The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Why Worry?


I worry about lots of things now when I have never have been much of a worrier. It is probably a sign of changing times and the result of things happening in my life. My mantra of the past was ”worry will not change what is going to happen, so why worry?’ or when I was going for a colonoscopy or a dentist drilling my view was ‘it will all be over soon’. But how do you stop worrying? We have a name for a person who is a chronic worrier, the worrywart. Have I become one of those? I do not think I have reached the level of that label. In fact as one worry appears, another becomes less worrisome.

I worry much less about Jacob now then at the beginning of his ordeal. Why? Because he is a strong young man and a realist. We hope for the appeal and another trial, but are ready if that does not happen. There are more legal steps after that. He will never just give up proclaiming innocence. He is strong and stubborn, so I have stopped worrying as much about him.

I worry about Cary relapsing. I cannot control what happens; but I might have impact on it, because I am here to support her. I cannot take credit for her hard work to become and remain sober. Sometimes I do wonder though if my support is important or is it a hindrance to her becoming stronger and more independent. So my worry may impact her success or failure; not worry per se, but what I do with that.


Yesterday was a profitable day. I should not really say profitable, because we did not make a profit. It was simply an exchange of goods for currency. I sold my Volkswagen in the buyback program, the program that forced a company to make reparations for deception. We received a check on-the-spot, well, not on-the-spot. Fed-Ex was late bringing the checks-of-the-day for the eight (including us) people bringing back their defective cars to a dealer. I asked the man processing paperwork if there were a lot of people selling their vehicles back to Volkswagen. He said 500,000 across the United States. He asked if I liked my Passat. Yes, I liked it, but you cannot persuade me to keep it. The buyback came at an opportune moment for me. I was thinking of selling it anyway.

I will remember this day when Roy took the last drive in the Passat, as I remember the day he and I stopped at Mikan to look at the diesel Passat. The showroom models were not there, rather they were on display at the Butler Farm Show that Labor Day weekend. We ordered one that day—Opera Red. It was the first vehicle we had ever custom-ordered. Opera Red turned out to be a disappointment. I wanted red, and the car was burgundy. Having only been to an opera once, I did not realize they had their own colors that did not correspond to my rainbow. We waited from September until February for delivery of that car. We had been told we were not guaranteed to get exactly what we wanted in accessories or color. The factory makes them and then sends them out to the dealers. They get what they get as does the customer. Does that sound like an egalitarian buyer-seller transaction? The car did come with the accessories we wanted, so we were happy. The Passat now was actually a spare though. Two drivers and three vehicles. Cary is a bus rider now. There was no reason to keep the extra cost of a third vehicle.

So here we were with the check for the VW and the check that came a week ago returning our money from an unscrupulous lawyer who absconded to heaven or hell with retainers from 300+ clients including us. Despite his misappropriation of funds, we always still wonder if he might have won Jacob’s case. He supposedly presented a good defense for his clients. So here we were with checks in two names to be divided. Roy and I have separate accounts, his memory of why quite divergent from my memory of why. But that separation required us to make several transactions to divide the money.

This might have been mad money sending me to faraway places that I dream about, but it was already earmarked for more mundane things as were the lawyer funds from heaven or hell. How can I complain because I cannot use it for fun? It will ease a burden of living expenses. How can I complain when there are others who have nothing? There are homeless people on every corner. Sunday night there was a person with a cardboard sign on every corner of Penn and Braddock. It seemed like collusion though. Maybe they were not really homeless. My daughter says, ” Look at the shoes. If their shoes are nicer than yours, this is a hustle for drug money or just a way to make a living.” There really are homeless in Pittsburgh though living under bridges. I have seen their tents. I am just not sure if they are the same ones asking for money on street corners.

I wish I could tell a hustle and a manipulation. I am not good at it. Too trusting at times, yet I recognize some hustles and lies. That is because I have not given my trust to everyone and may see the truth in those who do not have it. It is those we trust most who are most capable of betraying that trust and manipulating us, because we allow them to do it. We trust them. Even with betrayal of trust, I cannot seem to give it up just like I cannot abandon all hope of better things. Why not? Sometimes I want to give hope up when my rational mind tells me there is hopelessness in some things. Optimist or pessimist? Hopeful or hopeless? Negative or positive? We can be both at times, but which one is the predominant one?


Yesterday fortified certain worries about a loved one. I passed on my worries to my kids; they are the closest in proximity physically and emotionally to me. I pass it on, but they are young. They do not worry as I worry. They are full of resignation about life. Jacob the realist and Cary the ….not sure. She told me this ugly story of a gay man who was gang-raped. She said the world is an evil place, or rather, the world is full of evil people. Yes, it is full of evil people, but also full of good people. It is full of evil people doing evil things and good people doing evil things and evil people doing good things and good people doing good things.

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