In Memorium

There was a kind, benevolent soul who also happened to be the other half of a wonderful duo. We came to know him as Bob, because Donna was always in lead, in the limelight, bowed at the feet of our dear Mother. The homeless of Livermore & Pleasanton are her flock.  Donna and Bob’s flock And if it weren’t for Donna, Bob would have been sitting in his recliner watching the game.

Bob was never chatty. He had dry sayings that served his mood,  such as “same shit different day”. He was direct. You just had to know and accept what Donna said was the law. You never spoke ill of Donna, you never spoke against Donna, Donna was above any commentary – even when it was in her regard. Bob would defend his wonderful wife against all. And we loved him for that.

Bob passed on Saturday evening, Januar 11, 2020.

He left his life with Donna to be in his Maker’s Presence, to join old friends like Henry, to see his parents again.

We’ll miss you Bob. We will look after Donna and keep her safe.

Selfish Uneducated Nincompoop Day

Welcome to Sunday! Let me tell you what is happening to us.

Because we are “homeless” and are therefore “derelicts”.

Livermore created a Safe Parking Program and are using CityServe Tri-Valley as the facilitator for the program. You have to be vetted and approved to participate. Get a monthly card. There are 6 different locations throughout the city of Livermore and mostly church parking lots. We have our own Security Guards (Company with 3 employees to watch us for the week). We check in with them and sleep in our car. There is a handicapped port-a-potty for our use, which the guards have the key for the lock. They will usually unlock it for us when they arrive at 7pm. We are welcome after 7pm, but we can’t leave and return. No in and out privileges.

Basically, we have a secure place to sleep and pee. That’s it. And you have to leave by 7am. That’s it. Park. Sleep. Leave. Don’t make a mess and don’t piss off the neighbors. Got it.

The neighbor’s don’t agree with this philosophy. They are the “not in my backyard” crowd. NIMBY’s. They have made their presence known.

Nosey folk have driven up to the guard and inquired. Others have called the police. Some just group together and watch us – with the “understanding” that they “take care” of those who step out of line. They don’t want the activities of the Creek People to poison their pristine little neighborhoods. Soil their children. Their pristine thoughts.

Maybe they should stop imagining what we will do and actually see what we don’t do.

I may accept the fact I am homeless, I may be treated like I am homeless, but I will be damned if I “act” like their version of homeless. Whatever the fuck that is.

Why do people have to be that way? Destroy something they “think” is bad. What they think is bad that doesn’t exist. I just don’t get it. Can someone explain?

And changing the lock on the port-a-potty? They are being rented by the City for our specific use and now “concerned citizens” have made one location unavailable. Good job? Mission accomplished? We’ll stop parking here? God Christian thoughts and actions?

Nah. Thanks for the fodder for a blog post you uneducated nincompoop’s.

I’ve Succumbed. I Am Homeless.

Nothing has changed, but the finality of my situation has enveloped me. There is no help due to their being no scraggly crevices to stick is in. And I have no strength to look.

No one cares (I know this is difficult, but be patient), they’re going through the motions (I’m going to be your Navigator to help you through this process – where’ve you been this last year?), we need to make sure we have all your paperwork (how many people need the same damn thing? and for what?).

Copies of my Social Security card, my SSI award, my bank account – all at my fingertips and provided, but when an opportunity comes up they will need documentation with a date within a week. What? Social Security cards don’t ever change and award letters don’t either. You get a Cost of Living increase once a year and I just got mine. A fresh print from SS? I can’t request it online because their 3rd party facilitator – Equifax – has my file locked and what I have to do to get unlocked isn’t easy or enjoyable AND I CAN’T USE A POBOX!

It’s frustrating.

I hate calling Social Security anyway. It takes too long and simple requests are something they have difficulty understanding.

And driving to Hayward to get a printout for something I already have is ludicrous.

Blah.

Another County servicer will be in contact with us Monday to make sure we are on track to receive housing! To help ger our paperwork in order! To make it easier for us!

Shut up! I believed that 8 months ago and the apartment they were speaking of never came to fruition. Because of an internal document verifying how long each of us has been homeless. They had access to the same resources we do……/ MAKE A PHONE CALL!

