When I first began writing, I put on this blog, somewhere, that I felt invisible. I produced work after work, and, yet, I never got the interviews or won the little awards that I saw other writers attaining. The companies that I worked for called me "Unestablished". I was an unestablished author, and when it was happening, I really wondered what that meant, exactly. There is nothing in all the world like being on the outside looking in. I could always work for the smaller online companies. The pay was zilch. It felt like the writing world was going on all around me, but I had been placed in this special bubble. No one could see me. No reader* ever spoke to me about something that I'd written. But the companies I worked for wanted book after book from me. It was a very strange way of being, and, only now, have I come to understand it for what it was and is. For a strange little person like myself making the difference will be difficult. Past experience in the field, and even recent ones, cloud my judgement. I don't trust anyone, and that lack of trust keeps me from putting out the many books that I have written and from writing the many more that I could write.
But this is not what I have come to talk about today. I want to talk about other Invisible People. I was watching something about them, and it caused my mind to go this way. I have a review to write and an incredible author to herald, but I'm not in the mood right now. I will do it soon, because that person deserves it.
I have invisibility on the brain right now.
There is a man named Mark Horvath who gives voices to the invisible people of the world. He travels all over talking to homeless people so that we can hear their stories. There is nothing more cruel in society than the way that homeless people are treated. Listening to their stories is like a nightmare. The first thing that is shocking is the viciousness of other people, the greed, and the lust. I am American, or at least that's what is says on my birth certificate, and what I want to know when I watch these terrible stories is this: Have we become meaner? Have the myriad-colored streaks of cruelty and envy and lust in us gone so far, and become so deeply entwined within, that there's no going back?
There are rich people going to luxury resorts that are built like shanty towns. I don't think I've ever heard anything more disgusting in my life. It reminded me, historically speaking, of the times when people were throwing other 'lesser' people to lions for sport. Maybe this is the first stage of that. First, you live in a properly heated, internet ready, facsimile of absolute misery, and when you're having that experience, you want a little more and a little more--until you're bringing in the lions and going on jaunts to test their jaws with your hands in order to see what being eaten by one must feel like for the poor bastard you've thrown in the pit and bet a thousand dollars won't last five minutes...
History truly does repeat itself--over and over again. We gain incredible new technologies and use them to play Angry Birds, we can fly to the stars but would rather fight among one another, and we hate. We hate any difference we can lock on and judge as 'other' than ourselves. Less.
In this world today becoming homeless is a real threat for almost everybody, and, yet, no one see themselves wearing those raggedy shoes. There are people out there, and a lot of people too, who not only step over the homeless in the street, but who beat them and set them on fire. I have nothing, but I give when I can, and, sometimes, I give when I can't and know that I shouldn't. I don't understand how anybody can do anything else. Maybe it's because I had a very personal relationship with a homeless person that was vital to my life. In fact, I would not have had a life at all if not for this formerly homeless person.
I know that this person was abandoned at fourteen years old and kicked out onto the streets. I know that this person turned to alcohol to ease the pain of that abandonment. I know that person slept on park benches in subzero weather. I know that this person ate out of garbage cans to survive. And I know that this person was not a bad person in terms of just being a human being. I've met much worse people--a hundred thousand times worse--while simply trying to maneuver my way through this writing shit. And those people have cars and money, and are just terrible human beings prone to using people in all sorts of ways for little more than sport.
We can not keep going on this way. We are turning into something ugly and inhuman. Love isn't as hard as it looks. We have the technology to feed every starving person on the planet. We have the ability within us to take away both the disgusting 'luxury' shanty town and the real ones. I've been told that, despite the fact that I write the kinky naughty love thing, I think like a child. I understand that the way that I think is truly detrimental to my survival in this real ass world.
But then I meet Yong, and people like her through this video connection with the Invisible People, and I don't want to think the other way. This woman worked all her life and got screwed over by her insurance company. She ended up homeless in a way that could happen to almost anyone. What's wrong with her? How is she a bad person because she is lost?
Mark Horvath belongs to a church, and while I don't much care for the trappings of religion, I admire both the fact that he was able to pull himself out of the depths of homelessness and drug abuse AND the fact that he does what he does today--give voices to the homeless. If you take the time to listen to Yong's story, and you read the comments on her video and some of the others, you will see why I despair. It's hard to love in this world. It's so much easier to hate. Believe me, I know.
...But it's not impossible.
Mr. Horvath isn't asking for anything. So, it doesn't cost you a damn thing to look. And guess what, a little 'give a fuck' is absolutely free.
If we don't start working together, we are going to kill one another like that evil mastermind in every really good story--the one who is so selfish, and so "brilliant" that he wants to destroy the whole of the world...
...and then what's he going to do?
* Edited to include that this is not true for stories I do under a couple different handles, which are legion:)