I've spoken about my food addiction, alcohol addiction, smoking addiction and my Jai Alai addiction. I've mentioned briefly about my sex addiction--hey I have to keep that for the hard cover X rated version--and I believe I referred to the drug incident. Short version--at 16 my doctor gave me diet pills--I lost 7 pounds the first week so I figured if I doubled the pills I would lose double the weight--didn't happen--I landed in the hospital 3 weeks later classified as a drug addict! For whatever reason I didn't get hooked on drugs after that incident though over the years I 'tried' something now and then.
Of all my problems--and I don't know if it is an addiction and if it is what kind it is!--money has always been my biggest problem. When I had it I had to spend it, when I didn't have it I had to spend it and in most cases I would spend it before I got it. I was raised by a mother who constantly said we would end up in 'the poor house' while my father always went first class. Yes, I was the guy with a beer pocket and champagne tastes. With no matter what I did I managed to pay my taxes and in the 1970s I was paying the highest tax rate but I had so much money I could go first class and still get that check off.
In April, 1990, I was fired from Holiday Inn. I am not sure of the exact figures but I did get the money from the HI IRA which I think was about $3,000. I had about $2,000 in my checking account. By the end of June I had $500 in that checking account after not working 3-4 months, going to Disneyworld, going to see touring companies of "A Chorus Line", had a dental problem which I paid with cash and I was still eating out. I was okay with my credit cards.
I had started a new book, had an article published in "Florida Living" and sold a story to an anthology that would be published in 1995 called "My First Time". A columnist, Gary Stein, now an editor at the Sun-Sentinel, in September, 1990, wrote a column about servers, tips and tipping, in response to my "Letter To The Editor". In October I started work at a deli called "Corky's" which was a hard job as most delis are with those serving 'buckets' of pickles and Cole slaw. I wasn't making great money but at least I was meeting my expenses and still had a few dollars in the bank. My only New Year's resolution for 1991 was to 'cut down on spending and save money'. I was doing okay weight wise after a little set back so at least that wasn't a problem.
Going through my diaries I see remarks such as, "Paid bills for month--so far so good", "got new top on car", "Got first chapter of my new book "The Gay Pariahs" sold to The Advocate", "sent out "Looks of Love" and "...And the Oscar goes to..." to the National Writers Club", "bought tickets to see "A Chorus Line" at the new Broward Performing Arts Center after buying tickets for "Phantom of the Opera" which officially opens the Center", so all in all things seemed to be going smoothly.
And then I went to work on March 4, 1991 and Corky's had closed! Even with that life went on as I knew it with a few gestures from friends. Gary and Tim (who I can't recall) took me to dinner at Catfish Dewey's for my unbirthday and Shirley and Donnie, Michael's mother and aunt, took me out to the Olive Garden, also for my unbirthday. Mike, his sister Nancy, aunt Donnie, mother Shirley and I went to Wings 'n Things. On March 20 I went back to work at Wag's and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was writing a new book called, "The Whole Man" and the Wag's crew and I started going out for dinner once a week at 'better' places. FB Bob, James, Joe, Herman and I went to see "Jerome Robbins'Broadway" and the next night we went to the Park Cafe and the Ann White Theatre.
The first note I see as trouble was June 28, 1991, "I am counting pennies. Cancelled American Express card and Showtime and I am not happy at Wag's". Knowing better, that one should have a job before quitting a current job, I quit Wag's July 22, 1991. It would be a year later that I would go to a lawyer to get started on declaring bankruptcy.
It was this July 30 that our friend John, a married fireman, died of AIDS. The next month I got the worst job I ever had as a server and that was at Sizzler's Steak House. An aside--it seems I had had sex with the manager of Sizzler's many months before--that was the only bright side of that job, not that it helped. The following day the car top was ripped and the following week I was assigned to open a new Sizzler's and I have a note in my diary, "I HAVE TO GET A NEW JOB!!!!"
Looking at my diary now I can see how I started to go downhill, such as cashing Visa and Master Card checks that I was getting in the mail. I was working at a job I really disliked but of all the events that happened in the first 3 years of the 1990s it was facing the fact that I was losing a real good friend to that scrounge AIDS that started some major problems in my life.