Tag Archives: Addiction

Interview On Goodreads About # 1 Son And Other Stories!

Christine Sneed Interviewed me about my book #1 Son And Other Stories.

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/17191579-q-and-a-with-michael-marcus-author-of-1-son-and-other-stories

 

 

1. What inspired you to write these stories (which are based on true events)? Was the experience at all therapeutic? 
I had an English teacher in 9th grade who encouraged the class to journal every day, a diary of our daily experiences. He told us all it was confidential and was for his eyes only, and that he would grade for spelling and grammar only. I wrote of my experiences related to stealing, drug use, parties, alcohol, Quaaludes, mushrooms, coke, and working and stealing at my father’s auction gallery. This teacher helped set the stage for the prose and poetry that I would eventually write.
The stories in #1 Son are all based on true events; some of these events and conversations took place over the course of many years, but were combined to offer more character description, story resonance, and arc. Feel free to Google the details in this book or … ask my mom! She’s one of very few living eyewitnesses at this point.
I took a couple of writing workshops (and many improv classes) that helped me access a lot of this material as well. I barely finished high school and have no former schooling as far as writing goes. It just happened. It was cathartic, but it also brought up some trauma. And I mean real trauma. That’s a catchword that comes up frequently in today’s therapeutic and 12 step settings and I believe it’s lost its luster.
But where do you go if you grew up in the mix of drugs, porn, and violence? I’ll tell you where: hell on earth and unable to connect…On the other hand not facing all of this has brought me back to relapsing many times. So I did a lot of 12 step work and therapy, and continue to, I’m under no illusions that I’m healed, but I am on the road, way down the road of recovery….

 

READ MORE…

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/17191579-q-and-a-with-michael-marcus-author-of-1-son-and-other-stories

 

#1 Son And Other Stories Is Available Now!

AMAZON LINK;

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast!

https://youtu.be/P7jF9VwzsjM (starts at 32:42)

 

 

ROOM SERVICE DURING AWARD SEASON

Well, it’s here, that self-congratulatory jerk-off fest and ass kissing extravaganza!

Film, music, and television award shows! Look I’m not trying to hate, I enjoy one or two shows here and there. But Jesus Christ it’s nonstop in this town! I would love if they gave an award for ‘biggest douche bag, biggest asshole, the biggest pain in the ass to work with, biggest ass, biggest man boobs…’

I don’t know, maybe if we get a little more creative, and a little more self-deprecatory maybe the general public wouldn’t take actors and celebrities so seriously. They seem to look at them as these monumental, incredibly important, amazing people. What’s worse though are the sycophants & minions that blog and report on said celebritards. And a lot of those people stay right here in the hotel. These are the flies buzzing around the secondary shit that is Hollywood. Based on the delusion that there’s any glamour in Hollywood, entertainment reporters would be the very lowest on that wrung. How do I know? Because I worked for an entertainment magazine (STAR) long enough to see what a load of stupid fucking tripe all that information and news is. But hey, I grew up in this town so I’m probably a little jaded.

Ok on with it.

Golden Globes Night.
I get a big order $860.00 rm. 412, knock knock.
‘Room service.’ The TV is LOUD; I hear audience laughter as well as heavy room chatter. A lot is going on in there. I sense douchery; I hope I’m wrong.
‘What? what? Who is that? Why are you bothering us! Come back later.’

I knock again and scream loudly over the noise, ‘ROOM SERVICE!’
‘Yes, Yes. Okay. Hold on.’ The door opens a Perez Hilton looking guy gives me a dismissive wave in. Fat dude in purple skinny jeans and deep v-neck with a wolf’s head print. I’m annoyed, right off the bat. Why do I have to be visually offended by your bad taste in fashion and your lack of physical exercise? I hate everything.

