May 31, 2017

No Title

A few days ago, we acknowledged yet another Memorial Day. In connection with that tragic and deeply regrettable tradition, I can refer you to two essays of mine which I would rank among my best efforts. There is "Against Annihilation of the Spirit: Let Us All Become Cowards ," from ten years ago. It is awful to note that, with regard to its major themes, that essay is as timely today as it was in 2007. More recently, there is "If You Love Martyrs So Much, Then You Be One."

The second article wasn't written on the occasion of Memorial Day, but it deals with many of the same issues. It also expands on the discussion of The Americanization of Emily included in the "Cowards" piece. The major impetus for the "Martyrs" article was my fury at the reaction of many of Chelsea Manning's "supporters" to her "apology." I felt it vitally important to explain to Manning's critics how profoundly, horribly wrong they were -- and to refocus the commentary about Manning on the genuine, unique nobility of her actions. I wrote that piece shortly before Manning announced her chosen identity, and her new name. So my essay refers to "Bradley Manning" and "he"; that's the way I originally wrote it, so I've left it that way, for now at least.

Briefly looking over those two articles, I'm reminded -- and am arrogant enough to state -- that I've done some remarkably good and demanding work here. I would love nothing more than to be able to do more work of that kind, or work even half as good. Every week, and usually four or five times a week, I try to get some work done. Life, and the serious problems that sometimes attend it, continue to get in the way.

Sasha and I are both struggling right now, somewhat desperately much of the time. We're both in very bad shape. We spend most of our time sleeping and resting, conserving our strength, as close to non-existent as it is at the moment. Neither of us eats nearly enough; when you're very sick, food is astonishingly unappealing.

I've been briefly jolted out of my semi-comatose state by the realization that the end of the month has arrived, still one more time. Then I was struck by terror, when I realized that I'm close to completely broke. I had a small cushion -- but one more trip to the vet for Sasha and some medication for her took care of that. So, yes, almost completely broke.

So I have almost nothing for rent and several other monthly bills that will be due in the next week, including the one for internet service. Since I have no other source of income, I must ask for donations yet again. I'm deeply sorry I have no new writing to offer you -- but I still have hope that I will, preferably in the near future. I continue to be infuriated that I see no one making certain arguments about the Reign of Trump and, significantly, the reactions to Trump (notably by many "dissenting" writers) that I view as of singular significance. So there is a voice calling to me to fill the void that I perceive.

I've mentioned before that I have a primal fear of homelessness. If I'm unable to pay the rent by Monday of next week, very, very bad trouble will ensue. If I were to be evicted ... well, I don't see any future for me of any kind after that. If you are able to make a donation, I will once more be deeply in your debt and forever grateful. Since I've barely been able to function at all this past month, I've been unable to send more thank you notes to donors. I will try to get back to that very soon, but please understand that I'm only able to work at the computer for an hour or two at a time -- and even then, I can do very little at the moment. But this can't last forever. Right? Right?! Dear God, let this misery lift from this very sad home.

Thank you for reading and for your kindness. Please send some good thoughts our way. Now, Sasha and I will return to bed, to cuddle and to comfort each other.

May 01, 2017

Among the Worst of Times

I'm sorry for the lack of writing over the last month. It's been a horrible time and, unfortunately, the horrible time continues. I'd forgotten how emotionally draining and time-consuming it is to take care of an ailing cat. (Of course, I remember in general all too well how exhausting and awful tending a dying cat is -- but once past the event, many of the specific details fade from memory. And I'd forgotten just how exhausting it is. Then, too, there are times when I collapse sobbing. Grief is profoundly tiring.) And then, with all my own rotten health problems on top of that, well ...

Sasha and I have a birthday this Friday, May 5. It's my actual birthday; Sasha's origins remain a mystery -- since I have no idea when she was born, when she came to live here I decided we'd share a birthday together. In recent weeks, I hadn't been at all sure we would both make it to the 5th this year -- I think now that we will, although I doubt the current situation can go on much longer after that.

God, that's all horribly depressing. It's what's happening here. I still desperately want to get back to writing. I'm forever making notes, and I try to do some actual writing every day. It's almost impossible at the moment to have the kind of sustained, uninterrupted time I need to get anywhere. Sasha needs something; I have to lie down for a while; sometimes Sasha and I need some cuddling time. I'll keep trying; hopefully, some day soon, I'll break through.

It's the first of the month again; once again, sad to say, I'm about $500 short of what I need for the first half of the month bills. And I should pay the rent by Friday of this week if it's not going to be late; if the rent were late, much unpleasantness would follow. I would be deeply grateful for any contributions readers care to make to our efforts to survive this very, very bad time.

I am actually sending out thank you notes. I'll get to everyone eventually; please be patient if you haven't received a note from me yet. These days, everything takes me far longer than I anticipate. Getting old and sick genuinely sucks. I recommend that you avoid it as long as possible.

As always, many thanks for reading -- and all my gratitude for your many kindnesses.