bumrush da fools!
As I walked home with the ring in my hand, I looked back at what had transpired during my time of reckoning. There was a point that I thought I made progress, but I fell back into the abyss earlier this week. All the fretting I did finally took its toll. I lost the precious jewel of my life. And, all for what? I gained absolutely nothing by lamenting at the Wailing Wall. I am still unemployed and virtually penniless. The ramifications of my actions did not become truly apparent to me until I reached moms' place. I collected my thoughts as best as I could and sought solace through prayer. Then, I embarked on a the perilous journey to save what was left of my relationship. Lori did not want to see me but she finally gave in. We talked. She unloaded everything on me. All I could do was offer my apology. We discussed the matter of commitment. This time, I proposed to her properly. I asked her to be my wife. She accepted somewhat reluctantly. I put the ring back on her finger. She continued to unload on me. I sat there and took it all in because I deserved what I got. Yet, everything she told me was basically true. I am scared. I am a fool. There was no way I could deny the truth.
We regained some semblance of our relationship by early afternoon. Lori and her daughter had to attend a B-day party. I went to Kahala Mall to buy some toothpaste. I stopped in Barnes & Noble and also bought the soundtrack to How Stella Got Her Groove Back. When I returned home, I played the CD on my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave. Halfway through the CD, I broke down and cried like a baby. All of the melancholia and pent-up anger burst through the floodgates. I was overcome by emotion. After this catharsis, I sat trembling in the detestable resin chair. Then, I felt numb. I went back to Lori's place because we were supposed to go to the gym. She and her daughter had not returned from the B-day party. So, I did my yardboy chores. It was getting late so I walked to the gym. On the way there, I saw Lori and her daugher walking home from the opposite direction. They were a little late because they missed the bus. Lori met me at the gym. We had a nice workout.
Later in the evening, I told Lori what had happened this afternoon. We talked for quite a while. I realized that it had been a long time since we actually talked constructively. I noticed, too, that I felt extremely relaxed. I didn't feel any pain or any anxiety. I was neither depressed or angry. Gone, too, were my feelings of despair and hopelessness. I felt alive for the first time in three weeks. I was out of the abyss. I don't know for sure whether I experienced remorse during my cathartic event this afternoon. Somehow, I believe I did. Remorse was my only possible savior. I gave the CD to Lori as a gift. I think it already served its purpose. I got my groove back.
I spent the day with Lori doing mostly mundane things. However, it was a pleasant day for the both of us. Although her daughter was with us, we did manage to find a few private moments so that I could discuss what will happen once we are married. You see, there are a lot of other dynamics at play, the cast of which includes Lori's ex-husband, her parents, her daughter's godparents and her daughter. As I have mentioned before, the situation is a can of worms. I want to be immune from that situation but there is no way that I wll be. Indirectly, I am the reason that these dynamics will come into play. That, of course, brought me to question why Lori decided to just take a chance and visit an old monk (whom she had never met) in an obscure town about three years ago. I managed to approach this question with the curiosity and innocence of a child rather than my usual cynical and self-doubting style. It is still hard for me to understand why I meant so much to Lori. I have no idea why she has come to rely upon me for strength and comfort. And, I have no idea why she left everything else just to be at my side. It's love, she tells me.
Lori said some callous things to me yesterday. I did not provide a rebuttal to anything she said. I knew that she was angry and she had every right to be. I had shattered her trust in me. My ship and I were sinking and I was taking her down with me. She had made a commitment to me a long time ago. To this day, I cannot understand how she could remain committed to me without any reciproal commitment. Does it not take two people to make a commitment in a relationship? What possible satisfaction could she derive from such a one-way relationship? Yet, she held on. Babes have an uncanny intuitive power, though. Lori knew my personality and she knew that, while I may not explicitly state it, I had strong feelings for her. She said that, ever since moving to Hawai'i, the issue of marriage was not important to her. She just wanted to be with me. Our casual relationship could go on forever. However, there is a real glow in her face when that crazy ring is on her finger. It means more to her than she lets on.
I don't really know why everything in our lives has become such as crisis. I have searched but I cannot come up with an answer ... well, not one that makes much sense anyway. The minutes have slowed down to what seems like days as we await the surgery on Friday. I just wish that it was done and Lori was given a clean bill of health. Then, we can get on with the business of living. We can finally be married and look forward to a long time together as we will both have learned the value of life. Of course, we will continue to be plagued with problems from people who have yet to learn the true meaning of life. At least we will find solace in knowing that they are just noise in the background.
