Saturday July 25,
Hard as it may be to believe, I took a brief hiatus
from the intense soul-searching that I have been obsessively engaged in
for over a week. I had another panic attack at 4am this morning, though.
I walked over to Lori's place at 6:30am and found that she was already
up. We had coffee and talked for quite awhile. Later, we took the bus to
Ala Mo's. We, or should I say, Lori spent the afternoon shopping for
wedding rings. I merely observed the process. We visited every jewelry
store in the place. Finally, Lori decided on the one at Liberty House. I
purchased it à la plastic and the deed was done. I placed
the ring on her ring finger. We are now engaged to be married. We
unceremoniously took our vows at the Liberty House jewelry counter.
Fortunately I had my shades on because tears were
welling up in my eyes. Lori was so happy after I presented the ring to
her. It was probably the first time I ever brought her happiness. I remained
in silent thought for most of the afternoon. I spent some of the time lamenting
to myself at the Wailing Wall. The rest of the time, I wondered how Lori
and I would fare in the years to come. Later, I asked her the now rhetorical
question of how she is going to deal with the perpetually unemployed lavahead.
She said that she has "a feeling" that I will become successful although
it is not an expectation that she will impose upon me. That's the way Lori
is. That's why she has accomplished so much in so little time. I tend to
trust her intuition. Yet, I remain perplexed by her eternal love for the
stoneface. I see no reason why she should be elated with a ball and chain
for a future husband. It is the pumicehead who should be happy that someone
is willing to take in the pathetic fool and take care of him.
Sunday July 26
I have always wanted a happy ending to the story
of The Keeper of Lost Lives. After all, who likes a miserable ending? I
don't, especially if it's the story of my life. For example, my upcoming
marriage to Lori should be the happy ending I'm looking for. It's not.
We are going to have some rough times ahead.
Lori and I had to attend a wedding today. It was
a big affair at a church in Nu'uanu. I wasn't exactly excited about being
there. I have been cycling in and out of what now appears to be manic-depression.
I have good moments and I have bad moments several times a day. Up and
down. Up and down. Today, I kept most of my lamentations at the Wailing
Wall to myself. Later in the evening, I perused the classifieds. There
wasn't a single job I qualified for. I started losin' it again. This time,
I queried Lori for some suggestions. She said that I could just take a
minimum wage job immediately, or I could wait until a better job came along,
or just go on vacation for a month and recuperate. I couldn't decide so
I asked her to decide for me. She replied that I should just go on vacation
for a month. I'm going to rely on her decision because so far she has done
everything right and I've done everything wrong. I felt a little relief.
Nonetheless, Lori remains extremely hopeful that I will become economically
viable soon. She has so much hope, so much optimism.
Monday July 27
weekend is over, so I must go back to work as a full-time unemployed loser.
I never canceled the class I was supposed to teach. Unless it gets canceled,
I will have a three-hour per week job commencing in September. Of course,
the compensation is about $60 per instructional hour. What I would make
in three hours is the equivalent of working 32 hours at Burger King. Lori
seems to think that the adjunct faculty position will be the key to my
economic turnaround if I choose to let it. The road will not be easy. I
will still either have to come up with my own consultancy firm or teach
hella classes to even come close to making a living. As I've said
before, Lori is very strong, confident, and assertive. That is why she
has done so well. In my recent assessments of my personality, I have found
that I severely lack in these traits. Perhaps that is what really bothers
me. My success will be based on my performance, and I cannot perform when
I am hindered by my fears.
Many thanks to my virtual homeys who wrote in response
to the news of our engagement, including Will (email@example.com).
Notably, Robert (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
"I'm so happy for the two of you! I realize that this is not
how you envisioned how your work or relationship would turn out. Bathe
in the comfort of another person loving you so much that she is willing
to join her destiny with yours. It is both a blessing and an obligation,
as you just cannot crash and burn at this point, no matter how pessimistic
Many of my virtual homeys have expressed similar sentiments
and I am deeply touched. As I told Lori, I have been puzzling over her
strange commitment to me because, by the world's standards, I am merely
a shiftless bum with nothing to offer. She has explained it in terms that
seemed less than concrete to me.
