You don't live in the real world

2010-11-12

Someone told me this last night, and then tonight watching my twitter stream, I realized exactly how different I really am from a lot of the rest of the world.  It got me thinking back to back when I was in high school, and working on a graphic novel...

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It really doesn't matter, I suppose.  I live in a good world.  I like it here, but really, it's not the same type of world that perhaps most people see.  I mean, the biggest thing in my week this week has been getting dental work done for the first time in nearly 5 or 6 years.  And it stresses me out, and it sucks, and I have to go to the absolute cheapest place in town, a sliding fee clinic at the Indian Health Board.  I thought when I went in Monday I was going to lose a tooth, actually, which would be the first adult tooth that I'd have pulled that wasn't a wisdom tooth.  They saved it, but it was a huge filling and it sucked.  The hygienist was brand new and kept dropping things and having to be shown what the dentist was looking for.  When they took the band out that they were holding the tooth and filling together with, it broke in two and sliced my lip, so they had to keep stopping after that to sop up the blood. 

Then Tuesday, I spent most of the day feeling low because it still hurt a lot, and I had not a lot to do.  Worked on my base blueprint theme for the 30 themes in 30 days contest on Concrete5.org.  Wed was more dental work, deep cleaning of my teeth which meant a lot more blood.  I have to come back again for more work next week on the cleaning front, they couldn't finish without causing spotting because of the bleeding from my gums.  They had to do a lot of deep cleaning under the gums, which hurt a lot.  Tomorrow is going in for five more fillings...

Inbetween I've been watching documentaries on space and math.  I'm not too impressed with The Universe, but the BBC's "History of Maths" is really really good.  I'm almost done with it, watching it as I write this, actually...

I'm able to just take this time because I don't work a regular job, because I can't handle it.  I have a little bit of money saved from the sale of mplsbikelove.com and I'm starting to pick up some freelance work, so I'm hoping that this time around I end up doing better at living in this alternate world. It's a nice world, one without a lot of stress except for trying to figure out how to pay my bills.  It's a world where I can ride my bike and never really worry about cars, even though I break laws.  I got in trouble on the internet for that tonight, actually.  There was a #bikeschool hashtag going and I made some statements that went onto facebook, bRose said 'it just sounds like you do whatever you want' in regards to laws.  Which is kind of true, because there are a lot of laws that don't really apply, or are written with a different vehicle in mind.  Even the stop lights that everyone always holds up as an example of how cyclists break laws are designed to bunch and queue traffic.  This is totally the OPPOSITE of what you want to do as a cyclist - you want to be inbetween these bunches of traffic.  So you stop for the red, but then take off before the light changes to get up to speed and out into the lane properly before the cars start going, or perhaps even get to a wave of green lights while the bunches of cars get stopped at the reds...   I ride sanely, but not legally.

It's been working for most of my adult life, I don't know if there's ever going to be a change.  It was actually from one of the questions in the #bikeschool hashtag where they were wondering how you choose to leave the car behind.  That's what really had me thinking about how different my life is from most people's - I think I had a total of about 3 years in my adult life where I was actually driving regularily, and that was as a teenager.  The rest of it has been mostly bicycle, with a little bit of busing when I first moved to Minneapolis...

Then later tonight I found myself paging through a bunch of old sketchbooks, looking for a drawing of a character I used to work on called 'the fringe man' who lived in a cyber punk kind of world.  He was a subversive messaging person, kind of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  He was really good at hacking and creating places and things in cyberspace, and people sought him out to do high quality work.  He had one hand that was bionetic, and one eye that was as well. 

We're a little different.  I don't wear the leather jacket, or have the partially shaved head.  I do have the surgically enhanced eyeballs, but not artificial ones.  Maybe someday.  I haven't lost my left arm and had to replace it yet...

So maybe I'm just a few years off on actually being this vision from my younger days.  It feels like I'm making a good start to becoming him, actually.

But, yeah, it's not the real world where I am right now. I know this. I can't afford to be in the real world, it would break me.

The main thing I'm trying to figure out right now is how, exactly, can I make sure that I can keep a roof over my head and food in my belly?  Should I be thinking of trying to go on disability for the bipolar?  Should I risk the stress of really starting to go after freelance or full-time work, instead of just letting it come to me?

I don't know, but I need to figure it out soon...