Home > Life or something like it > Entry 06/24/2006 08:06:22 AM – Mentat 280

Entry 06/24/2006 08:06:22 AM – Mentat 280

06/24/2006
… I’m a soldier, born to stand
in this waking hell I am
witnessing more than I can compute

pray myself we don’t forget
lies, betrayed and the oppressed
please give me the strength to be the truth

people facing the fire together
if we don’t, we’ll lose all we have found…

      One day ‘til my Emancipation Holiday.  And I find that I haven’t thought about anything that I would like to be free of.  Not surprising because most of my time in the last ten days has dealt with either working 10 or so hours a day, getting what little sleep that I can where I can grab it, and either thinking about some of the things of my past that come rushing back to me now that I’m on home soil, or fond (and sometimes not so fond) thoughts of people from my past. 
     Yes, I went to Pride last weekend, as I promised that I would.  Yes, I got the wristband that I’ve been waiting weeks for from Don’t Panic that had never come in, and eventually I had to order.  Yes, I saw a couple of people there that I hadn’t expected to see.  One which was a pleasant surprise, another that was a disappointment to see. 
     Yes, looking up at the portion of the lyrics that I’ve posted from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, 2nd Gig, I feel like a soldier, a watcher, a defender….  Trying hard to make sense of everything going on, and not necessarily succeeding at it. 
     No, I’m not feeling like the forty-two year old that I’ve become in the last two weeks…  Although this year I’m feeling closer to my age (and being damned proud of it in the process); but it’s still not entirely sinking in like it should. 
     And that seems to be only scratching the surface of everything going on underneath…

     So, it’s raining here again.  Heh, just when I thought that I would be able to go another weekend with sun (like I had the last couple of weeks), apparently another storm has decided on strolling on through the general Rhode Island area to pour more water on the folk here.  I’m rather surprised that this place hasn’t started smelling like a mold colony.  But then, it needs to be just a little hotter and a little bit damper for that sort of thing to start happening here.  Oh well…  *sigh* Guess I can’t have everything…  Of course, the fun is going to be when it rains every weekend, yet it’s sunny while I’m cooped up at work. 
      I seem to recall several decades ago, when I was just a child, something similar happening — where I was at school during the week watching out the window and seeing sunny and warm, yet on the weekend all it did was rain and pour.  About the only good thing is that I get to sit ‘round a slouch, work on writing a little bit, and perhaps watch some random show on television. 
     Because it was raining this morning and through most of the night, I didn’t sleep the way that I wanted to — namely deep and heavy — and tossed and turned through most of the night.  Eventually to find myself wide awake at five this morning with the makings of a cluster headache and possible migraine.  Not a pretty thing to be waking up believe me, given that the last time I remember waking up with this sort of pain, it took four cups of coffee, and having to patiently wait until sundown for the air pressure to abate because the pain simply wouldn’t go all the hell away.  At least this time around, the pain is actually masked enough that I can plug in my earplugs and listen to some trance while working on this journal entry.  For how long though…  That remains the question of the hour… 

     Further…  the feeling of displacement has been getting acutely worse since last weekend.  Last Saturday after work, I headed over to Pride here in Rhode Island.  Interesting 30 or so minutes that was, believe me.   First off, it was sort of nice to see that there were enough folk there to fill the side lawn across the street from the State House (and between Providence Place Mall and Amtrak), although it was rather sad given that I’ve gotten rather used to seeing huge crowds taking up acres of space.  Like in New York City, or Boston, or Atlanta.  But at least it’s better than fifteen years ago, when Rhode Island didn’t have any such thing whatsoever. 
     As I said earlier, I saw two people there that I didn’t expect to see, and didn’t see one that I was looking for.  I was looking for Chris F. who I had happened to have seen a picture of him in the issue of Options that I had picked up a couple of months ago.  Wanted to see whether he had settled his silly butt down like most folk our age usually do.  Saw David D. there.  Looks like age has treated the man well; and he’s filled out in the face better than when I last saw him almost.  Came damned close to talking to him just to re-introduce myself, but then chickened out, justifying that after all — the last time I had seen him was more than eighteen years ago and I seriously doubt that he’d remember me with the clarity that I remembered him.  I mean, I’m beginning to realize just how intense my memory is, and how long I remember things, and I really shouldn’t consider that everyone else would have the same kind of memory. 
     Then again, it’s rather good that people don’t have the kind of memory that I have.  Particularly when you consider the other person that I had seen at pride.  Joe G. is the other person that I saw.  God, did he look awful.  Bad tan job…  Bad hair job…  He did not age gracefully nor well, believe me.  First off, the dye job that he got for his hair was a really poor blond…  It made him look like it was about to turn green if he were to fall into a pool.  Couple it with the tanning-bed-come-bottle-bronzer tan that he had which turned him a sickly orange-russet, and it boiled down to him looking like a slut on his way to a train-wreck.  Seeing Joe, seriously made me wonder what the hell I saw in the man when I had the one-nighter with him twenty years ago.  Hell, seeing him today, secretly it made me regret having the one-nighter that I had with him, and was damned glad that he didn’t remotely recognize me. 
     Couple this with Sunday when I was heading home from work, and sitting there at the airport waiting for the bus, in some pretty close-to-Atlanta heat and humidity, and smelling the faint smell of dogwood and honeysuckle on the slight breeze, and thinking acutely of Atlanta during the summer.  Actually for one moment missed it, and wanted to get back there…  Fortunately for me, the feeling of longing and missing didn’t last as long as I thought it would; and was glad that it had passed. 

