It has been almost five months since I lost my bookstore and home. Since then I have been living in a motel on the edge of town. And for the better part of this... period I have been surviving by asking for and receiving assistance from both friends and strangers, kind and generous people who have enabled me to avoid having no fixed abode, from having to sleep on this couch or that or even less inviting alternatives.
When this odyssey started I had no conception it would continue this long. After the first two months the funds I had salvaged from the loss of my store were gone, and that too I had not considered.
The rent will once again be due in less than a week, by noon on the 24th, and I have enough money left to take a bus to and from town on Friday and do my laundry, whic h has been necessitated since the motel closed their laundry facilities in December. I do not have a large wardrobe, just enough clothes to last a bit over a week, and only one pair of pants that do not have a hole in the knee, always the left one for some reason. Clothes have never been of importance to me. Few material possessions are of importance to me aside from having access to books and music, most of which I have stored in a unit in town, for which I also have rent, though that is good for almost another month. That which has been of importance to me has been less material things, or as John Payne stated in the film Miracle on 34th St, I have believed that the most important things are that which you cannot see. It was over six years ago that much of that aspect of life started to disappear.
From November of 2008 and for a period of four and a half years after I lost family and friends at a astounding rate, and when I use that word I remember relating what I was e x periencing to the nurses at a local hospice as a friend lived his final week and I kept watch, and they stared almost slack jawed, these women who dealt with death on a regular basis. And as that came to a close the bookstore that enabled me to feel of use finished its run with a year and a half slide into oblivion. I still have difficulty believing the store is lost, for even in its final days there was still a good selection of fine books at fair prices. And not only do I miss those who have passed, but in a way I envy them. Richard, Bob, Lowell, Andrew, Nick, Dave, Terry, Jean, John, Rick, and so many more, dozens in that period of time, many of them younger than me. Most of them had spouses or children or close family members, something which I do not have, my father going in that first month. I wonder how I am still here, a smoker for forty five years, with so many my age or younger gone, many who certainly took better care of themselves, and most who had those close pe r sonal connections to hold to. I wonder, and there are times standing in the chill wind waiting for a bus, walking down the streets, and finding no way to support myself except through begging, having few current contributions I can point to as justifying myself, as showing myself being useful, I wonder, and I envy those friends who are gone, who no longer have to show a reason for their existence. I need to, I need to say that in this way I am useful, I am contributing. Such are the thoughts I have these days.
So I spend my time looking for work, though in the past week I have done nothing. Even the weekly volunteer radio I do was curtailed this week by the weather, and I only half jokingly told a friend today that I should have attempted the hike there, despite the life threatening wind chills, as that might have resolved the current situation. I fill the facebook pages for Another Story and Radio Free Hippie, hoping to fill more than space.I say all this because these are the thought that occupy my brain. Especially as I ask again and again for assistance.
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