Friday, January 18, 2008


I'm so relieved that we can encapsulate our troubles into the simple term, "bad day." This morning as I awoke, my toes felt as if they weighed ten pounds. Then I realized that my forehead, which was the only part of my body unprotected by the piles of heavy blankets atop my bed, was freezing.

I listened closely for the sound of the space heater, but heard nothing but Kitty's persistent whines. Briefly, I wondered what could have happened to my main source of heat since this money pit I call a home doesn't have a working thermostat, left alone a heater that I have yet to test. I asked Kitty in the most polite way I could to shut the EFF up.

After I found my glasses, I inspected the heater. Nothing was wrong with it, except somebody (the whiner) had unplugged it during her daily morning "wake the hell up, MH" exercises, which include jumping over and under every possible object. Being 15 or 16, she misses most objects and lands on them.

I dragged myself out to the back yard, where my beautiful flowers were covered up d/t a forecasted frost. They seemed okay.

Back inside, I heard the mail drop. Great, I thought. Let's see what junk mail they have for me today. I wish I had been so lucky. Three pieces of mail greeted me: shut-off notice from gas company, shut-off notice notice from city water dept. and (yikes) overdraft notice from my worthless bank.

Shut-off notices I don't quite understand. I didn't even receive bills from them. Oh well, I thought. I can just pay them. But oh wait. An overdraft notice means I don't have any money. I don't have the internet so I had to go to Starbucks to see the damage. In the four days between the time I ran out of money and got paid, I incurred over $300 in NSF charges. Not sure how I'm going to pay my overdue bills now.

I had a dream last night that I sold my house and bought a condo because I realized I couldn't take care of a house by myself. I realized that I really did like having a dryer. I liked having heat. I didn't mind not having a garden because I don't really know how to garden anyway. I even got a new cat and there was plenty of room. Today, a friend met me at Starbucks. I didn't tell her all of my woes, but I did tell her about my dream. She laughed. "I told you to get a condo, but that house is just you." Maybe it is. Broken down and in need of major repair.

Yesterday I vowed to make sure I'd never lose that house. It means so much to me. I guess I love the house because it is part of a family lineage. It was something that a happy couple had built and raised their family in. They took care of it and loved it. Their kids lived in it happily and it was a safe haven. I thought of The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's book. I am like the Joads. I've been a wanderer my whole life. My parents never lived anywhere for long, and never fit in where they landed. Why in the world would an alcoholic man with no education move his family to Utah? In the eighties, there were probably 10 catholics in Utah, including our brood. I moved as soon as I could. I've been a gypsy ever since, never fitting in. I wouldn't even fit in where I came from, a small town in Nebraska. I'm vegetarian now.

My house represents stability and safety. And here I go, ruining it. It could be worse, though.

There is a woman here at the Starbucks. She shuffled in and after fidgiting around at her table, she borrowed a guy's cellphone, asking somebody at the other end where they were. She hung up and thanked the guy. Sat in her seat again and pulled out make-up. After her version of a touch-up, she brought out perfume and actually doused herself with it. A few minutes later, a small boy walked in by himself. He had been dropped off. The little boy sat across from her. She asked him how his day went. He didn't answer. She prodded him in her over-dramatic drunken way. The boy was used to this type of behavior. I could sense his resignation. I know how he feels. You can either cooperate and keep up the charade, or you can make your life difficult by asking them if they are drunk. The boy decided to keep up the charade and confided that some kids made fun of him at school today.

A middle eastern couple came in and sat across the room. The only person speaking was the man. Shortly, another man (middle eastern) came in and sat down too. The woman immediately got up and started browsing the sales area. She still hadn't spoken. The two men had a seemingly friendly conversation. They got up and prepared to leave. They walked out. Nobody opened the door for the woman, she just followed them.

It could all be worse, I guess.

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