We have to give them a piece of paper? Why? It’s a freaky mess, makes little sense and it’s not for “anyone” who has seen us homeless and living in a car. They want this on the company letterhead with a description of what they witnessed. Who can testify to that! With a specific date a year ago? It’s insane.

If you saw a doctor, therapist or psychiatrist, get documentation from them! I can give them phone numbers to call, and we’ve signed ROIs (Release of Information). They have permission to access my medical records, and yet they still need me to get their stupid form completed to their satisfaction!”

Can you tell they’re pissing me off with their ineptitude?

I hate how they handle everyday shit. They create obstacles!

I am too tired and mentally done for this crap.

Tuesday Testimonials

Day Three of days with purpose typing. It reminds a little of what I am doing on YouTube – A Day in My Life Daily Vlog (under vylinghart@gmail.com – I might be able to name it soon since I’m regularly adding video, guess what I’ll name it? Hehe).

I have a hope to build a small media empire (sure) to be able to bring light to the homeless situation here in Alameda County, Tri-Valley Area, the East Bay of the San Francisco Regional Area, since all people hear is San Francisco which is pretty much a world away for most here in the Tri-Valley Area without a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ticket.

This will grow and change. This is my plea and my cause. And God’s plan for me, whether you believe in that or not, but I do.

So, for today, I will give a testimonial, though some of you have more than likely thought “haven’t you DONE that consistently”? To a degree.

I have always been a person who wanted to be “clean”. Groomed. Bathed. Hair styled and makeup subtle. Contact lenses on and glasses put away since they are an obstruction on my face and I don’t see as well. Or breathe easily. Thank God they don’t use glass anymore, but polycarbonate. Remember the phrase “Coke bottle glasses”? How thick the glass bottoms were on a bottle of Coke? That would be me!And those polycarbonate lenses coatings fail, they scratch, and the lenses become cloudy. And there is nothing you can do when the coating starts to fail. My “current” predicament. I’ve worn my contact lenses 2 days this month, since I had access to bathroom and could wash my hands and be sanitary.

Speaking of 2 days, I have taken a shower twice this month. When I showered on CHristmas Eve, I hadn’t showered in over 2 weeks, 3 for Will. The last time was when went to Del Valle Regional Park and used the showers in the campground. It was more than two weeks for both of us at that point.

Being at our very adult age, being denied the human need of bathing is so difficult. We could have gone to the church who offers it once a week or 3 days a week, but we had appointments with doctors or therapists, and we have to camp out for hours or loose our spots. As with everything being homeless, hurry up and wait. What else do have to do? Indeed.

There is much about homelessness that is hurry up and wait, which is interesting when there are few places you can go. There is the McDonald’s on P Street, or the library. I choose Starbucks due to the WIFI and tea. But, when I first became homeless, I didn’t know where I could go. There is no checklist for “If you’re homeless in Livermore”. We’ve got the Labs (Lawrence Livermore) here, so there is money. Hell, Martha Stewart has been here. We are not an island in a vast wasteland.

Though, it does cause you to contemplate (often) how did I come to this situation. Will and I have the same issue – loyalty to the family name and family pride. Will was Dorothy’s Grand Champion, her knight in shining armour. He did his mother proud! Caring for her for over 10 years and not expecting anything – and that’s the problem. He expected nothing, but his brother destroyed any sense of truth or valuing family when Gary had him removed as his mother’s executor, and HE probably stole the copy of the trust that Will had at the house (Since Gary and Colleen treated Dorothy’s house as their property entering any time they wanted). Will valued family. Gary does not, especially his brother who is an obstacle to everything, supposedly.

I valued family. What little I had that Gun hadn’t destroyed all sense of. I just remember Dad asking me to take care of her if anything happened to him. She would outlive him, he knew. Well, she made sure of that! And I did, because I promised Dad. She was like a poison to my soul, but I wouldn’t let Dad down, even after death. Did she appreciate my “sacrifice”? Ah, hell no! She complained that I lived in her house. She complained that I had clothes of mine in her closet. She complained that my Diabetic diet intruded on her “groceries” and caused her fridge to “smell” (fresh produce smells like fruits and vegetables, not moldy trash). When I cooked dinner for us, she complained about the smell and the stove being on (could cause a fire, afterall) and complained about the dishes that had to be washed (which I did since the dishwasher was “broken” due to lack of use and rubber dying out). Because eating one of two frozen dinners was so healthy? She was malnourished and trying to get her to eat produce was so difficult, unless it was in a frozen dinner or a can with high fructose corn syrup.

