Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 37 poetry collections, 14 novels, four short story collections, one collection of essays and seven books of plays. Gary lives in New York City. He recommends City Harvest.
He came home from school on the rez one day and found his parents dead. There had been a gun battle and there was a blood trail heading back to the oil rigs. He followed the trail and found three men wounded on the side of the road.
We decided that this was becoming a problem and went to our local precinct to file a complaint. The sympathetic desk Sergeant informed us that since Donnigan had made no overt threats and we had no evidence that he was making the phone calls, there was nothing the police could do.
I kept a confident, positive look on my face as the Governor of Louisiana, Alicia deVray, prepared to sign the document that would enact the first free drug community in the world. She turned and looked at me, I nodded encouragingly, she looked at the horde of reporters holding cameras, phones, recording devices and signed.
So here I was in a grubby med-center with at least a season ending injury, probably a career sign off, with no ideas for the future. I didn’t have a nest egg. I never managed to save, despite a meager life style. I was an ancient journeyman in a young profession, without name or fame that could be traded in for civilian security.
Then one day, a miracle. Erasmus found an ancient Steinway Concert Grand in a curio shop. It emptied my account of all the credits I had earned, plus some. It came to the house on one of the few days people went out without respirators.