Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sick feeling in the pit of my stomach

Before this even begins: I have been up all night, no sleep. Some people who end up in this perdicament read books or watch movies. If I'm not listening to music (Slight headache for now, so no music), I am a chronic thinker. I have been guilty of it my entire life. The overprocess of thoughts in my head is probably more important than music and I truly did not think I would ever admit that to anyone.
Another important thing: This post is NOT political. There are some statements which could be taken as such, but the spirit of them are not meant that way. If you take them as political, you will take it the wrong way and should either skip over this post, or stop when you feel it is political, then come back and read the rest after giving it some thought. On with the post.....

I will readily admit that throughout this blog, I have had many complaints about my past and present life in general. I am going to take a detour from what is the norm on here, and put the spotlight on something which has had my attention for several years, but has not come to the forefront until the past year or so.
If there is one thing in the United States today that makes me sick, it's the growing number of homeless families. Most of these people did not pre-determine their futures, as several media outlets are claiming (and that includes plenty of loud mouthed pundits). Most of these people lost their jobs, their businesses, had to live off their savings account and/or 401k, and that is never enough to see someone through. From there, they technically ended up on the street.
From there, these otherwise hard working parents were forced to turn their vehicles into sleeping quarters. I know a little about that, as mentioned in the very first post of this blog.
If these parents are lucky, they find enough part time work to put a down payment on a motel room which they would normally never step foot in, and it becomes their home. Right now, I know a little about that as well. The place I am currently in is not a motel or a hotel, per se`, but is built like one.
This room I have been in, since March 22nd, is about 15 feet by 12 feet which includes the partial kitchenette and bathroom. There is no real closet; Just a 4 inch by 6 inch divider along the wall, beside my bed, with a 24 inch hanger/shelf device that looks like it was bought wholesale from the cheapest distributer of these types of goods.
But you know, I am lucky as hell. I don't have to worry about how my wife/significant other and children are going to handle an adjustment that was never before considered. I don't have to tell my children they will have to occasionally do without what should normally be everyday things, that they may have to live off generic boxes of macaroni and cheese or ramen noodles, etc.
People, this is happening at an astounding and unacceptable rate. Do you not wonder what is happening with all those empty houses? Have you considered that people who cook meth are probably going from one house to another, cooking one night (or day) at one house, then leaving for another house in another town the next?
If there is one thing which should have never again become an epidemic in this country, it's homelessness (History saw enough of this during the depression era). Furthermore, plenty of them are veterans of recent and previous wars. Seeing that they sacrificed their lives for us, this is not what they deserve. I am NOT saying "Oh, let's hand out deeds to homes and set up a nationwide comune just for them". That's not what I'm saying at all. I AM saying that if these people, along with other hard working families, lost everything through no fault of their own and actually through vile, greedy white collar criminals who should be rotting in prison but are instead jetting off to who the fuck knows where, then don't they deserve some type of do-over? Can something NOT be worked out, ever?
When entire families with YOUNG children end up in run down motels in unsavory parts of town, and these kids begin losing sleep night after night, doing worse in school day by day.....can we not do something about this? Isn't there SOMETHING we can do to help these people?
We are still the richest country on earth, don't let anyone tell you different. If anyone reading this thinks otherwise, I'm here to tell you straight up: BULLSHIT. Do NOT tell me that this country is bankrupt. There are quite a number of ways to turn things around, when it comes to the economy.
Truly, this entire subject makes me sick and I'm talking way down in the pit of my stomach.
Here I am, in my tiny but workable room, in a VERY safe part of town (One of the safest, if we're talking about an area not part of a gated community), on the second floor with the elevator maybe 15 steps away from my door, I can see my vehicle from my window, etc. In my heart of hearts, I know how much better I really do have it, even if we're talking about the quality of the room alone, than many of these families.
If giving a complete damn about people I don't know makes me a liberal, then I guess I'm a liberal who also firmly believes in the death penalty, firmly believes in the right to own a gun (I happen to have one about 8 feet away from me, in fact), believes that street justice is sometimes the only justice, and firmly believes that any child molester, male OR female, should be shot and killed by one of the parents or the next of kin.
Bottom line: If we as a people don't begin to rally around these families, we should not dare to be surprised when some of these parents become desparate enough about feeding their children that they rob, steal, even kill to do it. And think about that for a minute.....If it were your children, how far would YOU go to make sure they don't go without? Didn't take you long to think about it, right?
For the record: I am eligible for food stamps but don't have them, eligible for section 8 housing but don't receive it, probably eligible for electric and water bill assistance but don't receive it, and that's because I know for a fact there are people who need that help far more than I do. THEY should get it first. I am single with no children, so I can wait. In fact, I SHOULD wait.
I may be down to counting change, but my disability check will electronically deposit tomorrow. I have health insurance, though state sponsored (Hey...I paid in my taxes just the same as you. I earned this shit). I may not be able to afford groceries right now, but I have 9 full meals in the freezer. I probably have what is needed to make at least 4 more, from there...possibly more if I weren't so tired and could think a little further. I have more than enough coffee. I have close to a half tank of gas in my vehicle. All of my nice clothes are clean. I still have enough medication (for now). I am using a brand new notebook computer. I have a brand new printer (Don't judge about the new tech items and me counting change. YOU sit in this room before you judge.). I have about 30 CDs and my portable CD player is hooked up through a nice set of Panasonic computer speakers (old school 80s stuff, no cheap surround sound effect on these). My cell phone is paid for the month and I have a huge stack of photos of Jack and my family. Moreover, my estate is safe and guarded by not only a 24 hour monitoring system (saw the whole thing working when I signed up the lease) but also with the owner living on the property, and the entire property is surrounded by 15 feet tall fencing with looped razor wire along the top. I pay dearly for that storage unit, but the estate is well worth it.
So all in all, I'm in damn good shape for a widow who is broke as hell. However, that does not change perdicaments of all the homeless families I mentioned. I have a HUGE guilty chip on my shoulder, when it comes to them. Often, I have thought about trying to find a family and at least feed them...because honestly, there is no real room for comfortable sleep in here unless someone is sleeping with me, and I have a strict rule about my that: If you're not my significant other, you're NOT sleeping in my bed.
Please, take the time to watch the video I have included on here. If you are not genuinly moved by what you see, I can't help but wonder if you have a bigger mental problem than me.
Thank you for taking the time to read what I find to be a bother, and wish I could do something to help them all. I wish all of you good life, good health, and may you never end up without a home. But remember one thing: It CAN happen to you, I don't care how well prepared you think you are. You are capable of losing everything. Don't think you're not.
Peace and love to all.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pride Day, Fathers Day, Summer Of Loathe

