Some few years ago when I was writing the initial draft of Everyone Here is Jim Dandy I addressed the subject of depression in people with MS. More particularly, my investigations centered on whether depression is or could be a byproduct of MS due to neurological changes in the brain, or whether depression is just depression pure and simple -- playing no favorites. If I remember correctly, I surmised the latter case to be the more likely. Everyone gets depressed, and the most common type of depression is of a situational nature -- something has gone wrong, a failed love affair, a broken heart, trouble in the workplace, trouble with the wife, trouble with illness (any illness), financial trouble (oh, that’s a good one). Trouble in River City.
I’m thinking about this again because, frankly, I’m depressed. And I don’t think this is the fault of weird brain chemistry or short-circuiting. I think it’s because I’m going broke. In fact, I’m sure it is. And that’s depressing. It’s depressing to live in paradise and be broke at the same time. Even more depressing is the thought of having to leave paradise because you can’t afford to live there anymore. And I’ll tell you this, folks -- if you can’t afford to live on the island of Bali, you have got to be very broke indeed.
But there you have it. Little did we imagine when we took my life savings and moved to this little island on the other side of the world that this chunk of money would be gone within four years. The plan had been for it to last until I began to collect Social Security. Oh well, back to the drawing board. I am three years short still of Social Security, and so this math don’t add up any better than Mitt Romney’s.
What to do? Is returning to the United States an answer? It somehow automatically seems so, but that is no doubt because one is simply remembering a stable situation from the past and imaging that it still exists somehow -- as if it had simply been left behind like a suitcase in storage. It is with a sinking sensation then that one realizes in a suddenly very real way that time has marched on, the world has changed, nothing has been preserved. You can’t go home again. In short, Oh shit, I fucked up! Nope, I can’t walk back into Providence Medical Center and start my old job again. In fact, at 59 years of age, I doubt whether I could walk into any place in America and start any job whatsoever.
What to do, what to do? Work in Bali? At what? Driving a taxi? Picking up white rocks from the beach at Ketewel to sell to the warehouse down the road? Shoulder a shovel and join the guys on the Bypass as they wait for a truck to stop and take them for a day?
Hmm, this is sounding more depressing by the moment. Because it is more depressing by the moment.
How about if I go without eating for a year? That should save a bit. Or maybe quit cigarettes. Or on second thought, no. Some things are indispensable.
I haven’t a clue. That’s the depressing thing. And it’s a scary thing too.