and then…nothing

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At at certain point, when everything grinds down to a halt and stops working,..your websites won;t work, you cannot load new sites …no one has answered a single resume and cover letter in weeks that you have sent out (and there have been maybe 25-30 you have worked your ass on in all directions) you realize there just isn’t any wind and the sails are dead and the boat just isn’t moving.

You have done all you can think of doing.

Hell, I even dyed my hair to fend of age-ism, updated my Linked-in, planned to re-do my whole online presentation (would not work – at all – which is problematic if you are a Content Manager and you are foiled at every corner – but most of that is simply that I am out of money and resources.

Sometimes disciplines, a great attitude, a stellar resume and plenty of hard work result in flat out nothing. – and here is where I am discouraged. I have to report this stuff back to people who have a lot less chance of getting work than I do.

That is depressing the hell out of me today.

Me? I am used to going without – most everything. I honestly think that were it not for other people I am not sure I would care that much. Don’t get me wrong – I would not drink or despair. I would simply stop playing YOUR game.

The stakes are too high – the benefits too low (no one is really happy) and everyone is lying all the time.

My problem this morning was I woke up with false hope. I keep thinking God really care if I get work or not. He doesn’t. He doesn’t care at all. He has some altogether other agenda that I am so oblivious to – so tone deaf too – that I cannot even hear it.

So now. I’ll keep eating my near perfect diet, live my ascetic lifestyle which includes no tobacco, alcohol, sugar and hardly any salt. I’ll exercise (walking several miles a day) and live alone looking to help my fellow humans. I’ll apply at jobs…but no one will call. My resume is superb and just to put a point ion it the first day I did it Jawbone got back with me in 30 minutes wanting an immediate interview two days later.

No.  I could have a job tomorrow. But it’s not what God wants. Why? No idea. Ask Him.

I used to not get calls because I was afraid to go out and apply. No true anymore. I do several most every day. I’ve done up to nine in one day.

Well not today. Nope. I’m on strike today. Fuck this. It’s dumb. I exercise my freewill to NOT play along.

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Then All Hell Broke Loose: The Year of Steel

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A year ago yesterday I had everything – or so I thought. I had a 1400 sq. foot studio, was doing the best art of my life – had my art, Rod Swenson’s art and plenty of room on the walls for new art on the walls. I seemed stable, was losing weight. I was in love with the red-headed bombshell and we had made passionate love a week earlier like there was no tomorrow.

That turned out to be true – there was no tomorrow.

And there needed to be.

I will forever be grateful to her for helping save my life, for seeing me lovingly through the rough waters of transition from discovering my mental illness through the year or two it takes to adjust to life on the right meds and without self-medicating with alcohol. It’s a whole new life and even as fast as I am at adjusting it was going to take SOME time.

But not too much. It was becoming co-dependent – or had with no ill-intent at all. Everyone meant well. Everyone loved so very much. It had to break apart and it had to be permanent.

*******

While we are here I wanna clarify something for everyone. people think God is a killjoy when it comes to sex. Naw. He created all those amazing nerve endings and even some organs that only provide pleasure. So dispell that notion.

But a wise friend of mine once advised me against intimacy prior to marriage saying “if you break up later it will only hurt 1,000 times more.”

True that. Fuck it hurts so much more.

I mean unless you are one of “those guys,” which I have never been.

No, next time (this time) I wait. It’s to protect me from hurt. You wanna go off and eat a buzzsaw? Go ahead. I’m done.

********

March 13, 2014 began perhaps the hardest year of all for me: The Year of Steel.

In one day I lost it all. This was not new. I have had that happen maybe four major times. Still a shock to the system it does get easier. But it ushers in old companions for a short time. I don’t crave alcohol at all – but it can be triggered.

The woman upstairs broker her lease, that broke my lease – the women I rent from went cannibalistic/militant – I got triggered big0time (I had cut my meds in half too to lose weight – BAD MOVE) – I drank – The vortex started -Add mega paranoia by others and fuckage…lies, falsifications (including actual forged documents – I shit you not…wow..that was a first)…and I go from being a good guy to Charles Manson’s twin in a day.

I wake up a few days later at “The Hitchin Post.” I am not made of steel. I am a broken-hearted man, alone – made of raw nerve endings dipped in fear.

I was tested in every way possible the next twelve months – alone. Haha – I was even bitten by a poisonous spider – haha. I was cheated, berated, my stuff lost in LA – I cannot even begin to tell you the adventures NOT recorded in Sansadobe.

The year ended with me in the hospital after all my hard work of pushing through PTSD and Homelessness in Santa Cruz in a somewhat record 43 days.

