State of the Dave (2016)

Oh, this year…

I usually write these “life assessments” at the end of each year to put a marker on where I’m at so I can focus better on where I’m going. So without further ado:

2016 was… strange, but not the strangest. The first part of the year started with me living with a beautiful model from Colorado named Adiamond and an obese car salesman from Alabama named Mikey. Go figure.

Guess which one owed $3000 in back rent and then abruptly bailed? Yep.

So the start of this year had me struggling from the financial setback. And then I found a replacement for the dummy… who turned out to be another dummy. Her name was Crystal and she spoke in tongues, threatened to burn my apartment down and to throw my belongings over the balcony. She managed to hide her mental impairment and Christian fanaticism when I first screened her for roommate status, a very rare and unexpected misstep by yours truly. Justice was eventually served and she was legally removed from my home. But the fallout also resulted in my eviction in May.

I was fortunate enough to have Adiamond stick around for the transition to a new place, a major upgrade, in Woodland Hills. She moved out and two new roommates signed on, both responsible and reliable people. As much as I loved my hidden gem in Van Nuys with the 20-foot living room ceiling, fireplace, and massive sundeck, I was thrilled to now have a gym, hot tub, and heated pool plus being closer to Malibu and my favorite hiking trails. As far as living in The Valley goes I really couldn’t ask for much better than my current spot. In Van Nuys I’d lived in a loft, but now I have a private bedroom of my own for the first time since June of 2012.

In terms of my living situation I’d finally gotten to where I’d been fighting to be in the face of numerous obstacles. But there were two lingering challenges ahead.

The first was a pending legal problem that I thought was on a fast-track toward positive resolution. Despite the evidence that proved I had been sober,my baseless DUI case continued to push forward. What had once seemed absurd had become a serious threat of incarceration and the destruction of everything I’d struggled so hard to build. Abuse, prison, parole, homelessness, poverty… I’d overcome too much to have my progress eroded now.

In August a fair deal was finally brokered. I did my own legal research and went all-in on a counter-offer that I felt would be enticing enough for the D.A. My lawyer strongly rejected the plan and said it wouldn’t work, but… it did.

The stress of potential disaster up to that point had still worn on me during a time that I should have been focusing on recovering from 2015’s pique of mental anguish. Attempting to seriously take one’s own life isn’t something resolved overnight. While I was doing well, all things considered, the depression from the ongoing legal case and my growing obsession/disappointment with the election threatened to undermine it.

The result of my case led to a 90-day sentence, but the over-crowding of California’s prisons had already been baked into my game-plan. I’d anticipated serving 7-10 days, but it wound up being less than 72 hours in early September. While brief, it led to flashbacks from my previous, lengthier experience. The damage was enough for my already fragile state. I knew I needed a breather when I got out, some room to comfortably focus and recoup. In the past I’d ignored and buried my pain, but I’d learned how counterproductive and even life-threatening that could be. A cash infusion was required to tide me over.

I took a road trip just a couple days later and did what I had to. For legal reasons I cannot disclose details, but it was a double-down gamble that left my nerves shot and risked further mental decline. The healthy upside of completing the mission was just too great to ignore… that is, if my venture proved successful.

It did.

The six-week journey culminated in attending Desert Trip in October, when the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, and Paul McCartney (and edibles) helped cap things off on a positive note. I then signed up for an advanced voiceover class and received more excellent training, was invited to my first ever table-read for a major Hollywood film, resumed writing my novel, hiked more regularly… things were looking up and I had no complaints.

Except for the second obstacle.

My doctor had grown concerned over a massive 60,000 drop in my blood platelets over the course of a year. This news was received prior to the six-week journey, a big fat turd dropped right between jail and my risky venture. After Desert Trip I had a follow-up blood draw to see if there were any changes. The platelets had declined an additional 12,000 indicating a real ongoing problem. I was then referred to an oncologist.

It wasn’t until just last week that I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. After numerous blood tests and an ultrasound of my organs, my platelet count mysterious shot up by over 40,000! I require a follow-up in a few months to ensure that this new direction continues, but it was enough to tentatively rule out the threat of cancer.

Now I enter 2017 with a fresh slate clear of any pending legal problems (a first since July 2010 if you can believe), an affirmation of good health (woot), financial stability (more/less), and a number of career opportunities I won’t delve into to avoid jinxing my odds. (I’m not superstitious, but it’s good practice not to put the carriage before the horse).

Bearing any disastrous surprises, 2017 is setting up to be a very strong year. Rather than make any specific resolutions or even goals, I’m simply going to strive to be stronger and healthier across the board. I feel I’ve turned a corner and now it’s time to explore the new avenue before me.

…assuming neo-liberalism and a Trump Presidency doesn’t kill us all.




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