This morning, I ordered a small bouquet of flowers
to be delivered to Lori's office. I tried to imagine how happy she would
be ... the kind of happiness that money can't buy. I anticipated that her
reaction would be similar to when I presented the ring to her. That is
the kind of happiness she is trying to offer me on a larger scale, although
I am shunning her gift. With my own small pathetic offerings, I hope that
I can learn to accept kindness without attaching any arbitrary value in
terms of money or self-worth. There were several hundred people at the
wedding yesterday. During the service, I looked around at all of the couples.
Lori was the only babe clinging affectionately to her guy. During the hour,
she caressed my arm, placed her head on my shoulders, and often looked
intently at me. When I glanced at her, she had an expression of pure contentment.
I wondered how and why I had this affect on her. I'm sure that I'll foolishly
continue to question her strange commitment to the oversized cranium. However,
I hope to see those questions fading into ambient noise in the near future. It
is that look of contentment in her face ... I cannot get that vision out
of my mind.
Tuesday July 28
Yesterday, I pretty much ruined the spirit of
the day when I fell into the abyss after meeting Lori for lunch. The florist
had not delivered the bouquet yet, my meeting with a small business counselor
was canceled, and I was not able to secure any more classes to teach (although
I was told that there was a good probability that I will get at least one
more). I felt defeated. Later, I worked on Lori's lawn. That's the only
job I have right now. When she came home, we went to the gym. This was
the first time that we went to the gym together since a year ago. Later,
Lori pointed out that I have become ungrateful. Here I have an opportunity
to make a new start ... a seedling that could grow and flourish, as it were.
I instead chose to look at all of the negative aspects ... it's only three
hours per week, it makes Burger King wages, blah, blah. I also don't see
the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't see the opportunities that
await the ol' lavahead. I don't see the forest from the trees.
I've spent a lot more time with Lori recently.
Prior to our engagement and my initial fall into the abyss, I was seeing
less and less of her. Right now, I am having a difficult time waiting
for results because I have been sitting and waiting for seven months. Lori
tells me that worrying will do absolutely nothing. She's right. I could
worry until I'm blue in the face like I did last night and end up risking
my health. I'd still be no closer to finding a job. The transient nature
of being an adjunct faculty member or being a consultant is unsettling
at times. It would be easier to just have a 40-hour per week job and get
a steady paycheck. I fail to realize that I don't have that option. That's
why Lori suggested that I take a vacation. I can prepare my course materials.
Once I start teaching, she added, I can also begin canvassing the employment
market and negotiate my terms. Sure, it's a pipe dream but I wouldn't mind
if I could negotiate the number of hours and salary that I will work for.
I also do not want to give up the faculty position because I will never
find any job that compensates that well.
For the most part, Lori has been trying to pamper
the fragile ego of the ol' lavahead. She carefully crafts her statements
to make me feel better. Her motivation, although noble, is to insure that there
will be more peace and tranquility in our relationship.
Wednesday July 29
The phone always rings when I'm visiting Lori.
I know that it's moms. She wants to tell us that dinner is ready. Moms
has been doing this with increasing frequency lately. I believe that moms
gets a little lonely when I spend too much time with Lori. I also have
a feeling that moms is worried that I will never visit her once I am married.
Maybe I should just throw in the towel and accept
my lot in life already. Interestingly, Annie (e-mail withheld) wrote:
"Tell Lori that you love her. Who can understand us babes anyway? Accept
her love. Women just love. We just do that. From surrender (not in the
wartime sense) comes strength. Impatience and pride are your enemies."
And, <K> (Kane1Nihm@aol.com) wrote:
"You're one lucky bastard T. The love Lori shows for you transcends
not only your current financial state, but it seems everything else too.
