July 12, 2009

Slowly Trying to Regroup

I would apologize for my absence, but the last several weeks have been very terrible. During such periods, my primary concern is simply surviving. At these times, much as I continue to think about the issues that most concern me, and much as I write and rewrite many essays in my mind, sitting down at the computer and putting together a difficult article is a task that is far beyond my capabilities.

I thought of calling 911 again four or five times during the last month. But after my last experience (which, as you may recall, resulted in $15,000 worth of bills for less than 24 hours in the hospital and a number of tests, but nothing of a more major character), and since our "health care" system has no interest whatsoever in providing me with ongoing care of any kind, I decided against it. Whatever emergency was involved wasn't that bad. True, I would sometimes lie down to rest for an hour or two, only to wake up seven or eight hours later, feeling as if I had been heavily drugged and unable to wake up fully for a very long time. As far as my writing is concerned, it's no help to have a fairly crummy computer and a tedious, very slow dialup connection. It's one thing to wait a minute or two for a page to load (and that happens with most pages now, since almost every site has tons of stuff on every page which takes forever to load with a dialup; in this way, among many others, those of us who are down and out are pushed still further down and out -- I don't think many of you with fast connections appreciate just what a luxury that is for those of us not so fortunate); it's another thing entirely to wait for a page to load while feeling very uncomfortable intestinal pain, or experiencing the slow leakage of shit and blood from your ass into the mass of toilet paper crammed in your underpants.

I include that last detail -- and there are a number of similar details I could provide, but won't -- because I also think most of you have no idea at all what people who are very poor and have no access to health care go through. Slowly rotting and sometimes very painful teeth, eyesight that gets worse and worse (occasionally making it close to impossible for me to read books, and books remain my major source of information and pleasure, when I'm able to read them), ongoing heart and circulatory problems, and, yes, shit and blood leakage...but, hey, none of it is an emergency, right? It's not as if I'm going to die in the next ten minutes. (Well, probably not. And hey, not to worry. There's not that much blood, and it doesn't happen that often. The shit is sometimes another story.) I concluded quite a long time ago that I simply couldn't trust most mainstream writers, or most bloggers either (certainly, none of the "leading" bloggers), on anything relating to their alleged concern for helping those "less fortunate," for the overriding reason that they don't know what the hell they're talking about. Mainstream writers and "leading" bloggers enjoy lives of immense privilege and comfort, even in these awful economic times, and they don't even seem to be aware of that central fact. So basically, to hell with them.

For the moment, however, things are not as bad as they've been recently. Just this morning, I've begun pulling together the next installments of my tribalism series. I'm determined to write at least ten further articles in that series if it's at all possible, because I'm very much aware that no one else will do it. I dearly wish that a few other writers were interested in those issues, but they're not, certainly not to the extent that they will discuss them in anything close to a systematic manner. It thus appears to me that if I don't do it, no one will. I also want to complete the "Against Prosecution" series of pieces, since those issues are surfacing again. And it also seems to me that very few people understood what my argument was or where it was leading. Although others are addressing elements of what I regard as most important on this subject, no one is analyzing the overall framework in the way I think is required. In part, that's because the "Against Prosecution" series intersects at a number of points with issues that I still have to examine in more detail in the tribalism series. I at least want to begin to trace those connections and indicate those avenues needing more exploration.

So I'll begin that effort this coming week. Given my circumstances (now made worse by the Los Angeles summer heat, made more unpleasant by my second-floor unairconditioned apartment, "cooled" only by a few fans), the work will be slow. I hope to publish new posts several times a week; perhaps I'll be able to do better for a few days at a time, but sometimes it may take longer. I ask for your patience.

And I'm about to face (again) a choice between food and heart medication. I've eaten through almost all the food I had stored up; in the last week, I've been forced to eat the contents of a few cans of food that had been pushed to the backs of some kitchen shelves. They were very old; perhaps the recent intestinal unpleasantness was the result of something that shouldn't have been eaten. But those particular problems have periodically gone on for a long time now, so possibly tainted food can't be the entire explanation. Eating healthy foods, which would be a good idea given the heart problems, is pretty much beyond my means for good now. Last week, I spent most of a donation from a regular contributor on cat food. (Many thanks to K.R. and to the few others who make donations on a regular basis, as well as to all those who help keep me going.) First things first. It's one thing for me to fade away, slowly or perhaps more quickly, but I can't allow the same to happen to my two feline companions. If I were truly responsible, I would try to find them good new homes right now. That undoubtedly has been true for some time. But I admit that I can't bear to think of life without them. The dilemma haunts me every day.

In any event, at this point I'm only asking for a few hundred dollars in donations. That will get me through the next week or two in terms of food and medicine. I hope and plan to get some writing done in that time. If I'm unable to do it at all, then I'll have to reconsider all of this all over again. And it may be time to draw this unhappy, perhaps pointlessly dragged out chapter of my life to a close.

But I'm not quite there yet. Getting closer, to be sure, but not yet quite there. I realize that money isn't easily available to most people right now, so a few donations in any amount at all would be greatly appreciated. And we'll see how the writing goes. Let's hope that next week at this time some new posts will have appeared. Of course, I don't help myself much by trying to write about subjects and issues that are often very complicated and demanding. I can only say that narrower, more superficial topics don't hold much interest for me at this point. Nonetheless, I may try to throw a few brief, simpler posts into the mix. Perhaps even an amusing item or two.

Now, I need to take a shower, to clean up and cool down, however briefly. Then I'll try to get some further work done, if I'm not overcome by my need for more coma-like sleep. My grateful thanks as always for your patience and understanding.