Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cannot Afford Orlando...

...Well, it's boiling down to this: I cannot make enough money to afford to stay in Orlando. ...

It's funny, because it's a surprise. I've been so concentrated on my art and my ever-changing tangle of thoughts, that the fact that I'm BROKE week-in and week-out, and the implications of this, has eluded me in a practical sense... in a sense. I mean, I have varying motivations which sometimes tug at me forcefully, and I express my fantasies outright, like sailing around the world in a dinghy or whatever, but when it comes down to not getting enough work, and realizing that the busy season is almost over, man, I wonder, how did this happen? It's hitting me all-of-a-sudden, in a way. I've thought about it a bit, but not on a practical level. And here's the practical level: my check tomorrow will be for $260 for a week's work during the height of the tourist season. After I pay $180 for rent, that leaves me 80 bucks for EVERYTHING else, gas, food, supplies, etc. That's the practical level.

...You know, when I paid 600 bucks for that dinghy a few weeks ago, it seemed all was fine. I was still confused by so many things (and still am, not the least of which is my own fickle soul) but money and whatnot seemed fine. But that has faded. I live by myself in a more expensive place now, and I still do not have a full-time schedule with the company through which I contract. I know they are doing their best to satisfy everyone, so I don't blame anyone but myself, really. Somehow I am not "fitting in"in Orlando anymore, not making money, surviving week to week, and I've lost the respect of some very nice people, I think. Ahh... I suck.

...Oh, well... Let's see. The practical level. Let's think about this. The busy season will end in a few weeks, and, in fact, the park hours start trending downward in two weeks from now. That's the secret signal, in my estimation... fewer guests, less money. ...Hmm... And if I'm going to live this life of an artist in Orlando, I wish to have an apartment of my own, alone. Hmm, let's think. I could get married, but that would mean I'd need to find a girlfriend first, and, man, that is HARD to do for me, so... LOL. (Of course, if I can't take care of myself NOW, how would I expect to start marriage and a family. Practical stuff here.) I have $123 in cash in my pocket, and about thirty bucks in the bank... and I owe the IRS $10,000, or so they say. (It's MY money I work for, so why do they think it's THEIRS? Bizaare.) That's the practical level.


...OK... So I'm thinking about this, all of this, and how lonely I feel in Orlando, even with "loose friendships" of a sort, and so, then, on Thursday I drive down to Apollo Beach for THE BIG DAY. The BIG DAY is the day I planned to clean-out the remaining mess of my stuff from Wind Song, my Islander 24 sailboat at dock down there, and sign over the title to my friend Radar.
So I get down there, and clean-out the boat. It takes hours. And, you know what happened: my heart was broken. Here was the only home I'd owned since leaving home when I was 18. And here I was abandoning it. ...Yet, I continued to clean. But I didn't finish before dark, so I decided to stay on the boat for the night. The next morning, I worked another 4 hours or so, hauling EVERYTHING out of the Islander and up to my van. (My van is now FULL of all that junk.) Whew! A good workout. (I will NEVER put that much stuff in a sailboat again!) And I indeed did get it all out.
....So the BIG DAY turned into TWO BIG DAYS, and somewhere in the middle of it, I told my friend Radar, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I have the ability to give you this boat yet." And he said, "Yeah, I knew that was gonna happen. No problem."
....So I still have the boat. I've had her for two years nearly, and lived in her for most of one year. She tugs at my heart. She saved me from certain death last year when we got caught in a gale. I've neglected her, and yet there she sits at the dock, eager still for me to join her. She tells me, "Come on, Tim, let's go. The world awaits us." Ah, ah, well, well... What to do?


So I sit here alone in my apartment again, back in Orlando, counting my meager funds and hopeless situation. One more bad week and I won't be able to stay in the apartment. It almost happened THIS week, in fact. I could sleep in the van again, but a closed van in July in Orlando is an impossible-to-sleep thing. I would be forced to go sleep on the boat in Apollo Beach, but that is too far to commute. I still have that dinghy I bought a few weeks ago, so I suppose I'll sell it. But that's a stopgap (assuming I CAN sell it). Without a fulltime contracting gig, I can't stay here in Orlando, and am NOT working fulltime lately. Of course, as the season ends...
So, what to do, what to do...? Hmm... I may be coming to a decision very soon...or being forced to do so.


Esly Carrero said...

man Tim.. you've been a busy bee. Cleaning, Thinking, Moving & Contemplating.

What a story.

I personally think you shouldn't have let go of that boat.. At least not that easy. If you did. I would have sold it for a pretty penny.. because of soul-ties. lol. I would have!

Outside of that. You can't just leave Orlando. You need to stop running from place to place & settle yourself.
Set a goal,
and then don't give up no matter how rocky it looks.

Dude.. you can't keep changing your mind like that.. it's not healthy! :P

Kenny Durkin said...

This makes me sad.

Tim Gardner said...

Esly, YOU are the one who does crazy things!
Kenny, yes I am sad too. I thought by now I would have a full schedule. I'm doing everything I can to at least make enough money to make it into August and go to your reception.

michele nichols said...

Tim, I'm sorry you're going through a rough time. Believe me, I've had times in my life where I thought I wouldn't be able to make it (financially, emotionally, lack-of-friends-wise, etc). And it's hard when you are in a place, surrounded by people, and yet feel totally alone. Whenever you want to go grab a drink or hang out and talk to someone, let me know. I still owe you a drink, besides!

Tim Gardner said...

Ah, Michele. You're too nice.