I can’t have you understand “Will Knit For Food” unless you read “Mad Man Knitting-or-the Waiter and The Fly.” I can’t bare to go on again about how a ruffian looking thing like myself managed to learn to knit, nor what it did for him when life began to collapse.
I wanted to make it perfectly clear and clean that this book will in no way be a system of sympathy. No, I had to make the clear decision that some people’s lives and reputations would be damaged by what I had to say. With my last book, it was the owners of the restaurant I worked at. With this new tome, it has to go closer to something to the heart. In order to tell this tale correctly, I have to disavow myself forever and for good people in my family, members of my past, and potentially, friends I had always wished to know better.
The point of this book was to explore something deeper about the experience I had worked myself into. And yes, I take full fault for having been the one who made the worst decisions possible; decisions so detrimental I ended up homeless, living in the woods, knitting a teddy bear, just ONE teddy bear to feed myself with.
There is much to be learned from this moment of desolate isolation. In much the way I honor those of the Great Depression who managed to feed themselves with not a penny to their names, I managed to do the same. The government failed me, my family failed me, but above all else, the moment I felt I had failed myself was the moment I broke free from some strange madness that said I was obligated to anyone. I was supposed to BE someone according to someone else’s standards. I broke free of the ridiculous capture that said I was a man who SUPPOSED to be THIS, or even worse THAT, because when all is said and finished, I was doing THAT and THIS to make THEM feel better about introducing me at engagements of any stupid sort.
I am my own man now. It took me living homeless, with no money and with only a set of knitting needles to my name to realize, and after 20 years of being a slave to the conditions of what I was supposed to be or become, to realize that I am viable. I am real. That I am a man.
I AM not worthless.
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