...I'd be writing up a storm. AIG is paying its top executives $165,000,000 in bonuses, Cheney's saying that Obama's detention policy is endangering America. And there's Will Ferrell's You're Welcome, America one man show about George W. Bush. Ordinarily, I'd be writing about these things on my day off.
But I can't while being myself. In fact, I don't even know what or who I am, anymore or what and who I'm supposed to be. I'm filled with fear verging on wide-eyed panic, filled with hurt, sadness, anger. I can hardly stop sobbing out loud. No positive emotion can possibly get in or out. Even Will Ferrell can't make me laugh.
I looked at a place about a mile and a half from my job today (Ingrid's mother took me before taking Ingrid back to her house). Like yesterday's condo, it's in the basement, costs $165 a week and not a stick of furniture. There's a full kitchen down there but to gain access to it, I'd have to pay extra. The 69 year-old guy renting it could see how sad and broken down I am. He's a kitchen cabinet finisher and is dying of emphysema. I looked at him, watched him wheeze and got more depressed than ever. I looked at him and saw my future- Living alone, gasping for breath after climbing even one flight of stairs and looking at living in a senior center.
I cannot and will not move into a dark, bare room and pay $660 a month to sleep on someone's floor. I already looked at a rooming house two Saturdays ago and the sad Greek guy told me the smallest room, also w/o furniture, started at $600 a month.
I have no options at this point and the clock is ticking louder and louder. When I told Ingrid about the condo falling through, she was completely unmoved. Her apathy to my plight and unwillingness to bend and give me more time enraged me and we got into a yelling match. She threatened to kick me out even sooner than the 25th. When I informed her that was the day before pay day, she gave me one extra day.
After all the sacrifices I made for this family, this is the only concession I can get. Even when I was in the Navy, I was never this terrified. She just doesn't understand that I'm losing everyone and everything, my home, my family, my purpose and identity, my very reason for living.
She cannot reasonably equate what she's doing to me with what she'll experience. She continues playing loud music on her computer and dancing in her chair while saying this will be hard on her. She's not getting thrown out of her home, out of her family. She has to wean herself from only one person she cannot even stand the sight of.
I'm losing everyone, starting with her and my grandson. The family will not support me. No one out there wants to help me. I'm too poor, too old, too this, too that.
My mistake was in openly bragging about getting this condo. That's where I went wrong. Even as I was bragging about what I'd have, I could hear the other shoe whistling through the air, about to drop. I don't even believe that story about the sister coming up from Arizona. It doesn't matter anymore.
What matters is I have no solid leads and nowhere to go, no one to help me. Does that sound like whining? Maybe, to some who are infinitely better off and can afford to scoff at someone's misery, can afford to say, "Buck up, old chum, you'll be OK. Things will look up."
Well, things have 11 days to start looking up and I'm getting no indication that the world will get any kinder, any fairer or any more helpful. On the way back from Emphysema Guy's home, I walked to downtown and tried to get into the Unitarian church where I'd taken those pictures a year ago of their flag display. The front doors were locked. This is the state of the world: I couldn't get into a church on a Sunday less than two hours after their Sunday services to ask for help.
And I know if I made the ultimate capitulation, got down on my hands and knees and begged her with tears streaming down my cheeks it wouldn't earn me even another day much less a last chance. I am not worthy of pity, mercy, support, love or cooperation. The world only cares about what little I can give in the way of money.
It's always been that way but now it's even hard core than ever. Somewhere between that old dying guy's house and the church is a local cemetery. It's the oldest one in town and you never see anyone there ever because no one alive today remembers those who are buried there. Once in a while, you'll see a flag next to a chipped or tilting headstone here and there but never any mourners.
I saw what lay in store for me even beyond Emphysema Guy. A neglected headstone next to a highway, without anyone caring enough to even right it.