June 25, 2007

Trouble Right Here in River City

I can only conclude that I must have angered the gods. Other than the fact that I don't believe in them, I can't imagine how. This has been a horrible year so far, and it's not getting much better. The death of my landlady, Trudy, who was also a friend, followed by the death of my sister (both occurring only a very short time after diagnosis), followed by a series of illnesses of my own (on top of my generally poor and worsening health), blahblahblah. All a bit much.

And now. Well. Amazon still hasn't deposited the $403.89 into my bank account. It would appear that they can't figure out exactly what happened to this transfer, whether it occurred at all and if it did, where it went, etc., etc. I begin to wonder if I will ever see that money. If you made a donation in the week or two prior to May 6 (when the transfer was supposedly initiated), I don't know what to say -- other than that I'm terribly sorry. I've done everything I can think of on my own, including getting the Better Business Bureau involved. (The BBB's involvement hasn't helped at all, I regret to note.) I would ask for the kind pro bono assistance of some lawyer out there, but I doubt even that would help. I think it's fairly likely the money will turn up eventually, but who knows when.

On top of that, on Saturday I got a bill from the new property management company for my apartment building. They claim I owe them $360 for part of my February rent that wasn't paid. I know they're wrong, but I strongly doubt I'll be able to convince them on that point. I also know how it happened. The whole story is long and complicated. The short version is this: for various reasons, I paid Trudy $400 in cash during the second week of December. I had learned to always get receipts for cash payments from Trudy and her husband -- but Ed wasn't around when I made that payment, and Trudy was dying. Getting a receipt wasn't a high priority at that particular moment. As things turned out, $360 of that $400 was supposed to be credited to my February rent. After Trudy's death in early January, the young man who was the on-site manager for a couple of months told me he would make sure my account was properly credited. He had seen the envelope with the $400 in cash in it, so he knew I had made that payment. I assumed everything was fine -- especially since I hadn't heard a word about it. Until now.

But that young man who knew of the payment is long gone. Obviously, the credit was never properly recorded. I'll probably never be able to straighten it out now. I'll certainly try, but I'm not hopeful. The Amazon transfer would cover the amount the management company claims I owe, but...well, there you go.

And in a week, July rent is due. And I'm down to my last couple of hundred dollars.

Trouble, with a capital T. So once again, I'm reduced to begging. Long humiliating version here. Short version here. I'm sorry my writing has been so sporadic over the last ten days or so, but I've felt very rotten physically, especially last week. Thankfully, I'm better now -- and the posts yesterday indicate that I'm beginning to get my stride back. I'm in the midst of a number of essays -- about a certain approach to political analysis that involves a number of complex issues, about the numerous mythologies of war (including an extended discussion concerning the very dangerous ideas in Saving Private Ryan, which I watched again this past weekend in preparation for those essays and which is even worse than I had remembered), five or six further installments of the "Dominion Over the World" series, and much else. One or two articles will be posted later today.

I would have preferred to wait until later in the week to ask for donations, and until after I had posted more new pieces. But my anxiety overcame me, so I decided to post this now. And depending on how this goes, I may have to devote the latter part of this week to selling a bunch of books and CDs. As always, I am tremendously grateful to all of you who have been so wonderfully generous about helping to keep me going. Words cannot convey my thanks sufficiently. And I trust I will be able to provide you with a lot of hopefully interesting and provocative work in the next couple of months. I haven't restored the Amazon donation link for obvious reasons, but the PayPal link is still there in the upper right.

My anxiety seems to have transferred itself to one of my cats, my beloved Cyrano. Actually, he's just having an unusually nasty hairball problem. (Hey, it's not my fault! I give him Petromalt regularly, which he loves. :>) But I suppose I could brush him more...) He's already thrown up five times this morning, very messily each time. All in all, another wonderful day in the neighborhood.

My deep thanks again to all of you who are so remarkably kind.