Another Night of No Sleep in Eureka
I am starting to feel like I must be cursed. All the lights are out. Television off. My daughter is asleep, hopefully dreaming of making a goal in tomorrow's game. I, however, spent far too many minutes staring at the blinking lights of the cable modem and imaging what would happen Videodrome were real. So I got up, e-mailed an actress I think is incredible and want to do a piece on for The Last Picture Blog. I'm hoping she'll say yes.
It was nice to see some comments from people who would like to see the "therapy" continue. Too kind. Believe me, though, I'd rather keep it bottled up and let it explode now. It will be amusing for everyone involved. Well, maybe not everyone ...
The beggar woman was gone from the corner today. She either found "honest work," like her sign mentioned, went to a better corner, or decided the gig was up. Of course, it could be that this lady let herself and her daughter get picked up and some guy has them with the hopes they'll make him a YouTube star. (He's sharpening his knives, ladies. Smile for the fucking camera, and wipe away those damn tears! We'll all be famous!)
I really thought I'd see her today. I was a bit disappointed not to. Maybe she did some introspection (and had "friends" tell her she needs to not be so "serious" because you "bum us out"). Maybe not. You can't expect too much from a person lest they disappoint you ... or themselves.
So where did she go?
If you're begging in Eureka, there are a couple of places to keep in mind. First is the mall. This seems especially popular if you are twentysomething, have dreads, are white, and have a dog of some sort. Also, if you have a sign offering to take verbal abuse, this is the place for you. You have a captive, guilty audience. They are stuck at a light, and they don't want to look at you. If you're good at your "job," you can make them feel guilty for getting a shirt at Anchor Blue and they'll toss you a George Washington. If, however, you get someone like me in line, I just crank up the music and stare right at you with a look on my face that begs for you to come over for a few friendly words.
Another good spot is across from Gold Rush Coffee on Broadway, right at the foot of the driveway that serves as an exit for the Bay View. Often you'll see a "war" vet there. (Yeah, I'm a war vet, too. I've been at war with myself for 25 years, and my tour ain't over yet. Where'd you fight?)
Old Town has the roaming beggars. The Gazebo (hi, George!), the "boardwalk," outside coffee shops -- these are all places you can panhandle until your throat's dry. With the economy the way it is, I doubt you'll get much, but at least you can meet some people.
A lot of the beggars Eureka is proud to display actually get money from other sources. Some even share kids for that whole "family in need" bit. I wouldn't say they don't "need" your money (hell, I need your money, too), but do they depend on it to survive? There's a good chance they do not. Now, the younger white dread boys probably don't collect SSI, but the older ones you see may.
It can't be an easy life. It can't even be entirely pleasant. I imagine that it wears on you mentally at some level. (God, I must be getting tired. I'm starting to express sympathy!) It's not something I'd want to do unless I had to, though I think I'd rob a bank first if I were that desperate. At least then I could keep some self respect.
My daughter is stirring in her sleep. It's after eleven now. I gotta get up at six. Most likely I will be up at four again and will unable to get back to sleep. Hopefully we'll both take a nap tomorrow afternoon. Why soccer is scheduled at nine a.m. is beyond me, but who am I to question such things?
Okay, time to wrap this up. Thanks again for the kind words on keeping the therapy going. I may do that private blog, and there will be plenty of you getting invites if that is the case. Deleted, who is one of the commentators, is probably one of the most introspective people I know, and she's understood the power of all that. She also knows the outcome of letting it go deep to fester and mutate. I appreciate her presence. Moondust is another one. She's got her own demons right now, but I know she'll slay each and every fucking one of them and put their heads on stakes outside her door. For me, though, it's not a "I don't want to write about it because I upset people," it's a "I don't want to write about it because I'm tired of hearing about it."
One last thing before I go. One of those people who got on my case about being "so deep" and "not being cool about my feelings" (not to mention not "choosing my words so they don't hurt") today did several of the things she accused me of. She got deep. She got extreme in her feelings (she's hurt over a relationship that just went South) and was hurtful with the words she used (at one point calling the guy a "lying motherfucker"). Now, I just spent a lot of time a day or so ago having her dress me down because I dared to use my blog to vent. And here she was doing the same. But whereas I was calm and cool not only when I wrote the blog post, I was also calm and cool when she decided to unleash Hell on me for being "kind of a jerk about things." Keeping this in mind, I let her vent (she doesn't have time to do a blog, so she uses her friends as sounding boards. I'm sure they don't mind this.
I let her say what she had to. I let her get it out. Normally, I would've stopped there. Maybe offered advice if she asked. Not this time, though. This time I decided, "Good for the goose ..."
"Maybe if you weren't so hypocritical he wouldn't have cheated on you. I mean, do you tell him not to be a certain way, but then turn around and be that way yourself?"
That was the wrong thing to say if you want to keep a person calm and not come across as a dick. I, however, did not care about either of those things. Listening to her explode was a highlight of my day.
At one point she said, "I may be venting, but I'm not doing it in my blog!"
"You're right," I said. "But only because that would take some guts."
At this point you would think I would've gotten hit. Instead, she became sheepish. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "This isn't the same, though."
"I know it isn't," I answered, "because this is all about you. It doesn't feel good to have all your feelings invalidated in one laser-like sentence, does it?"
She again repeated it wasn't the same, but what little conviction was there initially was now gone.
"Again, I know. It isn't the same because I'm not being a hypocrite about this and you are. You can't tell me not to put my feelings out there and vent because it makes people uncomfortable and makes me seem hurtful and then turn around and do the exact same thing. I'm not surprised he cheated. I'm surprised he wasn't caught sooner."
She apologized for her actions, and I said I didn't care to hear it. I told her I wished her the best in this relationship that has gone on for years, and I said I hope she really thinks about her feelings next time she unleashes in my general direction because next time I wouldn't be as nice.