Time to act

Up early this morning. Full of juice. I woke, the sun was up, a blustery wind battered the house, and my thoughts turned to the day ahead: make it count.

I’d understand if on waking I turned over and went back to sleep. It’s tempting often to do just that. Close your eyes and pretend it isn’t so. There are times I wish I was less resilient. How much easier, I think, to just break down. Pull the covers over my head, or suck my thumb huddled in the corner. Give it away, cease functioning, abstain responsibility. At the really tough moments it seems like a dream: wake me up when it’s all done. That’s not in me though.

So I’m up and about and as combative as ever. Not long after I wrote yesterday I received an email which just compounded all the bad news. At first I read it feeling done in. There’s a crushing weight on me, and here was another heavy stone added to the pile. Then the anger I wrote of asserted itself. I began to think. With the odds stacked against me I had to figure out a way to wriggle out of the situation. If I don’t I’m ruined. That’s not an exaggeration. Ruined entirely. That may be the outcome if things go bad, but it was not something I could worry about. I had to figure out ways and means. I had to plot and consider, and ultimately do. At the very least I needed an exit strategy as a back-up, but hopefully I could be more proactive than that. After the initial reaction I felt energised, as I do now. As ever I feel something rouse in me whenever I’m challenged. There is never any other reaction than that. It’s reflex. It’s perversity and competitiveness and it’s defiance. I think: I will not allow this to be the end of me. Having thought, I start thinking of ways to turn that defiance into positive action.

I’m almost certain that I have to move on from here, but there is a part of me yet that thinks it is possible to stay. It is possible, but it’s a longshot. I’ll try to make it so, but my energies will be spread over a combination of tactics to turn the situation around. There are priorities, the things I can afford to lose, with regret, and the things I can’t.

I have to make mention of my friends. I’m embarrassed, as I always am when people do good things for me. My friends have rallied around me now they know the extent of my situation. It makes me so humble that I never have the words to thank them. I’m not without grace, but my gratitude overwhelms me. I hate the thought that they go about worrying about me. At the same time I’m greatly moved and eternally thankful for their ministrations on my behalf. If I survive it will in large part due to them.

One last thing before I go today. I sat on the couch last night tasting the probability that I would have to move on from my home. It was bitter, and very sad. It’s more than just a roof over my head and a space that is mine. It represents a life, and everything that flows from it. It’s that life I glimpsed again last Saturday night. The possibility of pleasant routine and normal patterns. It’s funny the little things you miss. Going to and fro the station every morning heading to and from work. Getting up on a Saturday morning and walking down to the shops for the weeks groceries. Casual drinks and get togethers. A spur of the moment barbecue. Those hours after a long week of work when you sit down with an easy heart to read the newspaper on the couch. The freedom to reach into your pocket and pay for something, anything, books like I would before, or gourmet stuff from the deli, a shirt that catches my eye, or a slice of tart at the cafe. Even just a beer or two on a Friday night.

They may seem simple things, and that’s the point of them. If I am to shift from here on to someone’s couch, if I’m lucky, then most, if not all, will be gone from me, and for some time. I walk out that door and another door closes to me for the forseeable future.

The other loss is personal. I’ve avoided getting too close to any women for quite a while. I’ve thought it unfair to them, and I wanted to get my life in order before I committed to anyone. Routine, patterns, know where you are, that kind of order. Unexpectedly I’ve found myself drawn to a woman in recent times who has sought me out. She has many qualities I admire. We feel sympatico. She is someone who at another time I could begin to hope about. I think I started to hope, I started to envisage a future.

Can’t do that now. Sounds cruel, but have to close that off unless there is some dramatic intervention. I don’t know what to say to her. How do I explain this? She will understand, in a way, I’m sure, but will probably resist. I can’t though.


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