11 March 2011

Post 349: The Caveman's Valentine

The Caveman's Valentine by George Dawes Green. ISBN: 9780759542099 (eBook).

There is something distressing in realizing that I have more in common with a homeless person than with someone who can afford three houses, expensive cars, and accessories that cost more than my entire wardrobe. Many people seem to be under the impression that homeless people are lazy or stupid. This often isn't the case. While I haven't made it a habit of knowing hundreds of homeless, working or spending a great deal of time in a library tends to bring more encounters than usual.

They do run the range from Caveman crazy to just obviously homeless, but otherwise quiet. The latter you might mistake for a regular person, except for the disheveled appearance and overwhelming stench. A few of the people I have known to be homeless are actually very intelligent, some even having doctorate degrees. It's just that something went wrong somewhere along the way, and once you're at the bottom it isn't as easy to claw your way back. Making money seems to require having money, and it's awfully hard to get hired when you can't afford an interview suit or a place to take a shower and shave.

This is doubly impossible when you have mental problems factored in. Mentally ill people have a harder time holding a job because they require medications to function anywhere close to normal. Occasionally a certain balance of chemicals will stop working or a person will think hope that they've been cured and they will go off the meds. There are often side effects with these medications that no sane person would want to live with. And so the good periods in their mental health are wiped out and if they were employed they end up having to start all over again.

I sort of feel like employment is my medication, and I have been off of it for way too long. No one's going to give me a job because I don't have a job. It's not that I wanted this to happen. But here I am. And it really feels that I'm only moments from living on the streets.

Meanwhile, people like Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton and whoever else can't seem to get rid of their money no matter how hard they try. But that's okay, let them keep that extra couple thousand dollars in taxes, me and the rest of the losers are fine over here.

Good review over at the LA Times. Sorry bloggers, I just liked this one better than anything else I found.
LibsNote: Copy checked out from the library via Overdrive Media.

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