A Welcomed Break. A Better Chance

Posted: Mar 16, 2024   5:54:30 PM   |   Last updated: Mar 17, 2024   5:40:41 PM
by Pascal-Denis Lussier

As I was prepping my stuff, filtering what I could take with me from all that I'd hoped to be able to take, my back seized up.

Being willing to take whatever amount I could get for anything I'd hoped to sell if leaving it behind was the only other option, I had, as I'd mentioned, sold both my washer and dryer for a mere $40.

I had been curt and clear in my reply to the buyer, who seemed to have misread my ad and added strongly to the insult that such sales entail, but I then let him know that I'd take his offer; I'd email him at 17:00 but allowed myself up to 18:00 for a better offer. And I was very clear that, for $40 for both, I would absolutely not be lending a hand to bring them down.

When the time came, I emailed the guy, who took close to two hours before finally getting back to me. He was waiting to hear back from his brother, he told me, eventually setting the time for 20:15. He emailed me at 20:30, telling me his brother was running late.

At 20:50, when the doorbell finally rang, I had expected the person I had been in communication with, along with his brother. It was just the brother. A beast of man whose muscles and size made me want to make sure I never pissed him off, yet, he ranks up there as one of the kindest and most polite persons I've recently come across; he oozed friendliness.

"Is it just you?" I asked.

"Yeah," he replied, apologizing again for being late.

I told him what I had told his brother: No way I'm giving a hand for that price.

He didn't hesitate; no pause, not even a blink, and replied with, "No problem. I'll do it myself."

"What?! No, of course not. I'll give you a hand," I said, slightly miffed.

While I emptied the bookshelves in the passageway in order to clear the way, the man, whose name I can't recall—an issue with me—pulled out the units, disconnecting hoses and all and got them ready; wheeling the first one through the passageway and frontdoor to the first flight of steps is where any sense of "brute" matched his physique. If it doesn't squeeze through, force it!

Nonetheless, all major damage avoided as I gave him a hand, he showed me how to properly place the single strap on my shoulder, looping it under my other one, then under the machine; before we lifted, I asked him, "How the hell were you going to bring them down on your own."

"Oh, I just pick them up once I reach stairs," he said. "It's super dangerous," he grinned, doing so in a manner that betrayed a sense of pride while acknowledging how harebrained it sounded.

A beast of a man, I tell you. Imagine picking up a full-sized washer and dryer and carrying them down two full flights of stairs, one of them being a winding pain. I don't think I can lift either up, never mind move them, and stairs?! They'd be the death of me, squashed under a Kenmore metal box.

Wanting to prove myself at least half the man he was—a feat for most males, I'm sure—I didn't stretch nor grin, just went at it, doing my best to carry my share of the load with a smile.

Once both units were down, the second safely set on the sidewalk, he gave me a friendly hit on the shoulder and kindly said, "You did that like a pro." 

I think he could tell: I hadn't moved anything of that size or weight for a few years at least, even if my own physique betrays that of someone who's always been physically active.

I felt a generalized stiffening in my legs and upper torso before I had reached my apartment, but setting the bookshelves back and setting books back on the shelves is when my lower back let me know it wasn't happy, and let me pay for it.

I continued prepping, but eventually had to lie down. Fell asleep. Hard.

Woke up still stiff but in functioning order a bit after 5:30 and continued with prepping all that I'd need for my journey. At around 7:00, three emails came in from people wanting goods, and two of them were willing to come that morning, 11:45 being the later time. Turned out being worth the wait.

Moneywise. And also because the delay meant that the landlord came by to see how things were going. I'd emailed him a confirmation in the morning that I'd be out by the end of the day, as agreed, as I felt a weirdly deep urge to sleep and couldn't think of doing anything else, and figured I could nap until the buyers came by to pick up the goods, while I hoped the landlord wouldn't feel an urge to do as he did if he knew I hadn't yet officially moved out. However, some work needed to be done at my immediate neighbour's place...

I opened the door wide and told him, flatly, that things weren't going as well as I'd hoped, and apologized for having to leave the apartment as it was, my goods still all over the place. 

He instantly gave me an extra month.

For some reason, I wasn't comfortable with that.

We talked things out a bit. A truly kind man; he breaks the evil landlord stereotype, forces one to consider the side of 'Mom & Pop' landlords separately from that of corporate-minded or based landlords. 

Offering me this break, it seems to have placed me back into the same situation, allowing me to reconsider staying, the delay now letting me count on landscaping work or similar should a more appropriate job not come my way.

There's a comfort to be found in that despite the stress of an externally-determined-resolve set against a deadline that's to be faced, again, all in a gamble driven by a scramble to find any job ASAP, never mind that the reality one comes across isn't what's reflected in the numbers that are worked over to suit what's promoted by liberal media, especially with the threat of a Trump looming in a possible future.

