Hitting the Wall
It won't even be worth putting the air conditioner in the bedroom window because, barring a miracle, it looks as if we'll be evicted during the summer.
I'm sorry I was such a burden and a constant aggravation to my regular and former readers as well as the one-timers who surf in once and leave. It seems if I stay in any one person's life long enough, I wind up alienating them for a bewilderingly eclectic variety of reasons. Why should the political blogosphere of which I've been a part for going on a decade be any exception?
Yesterday, I'd made a direct appeal to 129 current and former contributors to Pottersville over the years whom I thought would be the likeliest to help us out this month. With one exception, everyone had ignored my plea. The public appeals I've been making here and on Twitter this past week have hardly been more successful. And it seems we've lost our second, and final, big benefactor, someone who's been more than generous with us these past couple of years. And, without that particular person, we are truly screwed.
So it looks as if we've finally hit that dreaded wall. It's not as if I didn't know this day would come. It's a miracle that people hadn't turned their backs on us sooner. And you have to try to understand how much I'd cringe inwardly, if not outwardly, every time I'd made a public or private appeal. I know what it's like: My middling acts of charity in the past have earned me more begs from those same organizations as well as having my contact information sold to other charity organizations so it seems as if I've been put on everyone's hit list. Feeding stray dogs and all.
But I would not have been such a pain in the ass if I didn't have a fiancee and a cat to worry about. The prospect of living in a shelter is one no one ever relishes. I know- I've been there twice before. But even if there was a shelter in our locality (and there isn't), I still have Popeye to worry about. I know of nobody who can take him in.
I defy you to tell me you would've done things differently if you were in my place, if you had someone completely dependent on you to satisfy their every need because you said over five years ago that you could do it then failed to establish self-sufficiency.
Neither Mrs. JP nor I lost our last jobs through any fault of our own. We didn't want to live on food stamps these past three plus years nor have our applications for the Affordable Care Act get lost in a bureaucratic maze of paperwork months after submitting them. And it's not our fault we're both in our mid-late 50's and that no one in this youth-obsessed country wants to hire people our age.
Yet, regardless of my having a girlfriend and a cat to care for and the tremendous pressure I live with day in and day out to keep this household running and viable, to keep the lights and gas on, food in the pantry, the car on the road, keeping a roof over our heads, I still haven't the right to make my problems yours.
And for that, you have my deepest and most profound apologies. These past five plus years, applications and resumes have been dropping into the black hole of apathy and ageism. I haven't sold a single copy of any of my books in over a month. Literary agents and editors still treat me as if I'm a gnat in their ear and I've finally reached the point where I can say with absolute authority that I am now officially expendable and I've reached the end of my value to anybody and anything like a once-used Kleenex.
I don't know how this happened. Piss poor prior planning, as Mrs. JP says, doesn't explain it all because who knew we'd live in a country where once a person hits 50 they stand virtually zero chance of getting a job or that credit background checks would become standard in the hiring process? My Dad told me years ago if I worked hard and paid cash for everything and didn't live beyond my means, I'd be OK and I believed him. Why shouldn't I have? He was my Dad.
As contentious as our relationship has been these past 34 years or so, I began thinking about what had happened to him in the early 90's, when Digital had laid him off. He'd been with them for 15 years then got fired after rising to the level of Project Manager. He'd put 20 honorable years in the USAF then went right to work for DEC. He'd done everything he was supposed to do, was trained to do, and he got a swift kick in the ass when Ken Olsen decided to call it quits and sell out to Intel.
Then, in an inverse revelation in that Harry Chapin song, I realized I'd turned into my father. We were both failures and after playing by the rules that had been drummed into our heads when we were young men. So I wrote to him last year and told him that. He didn't answer me back, of course, but I still wanted to let him know that he'd sent me out into the world in 1978 with sound ideas and advice. It's the world that's no longer sound.
So, bottom line, I don't know where we'll end up after this summer but where ever that is and if I never find my way online again, please know that I have each and every one of you in my thoughts (some a little more than others and you know who you are). I am so sorry to have to been a burden on you these past five years. And I wouldn't have too regularly dumped my problems in your laps if I didn't have extraordinary responsibilities to others to fulfill with so little to honor them with.