The mechanical process of printing a book is something that is all new to me.
The Inner Chambers Of My Heart
By Richard Mabey Jr.
I had this dream last night. Not really a dream, more of a nightmare. I dreamt that all of my comic books sold at the auction and sold well. Thus, I had the money to self publish my novel. Well, you know how dreams really don’t make sense sometimes. In my dream, I was at the printer, watching my book being published. Then, lo and behold something happened and the printing press broke. Black ink sprayed all over me. The printing press got stuck and broke down. But, here’s the clincher to my dream.
The next thing I knew is that I was in the office of the executive big wheel at the book publishing company. He told me that I would have to pay for the cost to repair his printing press. I yelled at him that it was unfair.
So, I got a lawyer. The lawyer told me that it was tough luck. That since Trump was elected President, he put into law that if a printing press breaks down, whoever was the author of the book that was being printed, was responsible to pay for the cost of repairing the printing press. I remember saying, “Trump stinks.” Then I woke up. For one moment, upon awakening, I thought that the dream was real.
The point of it all is that I think that I’ve lost my confidence. That’s a terribly tough thing for a man to admit. I don’t really have that “I can move mountains” feeling that I had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago for that matter.
Lately, I spend my days and sometimes nights, working as a Gate Guard in Happy Land Gated Community. A lot of the people are anything but happy. They curse at Gate Guards for no reason at all. A lot of the people are rude and obnoxious. A Gate Guard’s self image takes a beating in Happy Land Gated Community.
Aside from the nightmare of working as a Gate Guard in Happy Land, I miss my dad so very much. Whenever I was down in the dumps, he would put his hand on my shoulder and say something like, “come on Richard, if you can’t do it, I don’t know who can.” I miss my dad so much that it still hurts.
One summer, when I was still in high school, my dad and I hiked a big leg of the Appalachian Trail for one full week. Along with the other scouts and scout leaders of Boy Scout Troop 170, we carried everything we needed on our backs. That included our food, cooking gear, sleeping bag and tent tarp. You can’t hike the Appalachian Trail for one full week with your dad and not become best friends. It’s plain impossible.
Dad and I did a lot of things together in scouts. We also took four separate and distinct week-long canoe trips down the Delaware River. We would start far up in New York State and travel down to the New Jersey area of the Delaware. We would have our food, change of clothes, sleeping bags and tent tarp stored in the center of our canoe. It was a journey where my dad and I got to know each other better. And, once again we became best friends.
From time to time, I have this dream that my dad is in my presence still. I can feel his heart-felt belief in me. Lately, I have been feeling very insecure. Mostly about how my comic book collection will do when they are put up for auction. Also, I am very worried about how my novel will be received. And, to put the cards on the table, if I’ll be able to sell enough of my books to just break even on the cost of printing.
Often times my dad told me that it takes hard work to see your dreams come true. I can still see my father’s confident smile. His steadfast sureness in himself. Deep down, I have this quest, this thirst, this hunger, to get out of Happy Land Gated Community. I long to have the fellowship of writers that I knew in working for newspapers, working in corporate public relations, and in working as a copy writer at the ad agency. But, alas, it ain’t that easy to get one of those jobs when you hit 62.
Each night I pray for the good Lord to give me a way, a means, a channel to get out of Happy Land Gate Community. I pray to be free of doing the thankless job of serving as a humble Gate Guard at Happy Land. I pray my novel makes it big.
I can’t be any more honest than this. This is the inner truth of the chambers of my heart.