Friday, January 11, 2013

A New Year With Snakes

So far 2013 is off to a rough start.

But at least I was able to get one long overdue project done, the scanning of the first eleven issues of my zine, Ray X X-Rayer, into easily accessible formats.

Back in 1994 I used Apple computers – Macs – to create and print out my zine. Since that time I moved on to PCs, mainly because used ones were cheaper and places like libraries used PCs for public access computers. The switch to PCs created compatibility problems with my Mac files. And even within the Apple system I ended up with another compatibility problem: the older floppies weren't readable on newer machines.

So while everyone was ushering in the new year, I was ensconced in my shoebox apartment/monastic cell, scanning hardcopies of my zines into PDF and Word formats. Maybe I'll have to reformat once again in the future when there's another major change with computer operating systems.

I did encounter some problems with the scanning but they weren't insurmountable, unlike other meatspace situations. I won't bore you with the details except to say that there's nothing like a petty disagreement to show you who your friends really are, what other people actually think of you, especially in a small community. No, not everyone is against me, just a couple of individuals. To use the appropriate pun, fangs for nothing.

Apart from that situation, I have another complication, right here in my neighborhood. A person with severe mental health problems moved in. No problem with that until the person – someone known for many years for sometimes committing severely erratic acts – stops taking medication and becomes full blown psychotic. How bad? Cops and ambulance bad. I'm trying to keep a low profile with this person, avoiding confrontation one time when this neighbor was yelling at me from across the street.

Ever see the movie, "The Snake Pit?" No, institutionalization isn't the answer for everyone with mental health issues. But after most institutions were closed, some patients have been tossed into society with any proper support. With the lack of any so-called safety nets they end up in personal snake pits.

A friend said that this neighbor has a right to live around here, even though he's aware of the sometimes severe behavior of this particular individual. I asked him if how he would feel if the same person was living next door to him. Silence. A NIMBY moment.

I have no problems with someone with issues as long as the situation doesn't affect my mental health (and more). I have some concern how things with this neighbor might turn out. It's been quiet lately but...

So how's your new year been going so far?

1 comment:

X. Dell said...

I don't envy the pressure this guy's presence puts on you, including the necessity to keep a low profile. I understand that shrinking budgets have led some institutions to release people in their care into the general population. In the US, the consequence of that is that many mental health cases become police matters.