Saturday, September 17, 2011


It's been years since I've seen my money market drop to $35.  If I hadn't gone to Montana, maybe it would only have dropped to $500.  There's so little difference that I see no point in blaming myself.

The awful news came just as I began a week's substitute dog-walking for a friend.  After working out the kinks in the schedule to my pace, I've been walking from 7.30 or 8 until 4 or 5 with a one-hour break, with a couple of evening walks to finish out the day.  It will save my ass for a minute when I had counted on it to act as a bridge until I started teaching near the end of the month.

And then my courses were canceled.

I had to make the Call. 

You know the one.  "Hi -- [snivel] -- Dad...."

Is there a more humiliating call to make?

Yes.  The next time I have to do it.

This week has, until the break of Saturday, saved me from worrying too much about it.  There is always a sudden dog to go board with, I reasoned as Daisy & I packed off to do so.  I found 43 cents on the sidewalks yesterday.  At least I've caught up with other things that had dropped to new lows: doggie bags, dishes.  At least I'll have a good three weeks to write five chapters.


I have to say that I am tired of having a bad year.  2009 was a bad year.  My mother died.  2010 was a bad year.  Two months in a cast, my book bombed, Zoloft went funky on me.  2011 has been a hard year.  A difficult student during winter quarter, three quarters in a row in which I haven't taught, always countingcountingcounting (Blitzen is six walks this week and four next...150 dollars...can I pay off that Visa yet?).

But this piece of bad news is the worst because I have absolutely no savings.  I was planning to pay a lot of bills this fall.  I was looking forward to the occasional movie or Chinatown back-rub.  I was finally going to be able to relax

                      well, once I got my book turned in.

I still have that little chore.

Ever have a good idea for a book & then see it?  That happened to me yesterday via Twitter. 

And I have so few ideas for new books.

Still.  I am holding myself very tightly to focus on what's going right.  I can actually (with the help of a few drugs) DO the walking.  One of the dogs did not hide in the fireplace when I picked him up today.  Beanie, a shy Lab, comes quite briskly to me, her owner says.  I'm ten days abstinent and the weather went from warm and clammy to cool and dry which means I had to put on my favorite salmon pink corduroy jacket.  The sleeves are roomier than the last time I had it on.  I have to be out & about in a way I haven't been in years, visible & accountable.  I'm enjoying my iPod at last & feel intimate with the music.  The world is full of strange things -- loose change, fragile Christmas ornaments in the gutter, overheard comments like, "Urdu, Urdu, Urdu -- shit, man."

I need to get back into the Rooms but this time I want to change the emphasis in the Serenity Prayer from "accept the things I cannot change" to "courage to change the things I can".  That prayer fucked me up with the initial emphasis on acceptance.  Give me a test for post-traumatic stress disorder and I pass with flying colors from the women I worked for a decade and more ago.  I survived by clinging to acceptance.  I was even graciously accepting of having my courses canceled ("This must be so stressful for you," I wrote my department head).  Several times a week I dream about those women, about begging for my job back at no pay or other scenarios. 

I want to close out 2011 by being able to say it was a hard rather than a bad year.  I want to change things.  I want to have normal nightmares about werewolves and falling and fire.  I want to be the first to have a good book idea.


Anonymous said...

Any book you write, I will buy.

-- Jessica

Liesl said...

And I second that!

Marianne said...

I just wanted to let you know that I love seeing that there is a new Car on the hill post on my igoogle page.