I have come to believe that no one will hire me. I’m almost fifty-four years old. I can’t get up once I bend down on my knees or knee. I can’t stand straight up from this position. I need a transition stage. If I have a chair besides me that I can push myself up, gritting my teeth and moaning. I can get my butt even with the chair and quickly swivel to sit. I can only go down on my right knee. My left knee hurts to much. My right knee hurts to but not as much. I had a bad fall when I was celebrating my fourteenth wedding anniversary with my wife. We wanted to go miniature golfing and I forgot about the ridge at hole one. I tripped and fell and messed up my left leg. I’m pretty sure it’s partially broke because I can feel where the bone in the front goes in a little. I didn’t go to the hospital because I was to afraid. Afraid they would want to re-brake my leg or worse yet, surgery. I didn’t want to take that chance. So I stayed home and endured the pain. It’s been over a year and my left side below the knee is still largely swollen and my ankle sends a sharp jab of pain to remind me of the incident.
I have a hard time bending over from the standing position. I can do it but I get shortness of breath very quickly. My stomach jams up and folds over itself when I bend over to pick something up. I’m alright if I do it quickly but then it does leaving me panting a little afterwards. I’m overweight but I have lost over sixty pounds and have about a hundred to go but at least I’m moving in the right direction.
In addition, I have a hernia on my left side. I’ve had that since I was twenty-one years old. When I was in my teens and in high school I would work for a block masonry crew during the summers beginning in my sophomore year. I’m pretty sure I got it from huffing seventy pounds of block repeatedly as well as an occasional precast cement beam. It was several years after I quit that I noticed a slight bulge. It hasn’t bothered me but I can’t lift heavy things anymore.
I don’t have good balance. Forget ladders, stepstools or heights of any kind. I’m a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t bother filling out an application at retail stores where their products are stored high towards the ceiling.
Before I was an abstract artist I’d had a good job working as a roof/floor truss designer for twelve and a half years. I was surprised I lasted that long considering how much I hated the job. I remember when the district and location manager called me in to the conference room. I could tell I was a goner from the look on his face and the way he avoided eye contact with me. When they told me I had been laid off. I felt real weight come off of my shoulders, more so on the left side than the right. I don’t know why. I do remember very clearly that the weight lifted and went straight up. It was such a shock that it jolted me to the point I quickly turned my head and looked up, not sure what I was expecting to see but I was disappointed I didn’t see anything. I got laid off instead of fired which was a real blessing. I was able to get two years worth of welfare from then, president Obama.
I begain my abstract painting career in May of 2008. I didn’t come close to making a living from it. It turns out it’s more of a hobby and I’m losing money. I would be better of quitting, it would save us money. It would be like getting a raise if I’d quite. This is why I’m drawn to writing. It’s a lot cheaper to do than anything else I’ve done. I did take a year off to try my hand at woodworking but that quickly came to a standstill and that failed as well. I don’t think I am meant to succeed. I have failed at everything I’ve tried to make money at on my own. I grew up to be a failure.
“So, what do you do?”
“oh nothing much, I get up in the morning, cut up the fruit and vegetables and grind them through the juicer and blender and wave to my wife as she goes off to her office job and then I spend the rest of the day being a loser.”
I get panic attacks at night. My wife hauls me around all the time. I don’t even drive unless it’s a very short distance. So evening work is very difficult for me to deal with. I avoid it and don’t do it. When I fill out an application and the dreaded question of my work history comes calling. No one calls back.