My Facebook status on this day seven years ago was “Connor now owes 20 euros to everyone he knows.”
NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
Since late in 2007, I have been broke. OK, not all the time. But most of the time. I haven’t managed to go more than three months in the last eight years without borrowing money from someone.
As you all know, the loan of £750 old Irish pounds I got to go on a J1 to America in summer 2000 has had many incarnations. I managed to get into a routine while I was doing my PhD and brought it down from €30,000 to under €15,000. Unfortunately, since I started getting less regular with the payments in Vietnam, I got in trouble and now I have had to renegotiate the loan for another seven years. Instead of owing €13,000, I now owe €16,000 (stupid interest) and the monthly repayments will go on until 2023. That’s right, the loan I got out when I was 19 years old won’t be paid off until I’m 42.
And it wears you down. I’m exhausted of not having money.
Today I have minus fifty-five euros, thirty-six cents in my account. I have had no heating in my house for over a week and the cold has entered my innards. My internet and TV bills for January went unpaid. I have six euros and eighty-six cents of electricity left in the meter. My fridge is empty.
I thought I’d get everything to balance by March. Unfortunately, I’ve had to push that back. I couldn’t afford to do the school visits I had scheduled for this week and so as well as being broke now, I’m going to get €1000 less next month than I had been counting on. It’s a vicious circle. If you can’t afford to put petrol in the car and pay the motorway tolls, then you can’t afford to go to Dublin to earn money so that you can pay for the petrol and the tolls. So basically, I have at least another month of nothing ahead.
As always, I have lots of money coming to me. I’m doing lots of little bits and pieces of work. But the likelihood is that I won’t have caught up with myself enough to get heating oil again until April, and probably late April at that.
I’m hoping to get some pay today, but as it gets closer to 5:00 pm, it looks less and less likely. I’ve been checking my balance so often that my fingers are falling off. Still minus fifty-five euros and thirty-six cents. It’ll probably be Monday.
It looks like I’ll have to gather up my coppers and see if I can make two or three euros and go to the shops and get some instant noodles or something equally cheap to last the weekend.
I’ve been sitting in the car to warm myself up, but there’s only about half an hour’s worth of petrol there now.
I’m a hilarious mess of an adult.
So I think I might have to give up on the dream, get out of my rural retreat and find a full-time job. I’ve already seen one in Dublin that maybe I should apply for. Of course, looking at rent prices in Dublin, I might still be commuting from Longford. My mother has re-decorated the house at home on the basis that I won’t be moving all my stuff back in, so I need to be able to rent somewhere big enough to accommodate my five and a half bookcases worth of books, as well as everything else. Getting a job may be as expensive as not having one, but I don’t see another option at the moment. I’ll still get my novel written though. Totally.