I’m crazy. Literally. I came out of the womb crazy, and it only went downhill from there. The thing of it is, I only found out on my thirtieth birthday. I’d been crazy before, went off the deep end. Hallucinations, both aural and tactile plagued me for several days, and then I kept on with the delusions and the hallucinations for eight more years. In the meantime I finished with two bachelors degrees, a law degree, passed the California Bar Exam, and worked for two years in SE Asia.
And then, in Cambodia, the delusions and hallucinations went nuclear. I wandered around Phnom Penh for two weeks in various degrees of dress (I went to the embassy in my boxers) and staying in hotels and running from fictional hunters. Paranoia de jure. But then I got back to New York, got hospitalized and found out that I am crazy.
I waited a whole month before I went back to Asia.
There’s something about that continent that lures me back, despite the evil it does to my health and heart. It’s the feeling of magic. I’ve seen possessions and witnessed the beauty of mass belief. I’ve been low, trying to kill myself in the midst of a drug withdrawal. I’ve been high, thinking I can take on the world and start fifteen projects at once (I think that’s the manic in me). I’ve gained weight. Eaten the best Chinese food outside China. Seen the West encroach on cultures that don’t need Dairy Queen, McDonald’s or Starbucks. I’ve seen a lot in the ten years I’ve spent in Asia.
And then there is history. I grew to love history as a puzzle and as entertainment in California. I spent two years there working with the Vietnamese community in a religious capacity. During that time several of my associates and I began to put together pieces of the history of the community, and the religion among that community. We became fascinated by the long connections between the original proselytizing in Vietnam and the way that it continued into the large refugee communities throughout the United States.
When I finished that stint in Orange County, I went back to Utah to finish my dual degrees: (1) history, and (2) Asian Studies. Then, when I came out and finally moved from the state of Mormonism, I found freedom and friendship in a diverse group of people–Santa Clara University is one of the most diverse law school campuses in the United States. During that time I also had the chance to participate in several organizations, internships in Asia, a semester abroad in Australia, and the opportunity to become–briefly–the co-editor-in-chief of the law school newspaper.
And then, when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the Great Recession was upon us, I became a fully certified attorney, with all the powers and privileges and responsibilities that come with it. Without Ivy League credentials I wallowed in unemployment for a year after the bar exam before I finally got a job with a firm in Vietnam. That was a rough go, my pay minimal, the expectations high, and myself grumpy and irritable and drunk due to that earlier fact of my insanity.
But that’s not interesting. What is interesting is that I’m still alive and writing. Ever since I started reading Science Fiction and Fantasy as a child I’ve wanted to be a writer. And though I’ve tried my hand at various efforts in the literary world, I have yet to find the succour of publication for those efforts. Thus I have begun a regime of writing, editing, and publishing that lends itself to easy reading.
Some of the stories I will tell are one offs. Others continuing series. I may also publish historical essays–if I can ever get through work and writing and research–which should be fun, at least for me. And with that, I think I’ve brought us up to the present. I’ll let my blog post and my writing speak for me. Until then . . .