I go in, 10 or 12 people are huddled on a couch looking up at a wall mounted plasma screen. They’re consumed.
They’re desperate for a fix. They speak as if they know the celebrities intimately and personally. Using first names, or shortening the name or making child like names of the nominees.
‘Oh my god Patty (Patricia Arquette) is hot!’
‘Well Meryl is like that…’
‘Bobby D was up for that.’
‘And Well George (Clooney I suppose) is so blah blah…’
I’m totally ignored, and someone says ‘pause it.’ The poor man’s Perez replies, ‘Don’t you fucking dare, I need to see this in real time! Ok come in. Quickly please.’ At that point I move even slower. ‘Where would you like…’ I say slowly.
‘Oh god, just over there. Where ever.’

Then a chubby girl in skintight everything. ‘No no not there! Just leave it. Right by the window.’ She gets up with a grunt. ‘Nyuuhh, oh my this looks fan fucking tastic!’ Another rude chubby wubby on the Couch yells, ‘eat my quesadilla bitches and just see what fucking happens!’
‘Oh shut up Gavin!’ I back up towards the door, now I really want to get out of here. I feel my soul being sucked out of every orifice. The depth of this crowd resembles a dried out birdbath.

I leave the room. I look in the book, of course there’s no extra tip or gratuity. ‘Oh God you cheap assholes,’ I say under my breath as I round a corner. I bump into a bellman that’s bringing someone’s luggage to the lobby. ‘Yeah man,’ he says ‘this is the cheapest fucking crowd of the year prepare yourself.’ The next room, 516. Just tea. Small order smaller auto gratuity. I knock,
Room service before I can even finish the sentence a girl whips open the door,
‘Finally.’ she says. The room’s packed with wardrobe racks, and suitcases, and boxes, and shoes and high-end designer shopping bags, jewelry strewn all over the tables. I manage my way around the obstacle course of couture footwear and accessories. I give her the check.
‘Yes yes I’m here dressing and styling VIPs I’m sorry to be short, I just need things delivered very quickly.’
‘That’s nice.’ I say.
She grins at me.
I walk out.

Short & Sweet
The Grammys. In the great words of Chuck D of Public Enemy, ‘Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy.’

More senseless awards for art. I will not be commenting on Kanye West, because I really don’t care. I haven’t heard the new Beck album either. I’ve never listened to music because it won an award. Seems like an Award just solidifies your self-worth as well as a future paycheck.
Most of the guests that I dealt with on Grammy night were too self obsessed to be dismissive or mean. Anybody that was of real importance was already at the show. At the end of any shift (regardless of the event that’s taking place) I usually laugh it off. And I realize that it’s not my career path and you wouldn’t get the entertainment of this lovely little blog, so I will be reporting more about this fantastic award season after the Academy Awards! And we’ll see you at the movies!

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

My Father, Carl Marcus 1978.

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From the chapter, “Going For A Drive”

 

“What’s a shnorra Daddy?”

“Mikey, it’s men or women who freeload and sponge, like leeches at corporate or government jobs because they have no original thoughts, business sense, or ambitions. AND EVEN WORSE, they have no panache or hustle. You never want to get caught up in that garbage kid, it’s a dead-end life. A real fucking horror show.”

“OK, Dad.”

He turned up Frank Sinatra and ran his gold rings on the Caddie’s plastic steering wheel. He sang “My Way” as he gunned the red Eldorado up the 101 past Cambria. My father drove us all over California. We motored from Point Conception to the Mexican border, from San Fernando to San Francisco, Burbank to Barstow and all the nooks and crannies in between. He feeds us Ghirardelli chocolates, Pismo Beach clam chowder; date shakes from Hadley’s, root beer floats from A&W, fried shrimp from Howard Johnson’s, and pea soup from Andersen’s. On many occasions, he would wad up the check and stick it in his pocket, and we’d just walk out. “Let’s play a game kids. It’s called dine and dash.” If the waitress ever stopped us on the way out, he’d say, “must have slipped my mind,” then pay the bill. Once in our travels, my father took us to Fedco. He had acquired ‘paid’ stickers that a manager friend stole from the cash register. These stickers were used for big-ticket items that couldn’t be bagged. He’d slap a sticker on an item (toasters, irons, roller-skates, bicycles, even a color TV he put on a dolly) and we’d walk out.

