I’m trying not to dwell on the negative things that have happened to me. I try to focus on what could be… on the positive. Some days I’m more success than others. When I’m least successful, I find that I am angry, frustrated and crying. There’s depression as well. I feel like I’ve lost a lot because of cancer. I hate my physical appearance. I don’t trust my body. I’m fearful when my doctor calls and because I’m not working, I can’t focus on something that might be normalizing. Who knows how long it will take me to find another job with so many other people being out of work as well.
One of my biggest frustrations is my termination. I wasn’t a bad employee, I was sick, literally dying. I feel thrown away. Like I was defective. I know that this isn’t the truth, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling this way. Add to that, due to the loss of my employment, I will loose my home in NY. I can’t afford to keep it. This makes me so very sad, it gave me such career flexibility.
I am in need of a new local comic book store to feed my comic addiction (when I have a job again). Here’s why.
Just after completing chemo treatment, I started going back to my local shop for weekly comic pickups. The shop is full of shelving and displays, there aren’t marked spaces for social distancing and the aisles are a bit narrow. Two weeks ago, while there, a guy came into the store absolutely filthy, no shirt but wearing a mask. He was dirty all over and sweaty too. I asked him, where is your shirt, he just looked at me and kept shopping for comics. The manager of the store (not the owner, but someone I’ve known for at least 18 years) said nothing. So I half joked, “look dude you should wear a shirt. You don’t see me walking around here letting my boobs hang out.” The guy said his shirt was wet from working so he took it off. I said “you should keep you shirt on, it’s a health thing seriously.” He didn’t say much, he bought his comics and then left. After he left, I asked the manager, “man what is the deal? It’s the law, no shirt no service.” The manager said, “that guy spends about $600 a week here and he’s our handyman, I don’t want to piss him off.” I said so we all get exposed to his germs instead?! No response.
Well last Wednesday, while in the shop to pick up my comics, a guy walked in with no mask. Mind you we have a state mandate right now, masks must be worn in public. The manager stood behind the counter saying nothing… I just couldn’t let it go so I said, “Where is your mask?” to which this dude says to me “shut up I don’t need a mask”. I said a mask protects you and me, you should have one on. He said, “I don’t need a mask because I don’t live in fear like you do.” I said, “I don’t live in fear, I live with cancer and you should wear a mask.” His come back was “that sounds like a ‘you’ problem, I don’t have cancer and I don’t wear a mask, this all fake.” I made my purchases and left the store. Later I called the store, I told the manager I would not apologize for having words with that guy for not wearing a mask but I would apologize for making him (the manager) uncomfortable. Because it was obvious that he was.
The manager’s response to me? “Thanks, you should apologize, that guys spends about $600 a week in here.” I said he exposes you and me while he’s in the store with no mask on. Is his money worth that risk? Your mom has a preexisting condition, you could take it home to her unintentionally. The manager said that because he wears a mask and stands behind a plexiglass barrier, he’s safe. Which means the rest of us can suck #covid. I came home really angry. I took out all the receipts I could find from my purchases there and tallied them up. My approximate purchases were $7,176 from 2017 – 2020. There are no transactions from September through November 2019 while I was in the hospital.
I have been a customer at the shop since 2002. Over the years, I would take food orders, small gifts and even con swag to the manager of that shop. We of course knew each other on a first name basis and had each other personal cell phone numbers. When my employment took me out of state, I passed up the opportunities to shift my subscriptions to bigger shops in New York. I stayed with my local shop, visiting every weekend to clean out my pull box. It’s obvious I mistook his friendliness for friendship. It’s even more obvious that money means more to him than customer safety. Do I really think there are two people spending $600 a week at that comic shop? I couldn’t say with certainty but doubtful considering the lack of inventory movement. It’s fine though, the shop is theirs now. I’ll eventually find a good place to order comics online because anti-maskers could kill me.
I’ve recently figured out how to play Magic the Gathering Arena. It’s been really great at taking my mind off of things. I play for free and though I loose a lot, it’s good mind stretching. Here’s a screenshot, my opponent destroyed all my creatures, enchantments and artifacts, I had nothing and was about to loose. Then I got one card draw from my deck, the only card I needed and game over. Not going to lie it was so satisfying.
Between that and taking CPEs to keep my professional certifications, I’m doing my best to stay busy. I keep looking at my windows thinking “I should wash those (inside and out)”, but I only managed a couple before I got discouraged and stopped. I know this is depression from the cancer and job loss. I hope to start daily walks, though I fear that because so many people are in public spaces (parks and such) who aren’t social distancing or wearing masks. Still, I want to and will give it a try. At this point, all I have is time.