I have about eighteen months –that’s the time-frame I’m giving myself to leave Michigan. There are a handful of reasons, but the most prominent have to do with my physical and emotional well-being. I was talking to a couple friends of mine this last week, who I’ll refer to by initials and neutral pronouns cos I’m not a name-dropper:
First I started talking to F. I started talking to F after pinging several people over instant messenger, and for some reason, F was the one available (and the other four or five are far less fabulous — and F is very insistent that e isn’t that fab). I was in one of those moods that night where the seasonal depression was hitting me hard, and I mean like Jeff Stryker on peenie-pills —hard enough that alluding to Jeff Stryker would’ve never even occurred to me, and sometimes I think, like, 90% my friends identify me by saying to others “you know, short guy, purple hair, talks about dicks all the time.” (As an aside, I have no idea why F and I are even friends —Sannion and I? to me, our friendship makes sense, cos we began with neutral impressions, worked up to some semblance of respect, then hated each-other, then back to respect and some mutual admiration —F and I started out with me getting a neutral, and slightly favoured, even very slightly envious first impression, but I was on some of my worst behaviour, and I guess e found me more amusing than annoying, cos e’s one of the few gothically-inclined friends I’ve maintained for over a decade now. I’ve even asked em, and eirs response was “I dunno, I guess I just figured you were nothing I couldn’t deal with, and you’re kind of fun when you’re in a good mood. We all have bad days.”) I started talking to em about moving back to Los Angeles, just to avoid the seasonal depression. Now, e is a bit older than I am, I’m still not sure by how much, but I’m guessing at least as old as my humanoid meat-based housemate (so nine years, give or take), so eirs response was pretty much along the lines of “well, you should really think about that, Ruadhán; it’s not perfect, as you probably remember, and it can have its own special kind of lonliness. Try a sunlamp for the short term, but don’t just hop on a bus like you did last time.” Not eir words, verbatim, but the general gist of things. Nothing objectionable, and certainly pragmatic advice, in general.
A few hours passed, and it got colder, and then my body kicked in with the primary physical reason to move: My chronic pain. Some time after that, my friend V and I started talking, and e was very sympathetic to my depression, especially after e noticed that it was approaching the anniversary of putting down my beloved cat, Vermin, last year –which I was certainly feeling the other night, talking to F. V and I talked mostly about losing cats as analogous to losing kids, and also about how it might actually be best for my chronic pain, when I can honestly feel the temperature drop in the matter of a few hours. V is so far seeming very supportive of the idea of me moving, almost excited and far less pragmatic, and e definitely seems to be plugging an angle of a sort of “spiritual reboot” (again, not eir exact words, but close enough to eir intent).
A couple of days after that, I was talking to my humanoid meat-based housemate about this. He pointed out that there have been days this winter, and even last winter, where I can barely move because the cold has me so stiff and achey, and I’ve had at least a dozen whole days since the ice storm around the Solstice where I’ve done little more than say that my entire body aches as I’m barely able to stand —complaints I don’t have in even autumn or spring, much less summer. He also pointed out that while a sun lamp is a good idea for now, it won’t likely be necessary in Los Angeles.
The problem, though, is getting there.
I have very little that I can sell, and my work skills are few, and qualifications even fewer –but that’s kind of part of the territory of being disabled, even the ability to stand around and scan barcodes for unionised wages, or reading a script at a call centre is kind of out of one’s reach cos of panic attacks and chronic pain. “Learn to deal” doesn’t happen, cos you’ve tried and through long-term trial-and-error, it turns out you can’t. Not everyone can do even the most seemingly brainless work, which is why Social Security Disability exists —but unfortunately, SSD is not a living wage. And contrary to what Faux News and certain corners of the Internet will try and tell you, it’s not even the salary that Star Foster (briefly) expected the pagan community to pay her (if it was, I wouldn’t need a roommate in this city –no, seriously). If you have friends who can help you out, or parents that actually care about you with no strings attached, or have a family and can get into subsidised housing within a couple months (rather than 4-7years, which seems to be the average for us child-free and single queermoes), then disability allowance will keep you from being homeless, but that’s about it.
So, I’m giving a warning that I’m probably going to run a couple of fund-raisers this year. I still intend to attend the Hellenic Revival Gathering, especially as I’ve offered to read one of my poems, and unfortunately, because of my back pain, I’m going to need to travel by train (so I have the ability to lay down completely, if i need to), so yay, $600. Which is small potatoes, compared to the approximately $2500 minimum I’m going to need to move to Los Angeles. I have no idea what else to do —especially after that ‘sode I had a year ago when I discovered the extent of a certain other person’s mooching. I know people who like me are going to make excuses for me (I’m on disability, I actually have physical reasons to leave this state rather than just a want for change of scenery after burning bridges, I have other stuff to sell, so it’s not like I’m just wanting money cos some people think I’m awesome), and I know people who dislike me are going to accuse me of hypocrisy (after all, begging is begging).
I’m going to try and get back into painting again, and hopefully I can sell some on commission. I’m also going to finally start offering custom bulk badges again (and I dread the orders I’m going to get, at least two of every five custom bulk requests I got when I still did custom bulk orders were from irreparably stupid people who didn’t understand my *very simple* process for placing custom bulk orders). I’m probably going to try and get some other projects actually going again, maybe even finished, so that I can make even the teensiest bit of additional money to try and fund moving back to Los Angeles.
Hopefully I won’t end up back on the streets, this time —on the good side, I plan to pretty much get on the list for a Section 8 apartment as soon as I get to Los Angeles, so I hope I can find friends willing to live with me on the short-term, until I can get approval (after past experiences, I have a strong aversion to living with strangers, like, bad enough that I’m afraid it’ll trigger PTSD flashbacks to my abusive father, like the last time I lived with people I didn’t know). Shouldn’t be too hard, I have friends.