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Saturday, June 04, 2005

ZEN AND THE ART OF AVOIDING CRACK-WACKED BUMS

So, today I focused on just unwinding and channeling as much positive energy back into my being as possible. A sort of soul recharge. I walked all over this beautiful city listening to beautiful music on my headset and thought only of the things that bring me happiness and peace. As it has been for well over a week, the weather was perfection. But, I had decided that I would end my day of zen maintenance with a viewing of the new (or, at least new to the US) French film featuring Catherine Deneuve. It is playing at The Lumiere Cinema which is located on corner of California and Polk Streets --- not exactly the best area in the city, but far from the worst.

As I approached the cinema, I was lost in the beautiful music of Ryuichi Sakamoto and I very nearly walked right into a dazed and confused bum. I only prevented a collision because my harmonious moment was ruined by the stench of body odor mixed with vomit. Pretty. The funny thing was I moved just in time and he fell forward, landing on the pavement to my right. Going with the old "Smiling and Waving Philosophy" --- I just kept moving. To make it all the more odd, I then saw a zombie like man in a worn out business suit wavering toward me with his hand extended. His base of his little pipe was visible as it was poking from out of his suit jacket pocket. He may have been speaking to me -- he, too, had the scent of something not nice. So, it was as if we did this little crack inspired ballet as we danced around each other. He, moving to rattled tune of his ravished brain and, I, to the score of "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" ---- I managed to pass him without having to have any part of me touch him, but then almost tripped over some sad bag of flesh lying on the pavement. I think it was a woman. She was alive as she had her arms raised and she was making some sort of artistic movement which she watched in amazement.

I stopped. And, I looked at this little trio. One lying flat on his face (no joke), the other stumbling about with his arms reaching for something and a painfully thin woman lying on her back tracing clouds with her dirty hands. I had pressed "pause" on my music. I watched as others just walked around them -- also avoiding any contact, but seemingly oblivious to it all as these "normal" San Francisco pedestrians were totally unphased and were talking to eachother or listening to their music --- as this insanity was happening. I took note of exactly where I was standing. I was headed toward the intersection of California and Polk, but was standing near an alley sort of street named after Alice B. Tolkas (sp?) and California Street. Somehow this seemed fitting.

I could not decide who was more sad -- those of us dancing around this miserable and devestated souls -- or these sad crack additcted souls themselves. Maybe all of us were equally sad in our own ways. They, lost to the horrors of a cheap drug and, us, lost to the pettiness of our own little worlds and problems.

Oh, well. I pressed "pause" and continued my walk to the cinema. The movie was called "KINGS AND QUEEN" and I didn't understand it at all. Catherine Deneuve was in maybe 10 minutes of the 3 hour film, but I found the ideas the characters discussed to be of interest.

I left and returned to the empty house. (Alan is back tomorrow night! Yay!) and spoke on the phone with Ming for a while. Then I fell asleep. And, am now about to take a shower. Tomorrow, I am going into Berkely and hanging out with Ming for the day. He has made significant headway with his disertation and won a battle with his committee chair -- so we must celebrate!

I am not going to sell my PC. Everyone seems to think it a bad idea. I guess I will call T-Mobile on Monday and beg to be placed on some sort of installment plan or granted an additonal 30 days to pay last months horrific bill. ...they are aware that I screwed up in selecting a plan. So, maybe I won't lose the phone. I am not paying any of the bill at this point because I need to hang on to the money I have for the basics. UPS is sending me 3 checks which total over $2K, but I've no way of knowing when they will arrive -- they were cut last week, but were mailed from California back to Cambridge, MA (to the UPS store that sent my stuff here) --- for the store to send to me back in California. Efficiency at its very best!!!! Jesus! Anyway, the guy at the UPS store in Cambridge told me he will send them to me as soon as he gets them. He didn't have them yet as of yesterday at 5pm EST. Then, if I am unable to cash them, they will have to sit at my bank for 5 to 7 business days to clear for access in my checking account.

I know it will all work out, but can I just say that the past year has been the most fucked up on record pour moi! And, as some of you know, I've had my share of fucked up years! LOL!

Oh well. Lessons learned. I put too much trust in the wrong person, my HMO almost killed me -- putting me out of work for far too long, my employer's legal department screwed me over, the HMO and my employer refused to release me to return to work which eventually forced me to have to quit (probably for the best in the long run) and I never thought securing temp or part time work would be hard. ...I was wrong on all counts. However, I've got some of the best friends on the planet, a couple of lawyers who are ready to sue if I decide to let them and I've go my health. Plus I've got job interviews next week. And, I guess it is better to be the person dodging crack addicts than to be the crack addict. Tho, shouldn't we be doing something to help them???

It is going to work out. But, what a major pain in my fat ass! Tho, it is getting thinner!

Sigh. In with love and out with anger!

4 Comments:

Anonymous thomas said...

life is all about perspective, sweetie.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

Matt, that was really well written about the 3 people and your musical score... I know exactly what you're talking about.

Now what is this "If you decide to let them sue" business? Your HMO almost kills you, your longtime employer screws you over, balls to the wall - - let them sue. I'm not a litigious person by nature but for crying out loud. Sometimes people and corporations should be held accountable for their unconscienable behavior.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

You're a fighter Matt. It's tuff right now but eventually this will be all behind you. You'll get a new job soon and you'll have all this experience to gain.

Hang in there my friend!

7:11 AM  
Blogger Miss Marisol said...

That was a wonderful vignette about the crack addicts. I have incidents like that when I am walking in the city and I often stop to observe how the rest of the world reacts.

It's amazing how we manage to assess people like that so quickly and put on a stoic dissaffection in passing. But, of course, it comes back to us in memory. It puts our own life into perspective -- as you have shown us.

I know something will work out soon, darling.

7:08 PM  

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