The other day, I told some friends I know here in Fla that I was leaving America in exactly four months.
They said where to?
I said the South of France, for two weeks, then the Red Sea.
They said, well the frogs have their share of Muslim-bashing neo Nazi wusses too. The kind who are brave with their posse on Main Street, not so much in downtown Cairo.
I said that’s why I am going to Gouna after two weeks in Nice, no matter what the results of the French election are on Sunday. I will mention, here, that Nice’s ex-mayor, Christian Estrosi, is lately saying some surprising and pleasing things indeed, despite the orange buffoon‘s support of Eva Le Pen.
In the meantime, I’m laying low. I said.
Walking on the beach, losing weight, reading, getting in shape, not ruining my liver with drinking or my lungs with smoking, or paying attention to the latest rubbish from the likes of Nigel Farange, and instead going for lovely alone swims where I live, now that all the pee-in-the-pool, half-tanked geezer snowbies have cleared out, thank God, taking their bloody transistor radios tuned to Rush Limbaugh back to hell with them.
I can’t wait to get to Gouna. There’s nothing like being home, which is what I consider anywhere in Egypt.
Where I never again have to hear any mamelukes talk disparagingly about my ethnicity or religion.
My friends said: you’re really leaving? After all this time in America?
I said, yes. I have had enough of the hate. I want to do something else with my life other than sit around and steam about things I can do nothing about.
One of the guys turned to me and said: aren’t you the lucky one?! Lots of people here would love to leave America until the next election. Take a powder. Maybe vamoose to Panama for a spell.
I am lucky that, despite my relative penury, that I can look forward to hanging out in style in a ritzy resort village on the Red Sea.
A gorgeous place where there are few worries.
No Orange Pig or motorcycle right-wing dickwads or nasty Moslem hating geezers giving me the hairy eyeball.
No Google and all the other predatory personal data search engines because they can’t crawl that shit in Egypt.
In a word, free.
Free from the nightmare of the last 16 years.
I read an article yesterday that most regular dudes who lose their jobs long-term, especially in middle age, as I did, develop severe psychological problems, isolate, get divorced, leaving their wives and children permanently scarred and their lives in ruins. Many die relatively young, often committing suicide on the installment plan via drugs and/or alcohol, or blowing their brains out outright.
I was lucky.
I survived 16 years of unemployment — without taking a dime from the government, even though I have paid at least a million in US state, federal and local taxes, maybe even two — with only one physical meltdown, a rare disease that is caused by massive stress, a disease that you can’t get Social Security Disability for in the US, even though it almost killed me, and I had to pay for medication that made me gain 50 lbs, and left me bedridden for years and unable to walk or talk normally, and my vision so impaired that I could no longer drive, until I had an operation at the Mayo Clinic (that I ended up paying cash for, because I could only afford by this time a plan with a sky high deductible, which lead me further down the road to bankruptcy) where they sliced my throat open.
Welcome to America, where getting sick can and will make you homeless.
I know, nobody cares, but it happened.
Let me be even more explicit.
I survived shelling out several hundred thousand dollars in insurance premiums and property taxes and the rest of it even when no-one would give me the time of day because I was guilty of having an Arab name and more importantly being on the wrong side of 50.
I survived not knowing how I would keep a roof over my head or feed my family, as I was hitting 60.
I survived after almost everyone whom I ever helped professionally or in friendship turned their backs on me after saying good luck when it was my turn to ask just for a chance to get that interview.
Like every schoolboy in American knows by now, nobody gives a flying wazoo.
Nobody likes a born loser.
Besides, you have your own (more important) problems.
little (more exciting) story.
And things are going well at the moment.
Your luck will never change, and even if it does, you’ve got a golden parachute to cushion the blow, right?
You will always be young.
You will never get sick. Nor will your wife or your children.
You will never see your life savings go up in smoke after a stock market crash. All the money you were supposed to live on for the rest of your life gone.
Your nest egg is invulnerable, just like you. Buhleev me.
There is no bubble.
It’s time to be great again.
Why don’t these whining deadbeat also-rans man up? They just weren’t good enough, not smart enough, not educated enough, not connected enough, not… white enough.
You, on the other hand, are all those things.
You were way too smart to end up a loser.
Maybe you got yourself a gubment job with a good pension.
Maybe as a NYC cop, 20 and out by age 40, and now you’re handing out deweys in Fla in your new cop uniform, a yob that’s unionized in a right-to-work state: and with OT you’re clearing 150 large, man, for being a cop — plus there’s that gold plated NYC health plan you get to keep in “retirement.”
And you’re not even 50 years old yet and you’re living in some fancy gated community with a golf course! All you have to do is protect the rich fuckers who live on the water on the right side of US1 from “the blacks” and other undesirables and you will never end up dead broke and cooking meth in some cracker dump somewhere in the woods off Lake Okeechobee.
Now you support Bozo the Clown and look down on those who need some help to survive, penny ante shit compared to the billion dollar tax-funded life raft the bankers got after ’07.
They were too big to fail; I was too small to exist.
At least none of that Breaking Bad stuff ever went my way.
What did happen, though, is that I turned increasingly bitter, and got sick, not that anyone but the dog noticed or cared.
That’s what happens you get poor. You turn into someone you’re not, until a light goes on and you pull back from the edge.
So I survived, even though I didn’t have the luxury to run to Washington to get some crooked politicians to bail me out.
Today I am in good health.
I have no personal debt, and I own a nice house and a nice car and I even have money in the bank, still.
You’d be surprised how little you can live on when nothing’s coming in.
In three months I will start having a pension that I can rely on to get me through the days in Egypt. My medical costs have already gone down to nothing compared to the thousands I was shelling out previously.
I may not live like a millionaire in Gouna, but I will be a thousand times better off than here, in the heart of the land of the heartless.
I don’t know what is going to happen to United States with all the hate and the sniffling Orange Clown on a course to destroy everything good in this country and the right-wing creeps who voted for him supporting him all the way as he throws them off a cliff.
I don’t know, and I don’t care. Perhaps this was inevitable and latent in a country whose land was stolen at gunpoint from its rightful owners, conceived as a “noble experiment” by landed slave-holding aristocrats, and slowly turned into an imperial bully by an immigrant slew of vagabonds, exiles, mercenaries, starry-eyed naifs, ruthless thieves, and religious nuts.
It’s just not my problem.
Caring about others is a two-way street.
And after getting kicked in the teeth for 16 years, it’s my turn in the sun.
I got mine now, and you don’t.
In four months, it’ll be time for the big middle finger salute. Hasta la vista, baby.
As they say in Egypt, fi siteen dahya.
All I have to do is step clear of the dog doodooo, and count down the days.