Sunday, January 18, 2009

Two More Days -- Inauguration Weekend

In some ways I really can't believe it is happening -- the election/inauguration of a man who arguably represents the best of what we are as a country. For me, as for many in my generation all hope in my country in terms of political process died along with Bobby Kennedy. After that loss, I never cared again. Already hammered by the assassinations of JFK and Dr. King, I could not bear the bitter death of sweet Bobby. I was briefly revived during the Clinton years -- like half the nation, I was captivated by that devil of a man from Hope, Arkansas -- but so frustrated in my President with the feet of clay and the savagery with which he was pursued. Hard to understand why certain members of the Republican party would rather tear their country to pieces than watch a Democrat lead. But it was ever thus -- wasn't it?

And then we got a big lesson in Election stealing and political cronyism in the highest levels of government. Somehow, there are ways for talented politicians to make a power grab and end up as the Leader of the Free World! How does that work again?? W presided over the absolute politicization and corruption of virtually every department of government. For EIGHT LONG MISERABLE YEARS we watched helplessly as partisan politics and political corruption ripped this country to pieces while the country continued to polarize and wobble around like a drunk, gigantic imbecile -- a dangerous, increasingly isolated and ignorant super-power. For a while there I really thought we were teetering on the brink of the New American Fascism. (note from March 29, 2012), and I STILL do! All the systems were in place -- oh I could rave on about THAT one -- how close we came, and the damage done. But for some reason we Americans have been given another chance to be our better selves, and none too soon, that's for damned sure.

This weekend my love and I are holed up in our drafty California house, television on so we can see as much as possible. Which turns out to be not very much -- Bruce Springsteen is playing and I can't see him! Can't believe HBO captured the rights to a concert that should have been public -- that doesn't seem small d democratic -- but, sigh, it certainly is big C Capitalism. Not entirely dead, is it?

Not a bad time to begin a blog. I have a lot of time in some ways, and in others I feel I am running out of it. The recession hit us hard. We played our parts, though, blindly pouring money into building a house that cost 2 times too much to build, and then didn't sell. We were raped in every way imaginable by 3 contractors. I watched as my efforts to control the process were halted by venal men and four months of rain and circumstances which conspired so that we produced our beautiful house at exactly the worst possible moment in the history of California real estate.

We've been tussling with the bank trying to keep the house we built. What should have been a simple loan modification has gotten legally ugly because while we were dealing with BofA, somewhere in the information streams lurked incorrect foreclosure info that resulted in a realtor re-keying our house and putting it up for sale despite our arrangements with the bank. Is this legal? And BofA is threatening to give us a -- shall I say
more negative
loan because they are upset that we tried to work something out with Freddie Mac -- oh it is ridiculous and punitive and how can a bank just walk away with your house?? I had a great tenant ready to go with a year's commitment and I couldn't put her in the house. It sits alone and forlorn -- the representation, the culmination of my vision, in terms of beauty and function. We built a kickass house. But sometimes you are surfing and you get caught up in a wave bigger than you or anybody else -- just bigger than anything. When I get too caught up in regretting the apparent loss of a giant chunk of my net worth -- when I am too afraid I will lose my house -- that's when the brain weasels kick in and the ever-annoying battle with bi-polar stepped up. Wolverines are  savagely dangerous and an excellent metaphor for the illness.. These extremgely ferocious brain beasties  threaten my capacity to function through all this. I don't want to get out of bed, nor have I been ab

I'm reporting from the frontlines of the New American Poverty.

A bad business decision and a project gone terribly wrong have flung me from the comfortable middle class life I have always enjoyed into a different and more frightening world. And I don't know the territory, I don't know how to do this. And I KNOW there are people out there in similar and worse situations.

Though I still have the house I've lived in for 25 years, I have a big loan out on it and it's interest only. My partner is a recovering alcholic/sensitive artist -- and the man hasn't worked much since we met. No, he's not playing me -- for years he'd been suffering the hidden ramifications of multiple pockets of gum disease which was gradually killing him, sapping him of all physical strength to the point where he was virtually immobile. Though I didn't know what was wrong with him, I somehow sensed that there was no point in doing a "tough love" thing. Something was draining him that I didn't understand, though I fought for understanding. After years of this the she-demon who lurks not that far beneath the surface of me was beginning to want blood. My patience begins to wear thin. I'm not perfect, I never wanted to support a GUY and I am so bloody sick of feeling too sick to work and too confused to know what to do. I want divine intervention. I want an angel. I want to be shown the Way -- or at least the way.

Meanwhile all the bills that I have on my credit cards from building the other house -- after 2 1/2 years of faithful payments the banks have raised their minimums, and I can't pay them. It kills me to stop paying my bills -- but it's either them or me. I'm still in such shock from realizing that my money runs out in 3 years and that the money that was supposed to shelter me during my old age ran down the drain in Lake County already 2 years ago. I was so blind so blind. I wanted so badly to prove that I could support myself, and I only ended up undermining my security. god.

BUT After the corruption we have witnessed, the sacking, if you will, of our beloved country by a small handful of ideologues -- I hope that there might be redress for the people who have been so badly hurt by the times. The people in the tent cities springing up in urban areas here and there -- the ever-increasing numbers of homeless people. When I was a child there were still a few men being "hobos" -- riding the rails and living life differently -- but women and children, never! I remember a man came to my Granny's side door one day to ask for a few dollars. Well, she didn't give him that, but she did fix him a sandwich with a glass of milk, and let him work for his meal. I don't recall exactly what she had him do, but I recall that incident as well as I can recall anything these days! And it struck me -- it was such an unusually poignant experience for me that it was burned into my consciousness to this day, some 55 years later.

And now there are cities of such people. Enjoy the moment, Mr. Obama -- we have NO idea where this road is going, how long it's going to take us -- but I for one am utterly grateful to have a person of your temperament at the helm of the Ship of State. You are more Vulcan than Man. I have to laugh, because it is easier for me to believe that an imaginary alien race has penetrated our population with one of their own to lead us through these times than to imagine someone of his inherent maturity is actually human! Now we shall laugh, for indeed I don't mean it, not entirely.