When he was tired he’d pull into a rest stop and say, “OK you little cuties, shut the fuck up now. I’m sleeping, and I want silence.” He had no problem throwing an open fist into the back seat if we woke him. He called it “backhand therapy.” At home, he called it “wall-to-wall counseling.” My sister and I would sit back there wired on sugar and freak out about waking him. Then he’d wake up, and we were off. We also played road games. “Hey kids, you want to play house of horrors?”
 There was silence.

“How do you play that game Daddy?” My sister asked.

“We think of the worst possible scenario that could occur in a house filled with children.” More silence, for what seemed like an eternity. “For example, a banister that is sharpened like a shaving razor, and when you slide down it cuts you in two, haha!”

“Ok dad,” I said nervously.

“Or a special well lit room where they take a hole punch to your eyelids so your pupils are always exposed to the bright lights.”

“Eww,” said Lorraine.

“Or a chair with tacks and nails on it that you’re forced to sit in.”

“Dad, how about being stuck in a car that plays Frank Sinatra, over and over and over, forever?”

 

GET IT NOW!

#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

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Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

Wakayama Bar Fly Round Eye Fire Face

 

…He hands me the flaming shot and without even a second thought, I rally it back. Suddenly I smell burnt hair. My goatee is aflame. My collar and neck are aflame. Riae and Shuyu are screaming pointing. Yoshi is in shock. A Japanese woman in traditional garb dumps a pitcher of beer on me and there is another one behind her with another pitcher like they’re trying to douse a four-alarm brush fire.

“OKAY, OKAY!” I yell.

The smell of burnt hair and beer permeates my nostrils. I pat my face, I rub it, my cheeks feel like melted cheese. “Ha Ha Ha! Fuck!” I’m fucking wide-awake and so present it’s electrifying.

“Shit,” I say, “you trying to kill me Ricardo?”

“Fuck that shit, I’m sorry.”

I get up to go to the bathroom. The whole thing is surreal. People are staring at me, when I look at them they immediately looking away. I move quickly through the bathroom door, there is sweet, slow, traditional Japanese music playing overhead. I look at my face in the mirror. I don’t feel so pretty, or smooth and I’m definitely not bored. I let out a loud laugh. I’m an ugly American, real ugly. Is this my little dose of karma for H-bombs past? The skin has melted away two or three layers on both sides.

“Wow,” I say loudly. “I’m not a doctor but I’d say second-degree burns, Nurse Ratchet.”

As I say this, a very short Japanese man walks in, “Sorry sorry,” he bows, and runs out.

Fuck. My girl will understand.

The day after my face caught on fire…

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#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

IMG_5621

 

Confessions of a problem child

 

I burned down the backyard

And just stood there

Transfixed by the flames

I  pissed on my parent’s artwork while standing on their antique chair

I stole my best friends prized matchbox set

I crept into my mother’s and father’s room while they slept

I stole all they’re money and their car

Then drove to Mexico in a blackout

I told the 8th-grade teacher to shove that bullshit history book up her ass

I got a referral to the principal and was swatted in the ass with plexiglass for questioning patriotism and history and an imposed system of ignorance

I carried a loaded gun because they were coming

And then when they came I realized I forgot the gun

I was on a72-hour psyche hold in 4 point restraints and shot full of Haldol. Swore I’d never be there again, and I was there again and again

I was busted with possession of drugs and paraphernalia and sat in jail, and couldn’t wait to get out and not even have a clue I  was going to do it again. Over and over again

I’ve been angry, homeless walking the streets in Anytown, USA.

