There by the grace of God am I

I’ve just been reading about Italy. I lay in bed with a coffee on the side table while Rigby lay at the end on the bed with a proprietary air.

Reading about Italy reminded me of my travels. It’s one of the things I miss. I’ve done so much travelling, but it doesn’t seem quite real now – as if I have acquired the memories of some more well to do person. In the random way of memories I recalled particularly trivial moment when I had a cold beer on a warm day in a bar/cafe in Reims.

I wonder if I will travel again, not when. That’s where things have got to. It’s a funny thing to contemplate – to have travelled so far and wide, to have seen and experienced so many cultures over a period time – and to consider suddenly that al of that has come to an end. It’s almost mind-blowing. Once more it feels like I have jumped the tracks. I’m living somebody else’s life, while some lucky sod is living mine.

So much is incongruous these days. I don’t have two pennies to rub together, yet I look about my modest abode and it’s full of fine things. I can lay comfortably in bed and yet wonder where I’ll sleep next month. My mind is active and agile, and yet no-one wants to make use of it.

I plough ahead by habit and in the belief it’s shameful not to, no matter how futile it appears. I’m embarrassed to say that recent years have revealed as hollow former beliefs that will and determination will see you through. Well I might well have gone under by now without them, but by themselves they are not enough.

It seems a puny admission of weakness to suggest that some good luck would be useful. I’m of that breed that formally and conventionally believed that you make your own luck. It was an aphorism to live by, and even if not literally true, a philosophy of masculine merit. Likewise I believed that if you kept going, kept trying, kept fighting, that eventually it would pay off. I still this in a way, but I’m damn impatient for the proof of it.

Unfortunately once more my plans have hit a roadblock. I had done all the work, found the necessary products (christmas decorations and bamboo socks), and had even commenced discussions with suppliers, and was set to go with my online store. Problem is that I need a stake to get it going. The good news is that a friend had offered to stake me, which is what got the whole thing rolling.

Whenever you get an offer like that there’s a part of you that doubts it. Words are cheap, after all. And between now and then anything can happen. He might change his mind, or forget about it. In this case he’s disappeared. I know where he is, roughly, but he’s not responding to my emails, and so the opportunity slips away.It says a lot for my circumstances that there seemed a bitter inevitability about this.

I have the one things about me and a comfortable bed to sleep in, but soon I won’t, unless something changes. I feel like a prisoner on death row counting down the days with trepidation. I pray for a last minute reprieve, and busy myself with appeals and whatnot, but without real belief in them.

Yesterday the exasperation got to me so much that I finally dashed off a letter to one of the newspapers. I needed to express myself – the frustration, the meaninglessness, the apparent futility, if not the bitter comedy that life has become. I wrote about how me, and thousands more, strive every day to rejoin society, but to no effect. We are unwanted and unseen. Yes, there was an angry pathos in my short note. I don’t know if it got published (I haven’t checked), and it doesn’t really matter (though society would do well to be reminded).

Today I attend a short course in the city. This one is on lean startups. I signed up to it for the conventional reasons. It is another attempt to try something. I might learn a thing or two, and possibly meet people who can change my life. It’s worthwhile, but it’s become a rote activity.

Make your own luck, keep trying, striving, fighting, turn up, stand-up, and be counted. Yes, yes, yes, yes! I know for fucks sake. Day after day I turn up, I try, I turn my imagination loose and see what idea it can conjure up.

I’m tired. I’m terrified too. I don’t know what will happen next. I don’t think I can survive being homeless again. There’s nowhere to go to, and apparently nowhere to turn. I’m exhausted, mentally, psychologically, morally. I want to believe. It’s in my blood – but my blood is failing me.

I will get some of my mojo back, nothing surer – but it doesn’t change the facts. It’s odds on that come mid-December I’ll be living in the car. Once that happens I’m limited in what I can do. No hope of an online store then. I can’t take own a job either without a home base – a bed, a bathroom, a wardrobe, somewhere I can house Rigby. The whole game changes, and probably forever.

There’s nothing left but for me to continue to strive, and hope that in the short time left to me the reprieve finally comes through.


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