So, in today's Salon, nobody should go homeless in America. That looked good to me. That is more real to me today than ever before. I wonder if once I would have blue dogged the homeless issue because I was safe and seemingly secure in a home of my own. I had to sell that home because I was unemployed, a near constant state for me, and I had to pay bills with credit cards that my mom left me. Mom was a dear woman and everybody said so. I'm sure that was true in many ways for many people but mom could be a grouch. She took grouch pills, a little bottle that contained M&M's. She was liberal in a rural conservative town so how beloved could she really be, I ask you? I, her son, was unemployed and had been all my life. I had some jobs that lasted a couple of weeks and I went to school. Unfortunately I couldn't graduate the big school, the 4 year university but I did complete my associates degree which is more than I can say for others. I was always bewildered by comments that my hair was too long for employers to hire me. I think it was politics all that. What real reason could you have for denying a job to a community college graduate? Anyway, they did and I was kept at home because my rail yard foreman dad couldn't afford my living with the guys over in the university city. In those days it could cost $100 to share a bedroom in a townhouse apartment. I think dad was more into his own image as a tough Wallace conservative than my future. I'm not sure why mom stayed married to him.
Well, what's the point here? I've drifted. Oh, homeless. I have spent all the money from the sale of the home mom left me and once again run up the credit cards. They have maxed out and my 2 big brothers and one aunt can help me out with that. It's like they were more like visitors than family to me and they didn't visit that much. I used to blame that on my Wallacite dad but now I'm not so sure. I loved my friends so much I didn't even notice they were missing for 30 years. My friends "ditched" me. This was because they got married or found other "cities to live in," or had other relationships, but there were none of them to be found in 1978. Mom found me some social services. I was a client at a mental health clinic for years. Almost reminds me of my guitar lessons now. Week after week practicing the awful music that the guitar school wanted me to learn. I didn't practice much. We got off on the wrong foot from the beginning and the style of music didn't help. They were orchestra and I was rock and roll. I never did learn to play worth a damn but I had an electric guitar. Funky and almost country looking, I sold the old Grassi a few years ago to pay bills and get out of my house. That was a demand of the real estate company or companies, that I remove all items from the home before leaving. Boy was that a job.
Yeah, the guitar. I got in a struggle with a guitar player. He had a beautiful 12 string guitar that sounded almost like Joni Mitchell's dobro. We got in a fight. He left some scars on my head. I did a big Gandhi thing and finally turned to a cousin to get revenge for me. The guitar. That might have been the thing. There were many things though. We had many differences but this fight signalled the end of going around visiting people and smoking their pot, accepting their beers and in general being their friend. I had turned to violence, yeah, but I felt like I was being stalked. I'm a man and there is little talk about men being stalked by other men but it happens you know. They get angry with each other, the anger turns to hate and the hate turns to violence. Perhaps we became too conscious of what's wrong in life.
That was 33 years ago. I was unemployed as usual and that unemployment is a burden not just on one's self but on others who wish to have your friendship despite your lack of means. I couldn't go to concerts or buy dope. I couldn't even keep a girlfriend. She worked and I didn't. I would rather say she had work and I had none. I don't like to see this as being lazy vs. being industrious. I like to see it as haves and have nots. It's funny like the haves resent the have nots and blame them for having not instead of blaming big companies and schools who will not hire or will not enroll.
I have a problem with enrollment. I went back to school in 1999 I guess. I confuse 1998 and 1999 quite a bit. I had a job and quit it after 6 months. Got it my first semester and quit it at the end of the second semester. I was in a worry about grades and the supervisor found some fault with my phone voice. Not being a money head I didn't think about not having the money as I didn't think about living away from mom and the good that would do her as well as me. No friends. No good advice from loving people. Not understanding the great gift the taxpayers of Florida and the rest of the nation were trying to give me. Really. We condemn the gov't so much that when it gives us something we don't really take advantage of it in ways we need to.
So, I never got a place away from mom. That would have been nice. I had been going to a mental health clinic but I had been removed from their computer as they put it. I think they were trying to get me to think computers. My friends in the 70's knew about computer work. Some spoke about data programming. They thought it a copout because they were artistic types. We were artistic types. I was a poet as was a friend of mine. There were musicians and artists and the subcultures scene with organic food co-ops and all of that. And there were relationships. When all that fell apart and I was back at home with Mr. Wallace who had, by the way, contracted skin cancer that kept him from going out to fish, which he could do from his backyard, I was bereft of a social life. The late 70's turned into the '80's. I became angry with the subculture and became a Freemason. My mom was in the Eastern Star, the women's side of Freemasonry. Dad, whom I called Mr. Wallace above, was a 32nd degree Freemason, a Shriner. I had seen that square and compass up at my home, decorative and in a warm light for many years as a child. I also had read of a lodge that was far beyond the Freemasons, a White Lodge, white in the spiritual sense, a lodge of spiritual masters whose head was the Christ. It was part of the A.A. Bailey books which I had first heard of in 1972 when I heard of Consciousness of the Atom.
So, in I went to the Masons. They wanted to know if I believed in God. I said I did. They didn't seen to care if that God was Shiva or some impersonal being and I passed the interview. I was furthered buoyed on into success at my father's lodge in Waldo, FL because I was "not a nigger." I had heard htat word a lot though not so much from the old man then. I had heard it primarily from a poet named Patti Smith who sang a song called Rock and Roll Nigger. That was no pop song. It wasn't Ride Like the Wind by Christopher Cross which I heard over and over again in 1979 I believe. I had picked up Patti's Easter album in 1978, I think. Wow, this was not the poetry I wrote although when I began I could be rather terse and vulgar. I had lightened up to a sweet and introspective kind of verse, influenced by a teacher who loved Gibran and such spiritual poets.