Lori's ex-husband has already swung into action. He called Lori last night to ask for custody of their daughter for one year commencing next month. He said that he is going on vacation for the next two years so he wants to spend time with his daughter. Lori already predicted that something like this would happen once he found out that she was engaged to the ol' lavahead. His ultimate ploy is take control of the situation using their daughter as leverage. If he can dupe Lori into giving up custody of their daughter, then he believes that he can hold her for ransom to get his way. The timing was impeccable. Lori's daughter probably disclosed the marriage plans to her father about a week ago when they talked. So, he snapped into action. I believe Lori is correct in assuming that her ex-husband's motive is to hurt her. Custody of their daughter is a secondary issue since the so-called godparents actually raise the child when she is in Oregon. This really is a sickening situation. Their daughter is really only a pawn in a game of revenge. Even Lori's mother is involved. From my own observations, it seems that Lori's mother cares more about her granddaughter than her own daughter. Lori's mother has transferred her attention to the young child in a feeble attempt to relive the past and undo the mistakes she had made with her own daughter. As I said before, this whole scenario is a can of worms.
Lori discovered that her surgery is not until next Friday. For some reason, she read the date wrong. Lori had already cleared her schedule. Now, she will have to do that again next week. Part of the problem is that she is stressed out at work. She really does not want to be there anymore, but she has no choice. Since I am chronically unemployed, I cannot help her at all. Meanwhile, the slam letters continue to stream in. I can't say that my self-esteem has improved. However, I believe that I am finally free from the bonds of my time of reckoning. I have accepted my lot in life and will no longer venture beyond that point.
Lori's daughter will be spending today, tonight and tomorrow at her friend's place. So, Lori and I spent the day doing almost nothing. I bought a Weedwhacker yesterday, so I trimmed moms' yard and Lori's yard. The other day, when I had that unpleasant mowing experience, I noticed that the Weedwhacker was missing. Apparently, it belonged to my bro. I have no idea why but he came by to get it sometime in the last three months. What does he need it for? He lives in an apartment. I figured that he took it out of spite. Moms wanted me to change the lock on the storeroom, so I did.
I am about ready to enter my ninth month of chronic unemployment. I should be losin' it. Instead, I have returned to my previous life of sitting in the resin chair and listening to my Bose Acoustic Wave. That pretty much proves that we humans have a tendency to continue repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Does it matter? I could start churning out some employment queries, but that has proven useless. I recently applied to several positions in which the job descriptions matched my résumés almost verbatim. All I got were slam letters. Why should I bother anymore?
I would like to extend my appreciation to my Creator for giving me the many provisions to survive my pathetic ordeal. Some believe that I have become ungrateful for all the provisions that have kept me from dereliction. Lord knows, I really want to carry my weight. I am willing to work but there are no opportunities. Alas, I should be thankful that I will be working three hours per week. That's a start.
So far, Lori does not know anything more about the tumor than she did last week. She called the clinic today, but to no avail. The results of the mammogram and ultrasound tests still have not been delivered. And, her doctor is not due in the office until Wednesday. Right now, we are both a little puzzled since the surgery is still scheduled for Friday.
Lori may not be going into surgery this Friday. From what her doctor says, she may just be going in for a biopsy. So, the tumor may be benign. We'll know more later in the week. Lori seemed to be in better spirits upon hearing the news.
I should congratulate Annie (e-mail withheld) as she is getting married! Yep, there's something in the water, I guess. Or it's just a marriage kind-of-year. Also, thanks to my virtual homey Tom (Toma@roanoke.com), fomerly known as the Chicken Guy! Well, here at LoserNet, he will always be the Chicken Guy. Remember when he wrote ode to the monk?
There are probably quite a few people who believe that I've lost it, especially with reference to the sinister force/kahuna. Even Lori is beginning to make assertions about the possibility that I suffer from schizophrenia. Some say that I may be the sinister one. Well, friends, it was not I who made the university offer my class once per year. It was not I who e-mailed myself with available classes that somehow disappeared. It was not I who called the loan people and asked them to renegotiate the terms of my loan. No, there's some kind of nefarious intelligence behind it all ... some kind of sinister force. Well, hey! It was good enough reason for G. Gordon Liddy!
The journal has embarked on yet another strange journey as we battle the sinister force/kahuna and the demons of the mind as well. Without a doubt, these are strange times indeed. Moms told me that I need to have faith and hope. Lori has told me the same thing for some time now. It's hard to have any faith and hope when one has been unemployed for nine months. I guess that, in a way, the sinister kahuna has already won. I feel as though most of my soul has dissipated into thin air. Thus, I went to pick up the forms for welfare and food stamps yesterday. I did a couple of things first. I sat out on a bench in Fort Street Mall with the homeless and the destitute for about an hour. That put me in the proper frame of mind. It made me realize how close I was to that lifestyle and how fortunate I am to have a safety net. Then, I went to the State employment office and signed up. This is where all of the hard-core unemployables eventually end up.
