Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meanwhile, in another part of town...

Stygian Skivvies Journal, June 7th, 2009, 9:34 AM.

I checked with my sources. It's ironic that the person who'd heard something was the deaf woman I knew. She has friends. They saw the stolen underwear recently. But they had no idea who to report to, and so it vanished, along with the scum that scatter like cockroaches when the kitchen lights come on. What kind of a "superhero" am I when underwear can elude me?

Ummm...Right. Shut up, you.

Another package filled with affection from a friend arrived yesterday. Crammed inside were two pairs of shorts, two pairs of jeans, and four tee shirts. Add this to the jeans, tee shirts, underwear, and socks I bought on Thursday, and I actually have a week's worth of cloths again!

And what should come AFTER all of this is done, but news that someone saw a stack of clothing on Friday in the laundry room. According to the witness, the pile consisted of a pair of jeans and a lot of underwear.

But was it mine?

We'll never know. The reason we'll never know is because after over six months of complaints to the office, they finally sent repair crews to fix all of the broken washers and dryers. Scattered around the entire room were machine parts, and not a stitch of clothing to be seen. Besides, according to the witness, (a friend of my deaf neighbor), none of the socks or tee shirts were left. This morning, the laundry room is back in order, with no sign of that mysterious, nomadic pile of clothes. The chance to reclaim anything is now gone.

That figures.

Meanwhile, on the financial front, someone whom I will call "Kenny" sent me $25 via PayPal. (This reminds me of funny things, but I will speak of that later.) Another person, actually just under the age of 18, offered to send money. This second person...I told them the $25 would give me a grand total of $70 in my account. I was wrong. It would actually give me $57. I was prepared to stand on my high horse and say, "No one under 18 is allowed to send me money." But then it occurred to me that I'm in a REALLY bad way. I partially caved and said, "Talk to your parents. If they say it's okay, then you can help. If not...well, the hugs you offered will have to do."

But this gives me an idea. You see, if I don't need stacks of money from everyone. Oh, it would be very nice, but it's not what I actually NEED. To face this month, if a lot of people would send a little bit, then I would be well out of the red. So let's say 10 people sent me $20 to $25 each. That's $200 to $250 for the month, which would be perfect. It should be perfect, anyway. What's more, it's a lot less painful on those who want to give.

I feel the need to stress my immediate problem. Money has already been spent. Money that I can't get back. It's nice that TVT wants to get a "diabetic sock drive" going, but I already bought a package of 10 pairs of socks that has already been opened. Diabetic socks, while very nice, are a luxury for me. What I need is the money to now survive the month. So, once again, my e-mail is You can reach me there, or at GitP, and I will send what you need to know to help.

G-d...I've never been on such a "gimme" campaign so willingly. Yes, I am ashamed.

Oh...Before I forget the amusing "Kenny Tale." My time on City of Heroes is occasionally spent on a raid against the biggest, nastiest monster in the game. I've mentioned it before. Its name is Hamidon. One of the regulars is a character whom I'll call "the Scarlet Something." She's a healer type, and is usually deep inside where all the action is taking place. This presents a bit of a problem, as she, herself, has few HP and almost no defenses, and the entire zone is filled with giant monsters that can one-shot even some of the toughest characters. Thus, the Scarlet Something is often dead as the fighting goes on.

We've taken to calling her "the Scarlet Kenny." The rest of us take turns shouting, "Oh my G-d! They killed Scarlet Kenny!" This is usually followed by someone else shouting, "Those bastards!" It's an old joke that somehow remains fresh, especially when, at the end of the raid, we check to see if anyone else has died more than her, and hand out the "Scarlet Kenny Award." This tends to result in Scarlet fighting hard on the next raid to reclaim her title as the dyingest character on the map.

In still more news, I've been forgetting to mention my encounter with my friend Dave. It's rather astounding how he and I can delve into those topics deemed socially taboo without killing one another...and he's the one with the gun. I told him on Thursday about the theft, and he said that I really should move. It's a nice idea, except that I simply can't afford it. There are few apartments out there that are cheaper than mine, and those that are will probably be very similar to what I'm living in now. I don't make enough to live anywhere else but a slum.

But we spoke at length about my situation, and it amazes me how giving good Christian folk are. Dave is one of them, and I discussed the parameters of what I would need to be able to move. I would like rent that doesn't exceed $400, and actually said closer to $300 or $350 would be infinitely better. I don't need a one bedroom apartment; a studio would be just fine. This opens a lot of doors, as a spacial requirement would make a search much more difficult. Cats must be acceptable; I won't leave Nike behind. He suggested I rent a room in someone's house, but I told him that all my years of living in a boarding house, along with being attacked in one, have made me leery of such situations. I also mentioned that while I am trying to quit smoking, I am not meeting with the success I would like. The stress of my life makes the focus of willpower required for quitting extremely difficult, so for the time being, whomever has an apartment for rent, a smoker must be acceptable. I then suggested he ask around at his church, since that's where more giving souls would be found.

After saying that, I went on to the tale of when I was homeless in NY. (I may have already told this one, but it's worth repeating.) I was staying at a homeless shelter that was run by a Christian charity. Nuns and a priest were usually around all day, making sure the place was run cleanly. What's more, every soup kitchen I've ever been to was run by either Christians or Catholics, with plenty of volunteers on hand to help those in need.