Dorothy wanted to eat a Swiffer. Gunn wanted to eat anything that wasn’t freshly made. Dorothy didn’t try to kill Will. She adored her oldest boy. I had loved Gunn, as one does the mother-figure in her life, but I didn’t like or trust her. I had decades of reasons why not to. And after her death, I learned of the extent of her machinations of separating Dad from his family. Regardless of your personal reasons for disliking your in-laws, to not notify his family that he is dead is so fundamentally wrong on so many levels. Did you hate his ex-wife so much, and their son, that you couldn’t see past that you homewrecker? Even after 43 years?

Hindsight is 20/20, and Gunn had so may tells. So much makes sense now that I know the missing details. The truth shall set you free, and that sentiment should be engraved on her headstone. It set her free, set me free, and can alleviate Dad’s soul of so much grief and loss that can never be corrected. I am absolved of guilt, much to her chagrin.

What I still can’t understand is why her family thinks I’m lying. Spoilt child not getting her way (Fuck up Freddy. Your Dad was a shit, treated your mother like shit, and my Dad defended her. DEFENDED HER. Get that through your head, but the apple doesn’t fall far from THAT tree, does it?). This is what I do not understand, other than intense denial for something they never saw with their own eyes. She was their older sister. Always putting on airs, being better than everyone else, living a Hollywood lifestyle and forgetting her Norwegian Farming and Christian roots. Forgetting all the morality taught to her by her parents. Claiming to be Born Again, when she never picked up a bible, listened to a sermon, went to Church other than on Christmas, or practiced Christian Kindness ever! The woman they thought she was never existed in MY lifetime. She lied to them for decades, and they heard nothing else. Saw nothing else.

To bring this full circle, Gunn is the one who gave me the personal expectations that I live by. How my clothes could never be dusty, or – God forbid – muddy. Why dogs were never allowed in the house, due to their being so filthy. Having to “dress” to get the mail, go to the grocery store, or do gardening. She never left the house without mascara. How critical she was over my weight, my marriage, my reading, my knitting, my needlework, my lack of children. All intentionally done to provoke her! To put her in a bad light. Newsflash, battleax, it ain’t your life! If she were alive today and she knew it had been more than 2 days since I had bathed, she would be livid! A personal embarrassment her. Wouldn’t matter the cause, just that her tender delicacies would be bruised.

Lack of bathing, sleeping in a car, not doing laundry for a month, so many no-no’s. What choice have I had? Not a plethora.

The Sun is Receding

I have a lot of time to think when my brain isn’t in chaos or Will is rattling on about cars or RV’s or what his brother has done to him. The usual noise pollution. Just chillin’ at a Starbucks with a cup of tea. I had $2.35, so I could afford that. I get my Social Security in a few days. Let’s see how long it lasts this month. Hopefully, longer than 10 days.

At least my storage units are up to date this month. Don’t have to worry about that, and I was able to wrap my head around how we could reduce storage, pay less and have more room! It doesn’t hurt that the place I have 2 units now is cheaper than the other 2 places. I just have to work out how to move everything with Will’s bad back and my shelving in Brentwood Unit 1 with the shelving pegs in Brentwood Unit 2 or Livermore Unit 1. Is it any wonder why my brain defaults to chaos? Too much to keep track of while living in a car.

Enough of that. I need to word vomit my brain because it’s nauseous.

I consider myself a Follower of Christ, not a Christain. There is a difference. I don’t seek forgiveness for the sins of the week with Sunday cleansings. Hypocritical Sunday Christians drive me bonkers. Especially those twisted f’ers that think Gay’s have a master plan to destroy the Church.   The only reason they are Gay is to destroy the church. It’s a choice. Anyone who thinks that or that Gay can be prayed away needs deep psychological counseling. Like the Vice President, who calls his wife Mother.

Ever heard of that thing about God making us in His image? Was there an exclusion? You don’t ignore children born with Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida? Claim they chose that life? Being Gay isn’t an illness, neither is it a choice and you can’t pray away who you are. What I know of, what has happened to others, the commentary, the abuse, the torture, the pain they NEVER asked for. They just want to live their life and have NOTHING to do with yours, so why be so nosey and get up in their grille about their “lifestyle”.