     Work…  God, has that been a brain drain on me the last two weeks.  Apparently now that it’s summer and the folk for the summer have come in to work part time at the local drug stores, that all sorts of questions that are normally answered by the management needs to be called in so that they can get used to calling in for troubles, sitting on hold, and getting their problem taken care of remotely.  The amount of calls that have come into the center has been staggering!  There was a Tuesday last week (before Lauren went off on vacation) that she was telling me that they had something like 130 or so calls in the message queue that had come in that made it impossible for the folk working to actually keep up.  And because of it repeating on Tuesday, they had attempted to call me in to work a little overtime. 
     Uh, no.  I worked a six day stretch.  If I had accepted working last Tuesday, I would’ve ended up working ten days straight.  Definitely not the sort of thing that I would want to do, given that it is really draining listening to folk on the folk whine and complain about new systems they just don’t have the patience to learn in the first place, and are doing everything in their power to sabotage in the process.  In fact, when I went in the following day (Wednesday), Caty had asked me for my address and phone number and to leave it on Lauren’s desk because they want to get in contact with me directly instead of going through the agency to contact me.  Uh, no.  I don’t think so.  While they haven’t pursued to ensure that I handed it to Lauren — or rather written it and put it in her desk — I’m still debating whether I would want to.  My time off is routinely sacrosanct; my privacy doubly so.  If they want me to work overtime — I will do so when I’m working — but not on my time off.  Considering that I put close to five hours of OT in this week, I began realizing on Thursday that I’m reaching my limit in working OT, as I was getting cranky, incoherent, and bordering on insolent.  It didn’t help matters any given that all the calls that I had received on Thursday were never even remotely covered during my training, nor in the twelve or so weeks I had been working there.  But I found out from Dan yesterday during lunch that there are times when even the most seasoned folk there get the kind of questions I get and don’t have a clue of how to respond to them.  While it didn’t salve the situation fully, it did make me feel a little better that it happens to everyone there. 
     As an interesting little tidbit; I got to sit by Paul G. on Wednesday.  For a moment there, I came to realize that there was a god in heaven, as I talked with him and realized that while he was suitable smart enough for the position; he wasn’t in any way intelligent in the manner I thought that he could be, given the way that there’s the look of high intelligence from the piercing looks that he gives.  Those piercing gazes he has are in fact him studying everything that he can in order to understand, and not the look of someone dissecting something into it’s component pieces.  Still wouldn’t say no to him if he were to ask me out on a date, and definitely wouldn’t say no if he wanted something more — but at least I’m not quite so intimidated by him as I was when I first saw him.  *grinning mischievously* Still can’t make heads nor tails of him though…  I think he believes stoic is in his best interest around some folk there at work.  Although I don’t think he’s long for the place, given that Thursday he came in dressed in a tie; which means he probably had an interview someplace else and leave like Jean and Janet (who both ended up at United Health down the street from where I am). 

     In the last ten days, I’ve had one of my famed blow-outs with my aunt and uncle.  As I had said at the beginning of the month — I had several timers going — one of which had to do with my having to move out.  As I had said in the last couple of entries — I had been hunting through the area for a place to live because of this, and while I had found a couple of reputable places, but they were well out of my current price range; and those that were actually worth the price, either didn’t accept even small pets, or were in areas like Edgewood which looks more like a crack neighborhood than anything else. 
     Then my uncle in his good interest gets together a paper of locations that I could afford, and while one of them I surely could; I wouldn’t be able to put together the money for first/last/security by the end of the month.  So, I blew up because I knew the only alternative is that I’m going to have to be moving to a shelter…  Again…  My aunt didn’t understand the reason why I had blown up the way that I did; and try as I might to explain it — I fear that some of the details I had given her were simply missed.
     While I’ve admitted already that I’ve been there…  Homeless and living in a shelter…  What she doesn’t understand entirely is the level of self-protection and self-preservation I had gone through in the six weeks I had been living there in the shelter in Latrobe.  She doesn’t understand that with the amount of external confidence that I routinely try display — I frequently was the target of petty jealousies and squabbles from the rest of the folk because they work on fractured beliefs that in my confidence, I must be better than them, and I need to be taken down.  She doesn’t understand that as an out gay man, that it grates against nerves with folk there because they’re frequently undereducated, or just outright ignorant to begin with. 
     Yes, it was a learning experience being in the Mission in Latrobe..  But given some of the things that I learned, and the utterly contemptible things that I put up with towards the end — I would prefer not to give life, fate or the drama fairy reason to give me repeat performances, thank you very much. 
     The next day, uncle wanted to talk to me, and explained to me that I didn’t have to move out at the end of the month.  Apparently my aunt explained to him what I had blown out on the night before, and given the situation and the thought that I was going to be moving back into a shelter, he had changed his mind on my moving out at the end of the month.  Since then, they’ve been sort of pressing me for an answer, and I admit that I haven’t wanted to give one.  Mostly has to do with pride, given that I’m rather tired of hearing her say I never talk, when I do, but she either doesn’t remember, doesn’t listen, or doesn’t realize that I answer everything my own way, and it doesn’t always fit into easy or pat answers. 
     *shrugs*  I know I should have the decency to answer her whether I’m staying or not — but the problem is, I’m just not in the right place to answer one way or another.  Either I’m waiting for a catalyst, or I’m waiting for another explosion to cause me to force choose the direction.  Just not sure, and it’s one of those things I just don’t want to delve into further, because the more that I delve, the more uncomfortable I get at seeing the alternatives.  Well, that and scared too.   

     More to write…  But I’ve done pretty much all that I’ve wanted to at the present time.  There are still sections I’m trying to process from this morning.  Until later or the next time. 
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