This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Now if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
Well it's just that I've been losing for so long

I can always tell when I'm in a bad mood, I listen to Jackson Browne albums.  They don't depress me, they don't make me happy, like listening to the Monkees would, JB just makes it comfortable to be sad.

I was scheduled to be on a radio show this evening and was bounced to next week.  So it's cool they still want me on the show and I know in such a business being bounced is something that happens, I was just really excited and really looking forward to seeing some major book sales so I can eat this October. Maybe even November and December too!

How many meals will a 70 pound dog provide?

So being the thinker I am, this all takes off in multiple directions in my head, not the math and dog eating, that was a joke.  As a caretaker, I learned to suspend hope; there was no hope, only enduring the day, enduring the night, and repeating the process.  But now, the dreams were bursting forth in my head, publish a book, talk to the radio shows I like to listen to, something will break, and I am a successful author!

Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the Pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there

When I was a child, somewhere around 3rd grade, I recognized I was different than other kids.  Nothing weird, perverted or anything, I just looked at the world differently.  I sensed something beyond my sight, something good and something evil was out there.  And I've spent my life searching to understand what it is I can't see, but all the time knowing there is something there, something evil, that you can't and shouldn't give in to, something that once you do, it's almost impossible to get out of, escape.

Well I've been out walking
I don't do that much talking these days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to

And I guess somewhere I view my career as being careful to not be what I do for a living.  That a paint batch, a computer network, a widget really isn't important in the scheme of things for most people's lives.  Living and loving.  I always joked that on my death bed, I wanted to say I probably should have spent more time at the office after all.  Yet, when I was caring for my dad, I saw the look in men's eyes when I explained I quit my career to care for my dad; they'd get this strange look on their face, ask when I was planning to put him in a home, shock when I said I wouldn't, and this strange look that I finally realized was because they were their job.  It's how they identified themselves.  Think about it, what is one of the first three questions out of your mouth when you meet someone?  "What do you do for a living?"

I actually have answered "breathe" to that question.  Yes, I can be a jerk, don't you know.  But the point is, we are brainwashed into thinking we are what we do for a living and think about this; how many people hate their jobs?  So put it all together: you hate what you most identify with as who you are.  Is it any wonder people overeat, drink, take drugs, and veg out in front of the TV for hours a day?  You are what you do and you hate what you do.  So you hate it all.

That is what I mean about seeing the world differently.

Now there are times, careers, where maybe this isn't true; a doctor saving lives, someone working on the project to go to the moon, a soldier in battle with his buddies; I can see in those times and careers giving yourself completely to what you do, for a time.  In any job, I can see giving yourself completely to the task, it's fun.  But it's not who you are.

Ah the laughter of the lovers
As they run through the night
Leaving nothing for the others
But to choose off and fight
And tear at the world with all their might
While the ships bearing their dreams
Sail out of sight

But when do you give up the dreams?  When do you move from being a dreamer to being a parody of Don Quixote, a comic actor the world laughs at as you continually strive for unreachable dreams?  When does the romantic become the fool, or was he just a fool the whole time?

I'm being pulled right now.  Part of me is saying fight for it, go for it, make the book a success, keep pushing on.  The other part of me is looking at 500 bucks in the bank, knowing that from this point forward life is going on a credit card and if I don't make it as an author, I will be homeless in three months.

I'm gonna be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender
And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can buy
where true love could have been a contender
Are you there?
Say a prayer for the Pretender.
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender.

I don't want to surrender.  When do you give into the system?  Is there something heroic in fighting it off for 25 years before you give in or were you just stupid to fight the inevitable?  Somewhere, in that fog of my mind, I saw career, marriage, mortgages, debt, and so on  as some sort of trap that once you are in, you can't escape.  Oh, you get to escape for a week here or a week there to go on a vacation where you lay around thinking this is the life, but then it's just back to what you were, the same thing, the drudgery, a job where you are a cog, kissing up to keep your job because your kids need braces or the kids need college or you are just 20 years from retirement and don't want to lose a pension that probably won't be there when you retire anyways.

So throughout my life, I've picked moments in time to pay off all the debts, to be free of debt.  I've change careers at the top, changed jobs, moved to different cities, all to avoid the trap.  But now at 55, where am I?  A broken man who is too stupid to realize he's lost the fight?  A sorry figure waving at windmills?

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening?
I've been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it's the wink of an eye
When the morning light comes streaming in
You'll get up and do it again

These dreams are what kept my going, caring for my dad.  They kept me sane.  A promise of a sunny day somewhere in the future, that no matter how bad it got, no matter what I had to do to get my dad thru the day, to get me thru the day, that someday, sometime, the world would shine, that I would shine.   Was it all just some psychological ploy?  A mental trick just to keep what was left of my sanity?   Was it, am I,  all a cosmic joke?  I finished the book, published the book, and then dropped to my knees in prayer and lifted it up to God and asked Him to bless this book and asked Him for sales so I could recover from the last five years.

Is God saying no?  Should I have asked Joel Osteen?

Well I'll keep on moving, moving on
Things are bound to be improving these days, one of these days
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend
Don't confront me with my failures,
I have not forgotten them

Lyrics by Jackson Browne