Thursday, June 03, 2010

OutCast

My niece is graduating this weekend from high school. I received a formal invitation. When I contacted my older brother, I told him I had no suitable clothes to wear, that my clothes are all rags. He said they'd be able to get me some maybe.

I never heard anything more on that regard. Meanwhile, my younger brother said we'd all stay up there in Portland for the weekend, and catch up, like a family.

But, the age old problem rears its head. I can't pay for a motel room. I don't have that kind of money. It's an awkward thing, to do anything with anybody if you have no money. If someone in the group wants to go out to eat, for instance, that's something I can't afford to do. If my brothers and their families would want to go out to the movies, I have to make some excuse, because I cannot afford such things. Or they have to fumble and try to decide, in fervent whisperings, who will come up with the money for my ticket.

My older brother finally sent out to his e-mail list a list of events associated with his daughter's graduation. I told him I would try to make it to the brunch but that would be all I could do, due to the clothing issue.

Today, I told him, via e-mail, I would likely not make it even to the brunch since I am sick. He did respond, one sentence, that that is fine, that I couldn't make it.

I think my younger brother and his family might be headed up there today for the long weekend and her graduation. I'm not sure. I'm not in their communication loop and I don't want to ask. It's too awkward, really. But the reasons are practical. It's about money.

It takes money to go stay in Portland for a weekend, and I could never/would never attend a graduation in ragged jeans, faded and full of holes, and shoes with holes in them. I would not want to embarrass my niece like that. Or my brothers and their families. I don't even know my niece. While she grew up, I we in the mental system and my brothers were not exactly family oriented, except to their own families of course.

Income disparities create huge crevices between people/families that are often impassable.

I am the outcast, the awkward relative, with a past nobody wants to bring up or to stare in the eyes, my eyes. It's only hard on me, not them. I keep trying to do something with them, my brothers and their families, but I know they have their own lives and always have and I've never been a part of those lives, being shut away like I was, in the abusive lonely mental health system.

Now, that I escaped that hell, after 30 years of my life was stolen from me, I come out and find I have nobody at all to call family.

Since leaving the system, I've been on the hunt for a niche, for people, a tribe, somewhere to fit in. Sure I'm damaged goods from decades of isolation and abuse. A soul can only keep on trying, til the end, and that is what I will do.

I am the revered leader of this clan of cats living here. Some people would call me a cat slave. Either way, I do have that.

In other news, the oil spill effects are terrible I can't watch coverage of it anymore. It was all over for me, watching, on my computer, Anderson Cooper showing birds just drenched in oil, gasping for breath. It is a terrible thing what is happening down there, very terrible. Will this propel us to think twice before we drive or use oil based products like plastics? Probably not.

Most of us would not have any idea how to get along without oil products. I am one of those people.

We live so far from our jobs and families. Even from food sources. Much of our food is shipped in from far distant places. Our whole society and those across the planet would have to change fundamentally, to decrease oil reliance.

For one thing, we would have to use mostly local goods and foods. We're not set up in every community to be self-sustaining on any level. Everything is shipped in from medical supplies, to clothes, to building materials to food. Even local merchants don't sell locally produced goods to any degree.

Communities would need to reorganize so people could walk to work, or take public transit. People commute long distances to work now. It's tough to find any job. Transit systems would have to become user friendly, and allow shopping bags on buses and trains, more than what you can hold on your lap, to avoid the necessity of multiple trips when shopping.

People would need to share rides more. Many people love to drive. I do. I don't like riding with others, especially people whose driving habits might be questionable.

Business and pleasure flights to far off places would have to end. Planes consume massive quantities of fuel.

Then there are all the other products made from oil, too numerous to even comprehend. Life without oil would be very very different. Like I say, most of us have no idea how that would be accomplished.

One day, human kind will have to live without oil, because it will be gone. I'll be dead by then. Long dead.

4 comments :

  1. You changed the title! When I first looked earlier I was thinking that it was clever for the use of "Caste" ..because after all, you are talking about a caste system of privileged and non-privileged.

    Anyway, you're the top cat. :) That should count for something. People are as trustworthy as cats: you never know what they're going to do.

    And on the other note, I can't really watch the oil stuff either. It's just too depressing.

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  2. I probably should have left the original spelling as that is a more accurate word to describe what I was trying to describe, a caste system, here in America.

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  3. i'm with you on the oil spill coverage. last night i couldn't sleep thinking abuot the pictures on AC 360 & the web..and the volunteers who are trying so hard. i'm scared it'll hit the everglades & ti'll be all over for the wildlife there. it's like a disease spreading with hardly any gov't outrage or help. so argavating. like katarina again but way worse and for much longer..thanks for letter me say my piece.
    as far as family, ti'm not good with that stuff much.just 3 left in mine after the past 2 years of deaths ugg.

    i wish we could do a fun makeover for a day!

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  4. There are lots of people with no family really out there. I do have my brothers, even though I rarely see them. And I love them.

    It is a horrible thing, the oil, spreading everywhere. The disease thing is rightful comparison. There's no cure, either, we're addicted. Our entire society is built on harboring the disease.

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