So, we hear that word a lot now thanks to rap, but you know uncensored movies allowed that word. Sometimes you could hear that word but not shit, damn, fuck, cock and all the rest. Censors are odd and maybe racist.
So, I joined the Lodge and my counselor at the mental health clinic introduced me to a book called The Urantia Book. He was aware that I had been duped into believing the Masons were about brotherhood as my mom, God knows what she's thinking, used to tell me. This Urantia Book was like my A.A. Bailey books. It had a different view of the life of Jesus and his teaching. In the Urantia Book Jesus doesn't walk on the water, he isn't born miraculously or even on December 25th of that year it says in the Bible. It challenges the Bible on what it calls "inspiration" which I have come to understand as "truth," or what Gurumayi might call "grace." My counselor, a man named Brad Fisher who was the first to discuss these alterative religion ideas with me since I had began at the mental health clinic perhaps 3 years before, told me to see what "the brothers" thought about it. Oh, my God - AND I BELIEVED HIM. I never did get to get within a mile of any of "the brothers" with this revelation but I did get involved myself over the years attending conferences international and statewide. They seem a bit at odds with my Siddha Yoga running competitively on some days and the money got tough paying for them both. The UB does not go for reincarnation and astrology like the yogis but it does believe in a God of Love and Compassion who did not want his son to die on the cross.
These spiritual involvements or even the social involvement with the Masons have not been of much help to me in gettting work. In fact it is often said not to mention something like Siddha Yoga where I have taken 6 or 7 intensives and done workshops and met people of stature. Siddha Yoga folk have come to Gainesville, FL but not spoken in large venues like to student audiences. They come only for the following, for the flock more or less. The principal visitors I remember were Tom Toomey and a boxing promoter who had learned Siddha Yoga in prison and Eugene Callendar and some, a woman principally I remember, who may have been a member of Dr. Callendar's Siddha Yoga Church in Harlem, N.Y. This whole thing of God being within you as you has been difficult as most people see it as in me as me but not in them as them. I think they just like to argue. There are those who like to separate themselves from the God, UB readers are like, Vaishnava devotees, principally the Krsna devotees here in the states, are the same.
I am in really hard times now. I can't get up the whole rent, can't get up the electric, can't get up the phone/internet. I'm on food stamps which is just $200 a month. I've lost my keys to my van and don't have money for gas anyway. I can't get into university city which is just 34 miles west of me. That city hasn't been so good to me either for 33 years and I might say before that as I have had work that only lasted as long as 2 weeks, twice. One at a supermarket, Alberstons where I was fired for taking a 50 cent tip and another at a construction site for a company named NW, inc. which I have finally learned was an abbrevation for Norwood, inc. Both in 1977. I had a paper route than went afoul when all the violence was about and a dishwasher job where the cook liked to use that word also used by Patti Smith, John Lennon and Randy Newman, not to mention a number of Sam Pekinpah or Peckinpah like films.
I can't sell myself to university city nor can I sell my things as I have been trying to do to raise money for rent and utilities. I sold a plasma TV for $400 that I used for my $500 rent. Now I am still being billed by DirecTV though I can't connect the reciever to the old TV that I have. I have a marble statue of Ganesh that Siddha Yoga sells for $610 if you include shipping that I am offering for $300. No takers, even in the Siddha Meditation Center. I have their e-mail from the site where you get info for the intensives. There is an intensive coming up in a few days. This weekend as a matter of fact. It's $500 for the two days. There is such a desert of spiritual insensitivity here and everywhere, it looks like, that you hardly remember a lot of the stuff you learn in the intensives. It is doped down as soon as you get out of it with country, right wing bullshit and traditionalist existential atheism and political christianity. Just give them their meat, you know? Anyway, there has been little help. I need a job just as I have always needed a job.
Besides these day to day bills that I can't pay I am $34,000.00 in debt. I can't even begin to pay the MoneyManagement.org folks who could whittle it down to $656. a month. They're nice people and not for profit but I can't begin to get that up. My favorite brother has told me to find a homeless shelter in an e-mail. I was going to write this about him. I have read the new news about Sybil and schizophrenia and he really seems like he is someone else. He's not the cool duded I grew up with who wore white loafer tennis shoes with black slacks and a black shirt and drove a red convertible with skirts and dual exhausts and antennas, who loved sound and would put speakers up everywhere. Was it the rise of the Beatles and Woodstock or was it marriage? He seems to be down on his marriage. He delayed his marriage until he was 30. He won a $100 bet with our other brother as he thought he couldn't keep from getting married that long. He had a problem with his father in-law and he seems to be just like him now, an arrogant old sot, belligerent and totally money minded. His father in-law was a bank vice-president. He had a stroke and my brother and his wife had to take care of him in a house that I guess the old man put a down payment on . I guess they are stuck with the mortgage. They had always been apartment people and often referred to themsleves as gypsies, moving a lot. He has no help for me, financially. He is studying the Bible. Can you believe that? And one of those old Christian preachers has made recordings explaining the "Good Book." Was this a reaction to our mother dying? She had a stroke, too, and passed away or graduated as the UB folks say in January of 2007. I don't know. I haven't seem much of him in many, many years, since I was a kid. I did see him as an adult a little bit when I had a female friend in 1974, but he has been out of the loop mostly.
I am chagrined that nothing can happen, no jobs, no gifts, no nothing, but I am getting some help from new friends. I watched a tape on Mantra Yoga last night and again today and it was very powerful. I feel like this is of a moment. Gurumayi says Om arises from the deep blue ocean. Her talk in Mantra, La Voz del Almo has real authority. I will keep repeating the mantra as I always have done and doing chants but I will no better where this is coming from. A mechanic friend is coming over to help me maybe with my van. He will install a new ignition switch and key. I will have to owe him, as I owe many.