I am now beyond the 6 month mark of what is supposed to be the second part of my life. Honestly, I have no idea where to begin except to continue with this blog. It is one of the few things which truly keeps me grounded and helps me to concentrate on something positive....and right now, that focal point is extremely difficult. I have quite a bit of hate built up in me from what all has taken place over the past 4 years. I will get to that a little later in the post.

Today is Pride Day, in Knoxville. I have no intention of going, though I had thought about it during the week. Several who know me might say that I still have a problem with who and what I am. If that's the case, those several need to learn about me a little better. I've been quite comfortable in my skin, since I came out....but I came out in my own way, and I'm not in any way a textbook example of anything.

How I feel about Pride Day, in general: If it's true that we were 'born this way', what exactly is it that I'm supposed to celebrate for only one day? If others want to throw a parade for themselves, more power to them. I, personally, don't need one to justify and embrace who and/or what I am, or what I may be in the future. I don't look down on those who participate in one, but we don't seem to agree on much of anything in the first place. As I have previously stated....I don't like bars, I don't cruise parks, I really don't care for stage plays or musicals, my favorite songs are NOT show tunes, my favorite artist is NOT Lady Gaga, I don't follow trends, I don't like being gawked upon as if I'm a piece of meat in a butcher shop and I definitely didn't get the memo on what is butch/fem, nor do I give a shit.

What I think Pride Day is really about, under the surface of it all, is repeating the march which occured after the Stonewall Riot (New York City, June, 1969). If I'm wrong, go ahead and correct me. I don't think I am, but the invitation to set me straight without debate is open.

Today is also Fathers Day. This may sound cold, but I'm glad that my father isn't here to suffer any longer in a nursing home (especially the first one he was in), to see how selfish people are getting to be, and how the country that he fought for and worked 32 years to help sustain with military security is fading away. He went through enough as a child; His father abandoned him, his sister, and his pregnant mother who had relocated to a shipyard in Brunswick, Georgia, to make a better living for herself and her children. Dad was 11 years old when this happened. His mother had no choice but to work long enough to pay for bus tickets back to Gadsden, Alabama (only an hour away from their hometown), then had to stay there and work a little longer to pay for bus tickets back to Guntersville. They were in Gadsden long enough that my father and his sister were temporarily enrolled in a school, down there. This took place in the mid 1940s.

People seem to think that the Great Depression ended somewhere close to the mid 30s, and this should serve as proof of how false that thought is. Some families struggled from the wrath of the depression all the way into the late 50s and early 60s. Jack's family was a prime example of ones who struggled much longer than average.

As for the hate I have got built up in me: See if you would feel any better if these barnacles were stuck to your plate.....August, 2007, dad went into a nursing home. August, 2009, I found mine & Jack's room mate in her bed, dead. She was only 49 years old. September, 2010, Jack went into the hospital. November, 2010, one of my best friends (Ruth Anne Lankster) passed away from kidney damage. She was only 44. December, Jack passed away. January, an uncle passed away. March, I had to vacate my home and give my dog away. April, dad passed away and within a week, tornadoes hit the southeastern states. I was in Alabama for close enough to 2 months.

I am tired, I am upset, and I am thouroughly pissed, though I do my best to keep a positive attitude. But, I hate the so-called quality of life which has been dumped in my lap. I hate the way I feel, most of the time. I hate that I feel this way at all. I hate that the place I have called home for more than 12 years no longer feels like home to me....and after being gone from my hometown for more than 16 years, it still does not feel like home either.

