Short stories and essays by Shaun Costello, as well as excerpts from manuscripts in progress.




This is the 60th and final post on this Blog

By Shaun Costello

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So, it’s come to this. Considering my situation, I suppose that only my pig-headed stubbornness has kept me going for the last few years. The perhaps unrealistic anticipation of a change of fortune. The possibility, no matter how remote, that a publisher would see value in one of my manuscripts, and come to my rescue with an advance check that might just serve to keep the wolves at bay. A television producer might call with an offer I couldn’t possibly refuse. My Blog might grow in popularity to the point where ad

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revenues would be offered per site hits received. Even a winning Lotto ticket – Hey, you never know. So I kept on writing, and promoting, and networking, and buying those silly Lotto tickets, and trying not to lose hope. There’s a moment however, when you simply run out of options, and run out of time. And that moment confronts me now.

Since none of the aforementioned possibilities have come to fruition, the crushing financial reality of the situation I face remains unchanged and untenable. Unfortunately, I can not work. My arthritis, while not life-threatening, keeps my physical abilities limited. I have struggled, with some success, to make my handicap as unnoticeable as possible to those around me. But, none the less, it’s there. My small Social Security stipend

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does not come close to paying my monthly bills, and sooner than later, the services those bills represent will begin to disappear. Sad stuff indeed. So, like a cowboy wanting to hit the big roundup in the sky with his boots on, I think it more seemly to leave this world with my lights still burning, the water still running, and my internet connection still active.

I’ve spent a good deal of my life fixing problems and overcoming obstacles through sheer bravado. I would beat up on whatever stood in my way until it yielded to me. And until now, I’ve gotten away with it. But this mortality business is something else again. The will to live is surprisingly strong. It can’t be bullied. It has to be finessed.

I have few regrets. Until my illness in 1993, my life was going according to plan. I couldn’t have written a better script for myself. I was doing the work I loved, surrounded by people whose company I found blissfully stimulating, and being well paid for my efforts. But the parasites my body collected, while I was in the Middle East making a film for Time Magazine about the first Gulf

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War, took their hungry toll. Although I recovered after a year of treatment, my body was never the same. The poison given me to kill my little passengers also did damage to my immune system, which gradually sped up the onset of those maladies normally associated with aging, like my arthritis. My body clock’s rhythm increased exponentially after the bugs. Again, not life-threatening, but certainly life-limiting.

Since I was outed in 2005, regarding my porn involvement back in the Seventies, and with the help of social media, I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends long absent in my life, and have made new friends who have become surprisingly important to me. I’ve enjoyed the daily Facebook banter, even though the site, because of its popularity and the greed of its controllers, has lost much of its initial luster. Maintaining almost constant contact with friends across the US, and all over Europe has been fun.

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In an attempt to maintain my legacy, such as it is, I have taken steps to protect those two elements that comprise the body of work I leave behind; my Blog, and the publishing rights to my writing. My friend Alan Hoffman in Chicago has generously agreed to maintain my Blog, which exists under the domain names – and I have assigned all publishing and media rights to everything I have written in my lifetime to my friend Thomas Eikrem in London, with the understanding that he will pass on any revenues to my daughter, who lives with my sister in Sag Harbor, New York.

So, that’s it then. My affairs, such as they are, are in order. My only regret is the timing of my exit. I would have enjoyed continuing to live my life, finishing my manuscripts, contributing to my Blog, harassing Republicans on Huffpost, creating an internet ruckus whenever I felt it necessary, and interacting with friends. Other than living with sore joints and needing another new hip, I’m actually surprisingly healthy for my age. But I’ve been living on borrowed time, and that time is up. Life is a luxury I can no longer afford. I’m doing nothing, more or less, than playing the hand I’ve been dealt, and I’m afraid it’s time to fold.

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© 2013 Shaun Costello


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12 responses

  1. Think I only met Shaun a copy of times in the mid-late 80s in NYC. I remember him in such a positive light, and with great respect. We both dated the same wonderfully nice woman, but I didn’t realize that until years later.
    I was one of those people who got reacquainted with him in recent years. I work in sports which he truly loves and has great expertise. I would respond to emails as much as I could with my schedule. I sit here shaking my head, wondering if I should have been more in touch. I had absolutely no idea as to his disease. I’m certain he had no idea that I have a simiiar disease , but infinitely less severe.

    Shaun, I hope this hasn’t and doesn’t occur. Let’s go to a Heat- San Antonio game in the finals. Guarantee you would love it and I’ve love to hang with you. You have a brilliant mind and a sensitive soul. Pick the game, probably anything other a game 7, and I’ll get us great tickets.

    May 28, 2013 at 3:42 am

  2. Jana Hayes

    Stunned..and hoping that a positive turn will quickly find its way into your life. Thank you for sharing the workings of your highly astute mind and expansive imagination with all of us..

    May 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm

  3. Shaun, Awake, take hold the power of the will, no man is a failure who has friends and or family, no man is short of victory however great or small he is, however weak or strong he may be. Never, never, never give in to evil, to depression, to a seeming hopeless position or to the possible stronger enemy. Shaun, seek victory, choose victory, you can rise up on will power alone, awaken it, devour all before you, command a Triumph of the Will ! ! !

