I watched Nomadland on Netflix the other day and it was pretty good. It was a pretty realistic depiction of the how and why so many people my age and older (and younger) have decided to live the RV life.
In one part a woman says she worked all her life and SSI is $550 a month. That’s exactly what I will get, too. Rent here runs close to $1000 a month for a halfway decent studio apartment in a halfway decent neighborhood. I have no idea what makes anyone think someone could live on $400 or so a month (they take over $100 a month for your Medicare premium most places). One way and another the oligarches make sure we don’t get whatever other retirement we thought we had coming for our work. Or if you do, then other benefits are unavailable to you.
It’s likely I will outlive my hubby. And when that happens, I’ll be living in my van. That’s just how it is. I’m not dreading it. In fact, I’ll be able to do one of the things I loved most when we lived in the RV and traveled. If we don’t like the neighbors, we start up the truck and move…
Which brings us to the other part of what I want to talk about today.
In Nomadland they do give some time to how pretty it is living in the parks, in the desert, kayaking the lakes, traveling – but the emphasis is on the quiet desperation. I don’t plan on being quietly desperate. I’ve lived in the RV before and we really loved it. It was such fun seeing all the parks, and having favorites we visited over and over. We met lots of cool people, too.
In my life I’ve been well off and I’ve been poor. I’ve known middle class people who were the lowest trash vibe humans, and poor people who were super cool, intelligent, interesting, thinking, creative people. It goes the other way around, too, of course. Despite what society here tells you, the quality of a human being is not determined by that persons income level.
Because there are things I value higher than money and “class” (of course, the class system in the U.S. is based on your apparent income) I often live in low income areas so I can spend what money I have on other things – like rescuing cats.
By and large, lower class people are well aware that the best way for us to all live well is if we help each other out any way that we can.
But there is also a section of lower income people who really buy into that desperate hate filled misery. They especially hate me. Because I just won’t lay down and be miserable and fill my life with ugliness and bitterness and resentment. I could, but where’s the fun in that?
It makes them look bad, you know, me dancing around being happy with less than they have.
One of those people, sadly, has moved in next door to me. Not satisfied to hate me herself, she’s made a concerted effort to get everyone else in the general area to hate me, too. At this point, she is literally bringing people to the sidewalk behind my RV to laugh and point and shake their heads at (me).
For some reason, starting with the trailer parks so-called maintenence crew, people in and around this park (including homeless who wander around here) think that the lot my RV is in is a public thoroughfare. They literally stand a foot from my door, talking, partying, tossing cigarettes and trash in my yard – and if I step outside and even ask who they are and why they are in my yard I AM THE BITCH. I get glares, cussing, and so on. It’s gotten to the point that I actually questioned the landlord as to the exact parameters of my lot, what I was paying rent on, if the lot had ever been like maybe a place the maintenece people stored things or something. Nope, it’s not public property – I’m paying rent on it. It’s my area. It’s not big, but I could put in a few flowers, little patio, outdoor furniture. Except that I’m pretty sure it would all be picked up and walked off with like the one or two deliveries I was silly enough to have sent to my door. Horrible old hag that I am, I do have a sign outside that states “This is not your ashtray or your trash can” and that did cut down a little bit on the big pile of cigarette butts, beer cans, tampons (used), and razors (also used) being thrown in my yard.
So I want a fence. WOW. WHAT A HORRIBLE VICIOUS BITCH I AM. Not satisified with calling me that herself, and having her husband/boyfriend or whatever he is call me that, this neighbor actually brings people over to look at the scrap wood and such I am gathering for a fence so they can shake their heads, glare, and if I am outside, tell me what a rude, vicious fucking cunt I am.
(Here’s how MEAN I am. Before all this got going, the food banks had given hubby & I some food we simply cannot eat because of his dietary restrictions. I took about 20 lbs of meat to this neighbor and gave it to her. What a rude, mean, vicious neighbor I am)
Here in a few days I’ll have the money I need to finish building my little fence. It’s going to be pretty, although CLEARLY no one but me sees that right now.
I am clinging to the knowledge that I am trying to make this place NICE for us. As nice as it can be, here. There are neighbors who LIKE us, who think we are kind and generous and polite and all that stuff. They are kind and generous and polite to us, too. But they are staying away because they don’t want to get involved in the brewing feud.
But it’s hard. And it’s one more stress on top of what is a very stressful situation for us right now with the dialysis clinic. (Whole ‘nother story)
Part of me really does want to engage. To jump right into this Jr. High shit of standing behind my RV laughing loudly “ha ha ha, look at this crappy fence, ha ha ha” so I can hear them even when I am inside (they don’t realize I can also see them as I have reflective glaze on the windows – I can see out, they can’t see in). Part of me really wants to kick that bitch’s ass. I’m small, but agile, tough and I know how to fight. I was taught by men so I fight like a man, not “like a girl”.
I just don’t like to, and I don’t want to. I want us to all live in peace and harmony. If you don’t want to be part of the neighbors who share rides, share groceries, share tips on sales, share home baked cookies – okay. That’s fine. Go wallow in your misery and stay out of our little happy world.
But, you know, misery loves company. And misery really HATES to see someone who is just as poor (or probably more so) who is making a happy, nice life in the same place that you are trying to wallow in horrible misery and feel sorry for yourself. Might make you wonder if you are the source of your own misery *gasp* and could choose to be happy, too – if you wanted to.
I really don’t want to let them make me into the bitch they say I am. But it’s not easy. It’s not fun being hated, laughed at, called names and taunted for trying to make something nice.
So I haven’t been blogging much. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t want to gripe and rant and complain on this blog. I actually switched to using this blog to get away from the blog that ended up being largely devoted to talking about the abuse, neglect, and outright mistakes of the medical community that almost killed my husband in 2016.
How about some awesome news? Positive tests for COVID in Las Vegas has dropped to 7%!!!! No deaths this week!!! How fantastic is that? We might actually be through the worst of this thing!
(The haters gonna have to find something else to hate everyone for)