Friday, November 21, 2014


I sit in my studio apartment on my sixtieth birthday thinking about how a guy winds up in a studio at sixty. It's because I stayed at entry level my thirty years at the library. The other jobs seemed worse than the job I had. Money wasn't an issue. Then I had to retire at age fifty-five due to severe depression. And starting around the mid-nineties Portland, Oregon began to gentrify and rent went way up.

The town I once loved has been spoiled. Portland was thought of as a good place to move to. Sadly, most the people who moved here were upscale bastards and hipsters. Hipsters are the worst, posing as artists and bohemians. I respect the upscale bastards because they're honestly bastards and don't want to be an artist or a bohemian. Now, the town is crowded, spendy, and arrogant.

I haven't had a girlfriend in twenty-five years. My mom abandoned me when I was five. I'm afraid of being hurt by a woman. I did manage to have one girlfriend for four and a half years. The worst part is that I knew why I was missing out and didn't do anything about it.

I struggle daily to be rational and motivated. My thoughts are often negative to the point of delusion. It's hard for me to do things, even hygiene and laundry. My therapist has advised anti-depressants. I have refused because those drugs scare me.

I'm proud of keeping a good job for thirty years and getting to retirement with a good pension. I have several good friends. In two years I'll get Social Security. Then things will be better.

Copyright 2014 David Elsey

Friday, March 7, 2014


Sarah sat on the couch and lit a Camel straight. She took a deep drag and smelled the good coffee brewing. She was hungover. It was 1:03 p.m. She had just got out of bed and was trying to focus on the night before.

She lived in a studio apartment. The place had empty beer bottles and dirty clothes strewn through the rooms. The place was filthy. Sarah had been a hooker for 4 years and 3 months. She was 26. Sarah was short, fleshy, had red hair.

She remembered the night before. She gave this guy a blow job. He was around 50, fat, white. Something went wrong. When she finished swallowing a wave of nausea ran through her. She puked up his sperm. She felt like she was puking up everything good in her, puking up her soul. But there was very little good, very little of her soul, left.

The guy panicked. He jerked up his pants and ran clumsily out of the room. He threw some bills at her as he ran.

Sarah filled a big mug of coffee. She had a date at the hotel at 3:00. She sipped the good coffee and lit another Camel.

Sarah thought back to her first sexual encounter. She was 12 and swimming at her friend Mona's house. Mona's dad was hanging around. He sent his daughter into the house to make them sandwiches. When she was gone Mona's dad talked to Sarah while he looked her up and down. She was wearing a bikini. Then he pawed his crotch, outside his pants. Mona came back with sandwiches and grape Kool-Aid. Mona took a pass on the food and drink. The dad went into the house. Sarah never told anyone, and never went back to Mona's house.

Then Sarah remembered her first job. She was a waitress at Griffo's restaurant. One night she was serving a couple dinner. The guy ogled Sarah. Right in front his date. His date was angry but said nothing. The guy kept staring at Sarah's cleavage. His date said nothing. Sarah poured hot coffee onto his crotch on purpose. The guy leaped up and shouted that she had done it on purpose. Sarah denied everything. The manager came over. He heard their stories. The manager suspended her in front of everyone. She quit on the spot. She went into the back room, got her coat and backpack, and walked out.

It was getting late. Sarah had to shower, put on make-up, get dressed. She drained her mug of coffee, then walked into the bathroom.

copyright 2014 David Elsey

Friday, February 28, 2014


Today is the ninth day of my new living arrangement. I sleep during the day in my storage unit and stay up all night at various all-night cafes in Portland.

This all started when I was forced to quit my job at the downtown library. The boss told me there would be a meeting with her that day at 2:30. At the meeting was my boss, my union steward, and the head of HR. My boss accused me of slacking, cheating on my sick leave, and cussing out my co-workers. The slacking and cheating were true. The cussing was a lie that my enemies piled on when they heard I was in trouble.

I'm a 55-year-old man, and out of work in the worst recession since the Depression. The shock of what happened has made my depression worse.

The boss said they'd fire me if I didn't quit. I had my tiny pension to think about. It would be $201. I would lose it if I was fired. So, I "retired".

The reason why they came after me and not any number of other slackers and cheaters in the department was because I spouted off at work. I criticized management and my fellow line-workers. And I was a gossip.

The  head of the library wanted to make an example out of someone to keep all the other workers in line.

I have $327.23 in the bank. I have no living relatives. I have one friend. No girlfriend.

The rent on my unit is $45 a month. The things from my apartment are in there. I have a mattress flat on the floor. I sleep in a sleeping bag.

The storage place opens at 7:00 a.m. I come in and sleep till around 1:00 p.m. Then I look for work till around 6:00 p.m. I wander around after that, finally moving from all-night cafe to all-night cafe throughout the night.

I have food stamps, a little spending money, and free medical from the Oregon Health Plan. I eat at soup kitchens fairly often. There's a homeless shelter I go to where they have laundry facilities, free clothes,  showers, and a postal address for the homeless.

How long can I keep going like this? Something has to break my way, some job, any job. The Wall Street people and the bankers who caused this recession should be taken out and shot.

Copyright 2014 David Elsey