When You Stare Into The Abyss…

The abyss stares back.

Apparently. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been much of an abyss starer.

Despite the philosophical direction this post appears to be taking aside, I don’t claim to know anything about existentialism, nihilism or any of that junk. Admit it, you’re shocked, right?

The truth is, this summer has barely started and it’s already been one of the worst of my entire forty-seven years of my existence. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, that Hook! He’s about to go off on one of his patented rants. Buckle up, everyone!” But I’m afraid that’s not the case.

One of my oldest colleagues, a dear friend, a brother, is dead, the victim of tragic circumstances and human failure.

My mother, from whom I have been estranged for years, has cancer. Our relationship is as fractured as that Tiffany lamp my nine-year-old self once chucked my cousin’s Andy’s Stretch Armstrong at during a particularly memorable visit. Unbeknownst to me, Ole Stretch’s corn syrup was long past it’s expiration date, and so he became a wrecking ball, intent on wreaking havoc on my aunt Kathy’s living room – and my childhood reputation as a good nephew. As for my mother, there’s really nothing more to say; I can’t change the past or revise her version of it.

My stomach has been operating on 30% power for three years and as a result, I was forced to ingest four liters of the most vile liquid mixture known to mankind this week in order to prepare myself for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy (the wife joked that they were going to meet in the middle). It’s a well-known fact that men are big babies at times, but having to drink four liters of PegLyte in twelve hours reduced me to a whiny brat who would’ve traded a kidney in order to spare himself further agony.

Even the nurses told me, “the worst is over honey! The procedure itself is a breeze compared to what you’ve already been through!” Nevertheless, I walked into the Greater Niagara General Hospital of my own accord, put on one of those horrible gowns you can never get tied up, let the nurse put a shunt in my hand (blood sprayed all over though I didn’t feel it) and proceeded to the operating room.  To be fair, they wheeled me, so I didn’t actually have to do shit. The the doctor told me, “I’m just going to spray this down your throat. Don’t swallow, just turn over and drool on this towel.”, to which I responded, “Bet you use that line during a lot of dates, right, Doc?”

He wasn’t impressed at first but then he erupted into raucous laughter. Then the anesthesiologist brought things back down to earth with a serious thud by saying, “I’m going to be putting you under heavy sedation but some patients will wake up, see all these people working on them and freak out! But then they just go back to sleep… so you should be good. Okay?”

I nodded. What other choice did I have? If I pissed her off she could’ve given me a one-way ticket to the land of the white light. And so the doc sprayed, and in spite of his instructions, I swallowed until I passed out. (Sounds so wrong, doesn’t it?) I woke up a short while later and got two thumbs up on my colonoscopy.

Again, that sounds super wrong.

However, at the end of the day, my stomach is still a mess though my colon is now clean as a whistle. Though I would appreciate it if you resisted the urge to wrap your lips around my colon and blow. If you’re into that sort of thing, that is…

Now, what the hell else is wrong in my life?

Oh yeah, work! My fellow bellmen have all been devastated by the loss of our brother, Ron Stevens, but as cliché as it is to type, life goes on. As it must. As it will when I leave the Bell department someday. As for the summer itself, it’s sucked harder than Mercedes Carrera during a film shoot. (Emphasis on “shoot”, obviously.) And bother, that’s pretty hard.

Cheap guests are going to come into a bellman’s life; that’s inevitable. It’s all part of the job. Like seeing ugly naked people, running into sixty-year-old hookers or swamp ass. (It can get pretty stuffy in those uniforms and some hotel hallways.) But this hospitality season is fresh out of the box and it already stinks.

Guests to Niagara Falls this summer have been stingy beyond compare.

Guests to Niagara Falls this summer have been so miserable they’ve made Donald Trump look like a literal court jester.

Guests to Niagara Falls this summer have been of the “A full service hotel? What’s that mean? Is that a sex thing?” variety.

And so it’s been challenging to say the least.

The worst part of this summer? My super-sized writer’s block. And yes, that means I’ve been blocked both metaphorically and literally, thanks ever so much for noticing.

