I have been homeless twice in my life. I posses a deep-seated terror that I may someday experience Part III. My counselor assures me that I won’t.
Man, I hope she’s right.
Homelessness Part I occurred while I was still in high school. Due to the trauma inflicted upon me by my Aunt Francie, I ran away from her home in the middle of my Senior Year. To my credit, I didn’t quit school; instead I made my way through approximately 6 months of homelessness and I got my diploma. I jumped on a Greyhound bus literally the day after graduation, and I fled that miserable state, never ever to return.
The initial plan was that I would stay with my friend who had graduated a year ahead of me, and was working at an office job, but still living with her mother. She told her mother about the things that happened to me and her mother allowed that I could live with them until I graduated. Things went poorly there, a story I will relate in the entry called Rhonda in my “I Can’t Keep a Friend!” section of this blog.
Due to unfortunate and unforeseen developments, I ended up leaving Rhonda and her neurotic, overbearing mother’s filthy house and I ended up resorting to sleeping with guys for a place to stay for a week or two – It wasn’t so awful as it sounds, I suppose. They were guys that I was already sleeping with and/or would have slept with anyway, except for one of them . There were three of these guys that “helped” me (and helped themselves to me in the process). These were guys I had known for 3 or 4 years, they were not random strangers. The one I would not have typically opted for had I not been desperate for a place to stay was the older brother of a dude from school whom I had already slept with mainly because he looked like The Lost Boys era Kiefer Sutherland. The Kiefer-lookin’ bad boy was still in high school and he lived with his mother so he was in no position to help me, but his much less attractive older brother WAS in a position to do so. I am still “Facebook friends” with both brothers to this day. It is all very bizarre.
The other two “helpful guys” were black leather clad, tattooed, long-haired heavy metal dudes, and they were also best friends, which was also very bizarre to me. Sometimes the guys would pay for me to live in a motel room, sometimes they let me stay at one of their houses for a week or two, depending upon their individual finances and personal situations. What with my hip having recently been carved up and then busted all to hell (reasons for which are detailed in the blog entry about my Aunt and are a major contributing factor to why I was homeless in the first place), I discovered that fucking dudes was a whole lot less pleasurable than it used to have been. The sex not only made me feel like a whore but it hurt my mangled hip, and it soon became evident that no amount of gentleness on their part or trying different positions was going to change that. The dudes weren’t rough with me, but I didn’t want to keep sleeping with them. In order to keep themselves feeling good about themselves, they presented the situation as if they were “just helping a friend out – and the sex is just for fun and not a prerequisite for the place to stay” but we all knew that that was a big, fat, hairy lie – (it really was) – so, I had to look for alternate living arrangements.
There were nights when I had nowhere to go that I slept in the drama dept. at the high school; this was back when a kid could still get away with that if they had enough stealth, back before security cameras and motion detectors were installed in every hallway. I would just hide in the huge, walk-in costumes closet, hunkered under and behind some long dresses and feathery boa things, with a book or homework to save me from boredom, until the school closed. Luckily, the drama dept. was one of the areas that always had some light… it was behind the huge stage which was always kept lit, apparently 24/7, even throughout the nights. Hours later, when the last janitor had surely left, I could emerge. There was something very exciting about wandering those empty halls in the middle of the night, lit up only by EXIT signs and the dim, humming vendor machines. I remember trying almost fearfully to navigate the the pitch-black restroom. Of course, I could not take the risk of turning on the light; and a lighter isn’t very helpful when you need your hands to deal with your pants. It was almost in a way fun, but I only dared to stay overnight in the school a couple of times. The school had no idea that I was homeless & I very much wanted to keep it that way. I knew if I ever got busted there, there would be all sorts of hell to pay – I had already learned very well that Adult Meddling could Fuck Up Your Life and I was still only 17 so they would have forced me back into the court and foster system, however briefly. I NEEDED very badly to avoid that, and somehow, I did.
Across from the high school was a Taco Bell that had the customer restroom around the back of the restaurant, accessible from outside as opposed to indoors. The lock had been busted, and they didn’t bother to fix it. Due to this the restroom was accessible to the public 24/7, even when the restaurant was closed for the night. I was terrified to stay there because I didn’t want to get trapped in there by some pervert or crackhead at 3 am, with no help in sight, but there was a couple of nights that I spent in there, wide awake, sitting on the filthy floor, with my feet pressed firmly against the door, clutching the handle of a filthy, useless mop they had left in there, just in case I would have to use it to ward off an attacker. Fortunately for me, it never came to that. I only resorted to going there 3 or 4 nights when I could not find a friend or a dude to crash with, and volatile weather forced me to take cover. I also did quite a bit of couch-surfing… I’d crash here for a day or two, crash there for a day or two, wherever somebody or their mom would let me. At one point I was quite ill, and I remember that I spent 2 days parked on a stranger’s basement couch. Bless them, they let me stay there, unmolested and undisturbed for 2 days, even though they had no idea who I was. Honestly, I don’t even remember how I met them. Through the friend of a friend or from a pot deal or something like that, most likely.
Complicating all of this misery was the fact that courtesy of my Psycho-Aunt, not only was my hip busted to hell, but so was my face. My face was, in fact, was starting to decay, as detailed in my blog entry The Year of the Dead Rot. Given that my mouth was literally rotting from the inside, I don’t know if it is amazing or disgusting that so many dudes still wanted to sleep with me anyway. I’m leaning towards disgusting. Ew!
This is only part of the hell I that went through during Homelessness Part I, but the rest of it I will detail in the blog entry titled Rhonda, as it belongs there more than it does here. Like I’ve said before, it gets complicated trying to figure out how to sub-categorize and blog some of these inter-weaved events.
I survived Homelessness Part I and I earned my damned high school diploma. No GED for me! The very next day after receiving that diploma I left that horrible city – and that horrible state – hopefully forever. I also managed to leave homelessness behind me for over 4 years, but then a crazy stalker and a deliberately set house fire fucked everything up again. (This sounds like Lifetime for Women TV Movie of the Week shit, right?!! No, it’s my actual life!! 😦 ) Again I have difficulty in separating events – I could by rights give the house fire it’s own blog entry as it was a truly horrible, horrible event in my life that had a huge impact; essentially, it changed the course of my entire, miserable life. Instead, I will just detail that particular tragedy as a preface to my blog entry, Homelessness Part II.