I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 23, 2012 - 11:04 p.m.
If you are going to understand what's going to be on the next few months I'm going to have to reveal what's happened down the rabbit hole., Today's the day you find out. I'm not going to give all the details, but you'll know enough.
I was evicted. Yes, I owned my apartment but it was a co-op so that can happen. Why? Remember those anxiety issues I told you about? The inexplicable ones that make it impossible to do certain simple tasks. One of those was writing and mailing my maintenance check. Do not try and understand that. I did it and don't understand it. If someone had come every month and asked for the money in cash or by credit card I'd have paid it no problem. If I didn't have to mail it I could have done it.
Then when I started getting notices and warnings about it I couldn't open the letters. That led to me not being able to pick up my mail and answering the phone because difficult. I got caught in a positive feedback loop and my life tumbled out of control. Finally, last month I got the knock on the door I was dreading, the marshal and I was physically evicted. I just had time to load one suitcase. I've been couch surfing ever since.
Things get worse.
Yes, it's possible.
I had missed all my legal proceedings. If I had paid at any point I'd have been fine. Butt of course I didn't. Apparently, the co-op board liked me and hated doing this. But they had to and they sold the place out from under me. The woman that bought it is difficult. She thought she bought all the contents of the apartment too; that is everything that I own, all my personal possessions. I was finally forced to take some actions.,
I got a lawyer, a friend of a friend. Can I mention names? Should I mention names? That's tough. I could ask. OK I'll do that but for now I won't. I'm actually crashing with her and her family now but they are asleep.
Before I saw the lawyer i had to get copies of all the legal papers I had been afraid to look out. That meant going into the Kafkaesque world of the New York State Courts. It took me three days to get them. People told me to go to the wrong place which I only found out after wasting an entire day waiting around. Then I had to search on a database that was left over from DOS days. You could tell from the interface. There were no instructions. You just had to know which function key to press at the right time. It was the job of someone that wasn't there to show people how to use it. A very nice woman did help me thought it wasn't part of her job.
When I got the papers, and there were more travails that I won't go into, I brought them to my lawyer. She thought there might be a loophole where I could get my apartment back but she wasn't optimistic., She did say that the woman had no rights to my stuff. She called the woman's lawyer. They woman was difficult but her lawyer finally convinced her that she doesn't own all my stuff. I had 30 days to get it out of there.
Every step I took was difficult for me, going to the court, navigating the bureaucracy, and seeing my lawyer. I was having one giant anxiety attack while having no permanent place to stay. I was flitting about the homes and apartments of friends and my sister.
My lawyer sent me to legal aid about finding out about the loophole. They would know better than my lawyer as they handle cases like that. I went in thinking it would be like winning the lottery if I got to keep the apartment. I didn't. That was exactly what I expected to happen yet I had a terrible reaction to it. The anxiety overcame everything. I couldn't get anything done having to do with the ordeal. I couldn't get myself to arrange to get my stuff or find a new place to live. And that went on. And it went on, and .... Yes, more than 30 days went by. I had done it again. I was sure everything I owned was gone.
I hit bottom last week when after visiting the friend with the brain tumors I had no place to stay that night. It was 10 PM an I was desperate. I got the nerve to call the friend who found me the lawyer. She said i could crash with her family. I did. She then said that she'd act as my secretary and help me make the calls and do the things I needed to do. She did or in some cases was with me giving moral support. She understood the mechanics of the anxiety and that helped tremendously. She knew when I simply couldn't do some things.
I called the lawyer. I found out my stuff was still there. That was the huge. I started to feel so much better. Then I can't believe how productive I've been. I got a storage place. I got movers, the kind that packs everything up for you. They are coming tomorrow morning and moving my things into storage. I wrote about apartments on Craig's list. I asked friends for leads. I am actually reading my emails. So far nothing has worked out but it's only been a few days. The important thing is that I'm functioning. Today I called the movers and the lawyer on my own without a huge amount of anxiety. I had some but it was manageable. Now I'm managing to tell you about it. Do you have a lead on a place I can live? I'm looking for something fast and temporary for the summer then a real move in the fall.
So now you know the gist of it. My internal problems led to external ones which put the internal ones out of control.
This was terrible. I lost so much money. Yes, I got money for my apartment but not what I paid for it. I'm going to face the consequences of this for years. But it isn't the end of my life. I'll survive. That's what people do. That's why there are seven billion of us. We can survive things. I can do more than survive. I can be happy. That's what I do. I have a knack for it. I'm back to feeling that way. It will be a challenge but that isn't always a bad thing. Cyrano rejoiced when he found he had to single-handedly fight 100 foes. He didn't cower and feel sorry for himself. It wasn't a hopeless situation it was a chance for glory. What good is it having a schnoz like mine if I can't fancy myself Cyrano now and then?
The last few days I've arranged things for moving on in my life. I did a ton of stuff for the Christopher Street coffeehouse. I've done things that would have been a huge mountain to climb last week without much effort I'm back to being me. Yes, I'm not cured. But at least I can get some things done.
This isn't some miracle of the therapist I give my friends most of the credit. I get some credit for myself as I thought she was the right one to help me. Other people tried but it's difficult. It's the classic hold the bird to tight and you kill it and you hold it too lose and it gets away problem. I am grateful to everyone that I have crashed with or has helped me in any way. They should all be beatified. Of course, I don't actually believe in that but you get my drift.
I can't wait to get my computer back and have a place to set it up. I hate writing on this laptop.
Are you all shocked as to what happened? I haven't even told you everything. But I thought the world was ready for this. Maybe next well learn about The Giant Rat off Sumatra. Does anyone get that reference? I keep making it just in case.
I have to get up early tomorrow to get my stuff. I'll let you know how it goes.
And so it goes.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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