I walked into the grass and took a seat in the middle of the field. The park was quiet that day, most people probably still at home cleaning up the debris in their own yards instead of spending the day out. The few people that I saw seemed to be homeless, having come out from whatever shelter they found to weather the storm. Looking out into the bay again, I noticed two men on one of the boats.
They proceeded to strip down to their underwear and place their clothes in plastic bags before tying the tops and jumping into the water. They made fairly quick work of swimming the distance to shore, and when they arrived, they each produced a towel from their bags with which they dried themselves off before getting dressed again.
I’ve heard stories of the boats that are moored in Sarasota Bay. Apparently, many of them have been abandoned by their owners, no longer able to pay for the upkeep, having dumped enough money into their own little hole in the water. Many of the boats in Sarasota bay and bays throughout the coast of Florida have been stripped of their identification numbers and left to rot in the warm coastal waters. Though many citizens see this as a blight on the landscape, many of the less fortunate, as the two men who were now putting their shoes on, have used the refuse as refuge. I wondered where they had gone to weather the storm and if any of them now had their homes smashed on the far shore.
Their plight only served to further increase my bad mood as I considered how easily one could fall from the graces of financial stability in this day and age, how simple it was to get hurt, lose a job, and be unable to pay the next month’s bills. Or what of the many who had lost their homes due to all of the recent foreclosures? I wondered how many of those who wandered the streets of Sarasota and other American cities had such sob stories on how they reached their level of dereliction. I’d heard stories when I was on the road and working in mental hospitals of people who once had good jobs and families who lost it all due to circumstances that were beyond their control, be it mental illness, drug addiction, health crises, or natural catastrophe.
The message that David had given me about setting an intention and following through on it in order to reach one’s goal of success seemed such a simple and idealistic view of the world. But seeing the wreckage on the far shore and watching the homeless dredge themselves from dumpsters and abandoned boats made me question the real feasibility of it all. Surely, it wasn’t really all that simple. Regardless of the intention that anyone might hold, there are circumstances that can curtail our ability to reach them. The thought that overwhelmed me as I sat on the grass overlooking the rampant catastrophe of these men’s lives was only, why bother?
Here, I had been challenged by two strangers, and I do mean strangers, to write this book about marketing and the merits of life and business, but had thus far only received a monumental headache from a whacked out mind trip and an exegesis on how simple it was to create a successful venture with my own two hands. In the meantime, those who elicited the call were nowhere to be found, leaving me to question the measure of my sanity.
As it was, I decided to scrap this whole idea on a book on marketing, and find a way to get back to working on my screenplay.
This is an excerpt from How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. Come back weekly for the next part or order your copy in ebook or paperback today!