With My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind

I have spent the last year being broke as fuck with my family helping me make ends meet, and now after my rent has been paid, I have a little over a thousand dollars in the bank. I find myself hiding under the covers this morning, just wanting to hoard it, even though there are things I desperately need. For instance, at some point today I need to go to the pharmacy and get my meds, and I need light bulbs and toilet paper. I will get over it, but right now, spending even a cent feels like giving up a part of myself, as if there’s never going to be any money ever again. In two weeks, there will be, but after the year I’ve had, I am insecure and anxious about it. I know I have job security because I am proving myself every single day, getting better and better at my job because I don’t have to multitask quite so much. I can focus on being a better coder and that takes a single-minded type of endurance. In fact, I feel guilty for being home today, because first of all, I don’t like weekends.

People like me just don’t. An interruption in my schedule for two whole days makes me feel a little bit lost. Church helps with that, of course, but it starts later than my job, so it’s still a routine change that tilts my world a bit. Plus, what I’m working on is fucking interesting, and being away from it is driving me crazy. It’s actually a project, and every minute I’m not making forward progress on it is one more thing I inherently feel guilty about leaving alone until Monday, as if it’s waiting for my touch.

I would also like a maid, and I may look into getting one. With my commute, there are just not enough hours in the day to keep my life at home running smoothly. It would be nice to come home to the laundry already being done and the clothes put away and everything in its place. And surely cleaning one room once or twice a week would be cheap. Let me explain why I feel the way I feel. I leave the house at 0645 and 90% of the time I don’t get home until 2100. I stagger in the door exhausted, laundry piling up because I can’t start laundry that late and or that early. If I lived in an apartment complex where the laundry was separate from my living quarters, it would be a different thing. But the laundry is in the basement, where Samantha and Dom live.

The long and short of it is that I don’t need to justify to anyone why I want anything, but after having Dana keep my life together when she was home and I was at work, I realized how important it was to me. I told Dana that if she got a job, we’d hire someone to take care of both of us. I didn’t want her to think that she was stuck- if she got tired of it, all the better. We’d have someone to take care of the house so we could spend time on each other.

It never happened, of course. As Dana became more and more depressed, the house was a wreck and she didn’t want to get a job. Just slammed in both directions. And by slammed, not placing blame, just an all-around clusterfuck. Neither one of us were getting our needs met and we were both spectacularly unhappy because of it. It is true that I asked her to hold off on getting a job and take care of me while I was working nights, but that’s because I thought if she was working I’d never see her at all. But once I was off nights, I didn’t care what she did. I just wanted her to be happy. And I hope she is.

She agreed with me in terms of working nights, and it was such a blessing right up until it wasn’t. We had this great 1950’s throwback relationship except that Dana never wore pearls while she vacumed… that I’m aware of. 😛

But all good things must come to an end, and the blessing of having a wife that stayed home to take care of me began to feel isolated and yet, didn’t want to do anything about it, either. I thought making her in control of everything, the house manager, would make her feel like I made the money, but she made all the choices about how to spend it. It wasn’t my money. It was ours. The only time I ever thought that was unfair was when she said we didn’t have the money for something I wanted and I found all sorts of fast-food bags in her car. It was clear she wasn’t happy, and it was clear I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t make her get a job, and I couldn’t make her happy being a stay-at-home wife. Dana had to make Dana happy. Dana’s depression, I believe, was the root of her territorial attitude toward Argo, and neither of us could help that, either. The “I need a sounding board other than you” line didn’t work, even though it was the truest thing in the whole world, and not just something you say when you’re trying to leave a relationship.

In that sense, I’m glad Dana is gone for good, because one of the biggest reasons we got together is that we realized that neither one of us could watch the other with someone else. Dana couldn’t let me love someone else in front of her, and my girlfriends always felt like they were second fiddle to my best friend, because we had so many inside jokes where “you just had to be there” that my girlfriends became territorial and hated Dana, too.

It was a turf war, especially with Katharin, who suspected that we were in love and Dana was the whole reason I wanted to move to Portland, when it was Katharin that originally wanted to move there and I was overjoyed to be along for the ride. When we got there, it was a flaming disaster, because the turf war was intense and I hated every moment of it.

