Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Testing Of My Generosity

In the last two days, I have handed $850 in cash to two different women as loans. I have never been romantically active with either of them, and I've never even met one of them. I'm still unemployed, and as of this moment the only income I have is the tax return on my unemployment benefits (which, of course, I cannot collect until 2006) and money owed to me by several people. Now I have to be honest with myself and figure out exactly why I loaned out money despite my situation. Is it true generosity for the sake of helping loved ones? Is it typical male lust, considering these were two attractive women? Would I have loaned this kind of cash to anyone I know with a dick instead of a pussy? I'm afraid I'm not introspective enough to honestly know the answers to these questions. But I will say this: The "Karen" fiasco must have sapped the anger and rage out of me, because I'm imagining scenarios where both of these women wind up telling me that they don't intend to give me my money back ever and then disappearing on me, and I can't imagine getting mad. Some pithy little aphorism about "If they had to lie to get the money from me, they must have needed it more than me" keeps popping up in my head. And also, I just feel so good about helping them right now, and finally having some kind of purpose besides being an example of how not to live, and maybe that good feeling is what's making me unable to even imagine anger right now.

Cassandra let me drive her car again yesterday for about an hour on a quiet side road near Bolingbrook, and I can definitely see improvement, although I'm still confused about simple things like which way to turn the steering wheel when the car is in reverse and I want to maneuver it right or left. She had brought up a $625 car repair bill weeks ago, but didn't press the issue with me, probably because she felt guilty about the $875 she already owed me from Kentucky Derby weekend. I asked her twice about the car repair bill in the last couple of weeks, and she just said that it still had to be paid, but she didn't ask when or if I was going to help her. So we had breakfast after I drove yesterday, then instead of driving more, I told her to go back to the city so that I could go to my bank because it closed at 2P on Saturdays. I made the withdrawal, she hugged and kissed me and told me that I was a blessing, then she told me that starting this month, on the 15th of the next four months, she planned to pay me $375 to erase her debt. More to entertain myself by seeing what her reaction would be than out of need, I reminded her that she borrowed an extra $100 Kentucky Derby weekend as fun money. She said that I told her at the time it was a gift, which I probably did. She said she would give that back too under the condition that I give her "gift" back to her once I'm employed and back on my feet. I agreed to that. Then I let her see my resume, which she thought looked good and couldn't understand why I wasn't getting at least interviews for jobs that I have been applying for, and she left. I'm not worried about the money because I still have enough in my savings account to support myself for at least two months before I have to start considering moving in with family and applying for welfare. (I miss gubment cheese and powdered milk. Not.)

Not long after I came home yesterday, "Laurie" mentioned during our daily online chat that she was being thrown out of the place where she had been staying and she needed $100 immediately as a deposit. She brought this up not as a request, but as a reason why she was feeling anxious, trying to "rack her brain" to come up with the cash. It was me who responded, "If you want me to wire you some money I can do it," to which she responded, "Dre...that's the nicest offer in the universe...really...for someone you don't know." She initially said that she didn't want me to do that right now, but she may change her mind and ask me later, and if she did she would be able to send me the money back on Monday "on my mother's grave." I said ok, then I called her just short of midnight last night because I was worried about her and left a voice mail telling her to please call me if she was still in trouble and needed my help. She called this morning and said she had a plan but didn't have much faith in the person that was to come through for her, then while we were chatting online today, she finally asked me how we would pull off the wire transaction. I told her to go to a nearby currency exchange and give me the address, then I would go to my currency exchange after I went to the ATM and I would Western Union her the money. She asked for $100 but said she actually needed $200 but whatever I could give was fine. Hey, $1500 to Cassandra, what's a couple of hundred to Laurie? She said that she can personally pay me the money back Thursday because the state fair where she works will end then and she was considering coming to see me anyway. It really doesn't matter to me when she pays me back. I want to see her and hold her and make love to her as soon as possible, whether she has the money or not, so I'm much more excited about maybe meeting her for the first time in less than a week. While I was out getting the money and then wiring it, she left an instant message quoting the song "100 Ways," written by Quincy Jones:

In your arms tonight
She'll reflect that she owes you
The sweetest of debts if she wants to pay
Find one hundred ways
Ya gotta believe it whoa
Love her today find one hundred ways

"You've shown me what's in your heart Dre," she then wrote. "I can only prove what's in mine." And boy, am I looking forward to that.