But by then I was a tough son of a bitch. You were gonna have to kill me to stop me. So when I woke up in that bed I called on my family and went to Carmel and pulled it together, got counsel (good counsel) and re-ordered my world.

I had developed a core of steel over the year. Not built from defiance, or anger or even a twinge of bitterness. This was built on and in faith. I chose to come to Oakland with no fear at all even though it meant Homelessness. I chose to look for my mate – another Jedi – because I knew I would find her here – and I knew that I needed to find her while I was NOT successful (anyone will love me later).

So much of life is a matter of the head and heart and I watch the men and women around me struggle with this. Oh yeah – the Homeless do too.

Laura – my girl – and I are not in a co-dependent relationship. She is a co-warrior alongside me. I do not need her help (except prayer). She notes my steel and is drawn to it. Those who knew me a year ago would scarcely recognize me. I am still every bit as sweet (maybe even sweeter and more patient). But I have a core that is steely and utterly direct.

I leave St. Mary’s tomorrow morning for Marin. I will be staying at Mill Street the next month while I continue to pursue work. I have been sick pretty much the whole time I have been at St. Marys (actually allergic – there is a mold problem). I have not allowed this to slow me but maybe one day the whole time). I am first one up and last to bed usually.

This morning the staff worker berated the whole crowd of us for some of the guys getting up before six a.m. and cleaning up their stuff quietly.

“It’s not like you have anywhere to go..like any of you have JOBS!” she yelled.

No need to waste energy on a response to her.

I work every day very day as hard as I did as an executive, or when I ran Maverickssurf.com – maybe harder. I have a job – It’s called life.

Over the year many of your may have noted a decided change in my tone and in my overt references to God. I make no apologies. I have deepened – and I was no slouch before.

I still hate religion and feel that it is marked by everything counter to Gospel: coercion, fear, greed and the attempt to take away freedom. It is contrary to faith, hope and love. Therefore it is anti-God.

But I would be remiss if I did not openly state that the steel which has formed within me is a direct result of deeper time and devotion to the Risen One – to Jesus who I experience as alive. I realize many of you do not. It is never a judgment with me. I share my experience – and that is all it is. He is my anchor.

Why I Love Jesus

HELLOMOTOIDENI am not known as a “bitter guy” but I was growing a root towards this woman at the shelter. She took every opportunity to take offense and pick a fight. Where she did not take offense she created it.

I found myself mimicking Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October “We must give the American a wide berth.”

In this case, this large Afro-American lesbian with a chip on her shoulder the size of Gibraltar.

No doubt it had been foisted upon her. And I had a suspicion that I – as the large “white man” was the embodiment of her hate.

Fuck.

So if I stepped anywhere near her she was on me like white on rice – whatever the hell that means (I really have no idea – it sounds vaguely racist – and you all know i am not so…).

And I am tiring of being the symbol of other white men’s sins – really.  I understand it, but I do not have to like it or even necessarily accept it.

With each incident where I was innocent the root of bitterness grew to the point where Sunday night I started to wish she would just “go away.” She already had displaced my work area (the office area where I had computer access early in the morning. But I could hardly admit this bothered me because it was toi hook-up her breathing machine – basically a medical necessity and how could I place my own needs over that!? No I could never admit that I had such an evil and selfish thought!

And frankly, had she been nice about it and not snapped at me at every opportunity I think I would not have thought about it. But she did, so I did. She wwas petty, so I started to think more and more that way.

The Bible describes it as a “root of bitterness” and it is apt. Ever deal with a nasty set of roots after they have tunneled down?

Well the next morning I went into the locker room and she was in there. “Oh boy…stay the hell away from her” was all I could think as I stared right into my locker all stiff like.

“Oh…help!” she suddenly gasped.

“I twirled around in an instant transformed and suddenly at her side. “What can I do. Tell me what is happening with you.” I said calmly.

She told me she was very short of breath. We worked together. She had me stuff her clothes that were on the floor into her bag, then gather up the change that had fallen on the floor onto it as well.

My eyes are not very good so at times she had to direct me. As I said, we worked together like we had done this before. Then I closed up her locker and told her to steady herself on my arm and slowwly led her out of the room and to a chair.

Once safe, I asked her how she was. We talked a little then I got her some water and alerted the front desk. I had done this many times up in Portland at the Mission so I knew what I was doing.

I checked back with her in a little while and she thanked me.

It was then that I thanked Jesus because I knew that without His direct influence there is no way I make THAT transition from bitterness to service in a millisecond. No way in hell.

And that is why I love Him.

No one in this Universe loves like Him. No one. And the sole reason I love at all is because of that.