A Belated Summary of 2016

Though I enjoy being proven right at least as much as the next person, I’m sorry to see that my prediction that 2017 will be 2016 version 2.0 is turning out to be accurate.

2017 has not been without drama for me, but for the sake of the privacy of some of the people involved, I can’t really discuss any of that now. All I can say is I’ve spent January and February zonked out on anti-depression, anti-anxiety, and sleeping pills. So, for lack of anything else to discuss, let’s look at 2016.

2016 was the ten-year anniversary of one of the best and one of the worst experiences of my life: my trip to Paris and the death of my dog Fred, respectively. I thought the former occasion would make me seriously depressed and the latter would make me distraught, but instead I remained merely deeply sad and hopeless.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Early in the year two serial rapists operated in Austin. One focused in my neighborhood. He hit my apartment complex in January and February, and his last reported attack was in April 2016 in an apartment complex one block from mine.

I spoke to the police twice, the second time when they did door-to-door interviews at my complex. I held forth on my theories and observations, some of which matched those the police had come up with during brain-storming sessions, but then again, the officer may’ve just been humoring me. I did tell her about a cold case she hadn’t heard about which I thought might have a connection to these rapes.

Neither of the rapists have been caught yet.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

In the spring a friend in Australia asked if I could explain the Presidential race, because he said it was the main topic of discussion among his friends all over the world. So every month I sent him summaries of what was going on. I’m afraid the reports were probably longer than he needed and my analyses and predictions ultimately were proven wrong, but at least his request kept me occupied.

I’ve lost a few friends because of my hatred for Trump, and have been saddened to learn how many of my friends actually support him.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My mother came very close to losing her home in a flood that struck near Houston in May and June. Fortunately, her subdivision is fairly new and has a levee and a special water pump.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Death, of course, was everywhere. Not only did several of my favorite celebrities pass away, but two college friends, Doug and Jay, did as well. I posted about Doug awhile back.

Jay was one of a rambunctious family of five brothers, three of whom I came to know. Jay looked a lot like Meat Loaf’s “Eddie,” the biker character in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and Jay had in fact been a biker for awhile after high school.

My chief memory of Jay is of the night we stayed up until sunrise in a dormitory TV room, sipping, out of one waxed paper cup, a bottle of Bacardi mixed with lukewarm drinking fountain water, while he told me of his adventures and his family troubles. In retrospect, Bacardi and drinking water was a rough mix, but we were indestructible beasts back in those days.

I also remember Jay for making one of those comments that have stayed with me my entire life: “My goal? To be middle-class. The middle-class has been very good to me and given me a very good life. So that’s my aspiration–to be a middle-class guy.”

In the 80s that sentiment shocked me. Thanks to my detachment from reality I couldn’t get my head around the idea that anyone would settle for anything less than vast riches. And now that even a low-class life seems out of my grasp, the goal of a middle-class life is well-nigh impossible.

A few months ago I learned of the death of the college English professor under whom I took “Creative Writing II.” I was one of only four students in a class of about thirty who actually could write, though the story I submitted for class review was sentimental garbage.

I contributed greatly to the discussion in that class, due in no small part to my omnipresent 20-ounce mug of rum and Coke. I’m fairly sure the other three good student writers were usually in a state of altered consciousness as well.

(And no, rum did not play as big a role in my college years as these stories seem to indicate.)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

For months I’ve been fighting a roach infestation in my apartment. One of the little buggers woke me up while crawling over my closed eyelids!

The worst part of the war has passed, but it would be easier to get rid of the few roaches that remain if my dog didn’t hide her food and treats in shadowy corners of our apartment.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My disability case seems to have come to an end. My latest appeal was denied and my lawyers said there was nothing else they could do to help me. If I want to start the process over from Step One I can approach another law firm to represent me, but there will be no money available with which to pay them because a certain deadline has run out.

I’m still in no condition to work, despite what the Feds say.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My medications really aren’t helping me. At any rate, they aren’t making me feel good, but I feel noticeably worse when I’m off them. They do keep me sleeping, however, and it’s not uncommon for me to sleep from fourteen to seventeen hours out of every twenty-four.

I’ve gotten very little reading done this year, because when I go to my bed to read I usually fall asleep within ten or fifteen minutes.

I’ve done very little painting, due to unhappiness and lack of ideas.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The downtown public library has gotten rid of several sets of reference works that I used regularly, and the University of Texas is replacing their photo-copy machines with a scanner/printing process that is unnecessarily complicated. I’ve tried it on five or six separate visits and have yet to bring home a copy.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My dog Belle is still alive and well, and we still have my apartment and library for now. That’s one of the few positive things I can say about 2016.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I’m sorry this post is so depressing, but I don’t have much to say right now, and I have no motivation to go back and edit unposted journal entries from previous years.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s