It’s been over a week since Kofi was laid off and things are still feeling somewhat OK. He’s been doing some freelance work here and there and working on his own web site. I’ve been trying to adjust to having him home every day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to have him with us. I think that it’s just a bit of an emotional strain on both of us knowing that we only have half of the money coming in that we use to. It causes us to be tense and overly sensitive and therefore we argue much more frequently than we normally would. With one interview under his belt and numerous resumes out there floating around, we are deeply immersed in the dreaded waiting game.
We have been trying to enjoy the simple/free things in our daily lives. Taking walks with Miles and our dog Rhodes. Teaching Miles how to wave and say “Hi”. All the wonderful things that we can do without spending any money. I know that Miles is loving having the family together all day every day and Kofi is soaking up as much time as he can with his son.
We are feeling a kind of kinship with all those other families out there that have lost there main source of income and are struggling to keep food on the table and the lights on. There is something happening in America right now that hasn’t been seen in decades. The knowledge that things are bad all over. Some people have it so good that they are untouched by the fear of loosing everything, but on the whole we are being held down by that big ugly dog called fear. Will we be like our parents or grandparents and see our way through a depression so devastating that some people won’t make it to the other side? Or, will our president work some kind of glorious magic and show us the way out of this entanglement?
We rented ‘Reality Bites’ from Netflix for the weekend and we just finished watching it. Kofi had never seen it, but it was a movie that I watched many times when I was in my early 20′s. It was, I guess, one of the anthems of my youth. The characters looked, talked and thought like so many of my friends and I did. It was like looking in a glamorized mirror and reeaally liking what I saw. Angst driven Generation X-ers that felt extremely justified in their aimlessness. I drank too much coffee and alcohol and tried desperately to look as if I didn’t care about too much of anything. I think I did a pretty good job of it. Kofi never really went through that phase. He was a good kid and a good guy. He never drank or sat around wasting time. He worked a full time job while putting himself through college. He spent a lot of time going to clubs to listen see bands play, but he never had that ‘look at me I’m such a loser’ thing going on. Anyway, seeing the movie made me really look back and think about who I was and how easy things were back then. I worked, hung out, laughed, wrote, drank coffee all night… slept very little. I still don’t get a lot of sleep, but now it’s because of a crying baby or a never ending backache.
In a way, I miss that old life of silly dramas and seemingly deep conversations at 3 am. I also feel mildly embarrassed to think that I actually thought that any of that was important. I guess that it was at the time. I needed those friends and those situations to make me fee like I was maturing at the appropriate pace. I needed to feel like I was growing into a thoughtful person like so many young people before me. All those cups of coffee and melodramas added up to who I am today, so in the end it’s worth a little embarrassment.
So, times are hard. They seemed hard back then too. Hopefully in ten years I’ll look back at these days and feel embarrassed that I was so worried about everything, because I’ll be at a new phase in life. A phase that is so much more crucial than the one I’m experiencing now.