Yesterday I ‘cheated’ on my post in that I pasted a story I had written a few months ago… I not only ‘cheated’ by not actually writing a new blog post but also by trying and reversing the heavier mood of my post the day before that. Of course, life isn’t like that. You can’t just ‘always’ choose to do something other than what life has in store for you.
Yesterday was also a full, exciting, roller-coaster of emotions day. My cousins took me to Tulsa so that I could do prelim testing for a call-center job. Call-centers having become my bailiwick over the last 4 1/2 years makes the job prospect comforting while the thought of moving away from my current ‘home town’ does not. Granted, I don’t actually have anyone or anything here to cling to other than my son and the ultimate move would be to OKC (the actual location of the job I’ve applied for) which I’ve lived in many times before and yet still, this time it seems overwhelming.
But then, that’s the ticket now isn’t it. Everything has seemed overwhelming over the last couple of months. Indeed just taking the trip to Tulsa, doing the test and talking with my cousins along the way was all so ‘extravagant’ for a ‘bum’ such as myself. To add to the excitement, I was one of the first people done with the testing (as I had figured would be the case, its not atypical for me), I was beaten by about 30 seconds by a woman who was there testing as well. When we both got up from our computer desks at the same time she asked, “Have you worked in a Call Center before?” I answered yes and we quickly exchanged mini-CV’s over our previous experience while we waited to be told our results.
Back in the waiting room she was still there (I had let her get her results first, after all she had beaten me by 30 seconds) and we struck up a conversation. She also had an android phone and we had a common interest in our love of Googles Android OS and our mutual disdain for iPhones. She referred to herself as a geek multiple times and I was taken by her charm and nerdiness immediately. Of course, she also mentioned a boyfriend and yet I still reveled in the whole exchange, lasting around 10 minutes at most, as being the most friendly chatter I’ve had with a female in person in over 5 months. I actually allowed myself to imagine how nice it would be if we were both hired and both placed in the same training class how it would be comforting to have someone, ANYONE, there that I could connect to and not feel SO alone and out-of-place.
Before I had left for the trip, I installed Kindle for Android on my phone and loaded a dozen or so books I have been wanting to read for a while now on to it. It won’t come as much surprise to most of you that I’m not an “avid” reader but don’t get me wrong, I love a great book. What ended up happening, while waiting to begin testing (My cousin was successful in getting me there early) was I started reading a book that I have been told to read many many times before but haven’t had the chance or had something else I was reading at the time. The book is called ‘The Hunger Games’.
A lot of times, when I like but not love a book, I read it fairly slow… in my downtime, during quiet hours, bathroom reading, what have you. A few times I have really busted through books rather quickly… LOTR took me a week. The 5 Hitchhikers books (+ 1) took me about 3 weeks as I had taken a break at some point. The 7th HP book took about 3 days. I finished this book within 26 hours… That was with sleep time, visiting at a friend’s house, and traveling back from Tulsa. I can’t actually recall the last time I was this engrossed in a book.
But, it was more than that. I have been moved by books, of course. A select few have moved me to outward displays of emotion. This book tore me to the core and reaffirmed that I have emotions to deal with right now that stem far beyond any amount of [insert media form here] should really have to hold up. At one point I found myself going from tearing up, to laughing out loud (LIT-TRULL-LEE), and back to tearing up in the span of a page or two. I was drawn into the story, the lives, the emotions almost from the very beginning.
(BEGIN SPOILER?) This culminated into what I actually found was a far change of emotion… I was angered at Kat for not being able to choose a guy by the end of the book… of crushing the dreams of this guy who had done everything for her since she left for the games… opened his heart to her and invited her in… Betrayed, betrayed, betrayed. This person I was once rooting for I was now silently cursing in disgust.
(END SPOILER?) Of course, that’s great. The fact that I was so vested in these characters lives to feel something so wholeheartedly says a lot.
This morning, (around 60% book completion) I had been up for about 5 hours, since 4 AM and was getting hungry. I checked my bankcard website… still nothing. When 2011 started, I had everything I could have wanted. A wife, a great job, and step kids that started really digging me. I had the chance to teach the boy how to PhotoChop and use windows Movie Maker, and the girl and I enjoyed watching girlie movies and eating popcorn. If she had a nightmare she would come and cuddle up in bed and fall asleep in my arms… I was on top of the world at the beginning of 2011.
At the beginning of 2012, I have no family, I have no job, I have no home, I am empty and alone. When you are on such an empty budget, 20 dollars can be half of your food budget for the week, if not more. That’s what it was this week as an erroneous charge hit my card at the beginning of the week. Its being reversed but not yet. Right now I look at empty pantries, empty fridge, empty stomach. It’s all feeling ironic considering my current reading material and makes everything seem so much more real. I find there is a food pantry open in my town today and I call to make sure I can go get some food.
Of course, I only really have a microwave to cook with (There is a stove, but I have no pots or pans) so I don’t get a whole lot but they give me enough to get me through to my next payment. For the first time in my life I have gone to a food pantry for myself. Having to go because you have a job but a family of 5 and it’s just hard to feed them all feels bad enough, not being able to take care of yourself feels so much worse. I have always taken care of myself very well since I started full-time work at 18. Now I struggle to make sense of everything that’s going on and cling to hope of a job at a call-center out-of-town or various other jobs I continue to apply at each week.
When I started this blog, I was determined to keep all personal items off of it other than what I like or don’t like as a geek in the world of Arts & Entertainment. Over the last week a lot more has been pouring out and its becoming more important to me as a personal (de)vice in the absence of being able to work everyday or play guitar all the time.