Cole

In the late summer of 1990 some of us kids were at the park playing some kind of game. The sun had set and we were 11 years old so we all headed home. This white kid around our age I had never seen before was with us and apparently had no home to go to. The story was he ran away from the group home that was located just a few blocks away. He must have asked if he could stay at my place because I highly doubt I would have invited him. Every other summer I would be left alone for a month without supervision because Uncle Bill would leave town for a month and my mother would be working 12 hours a day.

There was no way this kid was going to stay under the same roof as us but the back of the house was kind of a junkyard. The back porch was a hoarding area that never saw light because of the enormous orange tarp sheltering it like a tent. I can’t remember any of the items on that porch except a very large rolled up carpet. It’s possible it’s the only thing I can recall because nothing else ever had any significance. I told him he could sleep on the rolled up carpet if he wanted to. He accepted. His name was Cole, I think.

The next morning I must have fed him something then Cole and I walked down to the railroad tracks. At that age I didn’t know that stories involving a strange kid and railroad tracks often had bad endings. Instead of me getting bashed over the head with a large rock though we found a pornographic magazine still mostly intact. The pages had been wearing out probably from several days or weeks of the effects of morning dew and sunshine. I think it was my first dirty magazine. Cole might have went back to his group home that day or not, I can’t remember.

Cole showed up another day. By this time Uncle Bill had come home. Cole wanted to sleep on the rolled up carpet again but he also asked for a pillow. I had to ask for permission this time. I can’t imagine that I asked Uncle Bill if some strange kid could sleep on our dirty, rolled up rug outside but I must have. I do remember asking though if I could give him a pillow because I remember his response was to give him the crappier pillow. Uncle Bill wasn’t very amused with what I brought home.

Some other day soon after he showed up on my doorstep again wanting to come in. We played a board game or a card game together. He would uncontrollably shake his head every minute or so. He told me his dad used to hit him in the head a lot. While we were playing our game he distracted me but I heard the sound of coins clanging together and then disappearing. I accused him of stealing my money. He put the coins back on the table and then I asked him to leave. Looking back now I should have just let him have the money.

He wasn’t a bad kid at all. It seemed as though he had morals and was easy to be around with. A few days later he came by again when it was pouring rain. He wanted to come in but I refused. That was the last time I ever saw him.

 

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Employment Opportunities

A person I know sent me a message today with a job offer.

“Do you want to pack weed for $18 an hour?”

I’m not sure what packing weed entails but I think it’s packaging consumer amounts for illegal online sales. Some people have been making a ton of money blatantly selling marijuana online and in storefronts. It’s 100% illegal but the story is the city does not have enough resources to deal with it. Although marijuana is legal now the black market is still a large supplier for consumers.

Packing weed is probably an easy job but for $18 an hour there’s no risk premium and I’m doubtful a dental plan is included. I can get paid that much moving boxes at some warehouse without having to worry about the law or getting robbed. If it was $50 an hour I’d have to consider it. Everyone has a price.

There’s a labour shortage of skilled workers as well as low wage positions that are located in areas not easily accessible by public transit. Being a plumber pays well and is important but you have to be a plumber 5 days of the week. Easy jobs are plentiful but pay you dog shit in an expensive city. No one wants a tough commute to a low paying job. Many restaurants have had to shorten their opening hours or even close altogether because of lack of workers.

Even the 8-year-old kid in my neighbourhood quit his paper route because they cut his pay by half. Most of this city haven’t been getting their shopping flyers for the last 12 months.

If you don’t want depressing pay then you have to be somewhat valuable to society. Scarcity equals value.

 

Hooky Friend

The other day I was walking by the lottery ticket booth at the supermarket when someone caught my eye. I did a double take at who I thought to be an old high school friend. I’m mostly certain it was him. We locked eyes at one point and as he looked away I got the sense that he felt ashamed.

To keep some degree of confidentiality we’ll call this old friend, Fuckface, or maybe we’ll just call him Dave. We met when we were 13 years old the same way many losers meet. Our commonality was skipping school. Sooner or later you’re going to end up meeting other hooky players.

Dave was kind of messed in the head. One day he would be more than glad to buy you a free meal and the next day he would try to start a fight with you. After high school which I doubt he completed, the rumour was that he was on heroin. It may have just been a rumour. People like to propagate a fake interesting story than a boring one.

If I had to guess he’s not presently on heroin. If I had to guess he still has at least a slight gambling problem. If I had to guess he recognized me but may have been too ashamed to talk about his life with me. Why didn’t I try to talk to him? I don’t know. It was one of those split second decisions. I was walking so I just kept walking.

Considering the Future

A few years ago there was a blogger who fake liked enormous amounts of blog posts including mine. She garnered a big following and decided one day that it might be a good idea to write a post trying to solicit money using GoFundMe to help pay for her master’s degree. She ended up deleting the post and was never heard from again.

I’ve been liquidating the risk from my pension investment portfolio so that I won’t have to lie in the future to gently steal funds from you good people. I also call this portfolio my ‘anti-suicide fund.’ The rules indicate that I cannot withdraw any money from this fund until I’m 55 years old. If I know I have a significant amount of money waiting for me then it greatly reduces the chances of me enacting the dark version of Freedom 55.

