Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This is reality.

I apologize for violating the new rule I imposed on myself in the last post, but things have changed since then. For the worse.

An official, no-exceptions, no-discussions notice to vacate my apartment was slipped in the front door this morning. I feel no anger toward either the owner or management company who have gotten sick of late payments since I moved here. I suspect I would do likewise in their shoes.

I cannot find another place. There is no time for that, no money, and no landlord would accept me given my rotten financial state.

So it's time to abandon the last of my possessions and hit the streets. I'm not saying this to be dramatic. It is the sole option.

About nine months ago, facing a crisis slightly less severe than this, I woke up one morning with the feeling that my mind had failed me. I couldn't think, reason, or do any more than dress, drink a cup of coffee. All my tattered mental processes would allow me to do was walk out the front door.

Which is what I did. For two days, I walked, snatching bits of sleep here and there: in a park, behind the wall of a parking lot, on the porch of a vacant house. I got about 30 miles from here before my mental circuit breakers reset themselves and I turned around.

It was a horrifying experience. I saw many homeless people, saw how they acted, what they did, knew I was on the verge of falling into their world forever. Hieronymus Bosch at his most gruesome could never have conveyed the horror of their world.

But I had a place to come back to. I began, again, to make an attempt to pick up the pieces and make a small place for myself without the constant harassment from creditors and the stress that comes from fighting for crumbs of work that are never paid for on time.

It didn't happen.

Or, to put it more bluntly, I failed. Again.

This time, there will be no "here" to return to. Leaving my (very) few remaining material things behind -- including, of course, this computer -- will cut me off from any possibility of getting any more writing work. And, sadly, cut me off from the last communications link I have with people I care about.

(several paragraphs deleted)

There is no sense in whining about this. The sometimes-booze-addled friend I referred to in the last post was, at one time, a well-known personage in his field. He talked incessantly about his "glory days," and bemoaned their loss. During the last year, I stopped doing that, except in one small instance I won't write about. I no longer care about what I once had, or what I once might have become. I only cared about what niche I might carve out for myself in future, and if it didn't include all the wonderful experiences, acclaim and things that were, for a time, mine, so be it.

A later thought or two: I could have added a hoary aphorism of the "things don't bring happiness" kind, but didn't. And won't. Time and experience have boiled down my desires to the essentials for happiness: a roof, regular meals, a place to work, and freedom from constant stress. Maybe, as a bonus, the ability to take an occasional trip or even a stay-home vacation. Companionship? Love? Gave up on those.

Forget all that. My so-called "future" will now be measured by the passing of hours, days at best. I will have to concentrate on getting through each new moment.

Right now, the only option I see for myself is to use my remaining funds to buy a bus ticket, to get as far away from here as possible. That will save me the embarrassment of having people who know me watch as my world collapses completely around me.

Given my age, physical condition (not that bad, but not up to menial labor) and other factors (my inability to focus, to self-motivate, to make plans, for example), the possibility of again patching together any sort of meaningful life is remote at best, realistically impossible.

So many kind people have supported and encouraged me. I have let them, and myself, down. I cherish them all (definitely including those who will see these words). And apologize to them (you) for not living up to your hopes and expectations.

I wish I had the time and energy to thank each one personally, let them know how much they meant to me. I don't.

So many others have thrown up roadblocks, have exploited me or simply didn't deliver what they promised. I'm not happy with those people, but I bear them no malice. They did what they wanted to do, could get away with. Some people are like that.

I won't delete this site. Time will erase my footprints from this world soon enough; this will be a small reminder to anyone who stumbles on it that I existed. I don't quite understand why that's important to me.

I will almost certainly cancel my other social-networking sites before I head out the door for the final time. I have projected a generally more positive face in them -- which is now revealed to be a total lie -- and why bother to have anyone try to "network" with you when you won't be able to see it?

What a lonely, empty world this has become.

The final irony, which seems all too appropriate given the way my life has gone: the order I received demands that I be out of here by April 4th. My birthday.

Happy birthday, loser.

And that is all.


John0 Juanderlust said...

Let a neighbor hold the computer and any other record keeping device.

MrScribbler said...

JohnO -- I thought about doing that, but I don't want anyone gaining access to that stuff. I think instead I'll pull out the hard drive and destroy it. By the time I come back this way -- if ever -- I suspect nothing on the machine will be important to me.

Class factotum said...

Mr S, my heart is heavy reading this. I have no words.

Fin said...

If your bus ticket takes you to the NYC area, I know of a place you could stay awhile. Harpo knows how to get in touch with me.

Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

These days people aren't "losers" through any fault of their own. It can happen to any of us any day.

You need crisis management advice and a case manager. There are people and organizations that help and you need to get registered immediately. In my part of the country you call United Way and they steer you in the right direction. You may even qualify for reduced income assistance for living. Don't waste any time. I wish I knew the contacts out there but I know they are there. There is help and you are exactly the kind of person it is for.

Class factotum said...

Mr S, I have sent an email to an Orange County friend to ask what services her church offers. She is checking into that now. Cross your fingers and check back here for an update.

Scott said...

Hi Scribbs,

Sorry to hear of your plight. It's not just you, or CA....things are miserably tough everywhere. I haven't done any blogging in months, but I think of you often. Suggest you travel to Texas, where jobs, while not great, are nonetheless available. There are lots of good, caring people here. Consider it?


Class factotum said...

Mr S, Is Catholic Charities on your list? I called the main office and got the numbers for two regional offices: St Mary's Center (323-662-4391) and St Robert's Center (310-392-8701). The main number is (213) 251-3400. The guy at the main office wanted to know where you lived now, probably so he could direct you to the nearest place, but I don't have your address any more.