Sunday, October 4, 2009

Have I found Paradise?

In a word, no. Oh, it's close...but I REALLY want to call a cleaning service and have them give this place the once over. "I get sick if a germ looks at me wrong. STERILIZE THIS PLACE!"

That, however, is about my only complaint. I mean, my new home is "Disabled Guy's Heaven." Console gaming systems, computers, other humans to converse with fairly regularly, as well as humans who offer to actually HELP when I need it. I'm not used to all of this. My brain is racing to catch up with all of the wonderful concepts that have been thrown at it.

As a prime example, there was a discussion about the rent I was to pay. The original deal was for $200, and that was decided months ago. It just never really came up again until I was in the car with Siege. Once I was here, it came up again, and confusion ensued. My new housemates basically told me rent wasn't required because I am dirt poor, and...

Wait a minute. NO RENT?!? That didn't seem right. And the confusion came from Siege, as none of us knew what his plans for the money were. Was it for current living expenses, or future living expenses?

It fell to me to find out from Siege, and catching him for a chat was like trying to catch a housefly with chopsticks. Perhaps Daniel-san could do it in "The Karate Kid" on his first attempt, but we're talking about Mr. Breaks-When-He-Bumps-Into-Furniture here. Siege seems to only be home long enough to shower, say a few words to people, and then he's off, riding the wind to some other destination.

Well, I finally caught him long enough to discuss the confusion, and the response was, "They pay the rent. What they say goes." So I sat down and discussed the matter with one of the other guys.

I should really give their names so we know who the new characters in my life are, shouldn't I? In alphabetical order, so that neither comes to me and asks why I mentioned the other first, we have Cody, and then we have Ray.

It was Ray I chatted with, and what he seemed to want more than anything else in the world was to get his car fixed. Either it needs a new battery, a new alternator, or both. And before any negotiating skills kicked in, (I believe he rolled a one, folks), he said that if I helped him get the car running, my rent would remain at zero. The cost would be somewhere between $50 to $150. Well, since I had $200 on me to pay the rent as originally agreed, I peeled off three fifties and handed them to him. Rent paid...FOREVER!

Okay...Not quite. I grew up in a family-run auto-parts store, and you never get something for nothing. The world just doesn't work like that. Two things immediately come to mind. First, they read this blog. Am I censoring things a bit? Well, virtually pointing and laughing at the fact that Ray "rolled a one" on his haggling check would set up the reply, "Not so much." They've already encountered my ability to become easily confused, with the result that I simply don't lie. To pad things here or offline, and then say something different at another time just makes me look like an idiot. The other thing is that to expect to be in this trailer, using their utilities daily, eating some of their food, and just being around and underfoot while paying NOTHING is wrong on multiple levels.

In a most technical sense, the fee for living here is nothing. That's been established. This is very good for me, as I have no idea what the costs of my meds will be in this State. But when I hear them complain that they don't have money to fulfill a need, you can bet your sweet a$$ that I'll be stepping up and saying, "Guys...This is something you NEED. This is what I do, so tell me what the cost is and let's see what can be done."

And I've already done it. I handed money over for Ray to get his car running, thereby putting a future end to him begging rides from others. While out shopping for food for me, I had them throw a few extra items in the cart to help feed the masses. I also bought that which could be considered "the ultimate gift," a toilet seat!

What else am I getting in this para-paradise? Well, the realization that my computer is an outdated POS whose screen died before I'd even packed it was upsetting...but the guys have offered to build me a new one for far less than the manufactured nonsense on the markets. Let me be clear in that the pricing they initially handed me was OVER the actual cost, but they said around $1000.

Okay...My whole shtick about needs and wants gets hazy when it comes to a computer. It's a "want" because I like to play my games and so on. It's a "need" because, in many cases, it's how I stay in touch with the world. Face it...I would not have a new home if it wasn't for the Internet, nor would I have had all the help I've had over the years. While the line may be blurred, I'm going to call a computer a "need" for the time being, and I just happen to be lodging with a pair of geeks who can slap together an incredible machine for under the cost of what the major manufacturers may ask.

My plan for the new machine? Simple. Wait for the end of the month to roll around, see what I have left, and then dedicate a portion of it to ordering up new parts. If they can work a miracle with my five-year-old Dell, great. If not, we can start from scratch.

Overall, I'm in a much better place emotionally than I have been for a long time. Even better would be stumbling upon a would-be wife as I wander the lands of this place called "Kansas." But I won't hold my breath. For now, I'll take what I have and make the best attempt that I can to live happily ever after.

I'm off to relax and enjoy my new surroundings. Be well, my friends. =)

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