I turned the homeless guy away today, and as my lonely night sinks down over me, I know I made the right move.
I look at each major moment of life these days, as either a right or wrong move, never neutral.
My moves have been alright lately. I'm taking the depression of decline, and mellowing it out with vodka and legal smoke.
I look forward to my next day, my next month, my next year. I will give each one all the honesty and integrity I have.
And if I have to close the door on a homeless guy to keep my sanity and integrity, I will.
The homeless guy Kip showed up at my door today around noon. I saw his face appear through the stainless glass before he knocked, but I didn't know who was there.
There he stood, soaking wet from the rain, with a big smile on his bearded face. He owes me money, ripped me off the last time I let him in, and all I could do was shake my head and close the door.
He understood, and left. I walked out later to make sure he hadn't crashed in my truck.
I consider myself a very compassionate man, but there always comes a point where you have to stop. That happened today.
And now I sit here feeling bad. Maybe I should have given him shelter for a bit, found out what was going on, but I did not.
Or maybe I did the right thing for myself, for a change...
I killed this blog for a while today. I've been stressing over it so I shut it down to see how it felt. I wrote two lines of PHP code and stuck them up in the header of the oldmanjim.com index.php file.
"OldManJim is done." was presented to a blank screen, and then the site simply stopped. Dead to the world.
I left it up there for a few hours this morning, and access to all 2,041 posts across more than five years, thousands of images, hundreds of videos, and tools that have been used millions of times, was gone.
Here's what it looked like:
OldManJim is done.
I've since commented out that kill switch, but it is now less than a minute away.
Here life evolves, on a snow thawing Monday evening in the Deep South. My friend Daniel dropped by after his school district maintenance job, on a day when they shut down the schools. School is shut down again tomorrow, he's not.
All sorts of shit is going down around here, Summertown's water froze, so did New Prospect's. They just don't plan for serious weather around here.
They get a few inches, it freezes, and they freak out. Pretty sad.
Daniel explains that the Deep South is not the North West. Really? He say's everything is buried deeper at 6500 feet, I suppose...
When Winter hit back there in October, it stayed until May. I lived, drove and worked in that shit for twelve years. Fuck you pussies around here!
Here it is in late January and the temp will be back in the fifties by the end of the week. What little snow and ice gone...
Hah! Hey, I'll take every day of it! I truly wish I could extend my life further. Fuck everything and wake up on a tropical island with no worries.
But that ain't happening, and all I can say is, good night...
The point where the top of my right front thigh joins my upper torso, hurts. The spot where my lower neck joins my right shoulder, aches. I have no idea why these things are happening, and I feel it spreading to my left side.
I wonder wtf is going on, and I know that if it worsens, I'm in trouble. In the meantime I observe in pain and wait for it to happen.
I ran out of the primary Parkinsons med I've been taking for years, a few months ago, and nobody has renewed the prescription. Maybe my body is pissed off, and it's sending my mind South.
I remember when our mom dropped dead in an Orinda, CA extended living home. My sister offered me all of her stuff, and a U-Haul rental to take it back up to Seattle, after the funeral.
I had just started a $4.50 an hour bellboy job up in a Kent, WA hotel. I was barely staying alive and had no room for her stuff. It all went to the Salvation Army and I went back up home on the Amtrak train.
I've got a Will now, but I'm wondering if that's a mistake. Most of my stuff goes to son Riley back in Washington, and grand-daughter Shelby down in Tampa. Attending my funeral and processing my shit, would be disruptive and non-productive for both.
Why doesn't a service exist that could take care of all this stuff. Swoop in, separate family and physical things into a local storage area. Allow family to fly in and gather anything of sentimental value, sell the rest to a second-hand place, then organize the cremation and funeral with the proceeds.
I don't want my passing to be a burden, and I want folks to look back on it with a smile. Too much to ask?
This big Southern Tennessee Winter snow event is over and it should be in the sixties by the end of next week. It's fucking fine with me if I never see another snow drop fall for the rest of my life.
I woke up this morning to an email from my longtime Liberal West Coast friend. We've been on the outs for a while and she wanted me to call her. My apologies old friend, if you read this, I can't.
My daughter, mother to fourteen grandkids and some great-grandkids, was three years old when I met this friend fifty seven years ago. We have a long history, and now there is none.
I only have a couple of friends left here, and they're both guys. Somehow I have allowed women and kids to fade from my life, and it's left a huge emptiness in my heart...
I've invited a buddy over tonight to play poker with Daniel and me, and I haven't seen either all day. I have everything needed for a fun Saturday evening of cards and all I need now is players.
It's 1735, I have painted fingernails, I'm a crushed lonely old man, and I feel on the verge of doing something stupid. Some times we have friends around to correct that stupidity, most times we have not.
Daniel just called and said he was picking up some House Fried Rice, so I'll set up the poker chips...
I'm beginning to recognize the expression on total strangers faces that I do business with. I call it the What do we have here? look.
What they get back in return is a toothless unshaven old man who really doesn't give a flying fuck. In fact, I'm not even going to cut them until the pattern grows out, get those nails long and gnarly.
I went into town this morning, almost had eighteen wheels roaring up the hill put my misery to rest, as I slid partially through the Hwy 43 stop sign.
This snow silly southern town has been mostly shut down for days, but it's slowly coming back. I moved here after a decade plus spent high in the Rockies, and this ain't nothing.
In fact, Teton Valley was at the base of a Wyoming ski resort, and thrived on many feet of winter snow. We lived and worked with it, here they just shut down at a few inches.
We were surrounded by love, beauty, money, volcanos and world class trout streams. None of that is no longer around me. I thought I was going to continue to be part of Steph and her families lives here, but I was wrong.
Something's wrong. My brain has gone South on me and I have no idea why. I can't remember how to do things on my computer and I had a real hard time getting this Post out.
I have two food dishes in the refrigerator that I don't remember making yesterday. One is a large pot of some red stuff, and I really don't know what it is.
I do remember getting to the cheap grocery store yesterday but I ended up with two receipts, paid for both of them, and one had items I think I never bought.
I don't know what the fuck I'm doing anymore, not sure if I really care...
It's Tuesday, midway through January 16, and there's still too much snow and ice on the roads to venture out to the Hwy, much less the Places in town.
I had an amazing Transit career operating up in the High Idaho Teton Valley mountains, for more than a decade. My work partner and I each drove brand new sixteen wheeled passenger busses along Hwy 33, we served the town, the kids and the Seniors.
The busses were made for the snow, with four rear wheels moving us between small towns, with the best tires money could drive at the time. On the last New Years afternoons we were there, Karen dropped by our log home to give me and Steph a bottle of expensive vodka, and I turned it down. I quit for almost a year there, and our friendship was never the same.
Summer came, I trained a guy to replace me, with Karen's and my friendship fading way.
Steph was the woman of my life when we moved here. I loved and lost her when we did.
Daniel is getting his big service truck ready for an icy snowy trip into town here, and I'm going along...
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