News flash – it isn’t a lifestyle, it is their actual LIFE. Quit being such a busy body and find another “cause” you can bitch about. And if the word FAGGOT or DYKE or CUNT is in your vocabulary, read a book and expand your brain asshat. Why be a Baby Trump when we can’t stand the Old Man (so old and fat and gross). Living in Livermore, we run into Trumpers and other racists, discriminators, supremacist lovers often. Old white men set tables out with info in front of the post office. Vote for Trump! Thanks but no thanks. My family suffered at the hands of the 3rd Reich. I don’t want to see the fully realized 4th Reich in my lifetime.

Enough about Christians. Why is there a theme of giving at Christmas? Why is there a theme of helping at a Chruch when proselytizing is what happens too often? The two are connected, as evidenced these past few weeks. First, let me say that we truly appreciate the kindness shown by church members and individuals that saw our need and gave. The cookies were very nice. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are much-needed items. Cup of Soup is welcomed and very useable. Hotel snags like shampoo and conditioner – not so much. We see dozens of these wherever we go for warm food or outreach.

You know what we didn’t see much of this season? Gift cards. To Subway or McDonalds or Starbucks.  Safeway Fuel Cards. They have no cash value. We can’t buy booze or cigarettes with them anyway. And so what if we bought a pack of smokes. A bottle of beer. How dare we use your hard-earned money for such useless comfort items? Because we are homeless. We can’t buy anything warm with EBT, or alcohol or cigarettes. Hell, you can’t but incontinence pads with EBT, or shampoo or soap. Just food – but nothing hot in Califonia. They can in Arizona. Will is supposed to get $40 more per month since he is homeless. Does he? Do I? No.

My face hurt so much this morning due to the cold and sleeping in the car. We’re both sick now. I slept with my coat on and tried to cover my face with the blanket, but breathing through my mouth made it too uncomfortable to continue. Thanks to Donna McKenzie, Will and I were able to get coats last week. We have her to thank for the room at Christmas. Sleeping in the car is so dehumanizing! I hate staying in a motel room and the cost that it takes, but it is so much better than a car. Especially when you’ve got a cooktop and a fridge! It’s like living like royalty!

You can’t get a place to live for 2 adult people in their 50’s for less than $2000 in this area – and that $2000 is more than likely for a ROOM. There are no apartments that are affordable without all our money going.  $2000 in rent would leave us with $200 from Will’s General Assistance and his food stamps for the month. That $2000 better include utilities, because there would be none leftover after the cell bill and car insurance was paid. And forget about driving anywhere. We would have to ration where we drove so we filled up the tank just once a month. No money saved for oil changes or repairs or even windshield wipers.

We have talked to all available resources regarding housing. Disabled people aren’t top of the list. I’m disabled with a brain injury and I am severely struggling to survive living in my car. Will has to have surgery and needs further diagnosis so he has some quality of life. He could get a job, but he can’t with a bad back.  I see why he was an alcoholic. If I had the money and no responsibilities, if I just didn’t care anymore and had accepted that living wasn’t worth it anymore, I would drink myself to death too.

Because of the post-stroke emotional incontinence, I cry every day because I have no other outlet. If you don’t get it, I HATE THIS LIFE AND LIVING LIKE THIS. I’d rather eat Chicken McNuggets than burnt vegetables, cheap hot dogs too small for regular buns, sauerkraut (yes, they served sauerkraut at the food kitchen *shudder*) and a fruit blend with underripe melon which gave me the runs last night – in 40F weather with no close bathroom other than Safeway.

Friday’s and Sunday’s have Safe Parking at the worst location – the old City Council Chambers next to the Police Station and you need the Security Guards to escort you into the Restroom. Hopefully, I won’t fill my drawers while going through that keeping a smile on my face and not showing frustration at the Guards. It’s not their fault. Just the City of Livermore who will not dedicate a space for the homeless – like the Old City Council Chambers – for a Winter Warming Shelter with cots.

