THE DIRT

Ive been putting this off for a little while. I still haven’t gotten the final check from my insurance company, though, so I really haven’t put it off for that long. This is the retelling of my latest ‘adventure’ in life, the misery of making moves away from misery, the eternal struggle I will apparantly never get away from, to achieve stasis for any amount of time…for footing.
I had walked away from a shitty job at Fred Meyer that was making me more and more depressed. There was no growth and no future there and I knew it, but it took a while for me to get out of there. Once I did I had to re-set the conditioning of working 3rd shift for 2 years, missing out on life in a town and place that lives in twilight most of the year anyways. I didn’t walk away from the coast without trying to get a job at a few places I liked, but it turns out I fucked myself there long before and it took them three or four weeks to actually respond to a resume and application. I wasted time because I was almost comfortable, if bored and borderline miserable, but I had been there for a few years and everything was hunky-dory for the most part.
ANYWAYS it’s probably better I got the fuck out of the twilight, mostly, except I lost almost everything in the prrocess. This is that story, and the continuing aftermath of my decision to move back into Portland. There’s a lot going on here so grab a snak and a beer and get comfy.

HUH?
Once I decided to move back into the modern world from the coast I had to get sorted out. I had spent way too long clawing my way back to the surface and was indecisive about moving at first, but I had an insistent friend who was willing to loan me some cash to bridge the gap and make it work. I took all of 2 days to get an interview for a delivery gig that I’d done before and spent 2 weeks living out of my truck and a friends’ rented shop space in Portland that has the very bare basics: running water, a toilet and a sink, electricity, and internet. I’m mostly interested in the internet but I’ll take a place to sit and shit any morning. I’ve been homeless before without a giant mobile command post to live out of, so 2 weeks of sleeping in my Excursion was more a sacrifice I could live with. A soon as I knew when I’d get paid and everything was looking good, I found a private pad to park my trailer, which I’d left in Astoria at the space I’d rented for more than 2 years.
I won’t bore you with all of the details but it was looking pretty fucking good, from where I was. I had got a raise and was doing something I liked with what appeared to be a decent company, and I had an excuse to go to the gym again (showers) and work out and I felt like I was FINALLY going to get free of the darkness that has constantly surround me my entire life. I was feeling good, for once. I probably smiled at some point, which is what sealed my fate. I had direction and plans and I wasn’t just stewing in my past failures and regrets and all that dumb shit.
On the day of the move everything was chill. I had new tires on the trailer and everything was stowed away and my truck was hitched and I left right on schedule. For once I knew where I was going with the trailer, I had never before moved with an actual destination. It was barely a 3 hour drive, and I’d scouted everything out beforehand. I said goodbye to my neighbors at the rv park (after a few drinks the night before) and put some tunes on. Before I left Astoria, I stopped one last time to check my lug nuts and buy some fresh roasted coffee. The sun was shining, everything was going to plan, I was a fucking idiot about to get kicked in the dick.
25 minutes later all of my possessions were sprawled along 100 feet of ditch, my trailer having gotten sideways, collapsed, and then drug over all the things I valued enough to keep in a 25’ RV. It happened so fast I could only sit, stunned, facing the way I had come as the dust covered everything and the disaster of my life unfolded before my eyes. I couldn’t believe it for a second. My literal worst nightmare was coming true on the day I had finally thought I might be on the right track. I (thought I) had done all the things right but in the moment, maybe I had gone too fast down that hill. Maybe I should have strapped my motorcycles over the axles of the trailer. Maybe I had added weight to the back. Maybe maybe maybe.
All in one concentrated moment, all at once, all of the maybes came to a conclusion and both of my motorcycles were laying upside down in the ditch. My kitchen’s contents were soaking in the small amount of blackwater that had remained in my tanks, so several weeks of food were literally covered in liquified shit. NBD, really, when you think about it, because the rest of my kitchen was destroyed. It’s hard to describe what happened, but the result is basically all the walls collapsed and then the weight of the trailer frame went over the collapsed walls, with all of my things in between the walls. All happening at maybe 40mph, Idk how fast I was going when it all went down but it was fast.
My cherished pint glasss collection was obliterated. I think I picked up maybe 4 that weren’t smashed. All the dumb shit in my kitchen drawers, I can’t even remember. My clothes were everywhere, my blankets and bedding, my electronics, all of it was just mixed together in between two walls covered in gritty ass roadside dirt. Nothing went without getting scratched, smashed, or bent. And it was all just sitting there in a long spread out pile on the side of the fucking 2-lane highway on a Sunday afternoon, my life destroyed in seconds as hundreds of people drove past without even slowing down. Well, some slowed down and had some shit to say, honestly wtf is wrong with people today?