This is a story not many of us will ever experience. Be good to her and
remember what you mean to her ... not what she means to you."
Thursday July 30
When I first met Lori and we were both in the early stages of discovery, I came
to learn a lot about her. Sadly, I gradually began to close the doors to
discovery. Shortly afterward, I stopped learning about her altogether.
This insensitivity is yet another factor that led to my recent demise.
I've known for a long time about her failed marriage and her subsequent
failed engagement. I am not at liberty to go beyond that. However, I used
that as a basis for exercising caution in our relationship. I never really
bothered to go beyond the face value of those failed relationships. Whenever
Lori and I had a misunderstanding, I always dismissed her side as being
old "luggage" from the past. Had I bothered to ask, I would have discovered
that she has been through quite a bit of heartache and hardship. If I had
gone through similar experiences, I could guarantee that you wouldn't be
reading this journal today. I would just be another psycho at some institution.
When Lori talks about the past, her voice trembles and tears well up in
her eyes. I used to dismiss that as typical babe sentiment. Now, I realize
that she has been through a lot of pain and misery.
The other day, I asked her if she has always been
like the way she is with me. What I meant by that was whether she has always
been as loving as she is with me. She said that she believed that she always
has been that way. I found it difficult to understand why she was treated
so bad. Surely, she must have had a hand in it. Then, I looked at my own
situation. How many times have I really listened to her? How many times
have I cut her off when she needed my support? How many times have I been
so wrapped up in my own pathetic existence that I just forgot about her?
Too many, I'm afraid. And, how many times has she given me emotional support
and I have just brushed it aside as insignificant? I have tried to make
us go our separate ways a number of times. Each and every time, I tore
her heart apart. After each ordeal, she seemed to possess an even stronger
commitment to the pumicehead. Was she a glutton for punishment? I know
I would have been outta there if the tables were turned. Yet, she stayed
on with me, hoping that I would come to my senses.
Tuesday night, Lori said that she and her friend
were going to celebrate her engagement over a bottle of champagne that her
friend had bought. I told Lori that I would not be stopping by later
because I did not want to smell the alcohol on her breath. I was not vehement
about it as I had been in the past. Yet, I just thought how stupid and
childish I was acting. I was attempting to hold her heart hostage again
because she wasn't doing what I wanted her to do. I was reverting back
to my old ways. I let a couple of hours go by so they could do their "girl
thing," as Lori puts it. Then, I walked over to her house. When I got there,
she was baking chocolate chip cookies. She was going to bring them over
and surprise me. I should have broke down and cried and then ask for her
forgiveness. Lori deserves everything she has now. She earned it. I had
nothing to do with any of it. Yet, she still thanks me for everything.
Friday July 31
The world as I know it is seemingly crumbling
around me. Lori was in tears when I stopped by her place after work on
Wednesday. She said that she had just been fired from her job. I couldn't
believe what I was hearing. The slimeballs at the mainland headquarters
had set her up for the fall. Although she cried intermittently and burst
into anger at certain points, Lori never once lamented at the Wailing Wall.
We spent all of yesterday together and had a very pleasant time. One would
have been hard-pressed to tell that she was in a bad way. This is what I
mean when I say that Lori has a lot of strength. The real proof of her strength
became evident by what she told me today. In the morning of the same day
that she was fired, Lori had an appointment at Kapi'olani Medical Center.
After the examination, she was told that the diagnosis confirmed she had
breast cancer. I know that I could never imagine the devastation she must
have experienced when she heard the news.
Today, Lori and I went to the airport to pick up
her daughter. On the way back, we stopped in Lori's former working place
because she wanted to pick up the flowers that I had sent her. She ended
up talking to the branch manager about her job. Sure enough, the slimeballs
at the mainland headquarters were willing to give Lori her job back but
they wanted to negotiate her pay at one-third less. Obviously, the whole
incident was choreographed to set up this scenario. Although Lori was perturbed
by how this situation played out, she never resorted to the kind of invertebrate
behavior exhibited by the pumicehead. To me, she is a remarkable woman
of strength and character.
