Monday, February 10, 2014

That Cold Black Cloud is Comin' Down

     Being me these last five years is a lot like being Job after he was swallowed by the whale and looking for the asshole. No pun intended, it'd be a shitty way to escape the whale's body but at least it would promise an end, some resolution. Right wing lunatics on the internet notwithstanding, I still haven't found that magic asshole.
     To use a less scatological simile, since the winter of 2009 it's as if I've been living under a black cloud with more staying power than the red storm on Jupiter. I've said recently that if you're in your 50's and forced to start all over again and especially if you've been out of a job for years as I have, you're simply the most unemployable person in the country. As far as I'm concerned, every day I remain unemployed is a failure on both my part and the Powers That Be, the out of touch hiring managers who sit behind desks and easily ask during my increasingly rare job interviews, "So, what have you been doing all these years?"
     Things haven't gotten any easier of late. Let me give you the abstracts:
     The week before last, I was stupid enough to loan $150 to a woman whom I thought I knew and whom I considered a friend. The day the money came due, I started hearing the excuses and I haven't heard a peep from them in a week and a half. This required I file a lawsuit in the county small claims court, which cost me $40 (Yeah. I, the victim, have to front the filing fee). I just got my own summons in the mail. The court date has been set for April 8th.
     The problem with that is the money I loaned this family that cynically used their two kids to extract it from me was part of my rent money and I even told them this. Obviously, they don't care. I should get the clerk magistrate to rule in favor of me since I have the evidence I loaned them the money and that they agreed to pay me back on January 30th. But there's no telling when the guy will actually pay up or how much time the magistrate will give him. That money's gone until I have to use the full force of the law to get it back. And, as just stated, if and when I'm finally repaid, it'll be past the point when April's rent is due.
     Obviously, I'm not loaning anyone money ever again. And the only reason I did this for these people is because the wife kept asking me for help and saying she'd have to hock her belongings so she could feed her kids. Her husband, who's gainfully employed and has insurance for the whole family, is depending on me, one of the poorest guys in town and on public assistance, to feed his own kids and pay the $100 in co-pays for his wife's medicine because he's such a hillbilly grifter. But that's beside the point.
     The point is, due to my soft spot for kids, even those that aren't my own, I partly got us into a mess from which we need help getting extricated. Adding to our woes is the fact that I still owe the IRS and state DOR $800 in back taxes from FY 2009 because I never seem to have enough funds to justify paying them off. The registration is due to be renewed by the end of the month and by then the annual excise tax is also due (That's $100 right there). Plus, my 16 year-old car is acting wonky and cutting out on me so we may be looking at a repair bill in the future. And things haven't been made any easier for us since Congress allowed to let the ARRA lapse, costing us part of our SNAP benefits that we need to keep body and soul together.
     Mrs. JP and I desperately need your help. Since the first draft of my novel is finished, I can free up some time for daily blogging to justify any remuneration that may come our way. In fact, I was creating comic strips all day yesterday and have put them in the can so even if I don't write anything until Sunday, a new strip at least will appear once a day for nearly a week both here and at Brilliant at Breakfast, where I'm trying to keep Jill's place somewhat updated with exclusives while she endures her own recent misfortunes.
     So if you could please see your way toward helping us even in the slightest, we'd be immensely grateful. Thanks in advance.

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