Me and my pal Lazarus

Posted on July 27th, 2010 5 great comments. Room for one more!

Yes, I have to admit that believing me to be dead would be a natural conclusion at this point. The gears have all but ground to a halt here at TCL, the Toronto City Life Twitter feed has barely seen the light of day over the past couple of weeks, and for all intents and purposes I may as well be pushing up the digital daisies.

gaelic cross, grave, mount pleasant cemetery, toronto, city, life

It’s just been hard to focus on the blog with so many dark clouds hanging over my head and I didn’t want to continue to dump all my misfortune online. I’m sure you’re already well aware of my fruitless search for a job, my growing debt, yadda yadda. The particulars of my daily existence didn’t really seem blog-worthy, you know?

I was starting to feel a lot like the biblical Lazarus there for a while. Not the resurrection guy though. Maybe he is the same dude – Jesus did, after all, raise his old buddy from the dead some time later – but most scholars think that they’re two different people.

The Lazarus I’m referring to was a beggar so pitiful that even the mangy street dogs licked the open sores on his feet. Me, I had my sores attended to by Ollie. Well, not so much sores as acne from a miserly diet, but pretty much the same thing. During the past three weeks I’ve subsisted on instant noodles (when I was flush with cash), numerous variations on white rice (I can now cook rice like it’s nobody’s business!), and occasionally treated myself to a can of Cott Cola on festive Saturday evenings (the royalty of “value” beverages).

st. michael, statue, grave, mount pleasant cemetery, toronto, city, life

I was shocked by homeless peoples’ disposable income, enough for a fun evening on the town with a bottle of Chinese cooking wine. I didn’t dare indulge in such government-sponsored decadence (for which I did not qualify).

The time of sores and value beverages, however, seems to finally be behind me. Last week, as if by some biblical miracle, the skies opened up on my arid life and poured forth job offers, some of which have sprouted into contract jobs. Like the other Lazarus, I am born anew.

captain fluke, tomb, mausoleum, mount plesant cemetery, toronto, city, life

No, really, my experiences over the past number of months have been transformative and in a weird way I’m almost thankful for them. I’ve shed much of the naiveté of my past life. I suppose I could be bitter and resentful about what happened, about government (I haven’t even begun to mention the shit they pull), about the way business regards us plebs, about the callousness and selfishness of society in general, about even those who once claimed to love me. You’ve probably read about some of this and judging by your responses, I have the right to be pissed off.

But did Jesus not say, “fuck those assholes”? I needed some time to consider the wisdom of those words, and after being offline for a while I finally get it. The message has touched my heart.

angel, grave, statue, mount pleasant cemetery, toronto, city, life

So no, I’m not dead. Quite the contrary, in fact. It’s a little hard getting back into the schedule so don’t expect any miracles just yet. But you know what they say, the early bird gets the strategic advantage. Plus, they insist on me showing up at 9 a.m. at my freelance gig uptown. It’s getting me into better habits and takes me past Mount Pleasant Cemetery, home to snobby joggers, the dead, and the imagery you see in this post.

It should be no surprise that I’m not thrilled or excited to be back at work. As jobs go, so far at least, it’s not that bad. Unfortunately, however, there are certain irregularities popping up already and it’s only my second day.

Not my first day either, though. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And just like Lazarus, I’m rising from the dead to feast on their brains!

5 Comments on “ Me and my pal Lazarus ”

  • Stanya
    July 28th, 2010 3:26 pm

    We know it was hard and are glad you are coming back, just don't give up. We are always here to support you either way.

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  • Emm
    August 2nd, 2010 9:55 am

    Oh no! It is no fun being unemployed and I am grateful that it has never happened to me for any extended period of time (the longest being 8 weeks when I emigrated). But yay! for getting new work and I hope that things begin to look up for you. Lovely photos in this post!

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  • Patrick
    August 2nd, 2010 2:54 pm

    Thanks, Emm. For the first little while it was my fault, I should point out. After that, though, there was a real unsettling pause in the industry. I guess these things happen but what I found most difficult was how little assistance I could get from the government in return for all the taxes we pay here in Canada. Urgh.

  • Emm
    August 7th, 2010 9:00 am

    Things are meant to be easier in England but I know two people who are really struggling to get state assistance. It seems the most needy do get support but they are extremely reticent to help the middle classes it seems.

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  • Patrick
    August 9th, 2010 5:15 pm

    I'm sure someone out there must be getting assistance, Emm, and I'm also sure that if I stuck with it long enough I'd probably get it too. I just don't think it should be so tough considering the amount of money we pour into the system every year. That's why they call it Unemployment Insurance — it's supposed to be insurance you can draw on when you're unemployed. But, it seems, like any old insurance company, they'd rather do everything in their power to prevent paying.

What's on your mind?