Saturday, April 02, 2005

what they don't tell you

they don't tell you that when you're unemployed, unwillingly unemployed, you will never have a day off. it isn't one big holiday, as it must seem to those who have jobs. there is never a day in which you are not unemployed. there is never a time, a moment, even in your sleep, when you are not aware of the painful fact that you are a useless waste of air.

they don't tell you how it chaffs and burns and stings your pride to rely on others.

they do tell you it won't be easy, but it will happen, and to just keep your head up. they don't tell you how to go about keeping your head up when you've tried and failed, over and over, a hundred times, for a year.

i'm okay.

i'm tired of trying, and i'm tired of failing, and i am hideously aware of everything that i don't have and all the places i'm not going. i haven't given up. there's no point in giving up.

but i don't have to wear a cheerful face. i choke on the mere idea of pretending to be all happy and hopeful. sure. it'll happen. one day. but it hasn't happened yet.

don't worry about me. this is just how i am, how i've always been.


  1. Anonymous3/4/05 15:26

    And I'm sure it's utterly no consolation to know that you express all this so well & so beautifully. Yet, the truth remains, you do.

    Call/email if you need anything.


  2. Anonymous4/4/05 00:11

    When I was where you are (note my walking stick and the sagacity of great age - even though we are only talking a few years ago, when the public service dumped me and I discovered how sick I was) I dumped everything everyone told me about keeping happy. I wrote.

    I also dumped everything everyone told me about how to write - I just did it from wherever the angst was coming from. I didn't write for publication - I wrote because 3 hours writing in a day gave my day structure and emoting on the page meant I could pretend to be human the rest of the time. I suspect that I am going to be acutely embarrassed when I read those sequences in print, later this year, but they were totally good for me at the time.

    It wasn't just unemployment - it was the need to make big decisions about my future. Ick stuff. I like futures to gently unfurl with no effort on my part. When they don't, though, writing helps. Writing for self not audience - very obsessive. Still fiction though. Still keeping up the pretence of being a worthy human being.