On the way back from the airport, Lori's daughter
noticed the ring on Lori's finger. Lori explained to her that she and the
pumicehead are further committed to each other. She was trying to avoid
using the "m" word to avoid any problems. Can you blame her? If I was away
for the Summer and I came back and found that my mother was going to marry
a useless lavahead, I would probably go into shock. Her daughter broke
into tears. I felt like a real loser because I knew the obvious. She does
not want her mother to get married, especially to a loser. I tried hard
to not let that bother me.
I have terminated my endless lamentations at the
Wailing Wall. I suppose it is safer for me to say that I just preempted
those lamentations until a later date. Nonetheless, my time of reckoning
will certainly continue. I have always had an inkling that some kind of
sinister force was at play, always toying with the oversized cranium. Now,
I am certain of its existence. Why it and its brother, the sinister kahuna,
have chosen me to be their best friend, I cannot say. What really bothers
me is when their sinister machinations cause distress for my loved ones.
What better way to destroy a man, I suppose.
Sunday August 2
I have been amazed at the nonsense that has presented
itself to Lori and I recently. I'd like to think that it was all coincidental,
but I am moving further away from that school of thought. The only question
that comes to mind is ... why? There probably is no way to answer that.
Many of us have been afflicted with dramatic situations, sometimes cascaded
one upon the other. We tend to always conclude that we are being tested
or that there is a greater lesson to be learned. Whether it is religious
faith or just something inherent in our genetic makeup, I cannot say. Although,
with so many people coming to the same conclusion, one has to wonder.
After running a few errands yesterday, Lori, her
daughter, and I ended up at the zoo. There was a kid's celebration going
on, so it made for a nice outing. We made our usual round through the zoo.
At about 3:30pm, the zoo erupted into mayhem. Security people were running
amuck and announcements were being made that instructed everyone to evacuate
the zoo immediately. Vendors at the kid's celebration were told to leave
their things. Not many listened. They were more concerned that someone
may loot their trinkets and steal their money. As we made our way to the
exit, we saw a stream of police officers enter the grounds. Odd, isn't
it? Amidst what might have been a life threatening situation, people were
still more concerned about their material possessions.
Monday August 3
I didn't manage to stay away from Lori for very
long yesterday. My time with her is too precious and I cannot forsake that
time. We spent most of the day together not doing much of anything. I knew
that she was preoccupied with the job situation. She was vacillating between
her choices of taking up the slimeballs' offer or just quitting. She was
extremely perturbed at one point. I managed to calm her down and reason
with her. I told her that she was the main reason I was able to make many
of the changes after my week of reckoning. I was inspired by her strength
and perseverance in the face of adversity. I also told her that, if she
wanted to quit the job, she could use the rest of my savings to help pay
her rent and health insurance in the interim. She decided to sleep on the
Today, Lori called the branch manager and told
him that she will return to work tomorrow and negotiate any other terms
of her employment. She is willing to take the reduction in pay and avoid
any litigation. However, she is banking on the possibility that she can
reduce her work week by eight hours, trading wages for time. She has come
to the realization that work is not as important as her personal time.
I assume that the diagnosis of breast cancer has really brought his point
home. This has also been a focal point in our discussions lately concerning
our upcoming marriage. We have decided to stay out of the rat race as long
as possible. Ideally, we would like to enjoy the same kind of freedom that
Paul and Barbara have experienced. The real problem is that love of money
has become so prevalent that it is hard not to be sucked into the vortex
of greed. It's the Great Wall of Voodoo.