A few things…first, I was lucky that nobody else got caught up in my shitty-ass day/life. Once the trailer started fishtailing as I went down a hill with a slight curve and very uneven surface, I knew I was fucked. It happened so fast I couldn’t get my hand on the trailer brake until it was already starting to rock. At that point I knew any overcorrection at the wheel or on the brake would be bad, all I could do was aim for the shoulder and hope for the best. The trailer had worked up so much momentum by that point that it’s final swing to the right took it into the ditch, with the tail end catching on the embankment as it tried to overtake my truck, siding sideways. That’s when (I think) that cabin basically tore itself loose, fell forward, past the frame and into the ditch, and then was crushed as the frame continued to pull the rear of my truck around back towards the way I’d come. For a second I was sure my truck was going over too. A small part of me hoped for the end because I knew if this shit was happeneing it wasn’t something I wanted to go through. Well…fuck me, I guess, because it happened and I’m still here.
There was literally nobody else around to see it. And my truck only sustained a small dent near the passenger rear door. My disaster happened in the ditch, so I was allowed to retrieve my busted-ass shit while a man with an excavator picked up what had been my home and stacked it like plywood on the frame. I had just bought food and filled my fridge and freezer (basically both the same but it doesn’t matter now). Many small parts of the valvetrain for my ’83 kawasaki, a long-neglected project of mine, dissappeared in the blackberrrys that line the highway with like 1 inch thorns.
My plans for a new chapter in Portland evaporated like the propane I had just bought, as it escaped from the punctured tank. There are moments when I consider the fact that perhaps that tank could have exploded, and spared me from living through homelessness once again. I am tired and worn out from struggling my entire life to get through this shit. I fight with myself before I leave – ha, I mean left, the house before. Because depression and anxiety and some other things that manifest, because we live in a society that I find to be less than ideal for my needs. I had worked hard to get out of the funk and once again I have been rewarded with my worst fears coming true in a very literal way. I have lost my biggest, more important asset, and the security of all my things is in question. I don’t have a lot, and what’s left has all been damaged, but it’s my shit.
It is now more than two months later, and I’m still waiting for my insurance to pay out because I didn’t have the title in my name for dumb reasons I wont go into – nevermind, I was lazy and then covid hit and I couldn’t get it done, and when I could have, I had mostly forgotten about it. I cannot afford the cost of housing in Portland as it stands. The rate I was going to pay for the private pad in a private lot with electricity and water/sewer was more than I had been while in Astoria but acceptable for PDX. $750 a month……there are no comparable rentals, rooms or anything else at that rate anywhere near where I need to be in this town. Without my trailer I am left with options I do not prefer.
I am still working 45 hours a week, and the company I work for has extended…the nominal amount of concern and care I could hope for. I was invited to stay with a coworker for the first two weeks immediately after my disaster, but it was indeed temporary. One small issue has been the fact that I get paid monthly – lthough they’ve offered to give me an advance, I neeeded to know what my actual income would be so I waited for my actual paycheck…today.
When your boss asks if you’ve found a place yet, and they should remember you get paid once a month… it is stressful to pretend, sometimes, that you’re not annoyed by the questions from someone who could absolutely afford to find almost any housing they desired almost immediately. And they sign your check, once a month. They are surely just trying to extend the courtesy of asking and I can’t be mad at that, I am just frustrated and tired and worn the fuck out and I’m too fucking proud and stubborn to ask for any help so I have to be angry at people who don’t realize I need help but can’t ask for it. Let me know if that makes any sense because it doesn’t but that’s the reality of things when you’re always on the brink of another disaster and nothing ever seems to go your way even when you’re trying your hardest to make things different. I don’t want to ask for money from my friends or family because just one slip at this point will put me in an even worse position and I can’t be owing people shit while my life crumbles around me once again.
If you’ve made it this far, I hope you don’t get the wrong impression. I’m hanging on, I guess but just barely. I want help but not enough to ask for it, I know I’ll get through this shit like I have everything else with almost no assist from the outside world. I make too much money to qualify for any sort of real government aid, and I know the damn title is in the mail in the next two weeks or so – which corresponds almost exactly to the last time I got an insurance payout, the one I bought the trailer with, 4 years ago. I can afford to live wherever I want, if I wanted to spend half my income on a snazzy apartment I could do so. But I could not then enjoy the relaxed lifestyle I have become used to while living in my own goddamn property with all my things in a nice little bubble of my own private hell.
I find living with most other humans to be a dicey proposition at best, and hesitate at renting a room or even sharing a wall with someone else, whom I cannot control and whom will almost certainly find some way to annoy the absolute fuck out me in a a daily basis. I am not joking when I say that the universe will find a way to fuck with me if I am not in control of most of my near surroundings, and even then I have a frustrating relationship with the world and my things, all formerly enclosed in a nice little mobile shell.

