jmac (prog) wrote,

Peter got his apartment, in part because I co-signed the lease. I may not have realized exactly what I was getting into. I have a better idea now. Even so, I'm not sure I would have made any other decision; it was that or the homeless shelter, for him. We found a perfectly good little place on Craigslist. I liked the landlord.

In the time since he has proven to be completely unmotivated to find any way to look after himself financially. His efforts are desultory, at best. I wrote him a letter on paper with advice about taking his iPad to the library and using their Wi-Fi to browse Craigslist, which has a wealth of Bangor-area jobs he could do. He apparently went to the library once, was told that the lady who could help him wasn't at her desk, so he returned home and didn't try again.

Last week he had, with the help of his social worker, lined up an interview for a roadside flagging job. When I called him the next day to ask how it went: "Well, I have to take medication, you know, and it gives me cottonmouth. So I need to be drinking water all the time, and that means I have to go to the bathroom like every hour or two. And I knew they wouldn't like that." So, he didn't even bother trying.

He can't apply to the Circle-K because it requires math, and he can't do math. He can't apply at the Wal-Mart because the in-store application computer confused him. The security companies he interviewed with two months ago and felt great about haven't called him back, and my efforts to coax him to follow up haven't yielded much. He continues to flat-out refuse to even consider looking for work in either food service or mental-health assistance, the only fields he has any significant experience in. (He claims burnout.)

His wife, who lay in hospice during the move, died just days after I returned home, five weeks ago now. Being able to say "Look, my wife just died" sure is a potent thing to throw onto the table when someone who cares about you if pressing you to do something with yourself. It never fails to get me to back off, and I'm sure it has a similar effect with others in his life, too. I get the feeling he's going to keep reaching for that for some time.

I may have made a mistake with the co-signing. I have implied that I won't be able to pay his rent after two more months -- at least not using some surplus cash from mom's checking account -- but have stopped short of saying that I absolutely won't pay, since have in fact legally bound myself to cover his rent through April of next year, whenever he fails to pay. I'm grimly assuming that I'll need to.

Ricky texts me that I should be sending Peter more money. He says it's the humane thing to do. I begin to think the more humane thing to do would be to cut him off completely, insofar as I'm legally able, and force him to help himself.

I do have another lever. I've been paying for the car Ricky and Peter have been using ever since the festivities began, last year. The car and the Oakland house together hoover around $1,200 per month from my pocket. (This is before adding in Peter's rent.)

I intend to get rid of the house this year, one way or another. I was going to not think about the car until that was settled. But now, gosh. I wonder what motivation Peter might discover were I to announce that I intended to stop paying for the car past October.
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