Keep the Aspidistra Flying

When I get depressed, I tend not to open my letters.  This last bout has been going for a while now, and there are 5-6 weeks of unopened letters sitting in a pile in front of me.  Delay makes it even more difficult to face the problem, yet I keep inventing displacement activities to put off the feared task.  This blog post is a displacement activity.  But writing about finally opening these letters is one way of forcing my hand.  Even so, I don’t know if I’ll publish it.

Only 15 letters, about the thickness of a novel in total, less than I’d expected after such a length of time.  I could sort them by priority, as indicated by the envelopes, but that would be another displacement activity.  So it’s cold turkey, as they come off the top of the stack.  Promised myself not to eat unless I did this.

  1. Specsavers.  Advertising crap.  Toss.
  2. SPCA, asking for a donation.  Would if I could.  Toss.
  3. Car insurance.  Don’t have a car.  Advertising crap.  Toss.
  4. UK bank, telling me I’m overdrawn.  Already knew that.  File.
  5. Final Reminder from Scottish Hydro Electric.  Pay tomorrow out of my overdraft.  O Lucky Man!
  6. UK bank, telling me I’m overdrawn.  File.
  7. American bank, telling me of changes to the account.  Harmless.  File.
  8. Scottish Hydro Electric, Notice of Termination, dated August 30.  This is not good, but at least the leccie’s still working.  Call them tomorrow before paying the bill.
  9. Pension Credit, asking about changes in circumstances.  Call tomorrow.
  10. Post Office Telephone & Broadband bill, already paid by direct debit.  File.
  11. UK bank, telling me I’m overdrawn.  File.
  12. UK bank statement.  Guess what?  I’m overdrawn.  File.
  13. American bank statement.  In the black.  Woohoo!  File.
  14. UK bank, telling me I’m overdrawn.  File.
  15. UK bank, telling me I’m overdrawn.  File.

That wasn’t so bad.  Cleared the logjam, allows me to eat.  Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3…Who am I kidding?  This is no way to live.

George Orwell said (and lived) it best:

It is altogether curious, your first contact with poverty.  You have thought so much about poverty – it is the thing you have feared all your life, the thing you knew would happen to you sooner or later; and it, is all so utterly and prosaically different.  You thought it would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complicated.  You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring.  It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping.