Sunday, August 28, 2016

Four Points of Discontent

I'm tired of being an alcoholic. Sure, I drink Hamm's now, instead of those awful Four Lokos and Camos; but I'm still spending money on an addiction I can scarce afford — without depriving myself of other, more worthwhile objects and enterprises — and which returns are only ephemeral or problematic (e.g. I lost my home Internet service because of spending money on booze instead of paying my bills). To add insult to injury, if I'm to endeavor to quit everyone will point me to a parasitic pack of under-qualified New Age-pablum social workers and quasi-religious twelve-step cultists! Which I'm not about to do unless court-ordered or it proves to be of enormous material benefit to me.

I'm also pretty damn sick of people. I've never really cared much for my fellow man, having opened my eyes up long ago to the bitter reality that we're all irrational self-serving animals who are at best only halfway (and highly situationally) decent — whose civilité is born not out of intrinsic anglicness but rather out of prosperity and literacy; torch our schools and wither away our agricultural surplus, and what you'll get is a tree full of vicious chimps who happen to occasionally be articulate. It's not just the influx of vapid out-of-staters whose forebrains seem only to be capable of earning and spending money, it's the troglodyte bottom-feeders I seem to be stuck with in terms of social opportunities; people who only drag each other down into a mire of barbarism, addiction, and pauperish predation. I have two good, have-it-together friends, but the only people who can and will spend any significant amount of time with me are street and welfare drunks, most of whom don't even read!

And, then there's canning. Is this seriously the only way I can earn a living (if such it can be called)? I'm going out nearly every day, pushing a rattling sidewalk-hogging behemoth that underscores the disgrace of my life with distressing visibility ... for ten to twenty dollars! And that's in summer; come winter ten a day may well be the most I'll be able to glean. There ares people who spend that much a day on Starbucks swill and food cart lunches! Even if I were to successfully abstain from alcohol (which is pretty damn hard after three hours of fishing nickels out of trash cans), there's only so much I can do with so little. Plus, it's hell on my deteriorating legs, which is why sometimes I have to take a day off.

Plus, I'm buying food with some of that money now, and by “food” I mean microwave burritos and packets of ramen from the Dollar Tree. That's right, I lost my food stamps because I'm not collecting social security or quaffing methodone, and am unemployed. The reform eneacted at the beginning of this year stipulates that unless a person is working or volunteering somewhere for twenty hours a week, (s)he's no longer eligible to receive food stamps unless (s)he's in some kind of addictions treatment program or is certified disabled. Or chronically homeless; because apparently sustenance rains down from the ceilings of those poor who are housed. So, my diet has sunk into the Van de Camp's morass, with who knows what dire and lasting damage being done to my health as a result.

Is there a way out? I know some Clackistanian tea-party troll would suggest that I “just get a job”, which is as useful and edifying (not to mention sincere) as exhorting someone to “just wish upon a star” — at least to someone whose résumé is worth less than the origami it can be folded into. Still, that is a long-term goal of mine, if only to save up enough money to get the hell out of this benighted poverty-pimp turnstile of a town that's going to California in a handbasket. I could also “just” quit drinking, too; which I will have to do because I'm not about to suffer AA meetings. I'm not even going to conjecture on finding a tolerable niche in the tree of shaved and docile chimps. I'll just have to figure it out and make it happen, somehow without selling my soul to “spiritual” balderdash or padding the paychecks of Forbidden City bureaucrats and college grads with junk degrees.

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