Totally convinced, truly believing, it was everybody else’s fault

I  walked the streets until my feet had blood blisters, but never left a square block radius

I broke into so many apartments in the complex I lived in that I could only leave the apartment at night out of sheer paranoia

I drank and drove so drunk that I had to cover an eye to stop seeing double, again, and again and again

I’ve heard at least 2 dozen people say they’ll never drink or use again

Then just hours, days, weeks, months, or years later, they overdose or drink themselves to death

I looked loved ones in the eyes and promised something, and just knew deep down I was going to break their fucking heart

 

Travel For Love

 

TBT ’95

His girl had been gone for three weeks. He was going out of his mind…

 

His psychiatrist called it a female dependency. He called it loneliness coupled with horniness.  He spoke to her often. She usually called while he was asleep. The strange thing is when she called, he was usually dreaming about her. She would wake him out of a dead sleep at 3:00 AM, The Witching Hour. He would be in a deep sleep dreaming about her. Her lithe sexy body, her porcelain skin, smooth as silk. Her lips and soft touch. Her cute voice. They went through so much together. Their bond was unbreakable. They could just look at each other and know, that they both knew. She was a brilliant artist, funny and clever and an amazing chef.

That morning she called and told him she’d be gone another three weeks! That meant a month and three weeks altogether. “No fuckin’ way man!” he said to her. He had a week of paid vacation left, but still owed rent, the IRS, unemployment and disability overpayments. He found a reasonable fight. And was on a plane to Japan five days later. “When the going gets unmanageable, the unmanageable go to Japan,” he told his mother. His sweet mother. She bailed him out of so many problems. She helped him through more than he would ever know. She got up at 7:00 AM to pick him up at 8:00 for his flight at 12:30 PM.

So now he’s on the plane with a thirst. He hadn’t had a drink in months. Trying the sobriety thing. But a thirst, a vodka thirst came over him, an obsession that he was warned about and experienced so many times in the same fucking untreated state. He drinks and reads.

He dozes off and dreams a horrifying dream.

He’s on the same plane but now every other passenger is a sumo wrestler. They’re all arguing and screaming. Two start wrestling right in front of him. They’re grunting and smell like Roquefort cheese and garlic, big balls of garlic. One throws another against the emergency door and it flies open. Sumo wrestlers are getting sucked out of the plane. At one point, three are jammed in the door and the cabin repressurizes. A sigh of relief of all the wrestlers seems to happen at once, it’s operatic, it’s soothing. But then one of the three farts, it’s loud like there’s an oboe in his ass, and the three sumo get sucked out.

Everyone is screaming again. He sits in his seat, horrified and amazed all at once, he has NO idea he’s dreaming. Suddenly his belt snaps and he gets sucked out too. There are hundreds of sumo wrestlers in the sky like babies with diapers dropped from a wayward stork. He grabs a sumo wrestler and uses him as a makeshift airbag, to break his fall. Before hitting the ground he awakens suddenly, sweating, so happy to be on a plane without sumo wrestlers. He eats, drinks, and converses with the other passengers.

He thinks about seeing his girl. He’s never traveled this far. Christ. Arizona, San Diego, and New York tops. But Japan…man oh man, he got the bite. He would travel to a cave in outer Mongolia for this girl. She was special. She was touched, a depressed manic-depressive alcoholic drug addict. She called it ‘the double overhead dual diagnosis.’  Pop Tarts and Prozac were her primary diet. He obsessively thought about her, he read and drank and drank, straight vodka, so many little bottles. Then made the mistake of eating. He sat and sweated and fell back to sleep.

He woke up dry heaving, ran to the lavatories but they were all occupied. “Jesus Christ, is there an open fucking toilet?” he cried. Finally one opened. Once in the lavatory, the decisions had to be quick. He has to shit, but he had to puke, could he do all that and piss too? He sat on the toilet and shit and pukes so quickly it didn’t make it into the sink. The vomit was in his underwear and pants. “Oh god, what a fucking mess,” he said aloud. He stripped, attempted to wash out his boxers. “Oh screw this”, he said as he threw the chunky chicken and broccoli multicolored drawers into the garbage. He washed his jeans out, cleaned off his shoes, and actually felt good.

A flight attendant approached him. “You need something…water, juice?” “Yes, ice water,” he said. She walked away. He had been on the plane 8 hours now. He spent twice that in factories and meaningless jobs, 12 hours of travel to see his girl in another country? Sure, why not.