"Someday this war's gonna end. That'd be just fine with the boys on the boat. They weren't looking for anything more than a way home. Trouble is, I'd been back there, and I knew that it just didn't exist anymore." --Apocalypse Now For the longest time I worked as an assistant chef at a gourmet restaurant. When I got laid off, everything in my world almost turned upside down. Within a matter of weeks my dad almost died. Twice. Top that off that despite unemployment insurance I was losing money, and any job offer I had was disgustingly low for my background and would not keep me afloat even financially. It was a slap in the face----all my blood, sweat and tears for fucking nothing, and my father may not live to see another decade if he does not shape up. I lament what has happened with my life. Near the end of 2008 nothing was perfect, but I was largely happy and felt that despite the shitty economy things eventually would turn around. I have not been really happy since the summer of 2009. Yes, I have a job, there is no pride in it and now looks to be a dead end. I had to do something. I suffered to try to get where I am and now it has not paid off. I cannot wait forever. A couple of you make recognize that I was going to eventually go the Army to enlist. This is not because I'm a wave-waving patriot. It's a matter of survival. The offer of a job, a place to stay for free, all benefits paid for, and PT will aid my health. I will wait until they can assure me of the right MOS and I see it in writing. I did some electrical and electronics work years ago and they ghave a couple of residential-style vocations which they train from ground up. I realize a soldier is still a soldier first, but the security of being under the contract makes me more hopeful than the risks. I'm not fucking kidding. I cannot handle another winter here. That may just kill me. For real. I'd rather be doing grunt construction work and sweating it out on a base rather than this "freedom" of wondering when my crappy car is going to give out, when my supervisor is going to go on a write up spree, just face endless nights of thinking that I am not going ANYWHERE with my job that has proven to be a trap of sorts. I'm not saving money because there's not anything to save. The idea of being unemployed with nowhere to turn scares the shit out of me. I've been there before I don't want that again. Sometimes it feels like I'm living out something like Jacob's Ladder or Silent Hill, if you've ever seen those films. No wonder they connect with me somehow. Sometimes, it does get that fucking dark. Yeah, and my father worries me. I know if I leave that I will be leaving him behind with the negative aspects. Perhaps I was meant to be here for a while before he dies. I don't like being fatalist, but SOMETHING brought me up here to spend time with him. At least I can say that the majority of it has been with being glad I am here, but he's been in pain off and on and even contracted a hideous staph infection for a time. The fucking sad thing is that I can't take care of him---he has complete coverage, my mom, an aunt of mine, and nurses when needed, but there's nothing I can do but be semi-stoic, supportive and wait. I would hate to think that he may pass away when I'm down south, but I can say I did spend a good deal of time with him. The trouble is that I have to make a decision and despite my loyalty to him I have to make a choice for myself. Obviously, I can keep in touch and even get unlimited calling to talk with him on down time. I do have to remind myself when he almost died the first time I was nearly three hours away and didn't know if he going to be gone once I raced up north. I lament that I was happy with who I was and things were going okay. I miss my father being the way he was before. I could have lived that life indefinitely---the job was my family (NEVER could say that about other jobs), my friend Jim who is gone to the East coast, possibly forever---I'm worried about him, too---apparently he and his wife have had their lives threatened by someone and he doesn't want to talk about it. What the fuck? I have no idea what is going on with that situation. I miss the chef I worked with, who I haven't seen in ages. Even when other loved ones had passed away, there was always SOMETHING that could make me balanced no matter what I faced. That balancing factor is out of whack. Perhaps, as I grow older I am looking for stability in something. Regardless of my next move, it's not here where I am at now. I need to change.