Tuesday August 4
I mentioned Paul and Barbara yesterday, but I
neglected to say much else. They are still in Alaska and will be there
for another month. In my sporadic e-mail discussions with Paul, I have
found that he is becoming more disillusioned about returning to the wage
slave arena. So, he is contemplating the possibility of starting up a one-man
consultancy when he arrives in Gatesville. I find that I share a lot of
the maverick spirit that Paul has. The big difference is that I have been
bound by fear from pursuing anything except mendicance. Duke (email@example.com)
made a good point:
"Meanwhile, the Lavahead has been misguidedly paring his life down
to nothing. To quote my step-dad again, 'Abundance is the only safeguard
for survival.' You've got yourself within an eyelash of perishing, when
you should have been adding stuff to your life."
I have whittled away at my existence for so long that
I really don't have much left, and I am not just referring to material
possessions. Granted, reducing my worldly possession to just a handful
of items did little to validate my worth as a human being. However, I have
also removed all aspects of my spiritual well-being, too. I have no hobbies
or activities to fall back upon. I have no friends here in Hawai'i. My
life was my computer, but now I have even forsaken that. Paul and Barbara
have reduced their existence to the mere basics. They, too, have forced
themselves down the order of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. However, they
have converted their instincts for survival into an adventure of a lifetime.
I, on the other hand, have become a lamenting fool, sitting in my chair
and waiting for my ship to come in.
Lori returned to work today. I returned to my
chair. I looked back at the last few days. Lori and I had spent most of
that time together. That was extremely enjoyable. We have not been able
to do that for over a year. Having just the weekends isn't the same. As
a wage slave, the weekends become merely a time to catch up on personal
stuff. Lori and I never had any quality time when we were both wage slaves.
Now that I am chronically unemployed, I have a lot of time. It's not quality
time without Lori. It's just time I have to kill with non-productive activities.
During my time of reckoning, I discovered that I have lost my sense of
purpose. Lori helped me to rediscover that purpose. Now, it's up to me
to decide where to go with it.
Lori negotiated her work time down to 30 hours
per week. She took a significant drop in salary but she retained her health
insurance benefits. I could sense the bitterness in her voice as she told
me this. I tried to remain as positive as I could. In actuality, I think
she now has an ideal part-time job. Even with her reduced salary, she makes
quite a bit more than most people here in Hawai'i including the shiftless
ol' lavahead. I didn't tell her that all my doubts and fears of my week
of reckoning have come back even stronger. My glimmer of hope is beginning
to fade into a sense of doom. I am still waking up at 3am in the morning.
I may try to finish the novel that Lori and I collaborated
on a few years ago. All that is left is the tedious editing process that
apparently outlasted my stamina to continue. Remember when I tried to publish
The Loser Living Upstairs? It was Lori's idea to give it a try.
She believed in it so much that she called the various publishers and opened
the doors for the manuscript to be submitted. Although the manuscript was
rejected by the three publishers we selected, they were actually read by
the editors. That is an uncommon feat in itself. I often thought that I
could publish an abridged version of this journal. However, I was too demoralized
by the previous rejections to even try. Heck, I could have publicized the
journal by sending out a short note to the special interest writers at
different newspapers and periodicals around the country. Instead, I was
hoping that someone else would do it for me. Little wonder that a masterpiece
like Bridget Jones' Diary becomes a bestseller and I'm still sitting
in the detestable resin chair. Lori considers me an artiste (her
words), albeit a frustrated one, and that I may one day realize my dream
and become a real writer.
I have also been continuing a dialog with John
(TeamJDC@aol.com) concerning the consultancy. John is a very optimistic
guy. He has wanted to start a business for a long time, but he also has
a family to support. He's a man of principle, and his family has always
come first. Thus, he and his wife Julie made sacrifices to allow for Julie
to remain at home to raise their son. I believe that they made the right
decision because their son Gianni has turned out to be a great kid. These
are things that money can't buy. Finally, many thanks to all who have written
and given emotional support to both Lori and I. And, thanks to Jan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for writing in!
