MOM: don’t read this.
In the beginning of one of my favorite movies of the modern decade, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, there is a scene that a lot of people seemed to have missed. In this scene the main character, Walter, is doing something that is extremely important to anyone that travels – he is balancing his checkbook.
I, however, do not have that sort of cash on hand.
I should be in Africa. I should be on the other side of the world. I should be working with the Vatican on strategies to best work and open dialogues with Villa Somalia, and the Puntland, Juba, and Somaliland administrations. I should be working with my journalism contacts on the ground to rebuild Somalia’s public image here at home.
I should be, but I’m not. Instead I’m here in cozy Bellingham, Washington trying to get a job.
It’s boring. And not being able to sleep on a real bed every night is a bit of a drag after awhile. But I’m young, I can do this.
My hair is turning grey. Literally. I have about as much grey hair as my father did when he was forty – and he lived in a school bus for twelve years.
I’m broke. This much I already knew.
But something happened to me the other night that made me realize the full gravity of my situation as I had not seen it before – I realized that I’m also homeless.
I was living better than this when I was in the fucking jungle. At least there I was given MREs and field chow, and I got to sleep on a mattress. It was a really shitty mattress, but right now I’d give anything to be back there.
Right now, I’m struggling to find the basic necessities like FOOD and A SHOWER.
The only place that I’m getting any sort of solid income from is the National Guard, and it’s not that much. This isn’t a plea or a cry for help – it’s a warning to all of you who haven’t been balancing your checkbooks. Don’t do what I did.