Thursday, May 01, 2014

It's Cry or Blog

Funny how one can turn things around and then suddenly deflate.  My last post worried people and it worried me.  It wasn't so long ago -- I had a very blue weekend last week.  Somewhere in that weekend, I realized I had nearly emptied a bookcase and that the time had come to finish the task and break down the bookcase that was falling apart.

I greatly enjoyed it.  I'm giving away any books I know I'll never get around to reading or whose transportation costs when I can finally leave this In-Life Purgatory known as New York City for a real destination are not worth my while.  I kept the Dickens because there are so many characters to keep track of that I always write down each new name and the page it first appears on the fly leaves -- hard to do on Kindle.  I kept my beloved Trollope.  I found I could not recycle Anna Karenina, which has so many notes in it from having read and written about it so many times that no one would want it.  I'm sorry, Kim, but Iris Murdoch is destined for another home.

On Tuesday I took a hammer to that sloping bookcase and carted the pieces out to the curb.  The dust behind it was frightening.  Mostly I sweep up dog hair but this was imploded grit.  I was filthy and sweating and happy by the time I got the carnage onto the street and stacked up the remaining books I wasn't sure where I should place them.  I was able to move a little "furniture" (almost nothing in my apartment qualifies as Furniture) and there is a sense of lightness I haven't felt since I was fired from my last full time job. 

It took another two days to figure out what else I wanted where -- any collector of books knows how organization is both essential and idiosyncratic -- and I now have almost all my books in shelves except for a pile of medieval history I have to make major decisions about.  This is not to say that I've organized myself completely, only that what I've figured out is done.

I actually have gaps in my shelves.  I could actually shelve the medieval history pile and decide its fate later.

So I was feeling pretty good about that, although my bank balance was worrying me.

Today the sense of mission with the books has worn off.  My shoulders ache in addition to all the other aches.  Today I've desultorily looked up some factoids regarding the rosary and have not goofed off but that sense of mission is gone.

At least, I hoped this morning as I went over my gratitudes, I'll have money to put in the bank.

And I will, but not from the dogs who pulled me down and busted my face.  I had to go back to walking them because I need the money.  I am scared of the jackal of the two, who bit me when I put his leash on and is aggressive to all dogs and some people.  I'm still scared when I hook his leash to his choke collar.  I pull it around to the top of his neck and get the hell away from his mouth as soon as possible.  I walk the pair looking all ways to make sure we can steer clear of other dogs or so that I can hook them to a fence if a meeting is inevitable.  I'm usually shaking when I leave their building twice a day.

My inner lip will never heal from the fall they caused.

They are two weeks overdue in paying me.  That check, due today, would allow me to pay my rent without dipping into savings.  I'm going to have to dip into savings. 

And somehow, when I saw the empty invoice envelope when I leashed them up this morning, I nearly broke down.

Maybe I'm tired -- it's been a physically demanding week and all of yesterday's walks were performed in a stinging winter rain.  I think, though, it has more to do with financial fear and, by extension, fear of the rest of my life.

Combined with a profound disappointment that my clients haven't paid me that makes me think of the disappointment I feel about certain declared intentions not having been performed and, worst of all, the silence from someone I considered my best friend and partner in crime.  I -- we -- had planned a future but this continuing silence makes me feel it will not happen.  If I have a Plan B, it consists of begging my other best and longest friend for a job that we treat as a joke.

Either of those men are like family to me, the brothers in sensibility I didn't have.  I love my actual brother[s] -- I hugely enjoy my living brother and his children and wife are actually among my best friends -- so this is not an insult.  But these friends are the men who like to shop, who understand a collection of dinner china, who, each in their own way, gets the who of the who of me.

I have a constant fear of being Too Much for people.  Too needy.  Too depressed.  Too loud.  Too dependent.  Too fat.

I have a competing constant fear of being Not Enough.  Not smart enough.  Not sympathetic enough.  Not successful enough.   Not pretty enough.  Not important enough.  Not disciplined enough.  Not enough of the enough that other people seem to carry with them.

And I'm sure sometimes (like now) I am exactly accurate in my fears.  I can't gauge this.  I do know, however, that I also make myself as small as possible when the Enoughs loom as the reason for not hearing from someone.  I stop asking to be heard, to talk, to be in touch.  I figure that, at best, they need space.

It's hard to wrap my mind around the idea that, maybe, I could be of actual use to friends in difficult times or that my friends -- my bestest friends -- maybe sort of owe me a hello or a goodbye.

I don't know what I'm owed or what I deserve.  I don't know how to figure it out.  I think I've written before that obesity is a harsh mistress.  It taught me to always expect me to be last.  When I lost weight, thinness taught me to fake not assuming last place.  When my fraud was exposed, I gained weight again.

So a missing $300 has brought me to a place where I am both blogging and crying because one future has dropped me (me: my sense of humor, my taste, my hard work, my generosity, my utter faith in and admiration of them, my prayers, my intelligence, my best clothes, my sense that anything I have is theirs, including my family) and the other future is a joke.

I know I deserve to be paid.  I know some other professional promises will be upheld later rather than sooner but will come to pass.  But I am disappointed in my friends and scared of borrowing from myself and scared of not having a future. 

Hunh.  Borrowing from myself.

Isn't that what silent friends, family, lovers, co-workers and all the other close relations in our lives, force us to do?


Hilary said...

This post is awfully sad.

The best part was when you lightened your load at home. This is a Zen activity that helps us all when we're feeling down. My brother did a lot of this after his daughter's death.

I hope things will look up for you.

Unknown said...

I think it's dangerous for you to walk a dog who scares you, especially for no pay. I hope something better turns up for you so you can drop that bad dog.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who stuck with a web design project out of fear -- fear that he wouldn't be able to replace it with other work, fear that he wouldn't be able to pay his rent if he didn't take it on. The client's mind changed again and again, and the project got bigger and bigger and more unmanageable, until the initially agreed upon compensation worked out to pennies an hour. Finally, depressed, anxious and broke, my friend dropped the project. Initially he felt a sense of failure. But then, a funny thing happened--he was free. And that meant that he got another freelance job to provide the income he needed. It's really hard not to let fear and poverty blind you to your own self interest, but you need to let go of Bitey and trust that you can get another revenue source. There are other dogs.

Unknown said...

I agree with toledo. Not only are you walking a dangerous dog, but it's owners are abusing you. Please let that job go. You'll find another that brings you joy. A dog you love that loves you, not one you are afraid of who may well bite you or someone else on your watch. If the owners don't want to pay you, imagine how they would lay the blame of that nightmare at your feet.