Leave the homeless outside roaming the city, sleeping in front of the closed OSH store, or a bus bench, or in the Creek that floods multiple times every winter. Let the Church’s and Donna McKenzie deal with the homeless. It’s their “mission” anyway, God’s children and that nonsense. Let the homeless, that take advantage of the Homeless Refuge, sleep on yoga mats on the floor. And if you’re disabled and can’t get up of the floor – or even be able to lay down on the floor – make the best of it and tough it out. Hopefully, a Watcher will realize you have mobility issues and doesn’t yell at you at 6am to hurry and get up! You need to be out by 7am because the church neighbors don’t want your kind loitering in their neighborhood. And the Warming Reuge has sufficient watchers WHO VOLUNTEER because otherwise they are closed.  At least Donna has sleeping bags and pillows THAT ARE DONATED. Livermore pays for shit. This parking program IS helpful, but those with motor homes can’t participate. There are not many who have cars or want to do through the approval process.

We think San Francisco is bad – welcome to wonderful Livermore in the East Bay! We’ve got a plan to eliminate the homeless issue!

No they don’t. They’ve seen this getting worse for years and choose to tackle a small ratio while complaining how so many come from elsewhere and settle here.  I could have stayed in Contra Costa and I would be dead now. I should have stayed there and not inconvenienced your fine city, or gone to San Francisco.

Hey, Livermore just had their first Pride Event this year. Not in June, of course, but they finally acknowledged that segment of the population.

If I had plenty of downtime with WIFI, I could write more coherently and not so angry. My life is falling apart and there is nothing I can do about it. For God’s sake, someone who can – help us!

A Day in the Life

I could be poetic, but that’s hard to do now. I am grateful to My Maker for keeping me alive and sustaining my hope for a return to a normal life. Someday, somehow.

But if my life were “normal” these are the things I miss. Some may be familiar to you.

Waking up in a Bed

There is something about waking up in a bed, with sheets. Pillows. Blankets. Sleeping flat or snuggled next to your little pup or your partner. Waking up and stretching under the covers, warm and safe.

I remember those days. I’m sleeping in the passenger seat of a ’98 Olds Cutlass and the leather seats are going. And my tailbone hurts 24/7 because I wear adult diapers at 54. The “side effect” of a vascular lacunar stroke.

Eating at a Table with Real Food

Eating almost every  meal in the car – it sucks! Food ends up in your lap, or on your top, or on your pants (that’s Will).  I miss soup. A simple bowl of soup! And real utensils, not a spork. Whoever made that thing should be made to eat everything with it the rest of his life! Have you ever tried to eat sliced beef with A Spork? How about sliced turkey with gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes with a spork? In a paper clam-shell that’s disintegrating in your hands? And since it’s the only warm food you’ve had today, and it’s not breaking 60F and raining, you asked for two servings. That little clam-shell is heavy! And you are holding it and it’s not sitting on anything, because you’re eating in the car because you can’t take the noise or the questions or the general polite conversation in the eating hall.

A Shower

It has been over a week since I took a shower. It’s been two weeks for Will because he gave up his spot last week so I could take a shower. He is so good to me. And the shower we will use is considered a handicap shower at the Church that offers it for use M-W, 12-5. There are many who take advantage, and there are other regular showers. The Handicap has a seat in the shower and space for privacy, or space to fall and not die if you’re unstable. The mat they put down hurts my feet, but otherwise the floor is slippery.

And I don’t have shower shoes.One more thing to keep track of.

You know when you get ready to take a shower? You turn on the water so it’ll be the right temperature when you get in. The water cascades over you, warming your cold bones and muscles. Perhaps easing that ache in your lower back that just won’t stop. Warming your cold feet and hands. Cleansing your face and body. You soap up your scrunchie, or washcloth, and scrub your neck and arms and legs until they squeak.  And, if so inclined, shave the bits that shouldn’t have hair.

You grab the shampoo and pour it into your hand, applying it to your hair and luxuriating in the suds encasing your head. You massage thoroughly and you may rinse and repeat before doing the conditioner. Letting the warn water pour over you, rinsing your hair and you shake your head and wring the water out and decide to let it warm you a bit longer.

I remember those days. Now I have to wait for my turn, if I get it, and the plumbing isn’t great and you go from a hot shower, to a cold shower, to a lukewarm shower, to cold again to hot. It’s like living in an old house and your husband flushed the toilet (it happened – more than once).