Nevertheless, if I'm to be real honest: If I hadn't sold anything yet, still possessing all the goods that satisfied my habits, brought a sense of security, then I'd surely be doing that: scrambling for any job, relying on landscaping if I needed to just to avoid finding myself in the situation I now face.

But I know full well that that's not going to offer any real solution to the malaise I feel, and will continue to feel if I stay here; I absolutely need a change of setting, and to face anything other than the synthetic challenges that now dominate my life, wanting those that I do face to matter to more than to companies and their quarterly bottom-lines.

Rather, it gives me more time to prepare properly, and to liquidate some goods in a manner that'll get me more reasonable amounts. It's unfortunate that I rushed the sale of some things given the deadline I was working in, having originally hoped for the end of March rather than the 15th, but I'm certainly in no position to complain about that or much else right now.

I'm just grateful. Plus, the timing will allow me to avoid some of the harsh late-winter / early-spring weather.

I told him I'd give him news on a weekly basis, but, with more things to be sold this weekend, per emails received, I'm focusing on that, being increasingly limited in goods needed for basic living (I no longer have a microwave... I relied on it heavily, it turns out), and hope to be on a better track, with a clearer direction, before the end of that month.

So, in essence, not much has changed, but I've been offered a better window in which to prepare and to set off, hopefully being able to focus on reporting.

I took care of a few things and lied down.

I slept for close to 20 hours, occasionally getting up, briefly, feeling a need to go back to sleep before I could even think of making myself a coffee. 

•       •       •

Not to be petty, but The Economist recently commented on Indian news, calling it, in a sense, incompetent and problematic, stating that it tends to be ultra-partisan, nationalistic, and that it displays a striking level of ignorance in regard to world affairs, especially from its globally-oriented news channels, pointing to Palki Sharma of FirstPost directly.

Hey, wadda'ya know? That's exactly what I've been saying for over two years, at least, seeing a disappointing display in very good talent, along with a lack of cohesion. I had called her "naive" though, and in a good way, and not "incompetent". I still believe it to be more appropriate, albeit the over-the-top moments of BJP cheerleading that may, at times, merit the "pom-pom girl" appellation. Much contradiction and hard-to-pin aspects about her, wherein my intrigue lies, perhaps?

However, I'm not sure that The Economist is making such a statement on her and Indian media for quite the same reasons I am... 

To be frank, any eagerness to point it out came about as I was really hoping that one particular Indian online personality would see the value in what I can offer regarding Western views, bringing greater nuance, combined with the fact that she/her team have gotten many storylines and documents off of DMS&UY, which leads me to believe that she could do with a better researcher being a part of her team, perhaps, one that understands Western views real well.

Also, I was heartbroken to find out that she was launching a new channel; nothing would have made me happier than to play a part in that in any way possible. For reasons I'll avoid, I'll nonetheless say that she benefited off of my material and interaction, and I know she's aware of an email I'd sent asking about the application process while she was at WION, to which I got no answer, hence some of her comments, as well as being quick to point to nepotism to explain my situation with my site in December—rather than simply ask me—means she's playing into the same problematic and arrogant media mentality she oft rightly criticizes.

Aren't I being parasocially-deranged, you ask?

No. I really don't think I am. I have lots to offer to establish as much, but I'll just point out that she had mentioned “losing a site for $300” in that segment in which she mentioned nepotism as a reason why anyone with certain smarts could possibly be in certain situations and not earning more, having difficulty paying their rent, let alone “$300 to…” That kind of specificity... I'm not delusional. 

Then, as at other moments, I had felt a sense of understanding delivered alongside comments that made me think that the event may lead to a writing opportunity, but I'm now thinking that pettines and derision were really behind what she expressed.

She's suddenly grown too big, too important, or she's an opportunist, or far too self-centered, or petty, or a mix of all trapped in sexist notions she claims to want to end whilst not believing that such is a possibility. Or it could be none of those, as, I mentioned in that same series on India in which I'd called her geopolitical takes "naive", there's a facet that I don't quite understand and, simply, feels exploitative. And, also, as many have probably figured out by now: I don’t do “fanboy”.

Try if you must, but you'll quickly realize that it's impossible to find even one person who may feel I've harassed them in any way possible, through any platform. And, no, negative opinions voiced in reaction to someone's actions, done on occasion, doesn't qualify as "harassment", no matter how deeply I may have insulted the person concerned. 

Which I'm sure I've done, without quite being aware of it on many occasions... we all have our deficiencies. While I'm being honest: I can also be a big baby at times. But let's save that for another time...

Any which way, I'm quick to see false hopes; I try to extract the lesson that's there to be learned, and move on.

Which is why I do need to move on from where I now find myself. Concretely; physically. And why I'm extremely thankful to suddenly have a few more weeks to better prepare, doing so with an extra bit of certainty that it's the right thing to do. 

Posted 2 months ago  Last updated: Mar 17, 2024, 5:40 PM