Empty Days

Friday, April 23, 2004



Needle in my arm

No, not that kind of needle. I've signed up again to participate in some drug-study to make some cash. I loathe these things but it's a quick way to update your budget. The funny part is that I have plans for this wad of cash - like getting out of the city for a short while at least or update my rusty bike or buy a fucking pair of jeans. Something meaningful and soul-saving, you know. But the funny part is that there is every chance that as soon as I get this wad of cash after walking around with a needle up my arm for a few days and staying in really confining surroundings - well, as soon as I am outta there and cashing in my cheque I will have dental problems: like my front teeth deciding to rot to the root right at that moment and, lo and behold, all this load of cash will go directly to the dentist.

Because one thing I am trying to hold on to despite ongoing destitution are my front teeth. Without front teeth you're out of society and out of life and out of hope forever - there is no going back, it's a fucking total disaster to sport no front teeth. Frankly, socially speaking it's far worse than castration, amputation and all other bodily losses. Having no teeth writes you off to the lowest possible level - you instantly become suspect of massive drug-addiction, having done time, vagrancy, disorderly conduct in late-night bars and god knows what else. While the actual reason for having really bad teeth maybe something as innocent and irreversible as your mother having been really low on calcium during that unfortunate pregnancy that resulted in you being around "for no particular reason" (kudos Forrest Gump) - as it has been in my sorry case. But that's something you can't prove. In fact, there is virtually nothing you can prove once you're toothless and still too young for it to look acceptable. Basically - rather get a tattoo right in the middle of your face and say "hi, I am Manson".

I'm laughing in advance about teeth coming in the way of my life-saving projects as it happened in the past and every time with uncanny regularity for a fortuitous thing like that. Whenever I was finally able to make som extra cash, it all immediately went to the dentist. I may as well bet the whole proceedings on that particular prospect coming out of the dark-blue.

***

There was a guy on PBS at some point who wrote a book called "The Working Poor" - he's a professor and he's been following some really low-income people for years to try and find out why the fuck these low-income people never seem able to get out of their dorky jobs and get a life. Well, his general conclusion was that the so-called "working poor" are really just crazy folks. He never said that directly of course, but he meant it and for a reason: because life shows that the reason you're poor is because you're crazy. And no matter how hard you work or how many jobs you hold or what incredible professional classes you take to get some skills and credibility - in the end, you always go back to the bottom of the ladder because there is something wrong with you. In fact, there is such a load of things that are wrong with you from the start that it's practically a hopeless idea to ever get past that - and it certainly does not depend in the least on how hard you work or even whether you work at all. That's the paradox and the crux of the matter. And I entirely agree with this general conclusion because I know this life and these people inside out and I can tell you right now that this is exactly the reason the poor remain poor - it's just the way it is and no amount of job creation and so-called "opportunity" can vanquish that factor. Which is that you're crazy.

Well, I remembered this guy and his book because in it he describes some of the million of problems that "plague" the poor while they're trying to get out of their respective holes. For instance he gave the story of some really optimistic entreprising woman who held two or three jobs so she could go to college part-time and get a degree; and when finally she got her degree she could never use it to get a good job. Why? Heh. It's hilarious. Because while she was working and studying herself to death she got big problems with her teeth and had to have the whole lot pulled out and the denture that she got didn't fit and she couldn't get a proper denture for lack of funds. So in the end she had this big college degree and no teeth, and no company would accept her without a shiny smile, you know. And that was the end of her struggle for "a better life" - all on account of bad dental disaster. Which just goes to tell you that "opportunity" and "college education" and all that get-it-right dunk are a fake idea when it comes to real life solutions. In real life you need to look the part you wanna play - that simple. And what goes into that particular look is pretty much a whole life-time of effort and social grooming. Crazy people can't pull it off for the obvious reason that they're crazy. The non-crazy can't pull it off because they get to look too weird through a life-time of tribulations - and that too is branded crazy.

Quod erat demonstrandum.





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