David John Patterson is organizing this fundraiser.
It grieves me enormously, in these times of ruin and suffering, when money could be far better spent elsewhere, to come to you all on bended knee, with beggar’s bowl in oustretched hand. But in my financial life at the moment, all the systems are blinking red and I find I must finally ask for a little help from my friends.
Short version (the long one is just too horrible): I lost my job of 20 years in May of this year, and despite starting a job search almost two months before that, I still have not secured permanent or lucrative employment. Like many others in the same boat, I’ve subsisted since on occasional writing assignments paying the kind of insulting rates that writing nets you nowadays; on odd jobs and cat-sitting stints and the like; on the sale of whatever I still have that might net a few pennies (a resource now much diminished…); on a near-permanent small overdraft, and on the blessed generosity of good and kindly friends.
I’m getting accustomed to the faces of 24-year-old temp agency counselors or job interviewers when they see another grey-haired old fart walking in. “Oh really,” they say, “you haven’t worked in an office in 20 years, huh?” As if no old dog may learn new tricks. Something will come through eventually. I’ve had some bites and near-misses and some of them were good. The end of this is nigh, fingers crossed.
But my personal economics since my job-loss are now approaching chaos. I have kept all the financial plates spinning, until now, by a complex set of postponements and payment-schedules, though all the bills are now in red ink and screaming for attention. But when the car that one hasn’t been able to register for six months is towed by the city, with impound fees accruing daily, then you realize that the shit has definitively hit the fan. Doesn’t help the job-hunt, either.
As I said, it grieves and humiliates me to find myself in this position, when so many others are in the same fix. But by reaching out to you all, I hope I can lift the yoke from my neck long enough to find solid work and get back to the semblance a real life. I realize I’m asking a lot, but the problem threatens to overwhelm me, and I’m kinda terrified. But any funds raised will be used wisely and in a spirit of deep humility and unlimited gratitude. Right now the roaring in my ears, the stress, and a combination of paralysis and panic, are making it hard for me to think straight. However, I will ponder well the ways in which I might someday repay your kindness and generosity.
If you feel moved to make any contribution, you will be saving my life, and I thank you in advance, from the bottom of my heart.
I’m too old for this shit!