The Truth is Beautiful

I have been debating writing this entry for a few days now.  It’s not going to be funny.  It’s not going to be touching.  It’s going to be true.  See, I wanted to aim for something with this blog.  I wanted to challenge myself and I wanted to be funny and I wanted to tell the truth.  Sometimes, telling the truth really is the hard part.

I have had a miserable year.

Now, I know that I’ve had way worse years before.  Other people are having way worse years than me.  I get that.  I’m not trying to take away from any of it for anybody else.  There is no great well of misery that dries up if too many people are unhappy.  (Wouldn’t that be better in the long run?  We could just all be really miserable until the well dried up and then BAM! no more unhappiness.)  I am ashamed in myself because all of this unhappiness stems from money.

A long long time ago when I was still young and naive, I cosigned for a friend’s truck.  We both had great jobs and more than enough money at the time and it seemed like a stand up thing for me to do.  I had been meticulously honing my credit since I turned 18 and by that time I was 21 and flush with credit and income.  I was working two jobs, paying my bills with one check and living off of the other one which allowed me more free money and savings that I ever had before and would ever have again.  I had just bought a car myself, a 2000 GT Mustang that was way more reliable than my previous car.  I needed it because I was driving 45 minutes one way to school and my second job.  After a number of promises and assurances, I gladly signed.

It wasn’t long after that that I was laid off from my main job.  The boy I cosigned for had his pay cut, then his hours.  He quit paying for the truck.  Instead he bought half a cow worth of meat for his mother.  Instead he took me out to the bar and dropped $100 without blinking.  Then I started getting calls from the bank and I couldn’t help because I couldn’t even pay my own bills at that point.  He had never told me that there was a problem.  He asked the bank not to call me and they actually stopped.  A friend of his was moving to Florida and he went with the guy and got a job there and gleefully told me he was paying.  Until a girl said he got her pregnant.  He called me crying and asked if I could get him home.  I was ready to wire him money when he called me back and told me all was well.

A month later he left the truck in a lot, called the bank, and told them to come get it.

That is about how it worked out with collections, too.  He told me that he was taking care of it and nobody told me otherwise until I was being sued because guess who was still living in the same state.  Me.  I settled out of court for $225/month to pay off a loan that worked out to 14k after late fees and interest.  For a truck that nobody had.  And there was nothing I could do about it.

So, I saddled up and I paid and paid for a good year and a half until he got a hold of me and started paying.  In the meantime he had moved to Colorado and not long after that he got married.  I bought a house for less than rent would cost.  I continued paying all of my loans, all on time.  Student loans.  Mortgage.  Truck.  He paid me solidly, only missing one month, for a year and a half.

That takes us to November.  My diligence meant that I had paid of two school loans already and a number of small bills as well.  I was coming out ahead every month and building a savings and paying off even more stuff.  But I was starting to get stupid with my money, spending it on frivolous things, and my car was no longer reliable.  I bought a new car.  No new new but newer than anything I had ever owned.  It may be a little showy but it was a good deal for the year and the mileage.  I imagine it looks horrible to people who know what is going on.

The next month he quit paying.  EVERY WEEK SINCE THE BEGINNING OF JUNE HE HAS PROMISED ME MONEY.  EVERY EFFING WEEK.  And every week he disappears at the end of it.  I had managed to maintain my friendship with him through all of it until about a month ago.  My savings?  Nearly gone.  Every month is a heart attack worth of worries.  And it’s not fair because I have ALWAYS been there for him when he needed me.  His wife is pregnant when I could not even fathom supporting a child right now.

Then, my father suggested I try refinancing my house and paying off the loan.  For three weeks I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off chasing down paperwork and faxing and copying and calling.  To make things even tighter, I had to pay for an appraisal out of pocket.  There was hope.  There was light.  I would pay off the truck.  I would pay off two more student loans.  I would be able to fix the house up a little.  The house appraised much higher than when I bought it but not high enough.

And so this last month I have spent feeling a lot of really bad shit.  I feel disappointed in myself and in him.  I feel angry at him.  I feel frustrated at the situation.  I wanted nothing more than to wash my hands of all of it and I cannot even do that.  All day every day there is an undercurrent of such anger and sadness that it has literally sucked alllllll of the joy out of my life.  Nothing makes me happy right now.  Everything is tainted.  The sense of betrayal is almost debilitating.

I don’t want to live with this bitterness anymore.  I want to let it go.  But how can I when I am reminded every week when I am promised falsely that it will all be okay and when I am let down every week when it doesn’t come and when I pay the bill every month.  There is a constant reminder.  When I walk through the door of my house, my sanctuary, and I see the things I can’t afford to fix.  Life is not fair, I know, and I am not looking for any advice.  I just needed you all to know why I am so unhappy.  Is money and disillusionment followed closely by the frustration of being helpless against these things.

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