Win Or Die.

Tonight I walked in to my local poker hall with 30 dollars. I was excited to play. 20 minutes later I was broker than a dead dude.

It was as much fun as the soggy butt end of a Marlboro Light cigarette that slides unexpectedly across your tongue out of the dog-hair swig from a half full can of flat beer you cooled in the freezer to enjoy for breakfast after someone neglected to finish it the night before.

A Marlboro fucking Light!

It’s hard to rely on won money as my sole income source. But what choice do I have?

I’ve lamented in other posts about how I am persona non gratis in the local work force. Time was when I didn’t work because I didn’t want to. Or so I thought. Truth is I sold shrooms & shit for money most of my adult life. Tell you what: when it was excellent selling shro.., er um Alien Turdz. When it ruled the alien turd biz was most like Bill & Ted excellent dude. When it was awesome it was a day dream come true.

But it was work. Largely a shipping quandary, to get them buggers Fed Exed all the way from the Pluto. But you got to pay the bills. And for a while the Alien Turdz adequately did.

Until I quit the racket for reasons of stress reduction. The United States has a trade embargo against Pluto so it’s real scary when you have to pick up mail sent from there. You never know if you’re going to wind up in jail — for perhaps years — just for picking up some crap in the mail.

Lucky for me no one ever once figured out those letters originated on Pluto. Still I didn’t want to push my good fortune. Mainly I could no longer tolerate the stress. My stress bucket runneth over; like a dixie cup filled over the rim with water — pressure-gushed from a fire hydrant.

In retrospect there was at least one gigantic up side despite the stress. I could pay the rent. It is no coincidence that I have been homeless precisely since I quit the Turd biz.

Jobs are tough to come by where I live. There are no help wanted signs. The newspaper’s classified is a particular point of depression for any job hunter. Business where I live is such that there’s no need to hire some random jerk off the street. Rather positions are filled on an Invitational basis: the boss informs employees of openings. Employees alert a friend who needs a gig. That is if the boss doesn’t have someone lined up already.

Now. I ask for work. I would love work. Frankly I don’t want a permanent job any more than a permanent job wants me. Though I’ve tried for them. But it’s futile. I have a bad reputation insofar as my employment history. Fact is: How the fuck would anyone know squat about my employment history? I have not worked for someone who actually hired me for near a half decade. Maybe my reputation isn’t bad. But for whatever reason they never think to hook me in when they round up the morning work crew.

Sometimes I think I’ve out lived my usefulness to my community since I quit the Alien Turd hustle.

Is that true? Could be but I’ll get no answers here. On account of how my little pile of blog doo we got here is not real popular with the local folk. I’m not sure why that is. But I think because I’m homeless. So what? Good question. Maybe they’re prejudiced against me for it. I don’t get that. Mind you there are days — more days than not lately — when I do not want to talk to anyone who lives in a house. Talk about what pray tell? We live on solidly different planets. I know what happens on your planet. Do you know what life is like on mine?

To explain a quandry enlightens. It’s why I am super down with the friend who wants to know about my homeless quandary. Yet it seems sometimes like fantastically few do.

I say: It is not merely worthwhile for someone who wishes to be my friend to wrap their brain around my homeless quandary. It is from this paragraph forward a prerequisite to friendship with your friend Mike E.

To be friends we must talk openly of my life with no home. It is a very big deal. Homelessness may take my life. Did you know that? The average survival expectancy for an American homeless man is 10 years. I’ve been homeless off & on in my life for…I just counted 11.

That’s been on my mind lately.

Could be why I’ve resolved to buy my way off the street with money I win from gambles. For my homelessness must cease this moment. And Won Money alone comes that fast & easily. This is not to suggest that I’ll turn down work for pay in favor of an afternoon at the OTB. I never say no to money. Nor am I one to work all day only to blow my pay on a fast few ill placed bets.

Not me. Know why? I never get to work for money.

No one offers me work. And that is not a lie. It’s really fucked up. Total straw sucked bullshit really; hurts my feelings.

Most every one I know is wholly dependent on their job to provide inescapably needed income. What would one do if they had none? Ask around for work. Like I do. But what if none were forthcoming? What if your attempt to secure work for pay failed abjectly? Perhaps folks around you would conclude that you simply don’t need to trade work for money. Or didn’t want to — despite your persistent efforts.

I do not beg. Yep. I am one worthless bum. Too proud to ask a stranger for pocket change. I’m thinking about adopting a foreign child though. Because I have empathy for the plight of an orphan. Plus it could beg for me!

Just kidding. About the foreigner. But not about the work. There is none for me. Perhaps potential employers reasonably wonder whether I can reliably perform work duties. With no where to sleep that is. Who knows? No one hires me. I do know that a community feels obligated to the Employed; couches to sleep on are made available. Showers are a matter of course. Rides are arrangeable. Whatever you need to get to work in the morning is dutifully & rightfully provided.

Is that why there’s no work for me — because the community does not care to obligate itself on my behalf?

I wonder. I want to figure this out. I must.

So I write. To solve my conflict. I don’t want to die from homelessness. But it kills me. Kills me to know the things I dearly want to do with my precious time are shelter dependent activities. Like how I want to study mathematics. And learn piano. For years on end I’ve wanted to learn piano & math.

I’ll get to though. This may kill me. I’ve realized. But you may die of a freak methane explosion the next time you fart. Big fucking deal!

All I’m saying is that unless this kills me I will learn math & piano with the money I win from race horses & Texas Hold ‘Em. I will. I can. I make every bet count like it may save my life. When I win it will.

Cause when you’re 5 dollars down
What the fuck you gonna DO?


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1 Response to “Win Or Die.”


  1. 1 Mike E September 18, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Hey Caity — yeah. You’ve got a way with words yourself.


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