The more I think of it, the more I like being single without Dana in my life because I don’t have a girlfriend with whom I have to compromise and I don’t have a best friend determined not to like her. It was the worst with my ex-boyfriend, Matt, because they really liked each other, and yet every time the three of them were in a room together, it was the ultimate pissing contest from beginning to end over who knew me better, and I was just caught in the middle.

They were both so insecure about my love for them that they couldn’t make room for each other in my life, either, when I had the ability to love Matt like a brother and Dana like a wife without crossing wires… most of the time. I was a real asshole because of my abuse and treated Matt like a “dick in a glass case.” As Chris Rock says, “in case of emergency, break glass.” I didn’t with my actions, but I did with my words. I flirted too much, and I ruined a good relationship with him because of it…. because as we’ve discussed, I am not very good at not “being over the line, Smokey.” Another reaon I’m glad I’m single. I don’t have the ability to hurt anyone in that way ever again. As I work through these myriad issues, I see how grossly inappropriate those actions and reactions were, and I get disappointed in myself for committing them at all. My drive to have my skeletons out in the open and my soul clean is fierce, and I am dedicated to it, because the truth is the only thing that sets you free.

Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t think I’ll ever date a man again. It was too hard, because my wiring is bisexual in terms of a lot of things, but communication is not one of them. I didn’t have the type communication with Matt than I’d ever had with any of my girlfriends, and it bothered me. I wasn’t in my comfort zone. Heterosexuality is wonderful……. for other people.

As an old friend told me, and read this with dripping NE Texas drawl, “there’s nothing wrong with a good hard dick…. it’s just a shame there’s a man attached.” My sentiments exactly. Maybe a little shocking, but #truth….. at least for me. I enjoy men, but in dating them, a piece of me feels missing, especially in public, because I got a taste of heterosexual privilege and it sucked and I cried…. Keep in mind this was further than a decade ago. People felt free to make gay jokes in front of me, and I am such a dirty motherfucker sometimes I laughed because they were truly funny, but mostly I felt that when they were coming from that audience, with the sneer of second-class citizenship, they weren’t all that funny. For instance, if a fey gay man had said, “did you hear about the new gay cereal? It’s called Queerios. You pour milk on them and they eat themselves!” I would have laughed my ass off. Coming from a good ol’ boy, not so much.

Matt accepted my bisexuality without question. I didn’t change the way I dressed to look girlier. He looked like he was dating a dyke, and that was okay with him. He didn’t want me to be anything less than who I was, and it meant the world to me. But that didn’t translate to the rest of the world.

And as I shut the rest of the world out, learning more about myself, I know more about who I want to be. Argo shined a light into the darkness of my soul, and when I truly saw it, I wanted to change. Not for her. For me.

For instance, I have never been more into hoarding money than I am now. My financial security means more to me than a new bottle of whiskey or a case of Cheerwine. I don’t want to party. I want to ponder. I’ll give you a for-instance. Yesterday my dad sent me a link to a cheap minivan, and for a moment, I really wanted it. And then I looked on Craig’s List and found the car I’ve wanted for fifteen years at a price I could easily afford if my dad would front me the money, and he said he would. It’s a four-banger Saturn Vue, deep orange and a stick shift. And then I thought about paying an insurance bill every month and I folded. I didn’t even want to borrow money from my dad in the first place, because I was afraid I’d never be able to pay it back, even though that was an unwarranted fear. I would rather wait until I have money in the bank of my own, padding enough to have an emergency fund so that nothing ever bounces, and I can pay cash for everything. However, I let myself dream for a moment, putting expensive speakers in the Vue because the cavern makes the sound MARVELOUS. And then I realized that Craig’s List always has a ton of cars and I can buy one whenever I want. There’s nothing wrong with taking the bus, Metro, and Uber for a few more months. I have debts I need to pay off, almost entirely medical and dental. I want to be debt-free and secure before I start thinking about big expenses like Saturns…. although as my dad quipped, I could put one together in my sleep.

It’s true. I remember everything Volfe taught me, but it’s a bitch not having him here to go look at cars with me. I would give everything I own just to have one more day with him on the driveway.

And through writing, I’ve managed to procrastinate leaving for the pharmacy. It’s time to put on some Mike Jones and get shit handled. Because I have the money.

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