Sure, You Exist Now

Anyone who has ever been homeless, marginal, or just plain nomadic for any period of time knows how difficult it can be at times to prove you exist. At least to bureaucratic types. 

But the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me is that after I became a responsible citizen and kept an address and a bank account and an electric bill for a few years I applied for an arts grant. They had no problem acknowledging that I existed. Now. But they wanted to know if i existed in the past.

And I couldn’t prove that I had existed in the past.

The most amusing part of the story is I told Jenny exactly how the conversation was going to go. I said I’m going to prove I exist, and they’re going to ask me if I can prove I have existed. It will regress into a Twilight Zone episode, except the bureaucrat will be playing it completely straight with no sense of irony. 

Of course that’s exactly what happened, but unlike the days when this over-officious buffoon would have been making a decision about whether I had a roof over my head or not, they were merely deciding if I could apply for a grant to complete a children’s book. I expected nothing but fodder for satire, and in true government fashion, that’s exactly what I got.

I still exist, but I’m not as serious about it anymore. I’ve even existed in the past at times. I can’t prove it, but it seems like I was there. 


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