Now Is Not The Time

It is safe to say I am not the poster boy for patience these days. Things I’d normally let roll off my shoulders are being snapped at.

There are a few stressors at the moment. I have to leave where I am living as a member of my landlord’s family needs the home. My landlords have, for these past nine years, proved themselves to be the greatest landlords in the world.  I am also on disability with a sprinkling of money here and there for writing along with the occasional speech; there is a reason there is no fancy car in the driveway. Truth is I wouldn’t want one anyway no matter the state of my revenue.

Thinking I was moving to Herkimer County New York we switched my NY TBI Waiver benefits there and now, given that the deal for the house we’d hope to buy looks to be dead in the water, I find myself without rent or utility subsidies and despite the fact I may be moving to a place close to my current home, I am dealing with a state Department of Health that will likely make it impossible to regains the subsidies. Those of us on the TBI Waiver are having their services sliced and diced and, in too many cases, entirely denied  by a DOH that essentially creates regulations on the fly and doesn’t even follow what few regulations they have set forth in the manual they wrote.

Moreover, because of the presumed move to another county, there are, for this month, no food stamps. So, a for man who has  been homeless before, hospitalized twice for hunger pains, the pressure is on. While intellectually I know I will not wind up homelessness, I think it fair and accurate to say that once you have experienced real homelessness in your life, its specter is always near. Along with this, my body, normally an ally, has paid the price. Nights are fairly packed with back spasms which strike sporadically throughout the day as well.

This too shall pass, as they say and I know that. I have been reading some good books, having, I am ashamed to say, started reading John Dos Passos for the first time this year (a staggeringly brave and brilliant writer).

Having said all this, now is not a good time for someone to give me any grief. Some years ago someone I was working with said, “You’re a tough guy you know.” I was mortified! To me tough guy meant bully and not only have I never been a bully I have always been the one who has looked to take on the bully. I took my mortification to my friend and sister in my heart, Judy.

“You got a minute?” I asked.

“Sure,” she said, sitting down, smiling.

“Am I a tough guy?”

“Tough guy?”

“Yeah. Tough guy. Like in bully.”

“You’re not a bully, no. But you are a tough guy.”

“What do you mean?” More mortification.

“You don’t take any shit from people.”

Now that I could live with. And it’s true, I don’t take any shit.

Especially now.

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2 thoughts on “Now Is Not The Time

  1. Hang in there 'tough guy'… tho' I've never known you to take ANY real shit from others, we all know from life (and the occassional bumper sticker) that 'shit happens'…and most of the time it is terribly unjust!! It is always good to learn to duck, then maybe tuck and roll (weary of that as one may be!), take a really deep breath, and pop-up again to laugh in the face of adversity and say "Ha! Missed that time!" I may be confusing this with a good ole' snowball fight…but you get the idea! Thoughts are with you~Donna K

  2. scPeter, FYI! Based on your situation,you may be eligible for "Expedited Food Stamps" through your local DSS. If you are eligible, you should be able to get food stamps within 5 days. Note,you can find more information about this in the DSS Food Stamp booklets. Good luck!

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