I am on my last set of contacts with no back up plan in place. My back up plan (read: glasses) was lost in a massive snow drift back in February. I just received a bill for $93.00 from a dentist I have not seen since last November. Perhaps this is punishment for not scheduling my sixth month cleaning. I recently received a massive paycheck from the 40 + hours of overtime I worked last pay period, but more recently received my car insurance bill and it reflects the utter recklessness with which unmarried men in my age bracket drive. I am nearly out of checks and I have a stack of bills sitting on my desk which includes the aforementioned mystery dentist fee and an angry letter from my cable company in which they threaten to cut off my cable. This is interesting as I have not had cable service since June as I requested it be cut off. Partly this was out of spite for their poor service in repairing the cable after my neighbor's tree nearly crushed my house and partly to save money for a rainy day...or a mystery bill from the dentist. I set up an IRA account last Christmas and began the process of rolling over my Texas Teacher's Retirement account, but apparently the managers of said fund do not want me to do this. Despite the fact that I sent every document they requested and notarized the hell out of each one, I continued to receive vague and frustrating rejections from them in the mail saying that my documents had not been notarized. Today I received two notices that since I had not responded in a timely manner they are assuming that I want to leave my retirement money in their management and have closed my request. Bastards. Also, I cannot get my financial advisor to return my correspondence with her. Today I went to the pharmacist to refill a prescription for Nexium that usually costs me $45.00 and was asked to pay $76.00. Were it not for the burning hole in my stomach I might have balked, but who wants a burning hole in their stomach?
It sort of feels like Alexander and the No Good, Horrible, Terrible, Very Bad Day right now. I could go on and on about any number of lesser things, but the preceding paragraph seems to have encapsulated the point fairly well. I'm tired and feeling more than a little overwhelmed and stretched. Recently, the only times I feel free and easy are when I am playing soccer, and I guess "free and easy" is a little bit misleading. I got my first yellow card for dissent this Sunday (and by "first for dissent," I mean first EVER for dissent) and committed a healthy number of fouls trying to marshal the midfield of the men's league team for which I play. I remember one summer before I went to college playing with some friends in a men's league (read: beer league) in which we absolutely demolished every team we played against. Usually after the third or fourth unanswered goal we scored the challenges started flying and middle aged men with knee pads and rec specs started Kung Fu kicking us as we flew past them. I recall how ridiculous I thought this was. How could balding, overweight fathers with their kids on the side line plummet into violence and profanity in a Sunday league that was competitive in name only?
It started to dawn on me a few years later, when I was asked to play in an exclusively Hispanic league by the guys with which I worked a summer construction job, that ninety minutes on a Sunday was an escape from all of the bullshit I listed earlier. These guys would haul off and punch an opposing player in the face simply because they thought he might get around them. It wasn't so much about reliving glory days as much as it was about running out (or punching out, or kicking out, or slapping out, or spitting out, or gouging out, or cursing out) the frustrations of adulthood and all of the pressures that come with not making enough money and not having enough time.
So here I am on Monday. I had my ninety minutes on Sunday to play like a monster. I have the ankles and the feet of someone who was in a shin kicking contest. I scored my goal and got my yellow card and read about it on the blog our team keeps to report the weekend's result. Then I read it again. And now what? Too many bills to pay, not enough money in the bank, and an expensive hole in my stomach. The thing is, it doesn't get any easier. Marriage. Kids. SERIOUS commitments. I guess manhood is figuring out how to negotiate all of this and manage to keep your head and to cherish your commitments. I'm not their yet, but I have another match on Sunday.