My prayers have been answered! Lori found out
today that she has a tumor and not breast cancer. I have no idea how the
misunderstanding came about but both Lori and I are a little relieved.
She will still be going in for surgery in three weeks. I'm not exactly
sure if the Creator actually granted my request. Perhaps I just need to
have more faith. Faith, according to Paul Stoltz, is one of the most important
traits in individuals who overcome adversity. Stoltz is the author of The
Adversity Quotient, a book I perused at Barnes & Noble last night.
He classifies people into three categories based on a mountain climbing
analogy ... "quitters," "campers," and "climbers." Of course, if you have
been a reader of LoserNet, you already know that we have our own equivalent
classifications ... losers, normal people, and winners. As I read the book,
I easily identified myself as a "quitter." I presented a good example yesterday
which substantiated that fact.
Lori has decided that our wedding date will tentatively
fall on January 9th of next year. That's another long wait. Initially,
her main reason to put it off until next year was financial, having to
do with her income taxes. Other issues such as her daughter's child support
payments also figured in. She also wants to ease her daughter into this
new arrangement. As you can probably guess, I am not assuming a fatherly
role. Lori's daughter already has a father and she also has a surrogate
family in the form of her godparents. Whether anyone wants to admit or
not, the whole situation is a can of worms. That's why I'm staying out
of it. A lot can (and will) happen between now and January 9th.
Friday August 7
Frankly, I have no idea why I am fretting over
the job situation. I really don't want to spend all day in an office and
be forced to sit in a chair and look busy. When I did my minimum wage consulting
stint for six months, I was going stir-crazy. The office politics was also
driving me crazy. Hence, my only motivation to find a job is pay off my
loans as quickly as possible. The longest I would work in such an environment
is about four years. Then, I could work at Burger King. It just wouldn't
matter. However, the sinister kahuna does not want me to pay off
my loans quickly. The nefarious one wishes to make me pay dearly. It's
funny because I made an estimate of the amount of dough that I wasted in
the Club Cobra years, and it came very close to the $26,000 balance. This
is no coincidence, my friends.
I pretty much ruined what could have been a perfect
day. Lori, her daughter, and the ol' lavahead did the annual Kolekole Pass
Walk today. Kolekole Pass is on military land and it is open to the public
only once a year. It winds through the Wai'anae mountains and ends up near
Makaha. This was an opportunity that Lori did not want to pass up, so she
signed us up for the event. Unfortunately, we were separated when mobs
of people attempted to board the buses that were to take us to the starting
point. I ended up taking a later bus. When I arrived, I found that Lori
and her daughter were long gone. It took me over ten minutes of walking
at an extremely brisk pace to finally catch up with them. By that time,
I had worked myself into a rage. Rather than calm down and walk with them,
I just continued on for the next five miles by myself. When I got to the
end, I was still in a bad way. I managed to snap out of my stupidity long
enough so we could drive to Haleiwa and stop in at the Matsumoto's General
Store. We also stopped in at the Dole Plantation. Lori's daughter went
through the world's largest maze. Lori and I attempted to pick up the pieces
of this latest fiasco. Once again, she made all of the concessions to the
pumicehead. We drove back into town and ate lunch at the Dixie Café.
Later, moms invited Lori and her daughter over for dinner. After dinner,
we went to Kahala Mall to do some quick shopping.
Sunday August 9
It wasn't until later that came to my senses,
and that was after Lori disclosed that she was very afraid about the
tumor. I could lament about how emasculated I have felt in the last eight
months or how helpless I have been, but is it not moot? Since Lori and I
moved to Hawai'i, we have engaged in a struggle to survive. The dynamics
of my own family were way out of control. Lori became an unwitting
participant in that crap. Our relationship was put on hold as we lived
in moms' house. We had to live by moms' rules. Moms does not approve of
relationships outside of marriage. Now, we're in the eleventh hour. Lori needs
me to be there for her.
