Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, June 17, 2007

  Freedom is having nothing left to lose

I'm pulling the plugs from my head just like I was doing 5 years ago, pensively awaiting the outcome of my medical insurance settlement tomorrow. By selling my house last month, I'm now lugging around mere molehill of debt, no longer a mountain, but I no longer have any way to finish paying it all off, or a place to live.

If the settlement goes one way, I'm out of debt, with some options, if it goes another, I'll essentially be at zero, and if it falls through I face a couple more years of litigation, and headache. I've got barely enough stashed away to survive for a year at 15 dollars a day, and should probably start planning on going back to work next month, if not sooner, somewhere.

I like to think I'm doing the best work of my life right now, but it's nothing anybody wants to pay for, and there seems to be precious few things this 40 something programmer can do anymore that do pay a living wage. I have a zillion ideas that given some development time might pay off, but, as I mentally thumb through my vaporous startup stocks, part of me doesn't care, doesn't want to fight... most of me never wants to code again, I only have a few more accounts to close... and the absence of a place to live is an advantage, not a deficit, for the first time in a decade I can choose what I do next, I'm not a slave to the Silicon Valley vulture capitalists, the IRS or a bank, or so I delude myself...

“Freedom is having nothing left to lose”, sang Janis Joplin. That song runs through my head a lot, as I sweat through the hot Nicaraguan nights. Hotel California, especially this line, rings through my head, too:

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”...

I've got the chords memorized but haven't quite got the chorus.

There's a thunderstorm coming in, hovering low over the San Juan Del Sur mountains, lightning flickering on and off the lights like some mad kaleidoscope, and I have 250 more photos to upload.

Ah, freedom isn't what it used to be, if it ever was.

What can one man do in an age rapidly approaching Singularity, armed just with what remains of his ingenuity, a guitar, and a laptop?

With so much else gone, maybe there's room in my life now for love, but she's not returning my calls.

I only have to unplug from a few more things, and I can ditch the laptop. It's getting to be a burden.

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Comments:
hi mike...

being unplugged is good, i guess. you sound sad.

hugs and love,

kitten
 
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