Though I still continue to survive, continue to search for work, and continue to attempt, whenever possible, to project -- and feel -- a positive attitude toward life, the task of doing so grows more difficult with each passing day.
I can't and won't get into details. Suffice it to say I am back in the neighborhood where I grew up, and am discovering once again why I felt such intense relief when I finally escaped it so many years ago.
It's not a bad area. It is relatively clean, safe to prowl at night, and to anyone who saw the surface, seems to fit the words Frank Zappa wrote long ago to describe his fictional "Centerville": "...a real nice place to raise your kids up."*
Much of it is exactly as I remembered, after an absence of some two decades. Despite the encroachment of hideous stucco "mega-houses," many familiar homes remain. The neighborhood is far more mixed now -- it was 99% Midwestern white-bread California in my youth -- but some of the people I've seen in my wanderings seem somewhat familiar. They look too damn old to be my contemporaries, though...or am I simply not seeing that I have aged so drastically as well?
About my immediate surroundings I propose to say nothing. It's not a good situation in any respect save that it is not bunking down in a cardboard box downtown near the Midnight Mission.
I miss not working.** I considered myself reasonably talented at what i did, but the verdict from my most important judges -- those who might make use of my ability and pay for it -- suggests I'm not so good. I disagree, but that means nothing.
Losing virtually everything but a few important books, my computer and some clothing was not as wrenching as I feared. At this point, I don't think leaving my personal possessions behind is going to leave any serious scars. I retain the memories, and much of what is gone can be replaced should I ever be in a position to do so. Or be in a position to want to do so.
But the circumstances of my current existence are taking a toll on me. I no longer feel independent, because I'm not. That's a bad thing.
I have been humbled, humiliated and just plain brought down to a very low point. I need only one good break to start the long climb back up to where I think I belong, but finding that break is much like trying to find a very small needle in a very large haystack.
If you get the impression I'm pretty damn depressed right now, you are so right. Almost as bad (maybe equally bad, now that I think about it), I am more lonely than ever.*** I crave not only understanding, but the chance to remind myself, through interaction with people I respect, enjoy and love, that I'm still more than a worthless lump of protoplasm.
This ain't good, fellow babies. When the Universe was handing out coping mechanisms for major adversity, I must have been distracted by some worthless shiny object....
But that's the way it is.
* I believe the quote came from his "200 Motels" album, but don't hold me to that. My memory is not what it once was, and I'm too tired to check....
** And, like too many people these days, have found nothing else to do.
*** This is no slap at the one person who has really gone to bat for me (or another who also stepped up more than expected) since the dung slapped up against the rotating ventilation device. Without the encouragement and help from that quarter, I don't think I would have made it this far....
17 hours ago