Chapter 79: “Looking for an Outlet”
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My love for video games had been waning over the past few months. All I wanted to play was Smash Bros., but no matter what, I wasn’t feeling like playing the overall medium as much. I tried; actively, to reinvigorate this past time but in the end, I was searching for a more creative channel. My writing itch had returned with a vengeance, and I was looking for an outlet. I had actually considered co-hosting a weekly video game show with Kyle on YouTube to marry the two elements of my life, but that never came into existence.
Regardless, that didn’t stop me from finding some way to articulate and further improve my written voice. The first thing that came to mind was to at least come into more money to free up more of my creative hours (an easy feat, no doubt). If I could get rid of that dreadful hospital job, then I would be set to properly foster my writing.
To achieve this monumental goal, I crafted a script for a clever application video to be a contestant on Deal or No Deal. This show was a huge hit not only in our apartment but nationwide. It was one of the first game shows in quite some time to make a splash in a primetime slot. The premise of the video was set in a comedic dream of being on the show and talking about myself surviving cancer et al., and making it down to the last case. Then all of a sudden, I was stark naked on national television. Then, the video continued as I woke up, walked downstairs to find Kyle watching an episode, and that I had really been on the show, and I REALLY had been naked. And of course, I lost it all.
It was a work in progress, but with some tweaking, I knew it would at least stand out amongst the rest. The problem was, I never finished the video and wound up scraping the whole concept.
I was insistent on including video games into something more social and/or creative, and so, I held mini Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournaments for a while. Of course, my friend Justin wiped the floor with us at all times except ONE…
…When he didn’t show up, and I ended up winning twenty bucks total.
Another creative outlet that I wrote was a funny infomercial parody spoofing those drug commercials that would have dozens of unwanted side effects. We even shot this one but the footage wasn’t the best, and I had wanted to re-shoot some of it. Shawn played the product salesman in an infomercial for a hair-growing product called “Hair There.” You simply rub this cream on any part of your body that you want hair on and instantly, it grew in thick patches. We shot it in reverse segments so I could slowly shave pieces off until I was baby-faced.
Then after I applied the cream, he spouted off the side effects such as a mild rash, irritable bowel syndrome, athlete’s foot, gonorrhea, partial paralysis, and naturally, death.
Soon after we moved into Apt C, our friends Derek and Bob moved into our old place next door. We collectively ruled this building even though there were still three storefronts and a neighbor under us that occupied the remainder of the square footage.
This Fellowship of Nine (including our neighbors Mike, Chris, and Kramer) spawned the most significant venture for my comedic voice: to make a show loosely based off of our personalities and the zany antics that would ensue between the three apartments. We lived at the corner of Newbury and State St., and I came up with the name and logo of “The State of Newbury.” The logo would feature the intersecting street sign with the Newbury spinning, first showing ‘Newberry’ then corrected to ‘Newbury.’ The reason for the name change was to nod to Bangor’s own confusion with its spelling as at the other end of the street it was misspelled as ‘Newberry.’
The series really didn’t take shape. A lot of the guys didn’t want to make any comedy videos, and so I shifted my focus on other ways to make the writing work as an individual.
Meanwhile, I aimed to stretch my social muscles further, and thankfully, the place became a partier’s delight; we hosted dozens of parties with people from all walks of life. Every tenant in our building invited their close personal clicks, and we had a hodgepodge of backgrounds, and yet, we STILL didn’t have anyone that would rat our parties out to the cops.
The apartment had also been glued to the television during the 2008 Presidential Election, and it was one of the more inspirational times. We had gone to see Barack Obama when he came to Bangor before the Democratic Primaries that year. He and his promise of change were inspiring and rang true in my own personal change in perspective. Whether or not you believed his word, it reaffirmed my personal beliefs in embracing change.
So, when Shawn had asked me to join him in this new moneymaking venture, I said yes. It was for an insurance company, but they had an interesting way of approaching the service. Their representative first met with you and gave you a plan of action to better help with your personal financial situation. Essentially, they billed themselves as financial advisors, but they would also offer these other insurances.
This plan had some solid advice, most importantly of which, was to build up your emergency fund first and foremost. Don’t pay more on your bills until you have a cushion to fall back upon in case bills came into the picture. There was only one problem with this notion: I was already paying several bills off at the time, and there was little money to save after the fact. Plus, the idea of selling something to people again was not a pleasant one. Eventually, we quit before we ever truly started.
One night, Mike and I went out with some of the ladies from work. We all danced the night away at a local hotel/dance “club,” Barnaby’s. Now, this place was the LAST place I would like to find myself drinking because I didn’t really care for dancing. But, again – with the female persuasion – we went and had a blast.
We all danced in a group and then individually. Deirdre and another woman named Veronica were there. Veronica was a newer employee but we all hung out, and eventually, Mike and I found ourselves ping-ponging between the ladies. Both were giving me a lot of attention, and I ended up dancing with Veronica more. Little did I know where that choice would lead.
This is an ongoing story of my personal battle with Cancer. My hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.
The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a publically available first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. The only reason I’m doing it this way is to get the story out as soon as possible for someone out there who needs a survivor to visit them during their own treatment. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, tweet at me and I’ll give you a call. No questions asked. This story is for you and I’ll help any way that I can.
Stay tuned, as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.
And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.