I hate Jack's 2 sisters for going behind my back and putting a tombstone on his grave which does not contain both of our names on it (Cheapest piece of shit tombstone they could locate). I hate that I want to drive over to the sister's house, who lives in Knoxville, and burn her fucking house to the ground. I hate that I want to gather up their mother's recipes, burn them to a crisp and mail her the ashes. That same hate goes for a set of clear glass serveware, only I want to mail it to her so busted up that it's back to sand. This serveware is so old that you can see tiny bubbles in the glass. There are other things I could destroy and mail the results of to her, but in the end, I don't want to hear shit from her, or the one that lives elsewhere.

I hate that my stomach cawls at what Jack's words were on the possibility of anyone going behind my back or his, and defying his burial wishes....I was instructed, in the event of defiance of his burial wishes, to dig up his urn and transfer it to MY family's graveyard (which is now severed). I hate that I don't have it in me to go and follow through with his wish. I mostly hate that after more than 16 years, his family still decided among themselves that I don't deserve being given any trust. I hate them, period. May they all freebase methane from a fresh cow queef, as far as I'm concerned.

Indeed, there is too much hate in the world. I should probably be ashamed for harboring this much hate, but I'm not. I feel like a dog that has been repeatedly smacked in the nose with a Sears and Roebuck catalog, blood has run down my face until I can taste it, and all I want to do is attack. I don't like feeling this way, at all. But, I especially don't like being shit on by others who say one thing at a funeral, and do plenty behind my back to make it where I never want to go around them ever again. I have no doubt that this was their plan, all along, but that doesn't make dealing with it any easier.

So here I sit in this tiny room with weekly rates, all of my estate in storage, miniscule money to my name, a vehicle that needs repair before leaving the state, and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Sue me if you would feel any other way, or react differently, given the above matters of the black heart. I just can't come to terms with this, yet.

Yes, this is my Summer Of Loathe and I hate it. But, at least I told you the truth.

(*Update: I was unaware that Knoxville Pride was postponed until June 26. Not sure why. Still not going.)

RIP, Dad! Happy Fathers Day! Love you!

Jack, this photo is beyond awesome. Love you and miss you!!!!

Summer Of Loathe....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Year 43, Day 1

For those who aren't aware, today is my birthday. I am 43, but it may as well be 100.
For the record, I stopped celebrating it a very long time ago. Many things in my life are dear to me, important enough to celebrate, and important enough to bring attention to, repeatedly....but, my birthday is not one of those things. It just isn't.

Today's events, in order:

Woke up around 7:30 AM with my nose completely stopped up
3 oversized mugs of coffee, and my nose began to clear
Avoided the news, because I don't want to hear about who said what about whom, or what promises have been broken, let alone hear anymore 'what we need' speeches from anyone, Republican or Democrat. Enough, already....and that hasn't even begun, yet.
Watched a few old programs
Got a shower, got dressed, took off to visit a few people only to find that one is taking care of someone who is waiting for a room in hospice care...and another who is so sick that he was afraid to let me in (did not sound good). Another is out of town, another has a neighbor's tree sitting on her roof and was fighting with her insurance company.
After the last one, I decided to let the attempts at visiting go (for now), and took a trip to my favorite grocery store. After seeing what all I had put in my cart, and it suddenly dawning on me that I was no longer buying goodies for 2 (Jack and I), I began putting things back and began having to fight off an anxiety attack....and this fight was one of the toughest I have ever endured.
I'm not sure how I made it through the checkout stand without having an anxiety attack, but the tears were inevitable. They were further inevitable on my drive back to my room, where I now am.
Since I have been back here, a headache has begun. I hope this one will not require medication, but it wants to become heavy.

I guess the heavy headache is directly connected to me suddenly carrying a very heavy heart.
I did not go to the liquor store, and I have not taken any extra medication (yet). I want to see if I can make it through the rest of the day without either/or.
Perhaps that is the present I should give myself, even if it requires laying down and sleeping the rest of the day away.
Time will tell, as it always does.
Happy Birthday to me.....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Six months ago.....

For my better half:

Today is 6 months ago that I lost you.

These are the things I need to say:

Know that regardless of how much I may improve, my heart will never be whole again

Know that you're the reason I chose to live

Know that you're the reason I allowed myself to love again

Know that it pains me, profusely, living without you

Know that it will take a very long time for me to find myself again

Know that I am still in shock over the loss of you

Know that I will mourn the loss of you for the rest of my life

Know that even if I do find someone else, that someone will always be no more than second best

Know that the gifts you gave me are worth more than anything anyone could ever try and give me, in my entire lifetime

Know that I continue, daily, to remember things about us that I forgot along the way

Know that this will be a very tough day for me, but I will get through it

Know that the world was a better place with you in it

Know that I will always be thankful for everything you did for me and for us

Know that I loved you  ♥

Jack Burton
September 12, 1938 - December 9, 2010

"Love is not what you think or see. It's what you feel."

                                                                   September 7, 1995