Living Unwell in the Paradise Shit Show and Time-To-Live Numbers

Living too poorly to get over prison

Recently the sense of a lack of traction puts me on a quest for adjectives. The current metaphor for how I exist is: zero gravity with no handholds. So, what are my cocktail party concise adjectives? I really want to use unwell, which as a state of being is not an adjective. The title of this piece may be punchier if titled “Living too unwell to get over prison.” If I’m going for concise grammar be fucked.

So what I’m going for is how to describe living in my parent’s (finished and nice basement) at 56 and aspiring to move into a fourteen foot travel trailer in the spring. Yeeha! There really are no concise adjectives that describe this position of stagnation, instead of rebound, after incarceration. Prison is all grandiose thoughts of all the projects and things you should have done before running into the prosecution gristmill. Well all those things didn’t happen then for lack of time and resources; and that condition continuous egregiously after prison.

I’ll say that it breaks down to how well people can create opportunity for themselves. Oh shit, that’s exactly what prison does: kills all future opportunity. Opportunity to return to your chosen profession, opportunity to exploit any positive attribute you have, opportunity to get an interview or ever make any clean first impression. The expression, “A felony is for life,” applies.

Woe is me for believing that upfront acknowledgment of prison time would wash the stigma into a an alluvial fan of run off water from a forgotten upstream rainstorm. Done, fini, ancient history…when can you start work? Not so!

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[Previous started piece of about 3 weeks ago, when really raining – I mean seven inches on a Sunday and still raining on the Monday drive into work. Let’s retitle and document up to today; thursday 11 May 2023.]

Paradise Shit Show

Recap…home in Maine. Sober. Working, but not in chosen (and well remunerated) engineering profession. Trying to build something with no mortgage on the family property.

The ground dried somewhat and a friend with a four wheel drive pickup was able to pull my trailer out of my aunt’s side yard, with zero damage to the lawn. Yeay. [in progress from here]

;You wanna talk about blowing some opportunities….born to good parents, only three quarters insane. Concept of happiness that encompasses all philosophy ever thought , within the course of at least one generation of humans. Who knows what that is. Definitely an imagined nirvana not to pursue. There is satiety and the fools errand of extending that base sensation too far into happiness, bliss, or any exultation. Alright hedonism sucessfully argued against…maybe a thought experiment of people before the diversionary concept of happiness…maybe those beats from the mid-1400’s – a few centuries of retrograde thinking to really set the milieu. Good crew then, survivalists who still enjoyed fucking and fighting as much as not being dead. Oh yeah, good times my generation. So yeah, moment by moment living as a lifestyle became a rock bog. But, that is what there is; now.

Now for a review of living in relative safety, but not real social/financial security.

Sat. 27 May

———— I’m hiding out in the fortress of “how the fuck did I end up here” My paradise boat shelter 400 feet into the woods from my father’s house. Fuck man, I’m turning 57…probably less than three quarters insane – that’s progress from a few paragraphs ago. Aimless, assetless, partially disabled and breaking down. Added an aged 14’ travel trailer to the menagerie of mud hole prepper hell scape. I’m not a prepper. This is maine mo-fo … too cold for winter survival practice. The trailer is eau-de-mouse-balls stink pit. I sit in there to eat breakfast and cook some, but move in and live is not what this fucking 70’s hillbilly murder scene of a travel trailer is. Uh-uh. I almost hope that I can gut and rehabilitate this thing. I’ll get under it tomorrow …to jack it up and see what is its most (and possibly only redeeming) value; the frame and floor.

Inventory: no assets, no physical structure called home, family (oh, that’s good), land on which the family let’s me squat (fuck man that’s everything), money (low end of skilled labor) and late career prospects (oh shit.).

Mon. 25 Dec

—–2023 Summer/Fall in review: Pulled the trailer out past the cemetary, the S-turn at the yacht club, and almost to the spot I envisioned for it.


Fall 2023

Tried some new things – kind of a force change in my life thing. Could it be attributed to a car, happenstance, ennui, frustration…who knows? Spring was going to bring progress and even if the events of the past two seasons are not considered progress they are change. That seems to be the trick – the prime mover for living – to move on to whatever is next. In the grand scheme of living it may be folly; why build and accumulate when living simply could be better.

I feel that I’m simultaneously on two levels of Mazlow’s hierracrachy. Base level…survival needs is living in a tented shelter (on a raised platform) for the summer. Carrying water from the house, pooping in the woods [a reference to a favorite bumper sticker: I love to poop in the woods]. But, feeling shamefully hoboish about the whole thing. On one hand I couldn’t be more at home falling asleep to the sounds of the forest – sometimes eerily quiet and often soothing rain on the vinyl tent material. The absolute diametric dream of prison: outside and free.

The more time out there, the more incremental changes; that almost seem like progress; but I’m doodling in the margins. The addition of a fourteen foot beater trailer added a kitchen and dining table, but I’m still without a bathroom, desk, office type space, bookcase – all the things that come with a hard structure. A dwelling that is considered permanent in the terms of human lifespan.

The two Maine Coon Cats pushed their boundries past the cemetery / yacht club – an S-turn in the logging road with a concrete walled cemetery on one side and a beached sailboat on the other – to live with me in the hobo paradise. One did clear the trailer of mice for me but neither would use the installed cat door, and didn’t really take to the trailer any better than I did.

The upshot to this doodling in the margins, of which I speak, is that I got end of summer urgency: not enough fire wood cut for winter, to many projects to fulfill whatever future I can paste together, work demands, small engines needing tune ups, aching knees and back… I quit my job going in and out of basements for water treatment systems and started scheming. Exactly what all floundering anxiety cases like myself do it such moments of stasis – perfect existential castle move, swap the rook and the king and see what shakes out. Next, figure best expenditure of savings. In this case I had an excavation contractor look at the old (100+ years) access road for improvement, to gain access to property.

October through end of ’23 saw a driveway entrance type of road installed, for half of a year’s wages. Concurrently I began dish washing at a new outlet of a regional chain restaurant, for the same money as the more technical water treatment job but without 401K match or benefits. It is indoors and on flat surface. So, fade in to this winter season existential crisis – a now semi-annual phenomena 4th year running.

So, let’s do the numbers.

I have typed the birth and death dates of my shortest lived grandparent into a spread sheet and added his life span to my birth date. I’m 470 days beyond. Hmm… Next I take the dates of my incarceration (to include eleven months not behind a fence in Durango, Colorado) and add that to the date of my return home to Maine: 01 August 2039. This is the day upon which I will have been home for as long as I was away. I stare at this single point of future datum. Will I be alive? That will probably be a function of financial solvency more that genetics and health. So, will I have money for food? Probably not. Oof.

Well that catches up to winter ’23/’24. I’m 1160 days (one sixth of the way) into the 7173 day run until 01 August 2039. Stay tuned as we count down the days 😉

[note: the movies Looper and In Time present good time-to-live existential premises.]

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2023 Look Back…hmmm

There exists about four text files of started entries, since March 2023, that I always want to paste together to sum up summer/fall of 2023. Maybe I will sit and type and actually do that. For now I’ll upload a video of the latest and biggest event of the year: construction of road access to a parking spot for a travel trailer and who knows…hopefully a build site for a permanent dwelling. So, in reverse order here is that; and maybe later I’ll post the build up/progress(?) of the Near Reach site with a barely usable 14′ travel trailer, covering of that trailer, vehicle and job changes, time off, stress, joy, cutting wood, joining facebook, upcoming 40th high school reunion et cetera.

Walk-in and look-back of the completed Next Reach project.
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