As I write this, taking a brief late night respite from packing books into boxes, I am just days away from an uncertain future, a Black Tuesday when the Sword of Damocles will, under legal edict, fall upon my head; and, as the ancient Greek and Roman tale of Dionysius and Damocles urges, I invite you to walk a mile in my shoes for a few brief moments.
Within a matter of days I am going to become one of the more than 13,000 homeless people living in Clark County and, frankly, I am frightened.
I am a 51-year-old professional writer; throughout my 20-year career I have been an award-winning feature documentary producer (“Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes” and multiple educational documentaries), a trade and arts magazine journalist, a successful playwright (“Go Irish: The Purgatory Diaries of Jason Miller”), a true crime author and a literary event producer. For the past two years, I have enjoyed my role as a book and literature columnist for Pop Matters, a popular online journal of cultural criticism.
God decided that my car would die on top of Glacier Point road in Yosemite. I was able to coast down the hill in neutral while listening to Mike’s Song (Phish) and wondering how in earth I would get to have a Shabbos if I was stranded in Yosemite without cell reception.
At the bottom of the hill at the intersection I spotted a payphone — serious hashgacha pratis, my friends. I was in full blown gam zu altova mode, which may have been spurred on by the 36 mile solo hike I just completed in one of the least visited portions of the park. I consulted with the Lord in the woods and decided that everything was all part of the master plan and indeed it was.