But what does it say about my mindset when I take her gratitude and Cassandra's gratitude with a huge grain of salt? Every time I start anticipating the money from Cassandra or the companionship from Laurie, a little voice in my head says, "What if you don't see the money or either of these chicks again? Remember, every other time you've put trust and faith in a woman, you've been betrayed or abandoned. Why the fuck should this be any different?" Very sobering thoughts to be sure. But at least I realize that it's not because I don't trust these women. It's because I honestly can't remember a time when I trusted a woman and didn't wind up alone in the end. The good news is that I am not obsessing over whether I will ever see the money or these women. If I get screwed again, hey, shit happens, and it's no one's fault but mine. With Cassandra, that's just an insane amount of money to lend to anyone without some sort of written contract recognizing it. And with Laurie, shit, I don't know her at all. Never even met her. Her pimp could be counting that cash right now while she is sucking some guy off behind that currency exchange. Her crack dealer could be counting the cash while she gets high. Do I really think that either of them is lying to me and going to screw me over? No, I don't. Let me make that clear. The thought of being screwed is floating through my head as a little reminder not to get my hopes too high. It is NOT the prevailing attitude in my mind, and I am not sitting here anticipating getting fucked over. I'm simply acknowledging that it could happen, especially with my past history, and that mentally I had better be prepared for it or else get ready to go back to the psych ward at Northwestern. But now, more than ever, I'm okay with it. No one wants to be lied to, but I believe that I helped two good people in tough situations, and that karma will combine with them to repay me greatly, and even if they don't repay me, I still did a few good deeds.

The other side of that is the side "Ronnie" is showing me right now. "Drew" and I went to see the movie "Wedding Crashers" last night (very funny, depraved and perverted in some areas in a psychological way, not necessarily in a totally physical way like a lot of today's comedies, and that was pleasantly surprising), and Drew invited Ronnie along. I actually heard part of a conversation Drew and Ronnie were having when I got into Drew's car after he picked me up at the train station, and Drew asked Ronnie if he, Drew, should pay for my movie ticket with the $11 he owed Ronnie and therefore knock off some of the $36 debt Ronnie has owed me for the past two months, and I could hear Ronnie reply, "I don't care." I couldn't fucking believe that. See, that's why Ronnie is a piece of shit and I don't ever plan on speaking to him again. This is his attitude over the debt he owes me. "I don't care." That's on top of not calling me and informing me of the status of the debt. Hell, I didn't know he was even going to acknowledge the debt, but if that's how he wants to do it, "I don't care," then I don't care either. I told Drew that the debt as far as I'm concerned is over, because I don't even fucking want the money from Ronnie anymore if he's going to neglect it as if it's something he shouldn't have to be bothered with. But unless Drew tells Ronnie I said that, Ronnie isn't going to know that the debt's dropped, because since he hasn't seen fit to speak to me in two months, I don't see fit to tell him shit. And he is still dating a woman in Indiana, so he's got some money, or else he wouldn't be able to drive out there and spend time with her.

Ronnie blew us off, by the way. We got to the theater about 45 minutes before the 8:50P showing, and the theater is somewhat near Ronnie's house (20 to 30 minutes away), but even if the theater was farther away, Ronnie and Drew agreed on this theater. Drew didn't decide that we were going there, that's where they agreed to go before I even got into Drew's car. But the movie began with no word from him, and when Drew missed the opening to step out and call his ass, Ronnie didn't answer the phone. Class act all the way. All I can do is make sure I don't treat people like scum and try to do something with my life to make sure that my mother having me wasn't a waste. Any rewards I get for my deeds (such as a future favor from Cassandra or great sex, marriage and a family from Laurie) will be icing on the proverbial cake.

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