It’s lunch time. I’m sitting on the stoop in front of computer school in Braddock. I just finished my sandwich. The sun is bright. There’s not a cloud in the sky. With my cloth cap on my head and wearing my hoodie I’m warm enough. There’s always a lot of truck traffic on Braddock Avenue. I can see a steel mill several blocks away.
I did talk to me old mum on the phone over the weekend to let her know about my job search: three interviews but no job. I had to tell her I’d only be able to call once a week because Verizon charges me for every call to her. I have the cheapest plan with Verizon; it’s just that it only stays cheap if I don’t call outside a certain radius and Mom lives outside that radius.
Well, let me go inside and call my contact at AARP. I faxed her the letter from the State about the hiring freeze. Does this mean I’ll be kicked out of the pay-for-job-search program?
I went online and punched up www.ssa.gov and got an estimate of how much money I could earn and not be penalized when I take early retirement this month. I’ll be 62 on October 25 which is Saturday. I’m seriously thinking of taking next Monday off from computer school and going to the Social Security office and filing for early retirement. The nearest office to me in Pittsburgh is at 6117 Penn Circle North in the neighborhood of East Liberty, a ten minute 81B bus ride from my apartment.
It’s scary to think what would happen to me if I lose my apartment. My credit is so bad that I’ll never pass a credit check to lease another apartment even if I do get a good paying job in the near future. I was homeless once for awhile when I was a young man. I sure as hell don’t want to be homeless now.
Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of homeless people on the streets. This one guy has been walking around in dirty rags for years. Winter is coming. How does he survive?