Some people believe one has to work a lifetime to earn the right to not work at all, to sit in a room and read, to reserve time for the contemplation of existence. Once such a time existed when men only required the mere privilege of being born into the world, women twice as much - first to be born, and then be married off for these luxuries.
We evolve, though.
At least some of us do.
Cultures that remember the sacrifice of generations past supply the rewards for future descendants. This is that reward.
So I sit and contemplate mid-life, unemployed, poor; cappuccino expenses diminishing the bank balance that occasional work forays bolster.
This is my privilege: To be born without privilege in a white privilege soaked culture, an unrelenting mind searching for what the culture couldn't provide. An affected temperament forever dissatisfied with other people's management.
I should have been a manager. Obviously.
I looked at her blankly, palms exposed in my best Jesus Christ pleading pose: Doctor, doctor, why have you forsaken me?
She returned to the computer screen, clicking and wondering why she couldn't read the extensive notes I had previously typed to make her job easier. The consultation was over.
This second visit, a waste of time, a waste of hard-earned tax-payer money. How am I not supposed to use my arm when I require my arm to do work that generates money for my bank account which in turn puts food in my stomach and keeps a roof over my head? What kind of brilliant doctoring advice is that? The cheap kind?
No scans booked (or even suggested!) to determine the extent and exactitude of nerve damage to my shoulders? No tests to find out what areas of my wrists are injured and what that means for the future? No follow-ups to discuss strict exercise and stretch implementations in an attempt to resolve the issues?
No. The answer is No. Like a fish on a hot pavement slapping its tail in search of bodies of water, it is all just floundering around in the dark until the shoulder, elbow, and wrist injuries are so exacerbated that the only option is to operate. Or the arms become so damaged that they be put out of commission for the unforeseeable future.
How's that for well-spent tax-payer money?
Just cure me.
The books on the table are just for show.
Surely she notices me though . . .
A bachelor, a spatula; whatever it matters.
The page turned its white background and black shapes over to reveal black lines and musical notes. I nearly cried. The thought of losing music, that biggest part of me, an abject lesson in how much it really means.
I failed the lesson again and again: Short-term goals traded for the loftiest heights, sabotaged by the higher standard of uncompromising fortitude.
The full circle comes around . . . again.
This diagnosis four years ago was not a surprise - the struggle to read and focus had been blighting my sight since as early as 1998, though recognising that 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't the most engaging read of that year (though, unsurprisingly, the novel's "stargate sequence", stylistically completely different from the film's, still remains memorable twenty years later), the struggle to focus continued with blurry spaces in brightly lit short distances. A failed eye test during a driver's license reapplication prescribed glasses that are probably more to blame on not having enough coffee before leaving home that morning. Twelve or so years later an optometrist wondered why I was wearing glasses at all considering how slight the diminished sight was, myself acknowledging that driving was better without them and I could see upcoming signs far better than my ex-bandmate who hadn't been prescribed glasses and could see jack-shit when it came to reading upcoming road signs (yeah, I preferred to be the driver on the way to gigs).
So off they went never to be worn again.