Thursday, December 15, 2011

Defeated by life

I can’t get that phrase out of my head. While in VT recently at a college buddy’s house, I asked about about a mutual friend. He lives not that far away from my buddy.

“He’s defeated by life,” my buddy said.

The guy walks with shoulders slumped and he shuffles his feet. There’s a hang dog expression on his face.

We met when I was taking a Journalism class. The guy already had an English Literature degree. He’d worked as a journalist and wanted to advance his journalistic career. After college, he did get a newspaper job. Eventually, he lost that job for having a sense of right and wrong. He never worked as a journalist ever again.

Since he couldn’t find work as a journalist, he went back to school for 2 years to get a degree as a machinist. Things were looking up for a while. He found work right after graduation. A bit later, he got an even better job. The guy lost a lot of weight, took up running and was lifting weights at the gym. He bought a house and was doing well.

I kinda lost contact with him for a bit. One day he stopped in unexpectedly. He was working part time on a road construction crew that happened to be in my area. All the machinist jobs dried up as businesses closed. Once his unemployment ran out, the only job he could find was stocking shelves at night in a big box store. He couldn’t handle night shift, so he quit. After an extended job hunt, he found temporary work with the road crew.

Now I hear he isn’t doing very much at all. His wife works full time and that keeps the household going. The daughter is out of control with a series of loser boyfriends and substance abuse issues. His son is struggling in school. My friend seems to have give up.

Defeated by life.



  1. It's sad when folks start to lose hope and direction.

    The worse part is that how to help them is very difficult without making things worse!

  2. Hermit: you are right about that!

  3. Well stated HermitJim.

    Man, that man certainly has had his share of bad turns in Life, I hope he can find something that turns it around. Life is just too short and precious . . .

  4. An all too common story these days.