art, bad luck, Boston, family, farmers' markets, food stamps, injustice, lost wallet, poverty, whinging
I’m having a bad week. And it’s only Tuesday.
Yesterday I went to my studio and found that my portfolio was missing. Plain old gone, and I have no idea where several other pieces of art went either. (They’d been held separate, having been in shows.) Nobody as much as mentioned the $90 check I’m owed for a piece that sold (for a hundred bucks less than my asking price because I caved)–God knows where that is in their machinery over there. All the people who would know what’s going on are on vacation this week.
On my way home, I thought of stopping by the farmer’s market, which has historically been kind enough to not only take food stamps, but to double their value in the little cards or plastic coins they give to pay the vendors. Thought of grabbing a bunch of basil for this fried rice dish my friend had told me about. And whatever else looked good. Farmer’s markets are great for the “What IS that? Hmm, let’s find out” enlargement of the palate. Although I found having to use food stamps humiliating even before the last election year told me what a waste of oxygen I was, it was worth it to even see what these heirloom tomato things looked like.
So I went up to the place where they take your food stamps and do the conversion thingy, and was flabbergasted. No doubling. (Oh well, whatever.) But no face value. Instead, they were halving. E.g., if I gave them $20 off my Card o’ Shame–they would give me $10 in tokens. There are so many things wrong with this that it would take a really long blog which would end in my fingers hitting random keys to indicate random rage-filled sputtering. What immediately struck me is that this is the sort of food stamp fraud people have been pompous about: I’d be selling food stamps: getting a value from my stamps–and somebody else would be turning a profit: What the sheep were they doing with the extra money?
I was a Nice Lady, and didn’t tear off the guy’s head, move aside his laminated tag saying that he was the SNAP/EBT person, and piss down his neck. I just asked him twice over to make sure that was what it did and went away before I cried from being too tired and having skipped lunch and the injustice of it all.
I went home and wrote not-tantrumy email to the city employee listed on the website, and she called me within five minutes and was horrified and disbelieving. She promised to look into this, and I am interested in what she will find. I also posted this on my Facebook page, which alerted the brimstone-breathing professional lobbyist friend, who really doth hunger and thirst after righteousness. Bwah ha, crooked market people!
And then I found out that for the second time I had been passed over to take a professional training class which I need to retain my employment. (They won’t actually sack me, thank God. It wasn’t my fault–there are only 30-some spaces and over 100 people apply. And it means I won’t have to leave my house every August Wednesday at 6 a.m. to go to Woostah. But still.)
So I curled up and cried so piteously that my daughter gave me her Klondike bar.
Today, I woke up feeling better, and went to work, where I had the usual Tuesday case of too-much-to-do-and-not-enough-time. No badness there. I stopped off at the Indian store on the way home, to grab rice and incense . . .
. . . and somehow . . .
. . . lost my wallet.
Fortuitously, my bank was on the next corner and shut down my card immediately, leaving me a week of replacing the other stuff at a price of some $50. Which isn’t the nightmare burden it once would have been, but will of course also take a great deal of time.
Needless to say, I’m depressed. I am superstitious enough to wonder if my run of bad luck will continue, which scares me. My life is filled with fragile pets and people and computers.
I lost my wallet this winter, and to my joy and amazement, the guy who found it immediately tracked me down and handed it over. No such luck so far. The finder (enriched by about $4) knows that I’m poor and disabled, and knows where I live and has my business card. But nada. The likelihood here seems that it’s your average creep. I am bummed beyond crying.
Instead, I posted the next-to-last chapter of Damascus, and decided to whinge to you here. Let’s just cross our fingers about tomorrow. My daughter is going out and getting me a wallet with a chain. Maybe it will be pink. Or leather or something. Ya never know.