A Kitchen

You ever have a feeling that you’re kinda hungry, but you have no idea what to have and you don’t want to cook a big meal – or you have a hankering for leftovers from last night?

What about just toasting a slice of that Whole Grain bread you bought at Whole Foods the other day. With some cream cheese and honey on top? How decadent.

What about that bit of rib eye you didn’t finish the other night? Slice that up and add some salt – that would hit the spot.

What about that can of  Tomato Soup Progresso you found in the back of the pantry the other day? That would be  delicious with a grilled cheese sandwich. More work than you wanted, but Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese? Yum! Comfort food extraordinaire!

A Closet

You don’t really think about that too much. You take it for granted. Purses hung on over door hooks of nails throughout the closet. Shoe racks under the line of clothes – hung by season and color – from daily wear to evening wear. With tubs with lavender and cedar protecting your kint wear that it has taken decades to acquire or actually make, and not look homemade.

All the socks you’ve knit! There was a reason you were the sock queen! So pretty. So comfortable.

All those sweaters! How you miss the lavender one. It was so cozy and you got so many compliments.

“Where did you get that?”

“I Made it.”

“Ohhh. Nicely done! Wish I could do that!”

A Comfy Spot

You have a spot you like to nest in? The corner of the couch. An old comfy chair.  That spot your posterior has been working on for years? You know that spot. When it’s cold and raining and you have a chill, you wrap yourself in a cardigan, or favorite blanket, curl up and read a book, take put your knitting, get that piece your stitching, or the Sunday Times Cross-word. You know that spot? The one that you fall asleep in when you’re not feeling good?

I remember how my couch felt.It’s in storage, waiting for a new home and my posterior again. My comy nest, with my stitching stand and projects in on rollers and in wicker baskets. My knitting projects in their bags with the instructions and my “sock”  kit, ready to cast-on a new pair. Or my Cancer Cap bag, with yet another cancer cap in progress for the annual donation. The Red Scarf Project for Foster Kids that have aged out of the system. The Comfort Blankets or ARF, for the pups and kitties being adopted to hopefully their forever home. And all the other charity projects.

Watching TV from my corner, or reading a book to the end while Kevin watched TV. Rooting on the Vikings! Watching the Oscar’s or the Tony’s or the Emmy’s. Or the Simpson’s. Or the Superbowl. Or a rented video.

Streaming stuff from the computer. Yeah, I can set that up on HDMI. No Chrome Stick of Amazon Fire. Who wants you TV watching you? Creepy. Network with security and no hackers.

I miss technology. Sadly, it’s sitting in my storage unit with everything else.

Last but not least – the Toilet

You don’t think much about that, other than “where is it”. It’s down that hall, by the elevator, at the Taco place. It’s close by or you know where one is. And, hopefully, no waiting.

This past Thursday, I saw a Gyne-Urologist. I was tense, worked up, anxious. I have had too many doctor’s appointments where I was told it was all in my head.  I need to see a psychiatrist. I’m a hypochondriac.  I shouldn’t step out of my lane and assume I know more than a doctor.

Well, if you won’t diagnose me, what am I supposed to do when there is something actually wrong?

Dr. Frink kept me waiting – 3 1/2 months for the appointment and 1 hour and 15 minutes in the Exam Room, but she was worth it.

“So tell me why you’re here?”

“I had a Vascular Lacunar Stroke….”

“That incontinence is bothersome, isn’t it?”

She knows what one of the aftereffects is! I didn’t have to explain anything! This is the just the second time that has happened.

I’ve had this issue since my first lacunar infarct – or four years – and she has a solution. It won’t be easy or quick, but she has a solution. And I am thankful.

I have hope that I can stop wearing the adult diapers that have left my tailbone so sore due to the car and how I have to sit. I can wear Poise Pads again and normal pants, instead of sweats that make me look like I’ve dumped a load and walking around with it. And with the Overactive Bladder medication, I won’t be “leaking” while walking to the restroom at a local Starbucks of Safeway or Home Depot, as most 7-11’s have personnel that speak broken english and are from countries that women are seen as property, and don’t care if you need the restroom. “Go to the Gas Station across the street,”  as a staff member goes into the restroom made for the public, but requires a key.

