Summer is here...officially. Memorial Day weekend always means summer is here. I know the calender says it actually happens on June 21, but for as long as I can remember, Memorial Day was the official beginning.
When I was a kid, we never got out of school before June 12th. That was always the official last day of school. It was so ingrained, that the calender on our kitchen wall came with the date already highlighted.
Those last two weeks between Memorial Day and the last day of school were almost entirely useless. We took our year-end tests and we packed up our desks...the ones that had tops that opened to two different angles for writing and drawing, or you could lay them flat. They made a distinct sound when you opened them. Mine was always a disaster by the end of the school year. If not for my trusty school box I wouldn't even know where my pencils were. But we cleaned them out and removed the paper-bag book covers we had made for all our textbooks and turned them back in. We took all our library books back and Mrs. Singer gave us a stern look that always melted into a smile and she ignored the late fee and told us she was looking forward to seeing us the next fall.
Summer was special and it couldn't get here soon enough.
Now I am a dad myself. I will be 50 this fall. Summer is here again. Usually my favorite time of the year but this year I meet it with dread. Today was Memorial Day and I spent it essentially wandering. I was up at 4 AM, because I can't really sleep anymore. I went to Dunkin and got my coffee and did some writing this morning until 7 AM when the gym opened. I worked out and took a shower and went to Panera where I sat for a few hours, reading the book of Job and thinking. I haven't read Job in five years. For some reason I avoided it all this time I was homeless. I'm glad I did. There was a lot in this book that reminded me of my situation and not in any good ways.
After a while I left to go get something to eat. Something cheap. Then I came back to Panera again and put out more resumes. More applications for jobs that simply aren't there. Not for someone in my demographic.
I set up my Hootsuite so that I could promote the divorced dads book throughout the day and then I left again. I went for a walk and then tried to catch a nap for 20 minutes because without sleeping much I get very weary. Not just tired...weary.
Now I'm back at Panera again until 9PM when they close. That's how I spent my Memorial Day. No cookout. No ballgame. I didn't get to see my daughter. I wandered. I'm wandering every day now. I have been homeless for four of the last five years but to be honest...maybe I've always been homeless. There has always been something else out there. Not something material...this isn't a lust or a desire or a materialistic passion. It's internal. It's dissatisfaction with whatever is right here and right now. There has always been something more I was seeking. Somewhere else I was wanting to be. The last 2 1/2 years while I finished school I didn't feel it. I felt connected and settled. I was doing my one thing. But now I don't have school and I don't have a garden to tend or a house to maintain and my daughter can't some see me. I have nowhere to lay my head...so I wander.
It has to stop. I can't endure this again. Not for another summer. My daughter is growing up and soon she'll be gone and I'll have missed these years. I don't want to miss her like I do. I don't want to be a vagabond and a wanderer. But there is nothing out there for employment and it takes some time and a good bit of luck to sell a book. "Remembering America" is a GREAT book. I haven't met anyone who hasn't been mesmerized by the stories in this work of mine. But without a publicity push nobody will hear about it and word of mouth takes a long time unless you have the finances to do it right.
So I am stuck wandering. Wandering as a man, wandering professionally...wandering as a dad.
I hate this life of mine and I'm not sure how much more I can deal with. I am no quitter...my degree and my writing would attest to that...but I am desperately near quitting.
I need a home and some measurable success. I want to have a home to come home to. Not just physically. My heart needs a home. My heart needs to stop wandering.