Lori left early this morning to have the biopsy done. I had to travel to Kalihi to get a tuberculin test as a condition of my assignment at the university. Lori had a full day of activities planned so I decided to check out a few more college campuses to get an idea of whether I could end up teaching at any of them. I'll pick up any application materials but I will hold off on any submissions until I have actually started teaching. Having that little bit of experience may add some credibility to my abilities.
Several of my virtual homeys suggested an interesting technique to stave off the sinster one and its minions. The crux of the solution has to do with perception. I need to put a concerted effort into developing a positive frame of mind even if it is just for a few minutes a day. Then, I need to add to that time gradually until my focus shifts from one of despair to one that is more hopeful. Even moms said that prophesying what the sinister kahuna will do would only insure that it happens. For those who believe that I am the sinister kahuna myself, then the subsequent events could be called "self-fulfilling prophesy." The other interpretation is that I am empowering the sinister kahuna to act as an agent on my behalf. The road ahead will be long and hard. I have even had doubts about my ability to effectively teach my one and only class. If I don't change that perception, I'll screw up this assignment and it will surely be my last. I try to keep in mind a Scriptural verse that The Bull made reference to. In short, it said that, if one has to be a slave, be the best slave possible. Perhaps that is what I must do. My next journey may end up being the Journey of Hope.
The finale for this extra-long season is coming up in two days. It's unbelievable how time flies. In addition, we're having so much fun! Seriously, though, we have learned a lot of things this time around, being that this was the most dramatic segment in the history of The Keeper. That's what the journal is all about. It's real life. The aftershocks of my time of reckoning linger on. I get chicken skin (that's Pidgin English for "goosebumps") just thinking about it. In retrospect, I wonder if I have also passed through the male rites commonly known as "mid-life crisis." Because I didn't have a meaningless job, countless material possessions, a broken family and big bank, I didn't go crazy in the usual fashion. So, rather than chase young babes, I decided to have a nervous breakdown. Without dough, what else could I do?
As I look back at this past season, I also see that the humor, albeit warped, is conspicuously absent these days. When I think about it, I haven't laughed in months. Nothing seemed funny to me. I got a few laughs in when I saw Bulworth. Remember when the drug dealer guy was telling the senator about life in da 'hood? He explained that all the kids wanted to be like him because their only other option would be to end up "working at motherf---ing Burger King." I was practically on the floor laughing. Yet, while I was laughing my fool head off on the outside, I may have been crying on the inside. I think I now know why I followed rap for so long. I could relate to it. I had a false sense of camaraderie. All I was doing was contributing to the big bank of these guys. Sure, they were still gangstas at heart. Lord knows how many times some of them have been shot. Yet, why would a monk want these guys as a role model?
Lori is now caught in quandary. She cannot leave her daughter unattended for any length of time anymore. And, she knows it will be difficult to come up with activities suitable for all three of us to do. So, Lori and her daughter ended up going to the beach. I went to Ala Mo's and ran into Chad, one of the guys Paul and I worked with when we were "consultants". We talked for about an hour and caught up on a lot of stuff. I asked him if he knew about the current situation in the computer industry here in Hawai'i. He verified that most computer people are underpaid. They are also usually clumped into the all-encompassing category of "programmer/analysts." From Chad's own experience, that position means ten percent programming and 90 percent data entry and report generation. Then, how come I can't get a job?
I went to town to get the results of my tuberculin test. I then took the results to the university. This is part of the requirements for all teaching positions in Hawai'i. When I arrived there, I received some good news. I have been given another class to teach. So, I will now be working six hours per week. No one can even imagine how grateful I am. The feeling of relief just swept through my body. I was at peace with myself. I haven't signed the contract for the class yet, so I will wait until that is my hand before celebrating any further. I also went to pick up another copy of the marriage license application. I had recycled the copy that I had. The place was packed with people. Apparently, the application fee is being increased to $50, so everyone decided to apply today. This is yet another example of how finances dictate our lives.
Lori has become worried that she is being set up again to be terminated from work. She has every right to be suspicious. In fact, I have no reason to dispute her. For some reason, the corporate office on the mainland has it out for her. As I mentioned a while back, this is really a family operation. The "officers" are all siblings. Apparently, two of the sisters do not like Lori. Never mind that it does not make good business sense to fire a good employee. These idiots are so swollen up with pride that they would flush the whole business down the toilet rather than admit they were wrong. They will eventually reap what they sow. I just want to know why people enjoy making other people miserable.