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A Lifestyle of Waiting October 18, 2016 keith
People tell me, “it’ll be OK.” They offer encouragement, advice, or relate what happened to them, or somebody they know, But nobody offers real solutions. I’m told that government programs will meet my needs, but the process is endless.
Strangers poke their nose into my business. They want an exact accounting of my personal life. Income, expenses, assets, lifestyle, medical, not to mention the endless forms to fill out. Papers filed, with what seems like the same information. Endless papers, endless and tedious waiting for my piece of paper to filter down the stack, and finally reach a human being who can make a decision. Will the support really be enough? I’ve heard that line before, and the assistance turns out to be barely enough, and plenty enough to keep me buried well below the poverty line. I’m assured the wait is worth it.
So, here I am, Waiting, without recourse. No body to ask where my piece of paper is in the stack. Excruciating nothingness screeching through my head with the mystery of what will happen to me. Where do I stand in this process of waiting. Where am I down the dark tunnel of red tape. No ray of light, and no way to talk to anybody who knows how long.
“Just wait,” is the official word. “Why the long wait?” is the question on the lips of everybody. Mental numbness, and the only lame response I can offer is, “I don’t know.”
I’m told it’ll be worth it. The longer they take, the more back pay I’ll receive. That’s nice, but what about now? What about where my next meal is coming from? What about how I’m going to pay my housing, or utilities, or provide for my kids? What am I supposed to do, pack myself up into a closet, pack myself into mothballs, and wait? How long? Should I just tell my bill collectors to just wait for… Oh I don’t know… sometime in the undetermined future… and don’t worry, it’ll be worth it. I’ll be telling them that from the homeless shelter, while I wait with a better response in a soup line.
I called once, and the stock answer was it can take ten months. I wish it were ten months. I was told that over 6 years ago. I would love a decision in ten months, it would be an answer to prayers. An end to a long, slow, decline into the dark, endless tunnels of time and red tape. Why so long? I don’t know. When will I hear where I stand in the waiting list? I don’t know. When will somebody contact me? I don’t know.
But wait. What happens if the hidden decision makers of my fate tell me something is missing in my papers, or I used the wrong form, or I used the wrong wording that isn’t in the dictionaries and lexicons of government lingo? I get to refile my papers, and go back to the end of the line… and wait. Believe me, this is a reality. I know, because it has already happened.
Don’t worry. I’m doing OK. I manage. I keep on keeping on. But while I plod through life, and keep busy… I wait…
I Could Really Use a Cup of Coffee, or an Asperin, or a Long Nap October 13, 2016 keith
What a day. I feel like a fire hose has been going off in my head. Information overload. Cramming data, doing word searches, cross referencing, gathering, and packing it in. Where will it all go? How will I use it to make sense of the topic I need? There’s way too much. I’ll never need all this data. What should I focus on? All I need from all this squirreling away is enough to cover an outline to last ffor 20 minutes.
I can’t think any more. All this is sounding the same. My back is beginning to ache, sitting in this easy chair. I should have went to my office. I love my office chair, the back support is so nice.
Finally reached the bottom of my resource list. Now to smooth things out, sift through the data… Heck no. Forget that. I need to just let it cool off, and get back to it tomorrow. Gotta give my brain, and back a rest, besides…
What now? The phone is ringing. Hmm… It’s time to grab a bite of dinner… It’s my brother… OK, I can talk, and munch on a hot dog. Decompressing… but the nice little chat turns into a long one. Missed a phone call. Oh well. I’ll call them back, just as soon as…Well not now, it’s time for another appointment, and an hour long meeting.
I can’t help thinking of all that scrambled data. I’ve already released it in my mind to return to later, so I’m not worried about giving it space in my head. Still, what will it all mean? What direction do I need to go in paring it down. Just a 15 minute outline, that’s all I need. I know I said 20 minutes, but it always seems easier to go longer than shorter when doing the presentation.
I still feel like my head has been pelted, and power washed with firehoses. I need a cup of coffee… no… it’s too late for that. I’d never get to sleep. A shower. That’s what I need. A nice hot shower, and relax in bed with a book, until I drift off to sleep. A good night’s rest, then I can get bogged down with miore projects I’m behind on… mailing list, follow up ccalls, notes to write, and 0post for the podcast…. the blog… the… I need a shower, and maybe a couple of asperin for my aching back.
The End of a Bad Day October 12, 2016 keith
Or: Water Babies
Janet returned to the living room after tucking the baby in for the night. Sitting back in her spot on the couch next to Dean, she commented, “You should probably be going home now.”
