Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'm sinking. I can feel it. As much as I resist by forging ahead and trying and working and moving forward, I can feel myself sinking in financial quicksand.

Brooke, Liz and I had an awesome time in Chinatown in Boston for Chinese New Year. It was a gorgeous Sunday. We ate, we watched the lion dragon parades, we wandered, took photos, had a really good time. Sunday night, Brooke and I hung out together, watched alot of CSI on tv and fell asleep in eachother's arms. A perfect day.

Monday, Brooke and I were late to go out to Ware, pick up her brother and go record shopping in used record stores in & around Amherst. We made it as far as one of the Brookfields when my car's temperature thing started dinging. This happened a week ago too. Coolant leak. No antifreeze. Water pump. Mechanic helps me out and we head back to Worcester. Aborted mission. Botched day off. I'd have to work after all. My mechanic in Tatnuck said I'd probably need a water pump and my car was due for a timing belt change. Both jobs were about $500 each. Despair. I went to work on Monday night despondant. No choice. Have to work now to pay off a car repair.

I dropped off my car way late Monday night / Tuesday morning and Brooke sleepily drove me the few blocks back to the house because she was afraid of me slipping and falling on the slippery streets.

Tuesday. Debated about going to work. Impending snow and ice and general crappiness. But it was the 3rd of the month. All the losers would be running around, doing errands, cashing their SSI checks, squandering, taking taxi rides and I'd be there to drive. I went to work early, covered alot of charges despite bad weather. I drove slow, was careful, didn't take any unneccessary risks. I was actually doing well... then more snow, more ice, more slipperiness. I couldn't do it. I brought the cab back to the lot after not being physically able to get one of Red Cab's regular's back to his house because the cab's tires were really terrible in snow and the plows & sanders hadn't even begun to show up to do THEIR jobs to clear the roads... Failure. Maybe not total failure, but I had to pack it in and go home.

Tuesday night I had another great night with my cutie. Dinner together - potatoes, green beans, fish, good beer...

Wednesday... Back to work. Gotta bring in the bucks. I get an urgent message from the cell phone company. Pay up. Now. I pay up. Further behind now. Mortgage is paid, but now I'm stalling on covering the car repair bill. The good news is that the two $500 jobs are now just one $670 job because the water pump and timing belt are interconnected and can be done together instead of not. Still. $600+ I don't have yet. Two out of town jobs, alot of regulars, alot of other jobs, a few college students and then a late night lull and I left the game with about $160 for myself, but I had to pay for a cab to get home and I owed for gas from the previous night when I didn't fill up before returning during the snow and ice... Slowly sinking...

Today I walked to the garage, hat in hand, $150 in cash with me too. I stopped at the ATM and took out some more. The garage owner understood my spot and agreed that I was good for the bill and that I could pay him in installments. I drove off feeling lower than low. I hate owing anyone anything. I hate feeling helpless. I hate feeling STUCK.

I drove to the bank to put money BACK in for fear that my pending mortgage payment might bounce. I bought jelly beans at CVS and margarine at the Big Y. I raced back home, gathered together all my returnable bottles & cans and spare change and headed to the liquor store and then the bank again to put more money in just in case. After the mortgage goes through this afternoon, I'll have about $13 in the bank.

Back home. Despair. Snow. Slipperiness. Bright sun, but bone chilling wind with a nasty bite to it.

I have to work again tonight. And tomorrow night. And Saturday morning. Maybe do a double on Saturday. Brooke might lend me some money to tide me over and help cover the car repair. But I'm stuck. Monday's work will be to repay Brooke. And then Tues, Wed, Thurs will be to pay impending bills. Friday & Saturday will be to start saving for the mortgage and save a little scratch for Sunday when Brooke and I escape to North Adams for a stay at Porches, a Christmas present from Brooke. I only hope I can relax. I hope I can free myself from panic and fear and anger that all the things I want to do, the things that make life worth living to me are UN-affordable, out of reach for more than the foreseeable future.

I sent a hastily written MySpace message for Patt saying that Brooke & I will be attending his upcoming lavish wedding, but I guess Brooke won't be eating because she's vegetarian and there's no vegetarian option. I'm disgusted abbout the extravagance of this wedding. I wish everyone, EVERY ONE would just stop. Just STOP blowing all their money all around me. My friends Cheryl & James are in similar financial freefall as James' hours got cut at his work. It just keeps getting worse, yet I work so hard and I don't spend like crazy and I don't go out drinking all the time if at all... I do all the right things and yet everything is still spiralling down...

I hope Brooke can bear with me. I am a good person, but all this is really really weighing on me and I'm really afraid. And stressed out of my skull. And if I don't stop typing now, I might be late for work.


Brooke said...

Brooke can bear with you.

Anonymous said...

You're a good writer, Doug. You should do more of it.

Have you heard of Ashley Gratz-Collier? She's a New York City cabdriver whose blog was so popular Random House published it as a very successful book.

Writing can also be cathartic and help to get rid of whatever stress you fell.

I enjoy your blog and wish you'd post more.