A Little Shy of the Workhorse

Forget the past. This is the time: Now. The present.

I rely on social security benefits. I have the unpleasant psychotic, disabling disorder of schizophrenia. With equal parts of bipolar disorder to accompany it.

I’m supposed to rely on social security benefits.

I’m used to relying on the government when I don’t have the presence of mind to hold a job. Then the pandemic hit me. I had a panic attack on the floor of my package handling job when the pace of packages started to outweigh how much I could focus on their destinations one at a time. Never mind the next step of this position, the sorting into different state codes. 

On a usual day, it’s easy shit. I made $200-$300 a week on a part time basis. Now I’m sitting in the basement in my sisters house, barely able to afford food and cigarettes for the week. All my social security (apparently I receive the maximum benefit amount) has to go to rent. I’m screwed.

How did this happen?

I told you, I’m used to relying on the government when I’m going mental. I tried going back to work. I tried 3 times to get back in the swing of work. I completed two weeks at a bakery, then quit because everyone thought they were better at my job than I was. I got no slack for being new on the prep line. I then worked up the courage to go back to the local airport with a different company. Turned out they worked for the same contractor as a former employer and there was no way I was going to work in the same terminal hall as the company I willfully walked away from. My third attempt was thwarted by finance regulations when the potential employer, a finance agency, found out I owe on college loans I haven’t been able to afford paying on in years. I should have seen that one coming.

That’s 3 attempts to get back on the workhorse. It’s 3 strikes right? Right now, I’m out of motivation to return to work.

My resume says I’d be great in a warehouse as long as I don’t have to operate a forklift seeing as I still don’t drive. On that tangent, I’ve been trying to visit the local motor vehicle office to find out if my public transit record of riding without a ticket is still holding back my very first license. But if I can’t handle packages without panicking, how in the world am I going to handle traffic, acceleration dynamics, interstates, and god damned pop-up stop signs?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve turned into a scared little boy. Like the world has become more than I have been preparing for it to be. Like me and my girlfriend, the world, have been drifting apart lately. She thinks I’m a twerp and I think she’s actually gotten too fucking heavy.

Right now, I could afford breakfast for this week. Which, sure as you’re born, I’m gonna eat for dinner too. As for cigarettes, it’s a dirty expense. 

Right now, I can claim unemployment benefits on what I earned two jobs ago. I can collect Social Security every first of the month. But maybe cases like mine are the reason jobs haven’t been pounced on once pandemic additions expired. We do want jobs. But I don’t think my mind will let me back on the floor of a warehouse, or on a food prep line, or back at the airport any time soon. I have experience in nothing else. And don’t tell me I can write my way into the middle income class, because I’m going to give you a stiff finger.

My best scenario includes low debt from transit tickets so I can (finally) grab my driver’s license and start driving for the myriad delivery services and cab alternatives that are all the rage right now.

Or, you know, OR, the progressive opinion in Washington D.C. prevails concerning universal monetary safety nets (or whatever they’re called in congress). Who knows, maybe I’m not the only one heavily reliant on government assistance programs.

But if it is that I’m just a scared little boy, and I haven’t got the mojo to stand when the world sends waves to my surfboard, then I’m going to need some training in courage under fire before my walk echoes some sort of bravado the way it did when I was in school.

Aw man, now I miss SCHOOL!!

Be Well.

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