Man, what a month…I’m so glad it’s over.

For me, November 2021 was one of the most complex, convoluted, and complicated months in an already complex, convoluted, and complicated year — not because of Venezuela and its intensified stagnation as a whole, but rather, within the context of my life, as a series unrelated events and problems mixed together with one of the biggest setback in my efforts towards migrating to America, all of which dealt a crushing and demoralizing blow, leaving me, quite honestly, defeated and demoralized.

But let’s start with the simple things: Venezuela.

Not much new to say in this regard, everything is just as it has been. The sham regional elections took place on the 21st of November with results that surprised no one. The Socialist Party swept most of the governor and mayor seats while my birthplace, Zulia, once again rose up as a bastion of the opposition.

Barely anyone went to vote outside of those that are coerced or forced to do so because they’d otherwise risk losing their jobs or the support programs that the regime engineered loves to make people rely on. Regardless, what’s the point of participating when that sham election was but another reminder that both forces collaborate among themselves for their continued existence. Nothing will substantially change, everything will remain as-is, and the perpetual status quo will go on as usual.

Christmas is around the corner, and the inflation that usually comes with the season arrived earlier than usual this time around, for which I’ve already made the necessary adjustments in our diet and expenditures to deal with it. Unlike last year, this year’s inflation did have a bigger impact on my livelihood, but thankfully we’ll be fine, nothing to worry about.

Everything else is the same old tale, erratic water distribution, power woes, food that becomes more expensive every week, you get the general gist of it.

Fall and rise

Now for the meatier bulk of this month, time for me to vent down on everything that took place during the past weeks.

With my escape plans hitting a standstill, I arranged a new consultation with the immigration attorney I’ve been in touch with to evaluate what options I have at this point — if I have one at all.

Because my life is in fact, some sort of twisted comedy, my internet connection, which had been having issues for more than a year, decided to finally die on me literally days before the appointment.

You can imagine my state of mind during those days, because this was an appointment I could not afford to miss. I had a fallback plan that involved going to someone’s place with my laptop and holding the online conversation over there. Mind you, my laptop is a nearly 11 year old device that has a factory defective AMD GPU and with a dead battery, the whole thing is so banged up that it needs to be overheated to boot (UEFI bypasses the broken gpu and boots with integrated graphics at higher temps. I had solved this matter altogether but without a battery it just resets to default at every power loss).

Nevertheless, I got in contact with a technician that works for the govt ISP. Long story short, I had to pay him behind the table to have my line reconnected and repaired. Not my finest moment, but hey, my internet connection is back to how it was up until late 2020. I got my full 4Mbps down / 0.75 Mbps upload speeds and my exceptionally good (relatively speaking) latency back — hell, even my landline phone works once more after it died years ago.

Then the resin on one of my flawed teeth broke, which I still need to get fixed. It’s not a priority, not like I’m an attractive man anyways.

The day of the appointment came, a day where I had placed all of my hopes for good news or something that would help me unstuck my escape plans and finally get out of here and into America — unfortunately, I didn’t get any good news, and it all came crashing down.

My only options right now seem to be either a Media Visa or an H1B Cap exempt visa. While I do seem to qualify for asylum, I have no way to get into America to do so, not even as a regular tourist, as most US embassies have an absurdly lengthy wait time for tourist visa applications right now (700 days or more). Illegally crossing the border, or presenting myself at a point of entry is something that people keep advising me against because of its dangers, especially when it comes to my brother. It is also something uncertain, as I don’t know what would happen, and I keep hearing contradicting information.

Any help or insight that you may have on this matter is highly appreciated. If you know someone that would be willing to potentially hire me under the above mentioned categories, please, contact me asap, as it seems to be my only way to legally enter America right now.

I’ve been utterly defeated and demoralized since. It’s all been one complication after another, every obstacle steeper and worse than the previous one, and my passport will effectively be useless for most travel purposes come July. Getting one of the new 10-year passports is $200 each, and I may or may not get it within a reasonable timeframe.

I think all the stress, mental burdens, and everything that I’ve been bottling up for the past years bursted on me after that call, because I got hit with fever and stomach woes all of the sudden and I’ve been barely functional lately.

The past two weeks have been full of despair and hopelessness, but it’s always darkest before dawn, and not all hope is lost. I had a conversation with someone, who really helped me restore hope in me, God bless her for that. I’m exploring other options in addition to America.

Sword of the Nation updates

I’ve begun to finally have the initial arrangements and conversations to get Sword edited and ready for publishing so that I can finally start giving form to this Crimson Dream of mine. There are still some tax withholding rate nuances that I need to go through, though.

Honestly, while I had finished the 4th draft earlier this year, I had put Sword on hold because I had been working on something else that could have potentially given me a way to a US visa. My goal was always to get into America first, then publish Sword from there, so yeah, time to change plans around.

Who knows, maybe Sword does end up being a banger, and it ends up opening doors for both my brother and myself, just as I’ve always dreamt of. Once I have all of this on track (editing, cover, Amazon tax withholding nuances, etc) I will finally start working on preparing Sins’ first draft.

Had things gone differently and in my favor this year then yeah, I would be most certainly not spending Christmas in Venezuela, alas, it is what it is. I’ve slowly but surely been getting back on my feet after November dealt so many blows to me.

I’ve been shattered as a person both physically and mentally ever since my mom passed away in 2018, I never fully healed from it all, I just taped and glued my metaphorical pieces back together and kept going — the events of this month tore apart some of the tape and glue, but these past days have been days where I’m finally feeling a bit fine again.

One day, yeah, I will need to address all of my burdens and finally fully heal. In the meantime, I’ll try my best to be healthier both physically and mentally, because I need to be stronger for my brother, I cannot falter nor fail my mom and the promise I made to her.

As some things unfold and possible new plans loom on the horizon, I will try my best to give my brother a good Christmas within our constrained circumstances, and just make the best of it.

Tomorrow is another day. Thank you for reading all of this, it means a lot to me.

Until next time,