There comes a certain age when a person feels they are too old to start over but also too young to make it to retirement. This can be a partial reason why it’s strongly advised to not quit your job after a certain age. Throwing caution to the wind can sometimes leave you in the eye of a shit hurricane.

Today is Sunday

My throat has the beginnings of a virus forming. You know, it starts off with a little itch and progressively gets worse every couple of hours. Last night after using the vaporizer for my marijuana therapy my throat was dry but I didn’t get that glass of water that I knew I should have. Oh it will be okay. That type of thinking almost always leads to something not being okay. ‘It’s okay’ is what you tell yourself for short term comfort knowing very well it’s not okay.

Today’s piano lesson was shit. I had 3 weeks off and I now I’m worse. My punishment is $37.50 for the exact same lesson I had 3 weeks ago because I haven’t progressed enough. Charging for piano lessons is like selling gym memberships. After a while people won’t try as hard but will continue to pay the same amount. A good business is one that caters to people’s best intentions then locks them in and has their clients falter like they were statistically going to since recorded history. People are degenerate gamblers in some form. They think they are special and will beat the odds.

Here I am at the cafe to redeem myself by reading a book. Three Asian students sitting separately all have complicated looking mathematical equations in front of them and graphs that are displaying something. Maybe the inverse relation of gravity minus pythagoras multiplied by the square root of the speed of light. Anyone spending their Sunday engaged in such an activity is desperately working towards not being a loser.

To be an Asian in a developed country without a university degree is appalling. You don’t bullshit well enough and aren’t tall enough to get by in life by slacking off. You’ll be first in line to be culled by artificial intelligence.

If I had a job to go to tomorrow I’d be excited at the prospect of being genuinely sick so that I could call in sick without the guilt. Certain feelings will hold you back in life. Guilt has been one of them for me. Fake it until you make it and then for good measure keep faking it. People are usually too polite to call you out on your bullshit.

Reading Books

My former Amway sponsor said if you don’t read books you might as well be illiterate. I responded by saying I would still need to read restaurant menus, but I get his point. I don’t believe that people who read abundantly are more intelligent because it depends greatly on what you read and how you process the information. Finishing a large catalogue of books from the teenage vampire genre doesn’t make you an intellectual.

In the past couple of years I have been trying to make it a habit to read more and I have been failing at it for the most part. In a book that I have been slowly reading over the past few months it suggested that when it comes to progress anything is better than nothing, just don’t give up. So I made a promise to read at least 2 pages a day no matter what. I’ve been failing even at that but I never mentally called it quits.

I’m on a quest towards self-improvement and progress. For $20 or free you can get a lifetime of information from people who are smarter, more educated and more experienced than you are. All you have to do to absorb their powers is to read what they wrote.

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I don’t know if I’d recommend any of the books I’m reading to many people. Marilyn Manson’s book is the most entertaining…surprise surprise. The other 3 books have good information but can be boring too. Reading internet articles seems to be more practical. I believe books have to be a certain number of pages so that the publisher or whoever can justify a higher cost, and in return you get a bunch of filler pages and paragraphs.

If you want to improve in a particular area in your life, reading the appropriate books is a must. If you’re not seeking out information to improve in a particular subject it means you’re not interested in improving or you think you know it all.

If I was a parent I would be reading books on parenting, children, social sciences or at least a stripper’s autobiography for lessons on what not to do. There’s books to help you with your career but a good sign that you don’t like your job is if you have no interest in doing it better. Who wants to read books on something they hate doing? If you’re not interested in seeking information on raising a better child then maybe you don’t really want to be a good parent?

Today I read 20 pages. I deserve a cookie.

The Dark Side

In the circle of people I grew up with, selling drugs has had a few types of doors. There’s the revolving door where someone quits but returns in the future. There’s a few reasons why they quit but the most common is because they weren’t making enough money. They’ll tell you it’s because of something else but ultimately it’s because the money stopped coming in.

Hoods never stop, they just take a break.
– City of God(movie)

Transitioning from the world of drug dealing to legitimate life can be difficult. Your education, work experience and people skills can be comparable to that of a 12-year-old. Even if you do power through, your possibilities seem limited. During a period when life puts its squeeze on, some tend to break and walk back over to the dark side.

Most assume that if you have made it past your 20s without having given into the temptation of making easy money then your remaining years of life will be entirely a legitimate path. When life bends you over and gives it to you then you might just walk through that new door. You know how life lived for over 30 years on one side of that door is and it has sucked with a bleak outlook going forward. At least maybe on the dark side the stars will align for you.

You are the sum average of the 5 people you spend the most time with
Jim Rohn

Associating regularly with drug dealers but never taking a bite of the sinful fruit seems somewhat impressive but it’s like herpes. The dormant virus is in you and it only takes a single occasion to produce an outbreak. When you say you’ll never do it but you’re always around people that do, you’re sending mixed messages to the universe. One day it’s going to give you the only answer that makes sense.