Ive been miserable for a long time, but it's starting to feel like it's taking a real toll on me. I've always just tried to power through the dark moments of hopelessness, but as I get older it just seems less and less worth doing. I'm a quarter of the way through my life and I the best I can do looking back at any period of my life is view it with a sense of blighted nostalgia. Best case is I didn't realize how shitty it was at the time. I've gone past the point of not realizing how shitty it all is.
I sit here at work, I work at an Amazon warehouse in Virginia making about fifteen dollars an hour, it's Saturday morning which means the first morning shift I'm on is starting soon. I have four shifts over the weekend, since Amazon will only hire part time (don't have to give their part timers benefits after all!) and I crammed in as many hours as they would let me. However, I share my car with my mom who works very particular hours, and the only way that this whole situation works out is if I'm doing early morning and late night shifts. What that basically means is that on the weekends I sleep in my car in the 90 degree weather. I try to anyways, I've never done well with heat, and I've always had difficulty sleeping at the best of times, so really I wind up sleeping an hour maybe and waking up as if having dreamed of a monsoon and given that dream physical life. Lately I've just tried to stay up as best I can, go to the gym to shower the sweat off, but sleep seems like a more and more outlandish wish as I continue to work this shift.
You might be asking why I don't drive home, the answer is simple. I have to commute an hour to work and an hour back, and if I went back and forth from home I would be spending 200 dollars a month on gas and I can't afford that. Not with the crushing weight of student loans, not with a car payment, not with this addiction to food and water. So I sleep in my car. I embrace, as much as one really can, this self imposed homelessness.
It's not the first time I've done it. In fact, late last year I spent several weeks living purely out of my car. I could have gone home, but living in my car, showering at the gym, and living off of half-off baked goods from Walmart seemed more attractive at the time. Y'see, I hate being home, I hate the people there, I hate my situation there, I hate the sounds, the feeling, just everything about being there. My family is garbage. That's one of those things that really took me a while to realize was so bad. I grew up in a poor, shitty part of Florida near Tampa. The house was severely termite infested, the wood floors were decimated, no surface was not rotted away by termite, full of dead termites, termite droppings, termite wings. We had an awful sinkhole in the back yard. My neighbor, Conrado had a back yard farm of sorts, he had dogs and chickens, it was built out of scraps of tin and fencing. I didn't know the guy well, but he always appeared to be a nice, friendly fellow. Anyways, being from a poor area family problems were hardly unique or special, drugs, abuses of various kinds, other traps of poverty were the norm, so I don't think it really ever struck me that life could be different. It seemed normal so I accepted it happily enough. My older half sister has been emblematic of everything I hate for as long as I can remember. It's in it's forties now, and it's had issues with substance abuse and violent behavior for as long as I've been alive. It takes it's issues out on others, it feels as though it's owed the world, it never wants to change, and it never does. It's a whirlwind of viciousness. Several days after last Thanksgiving I woke up at about 4PM, my door had slammed opened and there was yelling. I knew almost immediately what this meant, so I crawled out of bed, went upstairs following the trail of screaming vulgarities, expletives, and racial slurs and put myself between my mother and it. They were fighting and it was beginning to get rather aggressive. I told my mom to go back to her room. It pushed itself up against me, I presume trying to intimidate me as it often does in these situations, it shouted, "you're an ape! N***** child! N****** child!" (I'm half Puerto Rican, which I suppose just isn't white enough these days) at the top of it's lungs as it attempted to push me backwards. Forehead to forehead she approached her typical endgame, she bit me in the chin, fell backwards and began to fake-cry. It's all very distinct, drunks are terrible actors. After I turned around and left to my mother's room, I hear my mother calling it's father, "she can't be here, I can't take this any more," I proceed to take the phone and hang up, this is all familiar, it's always this same thing, over and over. I call the police. This was new, I don't normally do this, I've been asked not to by my mother, but this being the... Seventh? Time this sort of thing has happened (that I know of and have been involved with, realistically it's much much more.) Anyways, I call the police. It enters the room while I'm doing so, the racial epithets continue to be thrown around, both sides. I was very... Nonchalant about it at this point. Disgust lingered below the surface, but nothing was going to change this behavior. This situation is who these people are, I've long exhausted feelings of hope about improvement. It retreats to it's basement lair before the call is done. I leave the house, awaiting the police, they arrive and I go to greet them, I am greeted back with a demanding shout of "HANDS OUT OF YOUR POCKETS." Charming. It's 40 degrees outside and I'm cold, but I know how this goes, guy with his hands in his pockets? By God I might as well be pointing an AK47 at his wife and family's temple. Anyways I raise my hands above my head, brief them about the drunk animal with a toddler downstairs in the basement and wait outside. About ten minutes later another cop car arrives. Backup, oh goody. Two cops join the two already in the home and drag a squirming, screaming wretch out, one cop per limb, they force it into the squad car and two of the officers drive away. The cop goes over what happened, charges, etc. He mentions this is it's third aggravated assault charge and it should mean it gets updated to a felony, which is welcome news as I dream of a life free from it's presence. Evidently while in its lair she threw her toddler at the cops, so child endangerment charges were added. The entire altercation started because my mother saw it's year and a half or so old toddler upstairs alone, which meant the toddler had climbed some steep stairs which is obviously dangerous. My mother goes down to it's lair to figure out why and notices that it's drunk. The fight ensues from there. When the cops have left, all forms signed my mother asks me, with this tone that to this day makes me want to punch her in the mouth, "why are you so calm?" Why indeed. Experience? That's my answer. This isn't new. This isn't special. This has been happening for years, she's known it's been happening for years, she enables and accepts these frequent violent substance abuse fueled outbursts. The gall, the actual GALL, to ask why I was calm. That was likely the most infuriating moment of that night.
