January 4th, 2005

Tarot - The Tower

Nightmares

After I pay the rent this morning, I have right at about $300 left. Period. That includes the $100 I got in Christmas money from various people via PayPal, which I'm transferring to checking as we speak. Tomorrow or the next day I need to replace a burned-out headlight if the car's to be safe to drive, and I need to pick up about $60 or so worth of groceries. That leaves me a bit over $200, the majority of which will be eaten by the January cell phone and car insurance automatic payments, and no way to pay the February rent or any other expenses. Worse, I am almost certainly facing a rent increase in March, and a big one.

I'm fucked.

Those of you who've seen me lately have seen that I'm growing my hair back. It started with those first few depressing days after the meltdown, when I couldn't be bothered to shave. When I got my act slightly more together, it occurred to me that whatever came next, whether some kind of court case, or some kind of bureaucratic appeal, or a desperate job hunt, having short gray hair can only help. Besides, if I live that long, I'll turn 45 in July. When I started shaving my head, it was because I hated the idea of being only 36 and looking like I was 50. Now that I'm in my mid 40s and (as piratebob reminds me) too old to be chasing women who'd care that I'm an old man, I have no remaining incentive not to look like one. *shrug* Several people tell me that no, to them it looks blond, not gray, and that on me short hair with a front bald spot that reaches all the way to the back of my head looks "distinguished." Of course, I was wearing a tuxedo when they told me this; that could make almost any guy look distinguished. And they may have been lying to me to try to buck up my morale.

So it shouldn't surprise you that I'm sleeping poorly, being woken several times a night by non-specific nightmares. Knowing that, it shouldn't surprise you that the lack of sleep is making my panic attacks worse. I'm approaching near total paralysis. I was supposed to go out tonight, to a goth event that kukla_tko42 really really wanted me to go to. My official excuse for staying home, I guess, is that I had no ride. But this would be a good time for me to be honest with myself: I didn't want to go. Not because a medium-high fashion dance event with EBM music wouldn't be fun, yeah, I imagine it would be, and not because the $5 cover would break me, and not because I have nothing to wear (although the spare formal shirt needs a button sewed on, but that wouldn't have been an obstacle). No, because I can't face leaving the apartment. Saturday night alienne and her um-friend dragged me down to their place. It was a good time, and they did me a favor and helped me upgrade this box back to WinXP, and it was good for me -- but I had to fight like mad my urge to tell them to go away and leave me alone.

Don't go away and leave me alone, even if I tell you to. Right now, I'm totally emotionally paralyzed by terror. I have less than 30 days to get some kind of financial assistance. Food stamps, unemployment, workman's comp, whatever. Or else I've got a matter of weeks to come up with a job of some kind. I could go back to Pinkerton, maybe, or try to find some other security job, maybe, especially if I do what I need to do and actually cooperate with my friendly volunteer lawyer (instead of hiding in bed) in getting the last of the stupid car problems solved. I've floated the idea in my own head of applying to local school systems for work as a substitute high school teacher. Or, as I was told by one of the supervisors over the weekend, they're unwilling enough to fire me to ignore the fact that I haven't been calling in sick every day and take me back at GC Services, if I (a) convince myself that I can go back to work there without killing myself, and (b) I get a doctor's note documenting my breakdown; I don't imagine it'll come to that, dying sounds better. But right now, nothing is getting done, because I no longer have what it takes to do it. I have zero energy, zero motivation, zero confidence that anything I do will have a beneficial result.

So what am I going to do, sit here and mope for the five weeks or so it'll take for me to be evicted and then die outside alone in the St. Louis winter? Yeah, probably.