Thursday, March 16, 2006

I Can't Afford to be Poor

A bit of a paradox is it not? I can't afford to live poor. I would love to chuck this stressful, hypocritical life here in Gringolandia and live and work in Nicaragua. Most of my friends, except an enlightened few do not understand that. Unfortunately, I am coming to the realization that it will never happen. And thus I feel even more disconnected from life.

I have been a poor steward of money. Most of it went to child support over the years. I never seemed to have enough to stick back, and when I did, someone wanted it now. When I lost everything in the last days of Beverly, my ill considered move to Chicago and then to St Louis with loser companies, I have since then lived on little, a used car, a job that pays little but comes with an apt and utilities. I do not lack for much, I have nice things.. but not enough to chuck it all and live on my savings in Nicaragua.

Going there with out a job or some financial backing would be suicide. I do not know if I have the conscience to live like a king in such a land. Hell, I can't live as pauper. There is little health care (not that I have much here) and I do not want to be a moocher on friends...sure way to lose them. There are not enough jobs for Nicas let alone a fat gringo with few needed skills. Making the jump is scary. Maybe I just need to do it. Maybe I am not so sure after all.

I lost out on the chance to be a land baron, my own fault in part and the greed of others. Priced out now, I look on in resignation and resenment at what might have been. Interlopers on "my" land that I once proudly took a picture of, with me standing by "my" tree. The pic was torn to bits along with my meagre investment, now an amount not worthy to pick up off the ground.

Strange, a poor country now being invaded by the rich. Some of the Nicas welcome the influx. "Mas trabajo" said Arturo, a bartender, when asked how he felt about his hometown's gringo invasion. I guess that is good, but when gringo prices are being charged, are gringo wages being paid? Can even Nicas afford to live in their own land? Most could not in the new hot spots. Will the resentment grow and explode?

I have a grand plan, but like most of mine, my personality and lack of focus will result in nothing. I am a Pisces through and through. Grand dreams, frustrated reality. I want to start the optometry program and learn how to give exams and glaucoma. Spend some time in Nica and then back here, get a job doing something and save, save, save for 3-4 mos in Nica. Sometimes I suprise people (and myself) and actually accomplish something.

I continue to wistfully look at and go to the land of lakes and volcanos and dream of what may be. It tears me up. Why do you have such a hold on me Nicaragua?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nicaragua lures you because that's where your heart has always been, perhaps in another life, too?

Nicaraguans will rue the day they welcomed the uber rich on their soil. Like other multimillionaires who have so much extra money from Bush's tax-free estates, those folks are buying their own goddamned islands all over the world. Even Canada will sell you an island these days!

Don't feel too bad about the lack of money. Leaving Beverly back then turned out to be the great diaspora of some of the most talented people I've met. Even Renee got hammered when she left — at four facilities no less. I loved St. Louis more than any town I had lived in, but like so many big cities, it's harsh. And harsh is the one word that describes this stagnant, Alice-in-Wonderland economy we're in. If you're anything but rich, what you've gone through is merely typical of the middle class. For who do you know is not hanging on by their fingernails?

I know we're not. At 44 and not a dime to my name, it's getting scary. Like you, we live small, driving old cars and watching an ancient TV. The one thing I love most — opera — is virtually unaffordable anymore. The only prospect is to work until you die — the "Greatest generation" fucked us all and is laughing all the way to the bank every month, and to their 100th birthday celebrations, all having retired at 62, if not 55. I've worked, but each time I do get a job, I get lawsuit notices and garnishment. Fuck that. I'll work off the books for life if I have to.

Nicaragua will forever call you. I knew a guy who signed up with a "Teach English as a second language" company and went to South Korea for a year. That was ten years ago and he never left. And he's got more money than he knows what to do with. Consider it if Nicaragua offers such programs.

By the way, it's posts like this one that make Pato News one of the must-read blogs in my day.