Glad to be a working man
No apologies for not posting anything for like a week. I got a job, my first full-time work in over 28 months, and merely adjusting to that first week was enough to knock me off my usual pace of posting. And then yesterday, my lovely, centered and very smart 22-year-old daughter Ellie graduated from college, two hours north of here. So now it’s Sunday evening, just after five, and I just got my load of laundry going in a washer at the neighborhood laundromat and figured I’d check in.
The job showed up in the nick of time, lemme tell you. I’m pretty much down to bupkes, which translates to my last two pairs of socks, my last pair of pants and my only pair of shoes. I have a few shirts left, and I’m all right in the boxers-briefs department for now, but don’t call me to look strikingly handsome in that photo shoot unless you’ve got clothes for me to wear. I still have two suits, but I figure I’ve lost around 70 pounds in the past year, so they’ll need some alterations, not to mention a good dry cleaning.
I guess that means I’m gonna have to go shopping for clothes sometime. I hate shopping for clothes, although a lot less than I used to. I’m still kinda pissed that the city forced Joe Sun — this really great work-clothes emporium on K Street in downtown Sacramento — out of business a few years ago, because that place made it easy, and I never had any problem finding pants long enough for my six-foot-seven frame. Now, who knows? I guess when I get a few spare dollars in my pocket, I’ll pedal my bicycle out to the mall or something. I ain’t driving there, that’s for sure.
Y’see, the repo man got my car, about a year short of me paying it off, and I’m still getting calls from the bank — which got a pretty sweet bailout from taxpayers so its executives won’t go hungry or miss any crucial golf games — or its agents, wanting me to come up with the remainder of the loan. Sorry, lads, but I’m kinda tapped at the moment.
This, of course, means that I’m consigned in the foreseeable future to public transportation and my trusty bicycle, which itself could use some major maintenance, as it’s got two bald tires, shredded brake cables — which means that I’m reliant on Hanna-Barbera-developed Flintstone & Rubble stopping technology that tends to be absolute hell on my last pair of shoes — along with a ripped-up seat and other amenities. I will make do with it until I can get some paychecks rolling in so I can afford the necessary repairs.
All I can tell you is that I’m so frickin’ grateful it isn’t funny. I’m still sleeping in the spare room of a friend, two floors above a disco, on a fold-out massage table, but when I lay my head on my zafu — the meditation cushion that doubles as my headrest — I’m so thrashed that sleep comes easily, even when the house is shaking like some hellzapoppin’ oontz-oontz jackhammer and my friend is yodeling along to Portuguese fado or Chinese pop records in the other room. I look forward to making enough money someday to afford my own bed in my own place, where I can go to bed early and no one will notice.
I’m really not sure how long it will take to gain even a semblance of equilibrium. This has been such a long, weird ride that I’ve kinda forgotten all my old entitlement issues, and I guess the upside is that I get to figure out what the new “normal” will be. Maybe a nice, clean, gently lit, simple living space, with fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and a comfy bed to welcome me every night will be my reward for this long night in the wilderness.
Somehow, I doubt if that McMansion with the Hummer in the garage is in my future. —Jackson Griffith