Just when did I board the SS Minnow?

My life is starting to feel as if I am sailing aboard the SS Minnow where, no matter how creatively I patch the holes, the water keeps finding new ways of leaking in, threatening to drag me down into homelessness once more.

The difference in the number of pay periods (26/2 = 13) versus disability cheque issues (12 X 2 = 24) resulted in an extra paycheque being included in a cheque period (3 cheques instead of the usual 2). The result was that $280 was clawed back off the disability cheque leaving me short $250 to pay June’s rent.

‘Delaying payment’ of the monthly bills provided $100 towards June’s rent. Of course the price of using the $100 to pay June’s rent is the need to struggle for at least the next three months to squeeze $100 out of my budget to bring the accounts of the monthly bills back to current from delinquent. On a budget were even a 2kg jar of peanut butter is a major expenditure finding the $100 feels more like one is paying in blood or having it carved out of one’s hide.

With no discretionary spending in the budget each ‘savings’ is a decision made at the expense of something else.

If Fate or The Universe had not intervened to return a damage deposit, three years late and in the precise month (May 2010) it was needed, the car I am writing this sitting in would have been providing me shelter during my return to homelessness.

I am sitting in the car writing this waiting for a free supper to be served because I cannot afford the gas to drive home and then return for supper. I am a member of a Fraser Mental Health committee that exists to advise Fraser Mental Health, from the point of view of someone using the services provided by Fraser Mental Health, about its the services and delivery methods it uses. I was forced to miss June’s meeting because there was no money to pay for gas to drive to and from Surrey.

My car provides the only form of transportation that allows me to get to the places I need to be at the times I need to be there. Being unable to get to work and get home from work at 1:30 in the morning would mean I could not afford my current lodgings, could not afford the rent on any safe and healthy housing. Volunteer activities, Fraser Mental Health committees (Surrey, Coquitlam), Housing and Homeless working groups, mental health groups to facilitate (Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack) are among the commitments only a car allows me to keep. A car is not a convenience but a necessity.

I am so tapped out that the other day when I found a British made ink pen with four different nibs and ink cartridges in a Thrift Store for the bargain price of $0.65, a pen I needed to replace one that had ceased to write, I had to borrow $0.30 to have enough to pay for it. Repaying the $0.30 was accomplished through cashing 6 pop cans in at the bottle depot.

So of course, when your life begins to feel more and more like you are a passenger on the SS Minnow or are transferring to the Titanic, when one is financially past the point of being tapped out and the car you need and depend on needs to be aircared … that is when said automobile starts running rough and spewing out fumes that have people in the vicinity of the exhaust pipe choking and gasping for fresh air.

With my current financial situation, pretty much penniless, the need for a tune-up (or whatever the Cavalier requires to pass Aircare) requires the benefaction of a mechanic and parts required at a cost of … zero, zip, nada, $0.00 OR the philanthropy of a vehicle with a price at the same level of zero, zip, nada, $0.00.

Finding the future, Housed or Homeless, once again out of my hands and consigned to Fate …

… well, not only is life feeling as if I am a passenger on the SS Minnow but this latest twist has me feeling as if I have been tossed an anchor instead of a life jacket.

Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.




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