Monday August 10
As is my usual practice, I have procrastinated
for over a week now. I have sent out zero employment queries during that
time. At this point, I will only send out the queries just to meet the
requirements for my loan deferment. Then, I need to seriously consider
going on welfare. I have not been in the mood to listen to my Bose Acoustic
Wave either. As you can guess, the novelty has worn off. My only thoughts
today were about Lori's upcoming surgery. No matter how minor the surgery
may appear to be, Lori will still need all her strength to make it through.
I need to provide her with much needed emotional support.
Tuesday August 11
got around to working on some employment queries yesterday. However, the
sinister kahuna decided that it was going to have some fun at my
expense. My crappy Epson printer was printing so badly that I decided to
replace the ink cartridge. After I replaced it improperly, I realized that
I ruined a brand new $20 ink cartridge. The replacement process on these
Epsons is tedious. So, I had to break out the color ink cartridge and use
it. Fortunately, I installed that correctly. The stupid part is that I
am using a $35 color cartridge to print black-and-white copies. I came
close to losin' it during the whole process. I was going to pick up the
printer and throw it as hard as I could onto the concrete floor. All in
all, it took me over five hours to print just a handful of cover letters.
What a waste of a day!
The waiting is still driving me nuts. No matter
what I do, I just envision myself as waiting for my ship to come in. It
doesn't matter that there's no harbor. I'm just waiting. Everything I do
is just a feeble attempt to keep busy. Yet, the harsh reality hits home
when I see that I can't even afford to buy a can of soda. I have not even
earned a single penny in almost two months. I don't know of too many people
who could take this kind of existence. That's why the waiting seems so
A little viewer mail is order. Kevin (email@example.com)
is back in the Midwest after a short stint in Portland. He wrote:
"Let me add my two cents' worth, if I may. Instead of lamenting about
what you should be doing (eg, being the breadwinner, making big
bank, etc), think about what you could be doing. It's like you're
adrift at sea, holding on to a piece of driftwood, and along comes Lori
in a cabin cruiser with a lifeline. But you reject her help because it's
not your cabin cruiser she's in. I say, so what? This woman loves
you, and she is willing to support you forever if need be. Instead of rejecting
her help, take it and grab the lifeline ... Your pride is indeed holding
you back, and you have to push it aside. There's a reason that pride is
one of the seven deadly sins ... You have not been very supportive up to
now (your words), but you have now realized this, thanks to her. You're
learning lessons you never would have if not for her. She is your guardian
angel, and in time, you'll be her's. That's true love my man, and it's
what the world is all about. Why else would we put up with the bulls---
of everyday life if not for the promise of finding that one special person?
You have succeeded in that most important pursuit, and many have not. So
surprise - you are winner after all."
My homey Robert (firstname.lastname@example.org) is getting married. Congratulations
to the fortunate couple! Finally, many thanks to AJ (email@example.com)
and Bob (no e-mail address) for writing in!
I have not been in a talking mood for three days
now. I fully understand what Roland went through. I, for one, cannot believe
that he made it through three years of this crap. However, Roland took
positive steps to remain afloat. He kept busy with a variety of landscaping
projects. He also reached out to others. He came to appreciate people for
who they were. That is probably why he is so gregarious these days.
Time is all I have but my time has no value. Once
I thought that time was too precious a commodity to waste as a wage slave.
Of course, I lived in the fairy tale world of Convalescent City then. What
do I do with my time these days? That's the beauty of the journal. It
captures a snapshot of my thinking with reference to time. I see the same
thought patterns repeating themselves over and over again. I can observe
how powerless I am to stop it. In my time of reckoning, I realized that the
only way to stop any destructive cycle is to mummify it. That's how I
approached Club Cobra. One day I just had enough and I quit. Of course, life
is never that simple. Club Cobra was my coping mechanism. When I removed
that mechanism, I laid myself bare to the elements. Those are the demons
I must continue to grapple with.