I find out a week or so after this lovely event that I have a court date, fantasies ensue about getting to lay bare her miserable character in a court room, but wait. It's in December. I had been planning to go back to China to resume teaching... Well, it's just five weeks I can put it off, my apostilles visa paperwork doesn't expire til March. So I wake up a few days later. It's back. It's out of jail and its back here. I pack what I need to live and I go to my car and I drive away. There it is. More of the same. This same trailer trash cycle starting over once more. I'm very done. With all of it. With all of them. They're irredeemable, they don't want to change, theyre content to live this way, but I'm not, so I leave in my car. I shower at Planet Fitness, I go to Barnes and Nobles during the day. The nights are cold, it's beginning to consistently be in the 30s, so I utilize any and all cloth at night as a blanket. Fast forward to December. Court dates moved back. To March. Right after my apostilles documents are set to expire. Once more, my life is derailed, if I had known that this is how I would be punished for breaking up a fight I would have let them have at each other. Never again. I'm still here in Virginia, I went back to the house, I live under the same roof as it, and the cycle is in action again. Drugs and alcohol, I am confident it's still doing both, as I said there's no desire to change, it's a cycle and they're content to live that cycle. I've stopped involving myself. They can kill each other at this point, I won't be dragged down by being involved. I have opted to step out of their circle of white trash violence.
But now here I am, in the US, bills to pay, my own mouth to feed, Corona virus is here, the job market is ruined, work was hard to come by before and COVID 19 certainly didn't help. I've been working rag tag assortments of work since graduating from school, insurance agent, foreign English teacher, Home Depot, now I'm here at Amazon. None of these jobs have paid above 20 dollars an hour. One was in Shanghai, and the wages I made there let me live for what I can only describe as the most comfortable time in my life. It wasn't perfect but I was AWAY. From the bills. From the white trash. From some part of the misery. I went out, had friends, went to bar quiz nights, went on a few dates. Life wasn't perfect, but it was nice. But that's over now, that track was ruined by the white trash circle of violence, the white trash black hole, ruining everything in its vicinity
I feel so very done with it all. When not at Amazon I work at home on a portfolio for 3D character art. It is inadequate. I am inadequate. It's reaffirmed every time I apply somewhere and am rejected. I've been at it for years, getting better sure, but how much better do I need to be, will I ever achieve that level of quality? When I left school I told myself I would be a 3D artist before I was thirty. Thirty felt like a cut off, if I was thirty and still not good enough then it wasn't going to happen, it would be too late to happen, I should die. I still feel that way. You spend a third of your life at work. Half of your waking life. I dont want to live half of my life miserable. Life isn't long, but it isn't short, I see no signs of improvement, no signs that I'm not going to 30 years old forever. I'm not sure if I hate the idea of doing it more or less than I hate the idea of having to wait a few years til I can.
It's... 8:12. Work starts in three minutes. So I guess I'll wrap this up.
I suppose I'm just of the opinion that a long miserable life isn't worth living, and I'm not a gambler, prolonging a miserable life gambling on some chance of life taking a turn just sounds like piling the misery on.
Time to go and scan packages on to a pallet for a living. And then I'll sleep in my hot car. Best I can, anyways.