“But, we’re finally alone,” Dean replied, knowing full well that Janet wouldn’t stand for him staying any later, but what kind of boyfriend would he be if he didn’t tease her a little? “I’ve been good. I even helped you out with the little squirt, and her bratty brother.”
“That’s right,” Janet remarked, pleased at Dean’s maturity. “It wouldn’t be right for the babysitter to have company over, and you’ve been here long enough. And I’m so proud of you for behaving. Especially when Zack turned out to be the kid from the park that had been bothering you.”
“Yeah, and it’s been awfully hard not to kill him,” Dean grinned to himself over his good deed. “Don’t I deserve something special for that?”
“Yes, you do,” Janet replied as she looked deeply into his eyes, “but you still can’t stay. It wouldn’t look right to have you stay late.”
“Not even for a few minutes?” asked Dean innocently. “I won’t tell, and nobody will ever have to know.”
“No,” was her answer. “I’m getting paid for an overnight babysitting job, and if the parents thought that included an all night boy friend, nobody would ever trust me again to sit up with their kids. I’ve already let you stay longer than I should have Now go home before your mom starts to worry about you.”
“My mom won’t worry about me if I don’t get home until late,” Dean said.
“Don’t tell me that,” Janet gave him an accusing look.
“She wouldn’t worry about me,” Dean finished, “she’d be a lot more worried about you, if I got home too late.” With that Dean gave Janet a quick kiss on the cheek and headed for the door.
Just as he stood in the door, he heard the commanding voice behind him say. “Stop right there mister. Come back here and give me a real good night kiss.” After the long embrace, the young couple separated, and Janet again told him, “You did so well with Zack tonight. Taking him popcorn to his room, even after he locked himself in to hide from you.”
“It was nothing,” was Dean’s modest response. “The kid needed something, since he skipped having supper with the rest of us. He sure seemed thirsty though.”
“You’re so sweet.” purred Janet.
“I kept telling him not to fill up on the sodas. Too much of that stuff will make a kid pee the bed or something.”
“Dean,” Janet scolded, “you didn’t say that to him did you?”
“Well, it’s true.” Dean defended himself. “He shouldn’t drink so many, especially right before bedtime.”
As Dean disappeared out the door, he called over his shoulder, “Give me a call when you’re ready to leave tomorrow. I’ll pick you up. Let me know if the kid wakes up in a water bed.” Dean’s laughter at his joke lingered in Janet’s mind as she wartvhed the tail lights disappear down the street.
Back in the house Janet turned down the lights, and flipped through the channels on TV. In her bedroom, the baby was cozy, warm, and dreaming peacefully. In Zack’s room, where he had been remorseful at his misdeeds during the day, then terrified of his sitter’s boyfriend, then confused at the nice treatment from him, had just awakened after drifting off to sleep some time earlier. “I guess I’d better turn off the light, and get some sleep,” Zack mumbled as he kicked the little pile of empty soda cans out of his way, where they laid in the floor of his room. How many did he drink anyway? There had to be at least six… maybe eight empties. As he drifted off to sleep, he began to have a strange dream. One where he had an incredible urge to use a restroom, but there wasn’t any to be found.
Note: If you feel like you’ve missed something here, go back and read the earlier misadventures of Zack, and his day of misbehaving.
Disclaimer This has been a complete work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, place, or event is purely coincidental.
Angry and Short October 8, 2016 keith
I want to keep this ramble short;
Avoiding arguments, but still rant and snort.
In freehand writing, I may go long;
To stick to rhyme and verse, emotions stay strong.
Intense, energetic, staccato words soon deflate;
Poured out on the page, time for rant to truncate.
PS: Not really upset, just having fun with wordplay.
Signs of Change October 5, 2016 keith
Lost leaves, raked up in piles, the scent of burnt leaves stinging the nostrils, and air that is becoming cool and brisk. Signs of the changing seasons. Fall is here, and you can see it in the trees. No more fruit left on the branches. Leaves that have exchanged bright green for orange, yellow, red, and brown as they blanket the ground.
It’s only right. Seasons change, and bring on a time that is exactly right. Things that were once right, have passed. Spring flowers are long gone, but in their time they ruled in beauty and life. The heat of summer, and the growing season are gone. The same for those fashions meant for the sun, and outdoors play time have all had their glory. The trees tell the story that time has come to settle down. School, harvest, feast times, and a look forward to time for nature to sleep for a while.
Note: Thanks to #DailyPost at WordPress for the word of the day.