Well, I took myself to a Jewish temple one day, found their administrative office, and explained my situation. I was homeless and penniless, and I needed help. To my shock, the secretary asked if I was a temple member.

All religions collect a tithing. Jews don't send a collection plate around during services; they collect membership dues when you join. This money goes toward paying the Rabbi, the Cantor, the temple staff, and keeping the temple in good repair. Oddly, however, little seems to be set aside to caring for those in need. Sure, they take up collections for the poor. I remember when I was a kid and saw boxes around for collecting canned goods. But beyond that, there seems to be very little in the way of help for someone who was in my condition at the time I was visiting that temple and asking for aid.

After asking if I was a temple member, I tried to make it clear. "I don't have a home. I don't have any money. I am currently staying at a homeless shelter, surrounded by goyim who would rather steal my insulin syringes than give me the time of day." (I was pretty upset at that time, and "goyim" is a Yiddish, derogatory term for non-Jew.) "And you want to know if I'm a temple member?!? I have no money for temple dues. I have no money to eat! And the absolutely shameful part of this is that if I walked into a church, I would be given whatever aid they had on hand."

The secretary scurried off to talk to a superior, and actually came back with said superior. I was stunned once more, as the second person had the chutzpah to ask if I was a temple member. I cut it short and told them I wasn't. "I'm sorry," said the person in charge, "but there's nothing we can do for you." And I was turned away without so much as a few dollars to get something to eat.

After I told this tale to Dave...

Me: Y'know, Dave...If not for my lack of faith in Christ, I would switch religions, if only because Christians are much more caring. Unfortunately, G-d would see through that one. Switching religions for social reasons and not reasons of faith is probably frowned upon by Him.
Dave: Yeah, you're right on that count.
Me: Ya think?
Dave: Yeah...It's that whole "knowing all/seeing all" thing He has going on.
Me: That, and my father would roll over in his grave...that is, he would after I broke the news to him that I'm found Christ, and he died of heart failure from the news. Then he would roll over in his grave.

Dave could only laugh...And yet, it's ultimately sad that the stereotyping of Jews being tight-fisted when it comes to money seems entirely too true.

So I'm on the hunt for a new place to live. While Dave searches, I have also looked around online, and found several properties that have a lower rent than what I have in this nightmare. The difficult part is that my lease isn't up until the end of Sept. Unless I give a 30-day notice, and then it would be a mad rush to get my things packed and get me out. I'd also need help moving, either by people who happen to own a truck, or someone willing to help me pay for apartment movers. There's also the matter of a deposit on a new apartment, on top of that first month's rent. There may also be other expenses, like charges for moving my phone service to a new place.

But I can't stay here anymore. The management doesn't care who they rent to, as long as the rent gets paid. The police are here almost daily, putting an end to domestic violence, drug deals, prostitution, and taking away illegal immigrants. Even for what little I can pay, there has to be something better out there.

And that's all I can think to report at this moment, folks. I still need financial aid, if it can be spared. Once I have enough, I will most assuredly come here and let folks know they can stop sending. When the time comes for a move, I'll be on yet another big campaign for funds...and, with luck, my living situation will improve.


Gamer Hippie o' death said...

Bor, my mind is currently screaming : Damn your morals Bor, I'm going to send you money right now! But then the rational part barges in and tells me I can't do that without my parents, both because of laws, intercontinental money transfers and parents. So thus it begins screaming damn my parents. Who I know would not agree.

On the topic of parents, yes, I know. They're good. Sometimes. Coupled with that me and my parents are just a bad match.....Well...Yeah.
They don't even vaguely know how much I relied on you, and the playground community.


Arguskos said...

You know Rob, this is something Kat and I discussed the other day. Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but I do think that you may wish to consider moving to Canada sometime. It's hard, long, and expensive, but they do have social healthcare, which might be a good idea.

Of course, we don't know all the details of your situation, and the logistics make it nigh-impossible, but it is a thought. Perhaps in the future, when she and I are filthy rich? ;)

Rob Meadows said...

Okay...for those under 18 and simply CAN'T lend me aid, I leave it to you to DISCUSS the situation with your parents. This doesn't mean you walk in and say, "I have a friend in need, and you will submit to my demands and help me give him aid!"

Unless, of course, you have special powers that make mere mortals bend to your will. ;-)

The thing is that - and I easily confess this - people coming online that beg for aid are often running a scam of some kind. Few of them, however, would make a post as I did on 22 March. Prior to that post, I made my monthly cry for aid, and two people answered with a total of 175 USD. I could have remained silent, and watched as the money kept coming in. Alas, for each and every evil thought I have, there is no desire to commit those acts. This is why I've been saying that when I have what I believe will be enough to get me through the month, I'll speak up and say as much.

Let's add to this that a promise made is a promise kept, at least for me. It's why "bending" the rule of "no minors" is plaguing me. My solution is to turn and say, "Tell you what...You want to help? By all means, I'll accept. BUT YOU MUST DISCUSS IT WITH PARENTS!"

Really, I wish I could be a thieving bastard, but I fail miserably at it. I care about my friends too much, if such a thing is even possible. Abusing the kindness of others is one of the worst ways to say "thank you."

So...Need to convince your parents? Show them the important posts, along with the the 22 March post, "Okay, STOP!" And if they remain unconvinced, that's fine. Miracles have a habit of landing in my lap, which is one of the reasons I keep going.

*HUGS BACK* No, YOU be well. =P