plane tickets and moving again: Replanning
I had been feeling pretty awful, not depressed or anything, just helpless. And I had lost all drive to write. It all stemmed from realizing the helplessness of my situation, that I was doomed to the street and would have to eat out of the garbage or panhandle and beg and that I wasn’t going to find a job because every day out here my clothes get dirtier. That’s what I was down about. I felt I no longer had control, was stuck in this, and this helpless feeling killed all drive to write — that’s how it works. Yesterday I was emailed a plane ticket back home. That changed everything. I didn’t feel proud about having to go back to my parents for help but if I didn’t want to eat out of a garbage, it’s all I had to do. The immediate effect on my mood was stark. As if a black shadow lifted off me I felt myself brighten, excited by the prospect of getting the fuck out of Los Angeles — as much as I love it. The helpless feeling that I’d been mired in washed away and suddenly motivation was driving me again. The only thing — I had to print out the tickets. And I only had one dollar left.
Of course this didn’t go over easily.
I spent an hour and a half in the public library trying to print out the emailed tickets. I had to wait for people to spend 45 minutes on the 15 minute computers, try to get the librarian to show me why nothing was working, argue to get my seventy-five cents back because the printer twice refused to print out a very important section of the email, and finally I gave up, left with half the email printed and only twenty-five cents left in my pocket.
My flight isn’t until Friday morning but I decided I would go today to the airport to work everything out, make sure I’d be able to get on the plane. The walk turned out to be a lot farther than I’d intended (about five miles). GoogleMaps seems to do that a lot to me. But walking lets me sort my head out, and here’s what I came up with:
I’m not proud about taking the easy way out; there’s a part of me that wishes I’d stayed and toughed it out, gotten a job and worked my way back east like I’d planned. But I decided this isn’t the time for that. I need to write, and spending all day looking for jobs and scraps of food isn’t helping. Hitchhiking out to California was absolutely amazing and I in no way regret coming out here when I did. I only wish I’d gone about it differently. What I should’ve done: been a responsible adult for once and actually saved a good amount of money while I was working in Ohio; then, either hitchhiked back east before the money ran out or spent the first week in LA doing nothing but finding a job. What I actually did: blew all my Ohio money on beer and spent the first week in LA writing instead of finding a job. So here’s the new plan: Go back east for the holidays to finish writing The Road Paved With Madness, like I had planned, but this time also finish up the series of short stories. I now get to start all of this a month earlier then planned, which means, come warm weather, I’ll be able to hitchhike back out to LA even sooner in the Spring. After I finish the series and the novel I’ll go back to Ohio, save up GOOD money, then hitchhike back out, immediately get a job washing dishes (not many places hire in the off-season, but come Spring…) and continue to live in the streets. I’m going to go all in, finally. I decided I enjoyed being an ever-filthy vagabond and that is was the being dirt poor broke that got to me, the not-having-food-to-eat. It’s amazing, really, because when you have food hunger is a lot less bearable; when you know you can’t eat you don’t get hungry so often. So, I want to live on the streets but have enough money to eat a little bit each day. So I’m going to work the minimum amount of hours I can. I’m only going to work to eat. Fuck rent. The bushes were free. I want as much time as I can possibly have to write write write and meet other writers and vagabonds and poets alike and wander the streets in a gorgeous daze feeling everything at once with the inside of my chest and only live and write. This is the only way I can see to do that. I’ll work maybe ten hours a week and live and eat and ramble with the wildlife along the sidewalks of Venice. And of course, blog it all.