It has been more than two months since I worked on any of the other projects I wanted to be doing now. Today. I wanted to have multiple videos posted, and have our other projects off the ground already. Instead I’m left sullen and angry, unable to really focus on anything but my own tenuous mental state, fueled as it is by cannabis and alcohol of all different kinds. I have no other obvious way to spend my time but at a tap room or brewery, and that sounds stupid when I also say Im homeless but I have nowhere to cook my food or really spend hours of my time without disrupting someone else’s bullshit personal space. Other people don’t really get it. I’m trying hard to be a ghost in my truck, but still people bitch about my very existence because it’s a slight, temporary, passing disruption in their kingdom.
Fresh hop season is in full swing and I haven’t put together a post. Octoberfest has gone and I haven’t written a damn thing. There are so many things I wanted to write about but when the time came I couldn’t overcome the inertia and anxiety just roiliuung underneath the processes I use to get through the day. I spent 4 hours this morning in a state of deadlock, unable to decide on what to do with my time today. I have no pull in any direction now. I can wake up anywhere, go anywhere, stay anywhere, in my truck. There are no defined pathways for me to navigate. People take it for granted that having a home gives you a destination for when everything else in the world has you too fucking tired to cope. At the end of your work day, it’s fun to go out and have a drink or whatever but the real joy is rushing back to the casa to smoke a bowl of fine weed and crack open a beer from your favorite brewery while you watch the most recent swords and blood mega show.
Sounds like glorious freedom, though, doesn’t it? Nuh….no. I am overwhelmed with things I could and should be doing but I don’t have any clear starting point. No anchor. This right here is more than I’ve gotten out at once in months, and it’s not great is it? I need to be in a certain mood or space to write, it can’t be forced. I haven’t flown my quadcopters since I left Astoria, and I was hoping to have several more, larger versions in my fleet by now, but I don’t have the structure to know I can work on them and take the time to program them and do all the fun shit that it takes to have a complicated hobby like FPV drones. Or my R/C cars. Or the videos I was going to make for this here beer blog. And the videos for the automotive blog that has been permanently shelved at this point.

I’m going to take this moment to tell you people to take your fucking masks off when you’re walking around outdoors, especially by yourself. Seriously you guys it’s been long enough if you haven’t learned this shit by now maybe you should all stay home…

Ahh there’s that bitterness I’ve tried to get rid of coming back in full force. Although I have to say, the way people treat(ed) masks during…and during covid speaks a lot about the human condition. Or the American one, which is certainly a form of mild bi-polar schism mixed with general anxiety disorder. The basic processing of “when do I need a mask? When I’m around other people. And only then, really” happened for me on the first days of this shit, but we haven’t given the masses the cognitive tools, apparently, to work through all the related operational stuff, like when a mask is needed. ONLY WHEN YOU’RE AROUND OTHER PEOPLE.
Coders should know this, it’s a basic condition, an if/and/or sort of processing gateway. Not around other people? TAKE YOUR MASK OFF. I mean I really don’t care because it doesn’t affect me but it always gets me thinking about the people that I see every day. And then I do care because I come to the conclusion that we’re a stupid fucking species, or most of us are, and I’m suffering while so many of these other people are doing quite well for themselves, all things considered (they have, for instance, a home, and probably things, and often, I see, nice cars with features they don’t use like CRUISE CONTROL oooops sorrry that’s for the auto blog that we never started my bad).

I’m sitting here drinking my dumb expensive beer yeah, avoiding buying food at these places because holy shit $15 grilled cheese yep k…but it’s only because I don’t have anywhere else to go. Really, truly and honestly, I am adriift in this world. If someone would be so kind as to throw me a line? I mean, maybe not, sometimes I wonder, no joke, but the alternative is to keep living out of my truck. I don’t know how to ask for help and this is about as close as it gets. I expect nothing and absolutely pay/earn my keep and always have. I just have shit-ass luck or I’m damned idk give me a chance to wreck your life and find out. Forget that last part it’s the self-destructive depression speaking up I need to talk to someone about that….

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