Do they have jobs for those who survive broken hearts?


A Response to:

10 People On The Moment They Quit Their Job To Pursue Their Real Passion

I had a medium heart attack while on the table having my arteries cleaned about 15 days ago. I have a separated shoulder, torn rotator cuff, and fractured fibula. I have spent my whole life in the restaurant business. In ’93, I left Hawaii, where I happily worked as a room service waiter, while also attending school, writing for the school newspaper, and living on the top floor of a hotel about 100 yards from the beach. Sadly, the school newspaper only paid $20 for a story and $20 for a photograph. I wrote and photographed for 6 months and then had my master’s equivalent, one-man photography show, which culminated in a state of utter bliss.

When I arrived in ’93, I wanted to be in the art business, but there was a recession in full swing. I walked up to a hotel and have been there for 23 years. While there I published about seven books, table top photo and short story-poetry. I also got a paralegal certificate and absolutely loved the education, garnering straight A’s. The problem is I graduated and went immediately to reading novels, then philosophical tomes, and never looked back. I wanted to brief cases and write memoranda, but I was too afraid that it would take me too long to brief cases and write memoranda to make any money at it. Besides, my attorney buddy said they wouldn’t hire me. I was too old.

I respond to art. I also just respond to life and have narrowed my focus to writing, although I may be better as a photographer, where I can get some distance. But, I am afraid of that too, never thinking that I could make enough money doing art.

I really have never been able to qualify what exactly I want to do: Photography or writing, and until recently, I must be violently pushed to do anything else, but I am not fulfilled and felt during my heart attack that there was no purpose in my life. I want people to hear my poetry, the music I have written but stopped writing, the art work I have made. I want to be able to make art 24/7, but my job takes everything out of me and I almost died.

Still, despite myself, I feel a change coming. I believe in the advice that you just have to keep creating and eventually that snow bank slides off the roof of your house and comes crashing down and it gets noticed. Perhaps, it takes someone with a crush on you to plow through all the words and images to find something like the hidden structure of snowflakes that isn’t obvious if you aren’t looking. Everyone of us has these dreams. There are only so many small columns of text about something new to garner a readership or visit to a gallery. But, if you are like me, which I am sure you are, we are always buying books and looking at art because frankly there isn’t anything else in life that matters, except perhaps the design and scent of a new lover and all the drama that affords and how that intimacy is pretty much why we write or make art in the first place. I am still in love with a woman I met and made love to say twenty years ago and who probably still hates me. Life is like that, the high points of love-making and then a lot of days just looking out the window and thinking about that. Is there such a job that rewards the pining of a lost lover, that pays big money for the sadness exemplified in every thought of the automaton clearly meant only to spoon in the quiet of the smallest and darkest room? I know how to get in touch with her, but I know in my heart that if she didn’t know that she needed to apologize as she stood at the gas pump on the late night when I said nothing and merely looked over that I can’t break the silence. She started a relationship with me when she was already in one and I told her to break it off and wait 6 months, but then I reneged and wrote back saying we could just be friends. And, boy were we friends, so much so that I became intoxicated by her. Her body was like crack cocaine and I had never done drugs before. Her voice, her reserve, her long brown hair, her small face, her coyness that she was so much of the world and I was not. She was my Kim Kardashian to my face in a crowd at a concert that was clearly over decades ago. She wanted to lie around and make babies, but as I said, I was only a waiter in a restaurant who was recovering from a heart attack.


Do they have jobs for those who survive broken hearts?


  1. Love that! A moving account of your life. I think if you could just work part-time and dedicate the rest of your time to writing it would make a great difference. I don’t know enough about your music and photography though I’d love to. However, I can tell you seem to be original, experimental and creative. Another idea would be trying to find a higher position in your hotel or change job. Perhaps you are too afraid of taking risks, even though this is easy talking and reality is complex, I know. Try to get in touch with other writers and artists. Help each other! About that woman you still love maybe you should try to contact her. After all these years do you seriously think she still hates you? You may have hurt her and she you, but it could be that you are both too proud to give in. One person always has to take the first step. What’s there to lose? Can’t get worse than the present situation. Maybe it helps you feel better. In any case, just do what your heart tells you, what you feel right and do not give up writing.

  2. Beautifully written, Mario, and as an older artist in the shadows I so understand. I encountered you once at the Claremont and you were so gracious caring. Thank you for expressing!

  3. My father had a heart attack in 2006. When inserting the catheter to view his heart – a procedure that begins in the groin – they slit the artery on removal and weren’t aware of it. Two hours later he was filled with blood and rushed back to the OR to repair the severed artery. Obviously, the stints he needed could not be put in because there were now bigger fish to fry. Long story short, he changed his diet, and it’s 2019 and he has never had a stint placed in his heart. As for the job… have faith, as they say and trust the universe to take care of you because it already did once, if not more, didn’t it?

    • I hear a lot about diet. I am sure you are correct. I am much better. I understand how the cause problems in the heart, my doctor said they scooped the snow from the driveway (artery) and then the snow plow came and pushed it back out again effectively disappearing the veins that it was feeding. At that point, I became nauseated, broke into a sweat and passed out from a heart attack. He also said he had perforated the artery, and that there was an aneurysm that was about to blow. He put a stent in there and it spun around. Anyway, I am still here and because Marta reads my posts, she’ll see you hello. Oh, BTY, what does your uncle eat?

      • I believe the book he follows is called The Healthy Heart Diet. My recommendation is you lie down, close your eyes, and feel your heartbeat a few times a day. I’m pretty sure it can cure just about everything, but what do I know?

      • I have seen that book. I used to know Dr. Dean Ornish, and it was my impression from him that once we got to the heart attack part, the inmates were Dead Men Walking. I have heard of a woman, who walked away from all that and just kept walking. I just need to get my butt out of bed, even though I haven’t slept, and do a work out, which inspires good eating habits.

      • Well, get your ass out of bed and do something. Don’t save the world, just be methodical. Do a little every day. Fake it ’til you make it. I can be rude like that because I’ve been so depressed I couldn’t brush my teeth and know what it feels like to be glued to the sheet. Stop it. Get up. No pill is ‘gonna save you. But you can save you and that’s the beauty of you.

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