    May 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  4. Carter Stevens

    Shaun you asshole. Things are never that bad. If they are that bad they have to get better and if they get worse then they weren’t that bad in the first place. You and I have fought the good fight for all these many years and I’ll always have your back in any bar you name. My heart had a major meltdown in 2001 and by the time I recovered my companies were history and so was my income. My third wife left me and I thought I would lose everything because my social security didn’t come close to covering even my mortgage. I thought I would lose it all I had no hope but then I rented out a couple of rooms in my house to strangers and bingo I had just enough to make it thru each month. As my Mother used to say, When God closes a door he opens a window. Next time you’re feeling like this (and if my jewboy prayers mean anything you will screw you head on straighter) give me a call boychick and lets hold each other up through the rough spot. I love you, you asshole but if you pull this shit again I’ll come down there and kill you myself.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    • Brillant Carter, Love this..Don’t know Shaun nearly in way you and many others do..But have told my wife repeatedly that
      you have to meet this guy next time we are in Fla.; that he was one of the most interesting people I ever met.

      June 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm

  5. Bob Taylor

    Shaun- No fair trying to cheat Fox out of a gig. Best goin’ to glory note I’ve ever read. As your friends have indicated, please hang in. If there are any credit card companies or credit agencies after you, give me the info and tell them I represent you. As Tony Montana said in Scarface- “It will be my pleasure”. Need a loan?

    Bob Taylor

    June 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    • Thanks Bob. No, I don’t owe anything, just my rent, which is a sticky situation. It’s amazing how something like this can happen. Income disappears, and assets evaporate, and suddenly your monthly nut becomes unmanageable. I actually thought the Reems book would pull me out of this, but no one bought it. I mean no one. I was shocked. Not a good situation.

      June 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      • Shaun, Tomorrow is another shot at success, tomorrow is saying you have another chance.

        June 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm

  6. Dr. John

    Shaun, karma is a bitch. You know that now.

    You’ve screwed over way too many people and you were due for this turn of bad luck or whatever you want to call it for a long time. Suck it up and deal with it. You have nobody to blame but yourself. You made bad choices and it bit you in the ass after the millionth time. You got caught. That’s all. Feeling sorry for yourself and wanting to die because you don’t have what you perceive to be very much money is cowardly. Lamenting over the physical ramifications of being old is just stupid. Wallowing in self-pity because you had a felonious amount of an illegal substance and you got busted with it is beyond pathetic. You don’t deserve to feel sorry for yourself here. You made your bed, now lie in it. This is the reality you created. Deal with it like man. What the hell is your problem anyway? Nobody wants to buy your typo-ridden crap writing? Boo hoo. That hardly makes you unique. Heaven forbid you get a real job. Oh yeah, and in spite of what you think, you have a future. May not be the one you think you’re entitled to, but you do have a future. You could still bring some good into this world if you stop being so selfish and drop that undeserved sense of entitlement.

    P.S. Just want to confirm that H. thought you were garbage. Way to try and capitalize on your decades-old dealings with him now that he’s good and dead and unable to sue. Crap like this is why you are in the shape you’re in now, Shaun. Cut it out.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    • Dr John,
      Your IP address suggests that you are a resident of Big Spring Texas. Your email address: is bogus. You are obviously hiding behind an alias, while you spew hateful comments on the internet.
      I do not know who you are. You do not know who I am. Can you name for me one person you know of who I have screwed? Your comment about “H”, who I can only assume is Herb Streicher AKA Harry Reems, is preposterous. Herb was an old and dear friend, who I wrote about out of love and respect. You have never spoken with him. You have never met him. And by the way, his widow Jeanne loved the book. I’ve been writing this Blog for several years and yours is the first truly hateful comment I have received. If you are not now under the care of a psychiatrist, perhaps you should consider beginning treatment. For the safety of your neighbors, I can only hope that you do not own any firearms, but seeing that you are from Texas, I guess that’s a futile wish. Please consider getting help. The world is not as bad a place as you might think. Try to think positively. Talk to friends. find help.

      September 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

  7. Dr. John

    It’s, fool. Your reading skills are just about as good as your writing skills.

    I know everything I’ve heard about you from H – and none of it was good. H and his wife are both dear friends of mine. He considered you someone he knew for a short time a long time ago, a part of his past that he didn’t want to revisit. According to J, you, Shaun, did not know H, not since he was a depressed alcoholic creeping toward middle age, anyway. You weren’t a friend of his when he died. You know this, you liar. You very well know this.

    By the way, I asked and J did not enjoy or appreciate your poorly written “book”, you liar. Apparently, nobody did, lol. You tried to exploit your association with H in a sad, pathetic attempt to make a quick buck. Obviously, it didn’t work, thank God. Has the number of sold copies gone to double digits? No? What a surprise. You’re a sad, ruined old man. I would feel pity for you, were it not for your despicable actions.

    April 17, 2015 at 12:42 am

    • What a pathetic and hateful comment. You know nothing about me, and I’m quite sure nothing about Herb either. What sorry event in your childhood could possibly motivate slime like you to actually take the time and effort to negatively assert your heinous presence in this world to spread hate? How sad.

      May 22, 2015 at 10:20 am

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