Attempting to Return to the Grind

I am not seeing anything on Austin Coppock for today June 5th. My oldest son and I got our IDs renewed today. Now we get to wait for them to arrive in the mail. It took about three hours of our time.

For essentially the first time in years, the little details were just little details. I didn't think beforehand that they might not take a credit card, yet I still had enough funds to cover the expense another way. I didn't think beforehand that I would need my son's social security number. I was able to return to the hotel room while my son kept our place, get the number and go back in order to finish the paperwork.

I actually failed to completely fill out the paperwork and I found one blank after I got back, my son found another oversight and the guy at the DMV found yet more blanks. It ended up not being a serious problem.

We really blew through more money than I expected to. I am nearly broke and may need a pay day loan as early as Wednesday, but now that renewing our IDs has been handled, it is back to the usual grind of trying to come up with enough money to eat every day and survive the month - as usual. If $20k or so magically appeared in my pay pal account by 10 a.m. tomorrow, I would ditch our tech and hang in this hotel room until our IDs showed up in my mail box, then leave town to go buy a house elsewhere.

Yeah, don't look at me that way. STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.

Actually, I am using that line because some asshole who imagined themselves to be science-y once said that to me while dismissing the idea that I knew anything at all about health anything. He was saying that 13 years of steady forward progress on my health issues was not evidence of anything. He called it a wild coincidence and then wrapped up brilliant bit of logic with 'stranger things have happened."

I should perhaps be more freaked out by how broke I am when I just fucking got paid. But I am just relieved that the IDs were renewed and now all I need is some random windfall of cash and then many of my diabolical plots to stop being homeless can finally come true in relatively short term.

I had hoped to get back to the grind TODAY, but that hasn't panned out so far. I am feverish and exhausted and having trouble even stringing together a few coherent sentences for this stupid blog.

But the point I am trying to make is that my day felt surprisingly middle class in a way it has not in many years. For the longest time, little details were routinely threatening to cause my entire precarious life to come completely unraveled and go from the fire into the volcano or something.

Because of that, it is hard for me to panic over being nearly broke already. I was often broke when I was middle class, but that didn't cause disaster. There was food in the fridge and the bills got paid and I often was nearly broke just days after being paid without it being a serious problem.

This is not actually like that because I am still homeless, so there is no fridge full of food. But it feels sort of like I walked through a magic portal and left dire poverty and returned to the sane middle class life I had for the vast majority of my life. It feels so much like that to me, it is sort of fucking with my head that there isn't $20-$30k sitting in my pay pal account. Because there is this huge disconnect between my actual finances and how I am experiencing life and I don't quite know how to adequately convey how feeling secure and middle class is not really about income per se.

When I was a military wife, we never had a really big income. With highly inflated housing allowance while living in the San Francisco Bay Area, he made about $60K annually. But our medical coverage was free and we didn't need to save for retirement because he just needed to hit at least 20 years and he would have a retirement check. We just needed to eat and take care of ourselves and not ratchet up our credit cards crazily and we would be okay.

I have spent all these years on the street imagining that if I got a windfall of money for some reason, that would be the thing that would suddenly make me feel like my life had dramatically changed and I was not poor anymore. I didn't expect a trip to the DMV to renew our IDs to be the thing that felt that way. It is fucking with my head.

Poverty is not as much about money as people imagine it is. It is about all the ways in which your life does not work such that no matter how much money you throw at it, it still fails to hold together. Poverty is about bailing out a sinking ship in which the holes grow ever larger. More buckets doesn't fix it. Patching the holes is how you fix it. Only after that happens does it make that giant and permanent life-changing difference for someone else (or a winning lottery ticket) to try to bail you out one time with a large injection of cash.

As I understand it, even normal, healthy boats need to pump out water that seeps in. But a boat that is taking on water too fast, bail faster doesn't work. You put it in dry dock and repair it. Before that, no amount of bailing can really save it.

So, I a done trying to make this tortured analogy work. I am feverish and this mangled post isn't likely getting more coherent, probably just annoyingly longer.

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