I looked back in time when I read earlier portions
of the journal again. I noticed how I predicted this moment with almost
uncanny precision. I already hear murmurs of "self-fulfilling prophesy"
in the ranks. Believe me, I didn't will my life to end up this way. I had
strong feelings based on historical antecedents and various predictors.
I only wish that I wasn't so accurate. The one prediction that really has
me scared is that I will end up working at Burger King for the rest of
my life. I don't know about you but that prospect makes me want to break
down and cry. Yet, there are whole families of people here that make a
living by working at places like Burger King. They may actually work at
two or three fast food joints just to get by. When I belittle their place
of employment, I belittle them.
When The Bull speaks, everyone listens. Thus,
when The Bull (EquityBull@aol.com) wrote the ol' lavahead to set
him straight, he listened. Here is an excerpt:
"Gee, I turn off my computer for a month and you go get yourself engaged
.......... congrats, the gang from the gym always assumed that that would
happen sooner or later. You definitely can surprise me once in awhile Monk.
As to your problem, you have always thought more on problems than acted
on them. You would rather talk about them than deal with them. You have
to look at your lifestyle before you met the love of your life. You spent
most of your life educating yourself because you were to indecisive to
act upon your dreams and wishes. I don't think you feared to act on your
dreams, you have always wanted to dwell a little too long when you need
to act. Yes your problems with Lori come partly from pride, but everyone
has a problem with pride...... you want to be the bread winner, we all
do, but it does not always happen that way. Look at the good that you have
done, you set up Lori in paradise by getting her to be able to stay with
you in your Mom's house with your brother's family ........ that was a
stressful situation for you, and you did it anyways for your love. You
moved up to [Oregon] when you could have stayed in [Convalescent City]
and slowly rotted away with the rest of us happy content [Convalescent
City] residents. You got up off your butt and went forward with your life.
You did not let an opportunity pass you by ... Live each day as if it was
your last. Appreciate what you have and what you have done. You have influenced
many with your journal, and that should make you happy, you may have pushed
people to become something more after reading about your trials and trivilations
.......... teaching them through your actions not to make the same mistakes,
or when to sew when you get a break in life. Be strong and be loyal
to yourself as well as the love of your life. Stop doubting and take
the chance and plunge in headfirst ...... make a complete commitment to
her with your heart and mind."
I was deeply moved by what The Bull had to say. Will
it be a significant impetus for me to change my way of thinking? Will I
heed his words of wisdom?
Lori says that she is forced to work at her job.
She is right. I cannot help her since I have no way of paying her bills.
Yet, she makes enough to enjoy the quality of life in Hawai'i because she
can afford to do things in her off time. That balance makes the bad aspects
tolerable. When you're broke, you don't have that option. She doesn't see
it that way. She thinks that I have all the time in the world to enjoy
myself and that I'm ungrateful for what I do have. She's absolutely right.
Friday August 14
Caroll and I finally managed to talk on the phone
yesterday. She called close to a week ago and left a message, but we ended
up playing the phone tag game. What is strange is that Caroll always manages
to contact me during times I am deeply troubled. It is as if she senses
my pain. She has been going through some tough times, too. She now works
at Sears selling carpet in the land of Steinbeck. She was forced to file
for bankruptcy when things got bad a few months ago. I briefly discussed
my own situation. Caroll offered me pretty much the same that solace that
all of my virtual homeys have. Somehow I was still comforted when I heard
her voice. It was nice just to talk to someone from the old days.
The Bull used the word "trivilations" in his message
yesterday. I don't know whether the misspelling was intentional or not.
It does make an interesting point, though. How many of my tribulations
are really trivial?
The Strangest Journey
Life made an unusual detour for the ol' lavahead.
It was bound to happen as the signs were there almost three years ago.
We have to take the good along with the bad in this real life non-adventure
and see what happens next.
The Keeper of Lost Lives: bumrush da fools!
© Copyright 1998 by The Keeper of Lost Lives
LoserNettm Love It, or Lose It.