It was autumn. It was strange not having a job. I had never tried that before. Ever since I started singing in the church at age 11 and started getting paid at 13, I had always had some form of responsibility. I filled my days with smaller projects. OPUS was also taking up a lot of my time. LA and I practiced the supermarket thing. It was a slow process. I had only just made it through both doors. I found it horrible being there, but shopping at the greengrocer, the butcher and kiosks wouldn’t work in the long run. I had a very good relationship with my greengrocer. On the bad days I didn’t even need to enter the shop, I stayed by the entrance and told him what I needed and he would get it for me. I had met quite a few of that type of people on my journey and I was equally touched every time.
I got a letter from the commune. They didn’t feel the prognosis of me getting better was very good and they had decided to stop my sickness benefits. I would receive social security payments instead from the beginning of the new year. (A lot less) I was crushed. Could you even live off of that? When we went bankrupt, we each got substantial debts. Would there be anything left after I had payed all my bills? I couldn’t deal with it. I really felt the pressure and working wasn’t an option. I turned to OPUS. I asked if I would ever be able to work again. The reply was disheartening. It’s not very likely the way things are looking at the moment. I didn’t see any other way out, I had to apply for an early retirement. It broke my heart, but I couldn’t live off social security.
I hadn’t had a real boyfriend since M. I had had shorter relationships. And barely there relationships, but not a real relationship and I missed it. It had almost been 5 years and I was ready. I had tried internet dating before, unsuccessfully. It was therefore without great expectations I created a profile. I don’t recall what I called myself, but I’m certain it wasn’t very creative. I sucked at this. One profile kept popping up. He looked so nice, but he was a little younger than me which was a deal breaker. I became critical in a kind of unsympathetic way. It was the strangest things I noticed. An over bite, the lack of spelling skills or over-zealousness. I wondered what people thought of me. At the same time I felt I was selling the cat in the bag. This was definitely not a place for me, but that one guy, the one who looked so nice, I had to check him out before leaving. I clicked on his profile. Oh my God he had a lot to say. His text went on forever, but it was really good. He ended it by saying he was in fact 40! What? Then he wasn’t younger than me after all. I wrote to him.