In fact, the only thing I’ve been even slightly enthusiastic about is the filmed version of the blog, a project that appears to be as dead in the water as Batfleck’s Batman script. (Get thee to Google, kids!) I have a short-but-tight-script. I have a cast of amateur-but-awesome actors. I’ll have a location when and if I need it. What I don’t have is film equipment or the skills of any of my filmmaking  colleagues/acquaintances, which I desperately need.

I can’t pull this off alone. Interesting side note: Whenever I tell the wife the same thing, she responds with, “You can’t pull it off alone? Sure you can… I’ve seen you!”

At least my marriage is as sound as ever.

My brilliant, cutting edge humor aside, the truth is…

I’m tired. I mean, in-my-bones-and-soul tired.

I’m fed up.

I’m directionless right now.

And on that uplifting note… have a great night, kids!



Why not, right?  I’m not doing anything else with it these days…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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34 Responses to When You Stare Into The Abyss…

  1. Austin says:

    Hang in there, buddy. The fairy tales have taught us that we always live happily ever after. 🙂

  2. Mark Myers says:

    Fight it, man. You are HOOK! I’m impressed that you didn’t have to do shit during your colonoscopy though. Well done you!

    • The Hook says:

      I couldn’t even shit, Mark… the PegLyte cleaned me out completely!
      And when you tell me to fight (after all you’ve been through) I try to listen.

  3. Victo Dolore says:

    That has to be the BEST line ever delivered before an EGD. I’d give you the extra good anesthesia just for that! 🙂

  4. davidprosser says:

    You’ll be back on track soon, your audience will require it of you.

  5. umashankar says:

    Thanks for letting us stare into that cheerful abyss. Congratulations for passing the colonoscopy test! As for the multi dimensional block you have spoken of, there is this gentleman called Terry Pratchett who thinks there’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. And I am sure your illustrious lineage owes nothing to that part of the planet.

  6. Don’t just stare into the abyss. Be the first one to fart in its general direction and tell people how it reacts. That’ll show it.

  7. Sounds as if things are pretty grim right now. And Umashankar above is right. Terry Pratchett did say that.

  8. Poor Robert… I’m sorry you are having a hard year. Songbird sometimes life just sucks. But my favorite saying and my motto for such tines helps me get through them.. “and this too shall pass” 😙

  9. It’s really crowded at the abyss staring sight these days, and it’s “ok”. Time has a great way of pulling us back into the world wishing we were once again staring into the abyss. Holding you in the light for some peace Hook.

  10. Staring at the abyss can give you dry eye. For a blocked guy you sure put up a good post. All this will pass. (I know , I know I’ve said that before.) Keep writing stuff down.

  11. Kay says:

    Thanks for sharing – and for not oversharing about the colonoscopy. Keep writing. Your readers love you.

  12. Only the Hook could use swamp ass and colonoscopy in the same post.

  13. Dave Ply says:

    Colonoscopy prep is a pain in the ass. But at least you can rest easy now, knowing you don’t have Hook worms.

  14. Tara says:

    1. Wait – WAKE UP during heavy sedation and freak out? Jesus H. Christ.
    2. Swamp ass is alive and well in the restaurant business here in U.S.
    3. Can I be an amateur actor in your film? I’ve always wanted to act. Wait – this isn’t a porn, is it?
    4. On a serious note, I can completely relate to the writer’s block. I’ve got it, bad. And it’s somewhat troubling, yet I find other distractions that make it difficult to dwell on it for too long.
    Glad you’re still here. Keep writing, even if your post just says “hi” and “Hook, out.”

  15. I wrote a post about my colonoscopy a few years ago, and I agree wholeheartedly, the prep is vile!!! Which reminds me, my five years is almost up, so I will have to drink the vile again. Crap

  16. curvyroads says:

    I’m woefully behind in my reading, so I hope my visit finds you feeling better. Hugs my friend. Your faithful (but hella-late) readers love you!

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