want in the back ground. I will do the same for people. I am very much like an art deco drawerer when it comes to paintings, though,.
Thanks again for reading me. And by the way, most of the donations you send will NOT GO FOR WEED. We use the utility money and food budget for that.
HAVE A DAY WHERE YOU DO NOT EVEN SEE ONE PILE OF DOG SHIT ON THE SIDEWALK.
so, send money orders, paint and brushes, old drawing pads, pencils, gift certificates or whatever you can afford to pay of what you think I deserve for all this writing and painting.
john scott ridgway
1333 West Fargo 3-S
Chicago, IL 60626
Thank you .... and don't feel weird if you can't send anything, okay? I am am usually too poor to give a hand out too.
ALL WRITING IN HERE IS THE PROPERTY OF JOHN SCOTT RIDGWAY, AND YOU CAN GET MY PERMISSION TO PERFORM AND REPRINT WITH AN EMAIL. Steal from me and you will be cursed in such a way that your hands turn into worthless, jelly fish like appendages that sting your intimates.