“The smallest prison in the world is the 8 inches between your ears.” Vietnam POW asked about how he survived.
The two things that separated me from the rest of the men in the shelter was being a Vet and having a car. Being a Vet meant a room with three others indoctrinated in the military culture. If you or your family aren’t military, the weight of the last sentence is lost on you. Walking or the bus were options for me. Try this. One day leave your car parked then use a bus to get somewhere. Simple becomes very hard. Remember that first taste of freedom a bike allowed? Heady. Fast. Scary. No parents. Friends only. Age or responsibility slowly erode the time. When was the last time you rode your bike? America is built for cars.
Delayed repairs became immediate ones. When the mechanic’s first words are, “Have you thought about getting another car?” The world shifted under my feet. I’m in that majority group of Americans where a sudden emergency will led directly to crisis. That extra credit card offer doesn’t get thrown away. Family loans. Hey do know anyone who can do the work for ___$. With kids back in school living close with the ex, being car less doesn’t help. Anything. At. All.
The subtle stress of being on government programs is a daily burden. The oppressive heat in a converted attic apartment doesn’t help. Or the fact bright sunny days aren’t good for my moods. Those were manageable. The possibility of seeing my kids kept things stable. Freedom to fit their schedule. $800 might has well be $10,000. Rebuilding my life at 53 sucks. Knowing tech and society has no role for me double down. It still easier being poor in a poor region. Part time jobs are the norm. So is having two. Or three. All by the closed connections of friends and family.
Why don’t you move? Cost of living comes to mind. It takes money to move. First and last months rent. Public transportation? Answering the question, how are you doing? gets honesty not fluff. I awoke up. Starting low some days is easier. Then it’s where? The South? Been there, done that. They balance their budget by NOT using money for social support services. Finally, I’m lazy. All the effort expended to get out of bed or leave my apartment, leaves little for anything else.
This blog is the only form of therapy open to me. The struggle to find the words is a diversion from the world inside my head. That’s all. thanks for reading. Can’t promise regular posts.