213: (rumination on home[lessness])

i took the bus out to the new apartment. i’m moving 100 blocks east of where i currently live. everyone around me is surprised, but, i think i want this. the ability to have my own apartment has intrigued me since i could live on my own, but it’s always been a pipe dream, due to finances or lack of transportation or other issues. my own fear of being able to afford to live. there’s something empowering about living in a city where a large chunk of people are living in tents or on the street. it really makes you appreciate what you have and realize what you can get. there are so many people in portland who sleep on sidewalks and have tremendous issues with drugs, people who are careening toward, or have surpassed, a point of no return, between self-reliance and self-destruction. it’s not necessarily that they’ve given up, it’s that they live in a society which, for the most part, ignores them, and as for portland, doesn’t have the resources to help them. and in a way, what’s there to help? what is the point in helping someone who is a late-stage alcoholic? how do you get them better? do they even want to get better? what do these things mean to people, and how do we better their lives? it’s sad to think of a human life as something that’s only important when it benefits society as a whole, but on the other hand, despite our massive brains and our advanced intelligence, we are still animals, and animals are cold, mean creatures, who see defect in their own kind and let those members of the tribe die off or be eaten by predators. in a way, leaving the homeless alone is a society’s secret way of saying, “you are our shield between raw nature. you are the weak and injured, and by letting you go, we can focus on ourselves.”

that’s not the kind of person i want to be. i made sacrifices to keep myself afloat–namely, not doing theatre and entrenching myself in my work. i showed my boss that i was great at my job, so he would give me raises. i worked hard to get to this point, and i don’t want it to slip away. i think this is where conservatism comes from, this idea that for decades you work to keep yourself afloat, and then you see someone your age go get a welfare check or something. it makes sense because that kind of system of thinking (anecdotal, basically) is endemic of conservative people. so i understand it, i get the pride of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. but those less fortunate than you, remember, they are a constant reminder that life is hard, that you’re so close to being a feral beast in the forest, that your higher brain functions literally required a much larger brain in order to, i think, overcome your natural instinctual brain. higher functions and reasoning are important, but you are so close to being an ape running around in the forest. takes a lot of energy to fight that urge, i think.

anyway. i think it’s good. i think it’s progress. i think it’s a continuation of what i consider being an adult looks like. now all i need is a wife and like two kids, and i’ll be set. one-hundred percent adult.

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