It was a crappy job, but still...it got me through nearly four years of college. Playing rent-a-cop at an abandoned brewery in L.A. Yet I let it go just to keep my long hair. It wasn't really the long hair that mattered so much (or so I told myself), it was "the principle of the thing." I didn't believe anybody should be able to control me to such a point that they could tell me I needed a haircut whenever they felt like it, regardless of my job performance or my overall personal grooming, or how it affected my work related tasks. I'd already spent three years in the Army being told what I could or couldn't do. When I got out I promised myself I'd never be pushed into a position like that again.
So, I quit. As it was, I'd been suspended without pay until I gave in, so I wasn't getting anywhere. Besides, quitting seemed to give me the moral upperhand somehow.
Now I found myself wihout any source of income, no immediate family within 5000 miles, and no savings. All I had were 3 months of school left (to finish the semester, not to get a degree); tons of debt and an overdue rent payment.
I began to pay my half of the rent by giving my roomate some of my things - VCR, stereo, movies and records, that sort of stuff.
Things weren't coming together for me, they were falling apart. I tried to find any kind of a job where they didn't care how long my hair was, but I couldn't find a thing. I saw lots of people with long hair, just never quite understood how they managed to make a living.
Eventually I had to move away from the city. I was sick of it, with all its false pretensions of freedom and liberation. It was all so plastic, so phony. I imagine it still is. I couldn't stomach the people anymore. Mind you, I had so few friends that it's not like the city was begging me to stay, either. There had grown a mutual lack of fondness between us. I felt we both knew it was high time I left.
My life would change completely after that.