At 5:41 am I stopped caring.
The Struggle of Spring was over. I had lost. Defeated by my own hand. The totality of defeat was irrefutable, as was my own damning part in it. The crushing despair and self pity usually accompanying such events did not come this time, only a eerily silent void of emotional nothingness. There was nothing, I literally did not care about anything at all. I slumped back into the pillow of my girlfriend's bed, head feeling as though it were stuffed tight with cotton, and went back to sleep. My life as I had knew it was over.
In the following pages you will find an insight into life unfettered from the conventional and typical American lifestyle. Of course, the vast range of economic and cultural attributes of the American people ensures that I fit in a certain demographic, maybe in a large or even growing one, but for the most part, stranded in a sea of South-Eastern American peoples and their particular city, I am a stranger in a strange land.
My purpose for writing this book is three-fold. I wish to provide a perspective from one surviving at close to or below the poverty line, along with all the coincidental and oft times bizarre situations and people encountered along the way. A colorful portrait of Americana from a certain demographic, if you will.
Secondly, probably most prominently in theme, I want to provide educational advice with practical tips to those who also wish to live a life not dominated by 40 hour work weeks, and surviving every day by being a mindless cog in the machine whose only discernible impact in life is enriching others via escapist consumerism & mindless materialism promoted by the global corpocracy.
I hasten to add that this is not a book written by a political activist, or even one with strong political leanings. I even describe myself as 'apolitical', most of my private opinions about proper governance seem to span a reasonable distance down the paths of both liberal and conservative thought, I am neither socialist nor capitalist, and while I have a distinct distaste for authority used against me, I find it a necessary element in society to be used in moderation, and so eschew anarchy. So that places me pretty much as centralist. If anything, I guess I could say I am pro-happiness. So if you are already happy with your life regardless of where you might sit in American lifestyle, well then power to ya, as they say. If, however, you are like me, discontent with one's role in society, perhaps you might enjoy an alternative lifestyle.
Third, as it would be disingenuous to pretend to write a book that isn't really, in some part, about the author. As Logan P. Smith wrote:
"Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast."
So this is an attempt to exonerate myself from a life that has been full of failures and personal shortcomings. I have reasons but make no excuses. There is no attempt to paint myself in any particular light, if there are etchings of what seem to be a sympathetic character, it is simply due to the rather pathetic nature of the protagonist. It is simply a tale of struggling to survive come hell or high water and living by one's wits (regardless of how limitted they might be). But, y'know what? I can't complain; It's been one hell of a ride.
"We are all heroes of our own plays, by what ever means necessary, whether martyr or conqueror."
So sit back and enjoy this part Survival Guide and part portraiture, I hope it entertains as well as informs.
*(The alternative titles of the first chapter were:
The Story Starts Here, Stupid
Comedy? Tragedy? Who Cares, Let's Point & Laugh)