Last year this time I can remember well. I had no home… i had to pay off that old school loan… livin’ out of motels down macarthur avenue… i wish i knew really what to do… i keep on with my routine, whats familiar… keep the wheels full of air…. turn the bike upside down… use the allen wrench the key where needed…I had a friend who split costs for the motel rooms with me, usually around $325 a week for a room with maid service and a bathroom and cable tv. A fridge if we were lucky, otherwise it was styrofoam coolers with ice packs or nothing at all. Popsicles. Tapioca pudding. Hot pots to boil water for the sacred elements; the noodles, the coffee, the tea, the oatmeal. I could live off that for days if i ran out of money. I usually had enough to go in on a pizza once a week from the best joint in oakland. Amazonas.
My former landlady was gracious enough to offer vacuum sealed peets ethiopian ground coffee sometimes. I saw her often, because my kittens stayed with her when I was living somewhere where cats were not welcome. This worked out symbiotically. She loved to see the cats and have their company, and did not want to try and raise another cat of her own. I was blessed to have a home for the cats, even though I myself was mobile and essentially homeless for over a year. This was not my preference.
I lost someone important in my life. Someone I would not see. Once. Long ago. Someone i could not live without once, but who was so unwilling to see me on any level now, I had to just wonder if they lost their mind? I know I have. Then again, I find it when i need it. I lose my mind the way I lose my keys. Sporadically, and often at the worst time. And often leading to panic and dropdown to grip carpet fibers. To dropping my hair over my eyes and hugging my knees. And crying.
I wonder does she still cry over me? Does she even cry at all? I believe if she could do away with the affective channel, she would. Without hesitation. Maybe that’s why are communication broke down and failed to ignite. Failed to turnover at all. For many years now. I put it in the box with my w-2s from last year. I still have not got around to filing my taxes for last year, though i expect a refund when i do. Hey. i wish they could try to use my name…its been about 6 years since I saw her.
The letter went something like this: I know its not what you want to do, i know you dont believe all this and you think im crazy, but if you could just try and acknowledge me, that would be really very nice. you dont have to though. It would be nice to hear from you. i miss you. i do. time goes by. what can i do? any ideas? im happy with myself for who i am, and sure, maybe im a little crazy but its not all that bad. wish you could understand. love you.
-Kat lets see… Westwind lodge is the latest of a string of motels. gotta love the drawers that only open halfway cause they will be stolen. the vending machines that give you sprite when you wanted rootbeer. the late night propositions just right in front of your room if you step out for fresher air. the bed at such an angle that you cannot possibly sit without gravity taking over and sucking you into the headboard. Wow.
I found a home in the ghetto i was given. The world. America. California. Oakland. I had a family waiting for me if I needed them. For reasons unknown to me, I was unable to talk to 99.9% of my close friends since I moved here in 2002. I cannot even call my friends from way back. I’m afraid I am losing them, but I swear I don’t have a choice. Something inside me will not reach out anymore. And though its a systemic problem in my life, you can imagine each individual who cannot get ahold of me or does not hear word one from me, is not gonna hear that! Shit is always personal, no matter what you say. Any defense or excuse or rationale will be quickly dismissed as untrue. Maybe the ones who have been through this kind of process might understand. A couple of my friends have. I just pray the others will be there when I am ready.
Or I worked with it, my situation, best as i could. Got on my bike and rode hard when I was most isolative and compressed and strictly suffering in seclusion from the world at 38 years of age. Just scared and post trauma stressed, post trauma disordered. Still, despite it all i did my best and when the sun came out after some of those storms, believe me I felt all the more of that redemptive spirit from my eyes to the splashlight on the carpet the floor the ground the earth the pavement the vinyl the mirror the glass the vase the bureau the trunk the tapestry on the floor that was born a curtain yet became a dropcloth cause i like to sit in the middle of the room with my laptop and play with my cat Drama and lay all my papers and makeup and books around me… there in the middle of the room. Oh, don’t forget the Dead letter office! this was there in the center of the sunlit room on the tapestry with me and Drama. It happened to be located in a cardboard box. Ya. You know, the one where i kept my tax forms. My own personal little dead letter office.
to be continued…