"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The pilgrim's (small 'p') progress

Well, my vast and faithful readership, I took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work to move my possessions into storage and rest myself before vacating my old place. Its lease could be and was terminated at the landlord's pleasure, with a month's notice, but I wasn't able to save enough to pay both deposit and rent on a new place of the sort I could reach without sidestepping junk cars and young men with suspicious bulges in their jackets. So I've been staying at a cheap hotel for several days while resuming my normally insane work schedule, which this week has entailed delivering special-order auto parts on third shift. Although the room's showerhead and clock radio are quite unpredictable, there are no detectable insects—which is more than I can say about a few hotels I've stayed at in my time—and there is cable, sort of, as well as heat. As one who has raised complaining to a fine art, I could complain; but there's no good reason to.

I'll be crashing with a friend near Belmont Abbey for the next few days while I ponder my options. By a week from now, thanks to the generosity of other friends as well as hard work, I'll have enough cash to get a room somewhere in town. But I'm not sure I want to. After taxes and child support, I live on about half of what I earn; on my current job as a courier, that means I need to work at least 60 hours a week to keep a roof over my head. Often I get that, but sometimes I don't; because of the holidays, I didn't. (I was only able to get my hotel room because First Things paid me more than I expected for my book review. Thanks, Fr. Neuhaus.) Even when I get enough hours, their distribution is impossible to predict; hence I cannot commit to a second job with fixed hours or, more generally, plan my time or budget my money. My life has to change, and change radically, if only so that it can regain enough order to enable me to re-establish myself professionally.

Communion and Liberation, of which I am proud to be an active member, is more heavily concentrated in Washington than in any other American city. I love it there, having taught at CUA in 1989-90 while staying at the Dominican House of Studies. I've been discussing with the CL "responsibles" the possibility of moving back. In the DC area, somebody like me would have far more opportunities than in North Carolina, where I've never had any luck landing a professional-level job. The cielinis seem more than willing to help on the job and housing fronts, but this is not the sort of decision one makes hastily unless a plum awaits, which it isn't. Even though this pilgrim definitely feels heaven sustaining him, he still needs everybody's prayers so that the right decision is made at the right time.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I will post tomorrow on more usual and less personal matters.
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