And all those times I would walk to the restroom and I would start leaking, and end up crying when I would finally get to the stall, as my pants are wet, my shoes and socks are wet, and know I have to change so I don’t smell like urine. Get into the stall, take off my shoes, strip my pants and diaper, get out the Personal Wipes and clean up, put on another diaper, dry the sweats with the hand dryer or put on another pair of pants/sweats, new socks, wipe out the wet spot from slip on shoes (can’t do sneakers with the laces – too difficult), and make sure my bladder is empty before getting up and leaving.

And hope no one is waiting or banging on the door to hurry up. It happens at Starbucks I shit my drawers waiting for the restroom one time. The dude was on the phone. And laughing. I hear him as I was humiliated. No one should ever experience that circumstance. No one.

A toilet. No matter it’s age, as long as it flushes and is available, it is a welcomed entity in my life. I worry about having access to it constantly. I worry about an employee giving me grief over needing to use it. A basic need and it is embarrassing asking if you can use it and you’re told no. They don’t offer public restrooms. Then I use the disabled card and who will refuse that?

My Day in the Life. I could write more, but I think you can sense the difficulty for me and Will. We’ve lived in homes we owned. Had furniture and necessities that were useful and provided physical and mental comfort. I miss my books. The feel of them. The smell.  I miss knitting, which is so difficult to do in the car with everything else.

I took several hours today to write this because I needed to get it out of my soul It eats at me daily. Like thousands of Sugar Ants crawling around my brain looking for water and a way out.

My therapist Pam had a suggestion to ask my psychiatrist if BrainSpotting may be useful. They map the brain for how your process or react to specific actions. I need that, since I have physical reactions when I feel intimidated or cornered, and I wail and become extremely anxious. Pam also suggested I get a MedicAlert Bracelet since I am unable to talk when these episodes happen, and I don’t need to be 5150’d again because I can’t talk and they think I’m having a bad trip.

The “episodes” really upset Will and he finally understands it isn’t something  have and control over currently. The stoicism is gone. I feel stripped naked and on display. It is the most humiliating occurence that could happen to me, and it happens regularly.  Why I avoid people. I don’t want anyone to see the crazy freak I become and I hate it to the core of my soul.

Why do I share this? Because I can’t *speak* about it. But I can type. Exactly. My voice is still here, but when I type. No sound out of me. It is so slow and clunky and awkward. Nothing like I used to be. Maybe someday.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/life4wng20?teamInvite=zwFy5EWAGSludrnkCZ9nBW6TpHJfA8I5YvaDJ67Bhi8fNwXnHH6M2OYJcXZSgemz

A Different Approach

I am thinking of different topics to address, as opposed to poor, pitiful me, and since this is a topic I am currently a statistic of, why not?

Homelessness nationwide is an issue, but the West Coast has been particularly hard hit. An estimated 500,000, or 1/2 Million, individuals nationwide are in uninhabitable housing, the pleasantly cleansed word for delicate souls. Or is it non-racist? Politically correct? Respectful? Fuck No! I am in uninhabitable housing!  I am homeless. And whatever non-offensive phrasing you, Mr. Government Amoeba Paperpusher/Dr. Sleepy Pants HUD Secretary, use it will be no different. Unless I am like too many, sleeping in a tent in a creek bed, wrapped up in a sleeping bag under a tree or wrapped in a cardboard box, or in a dumpster, I am still homeless in my car. A car is uninhabitable housing!

Your survey is wasted tax dollars as it is highly inaccurate, as usual. How do I know? I was asked to be involved in the Homeless Count this year and the parameters are a joke.

A few weeks before the “Night” they decide to do the count (a night? Really!?), a group of volunteers per a district get together to discuss “What to look for”. It was laughable, insulting and disgraceful. I will give you an idea what was suggested to look for:

  • People with shopping carts and too many shopping bags
  • Disheveled people, visibly unbathed, carrying odd things
  • Mismatched or ill-fitting clothing
  • Puddles next to parked cars, i.e. human waste (Loved that one. NOT!)
  • Large amount of personal litter, next to a car

Let me say, the majority of the questions were answered by homeowners that fall into the category of “Not-in-My-Backyard”. Nimby’s. The Homeless know them too well. Sadly, many Homeless are also drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill, off-their-meds, DGAF, etc. Thieves have a home, or a hole, or a safe place to hide. Homeless don’t. Do some break into homes? Yes. But, the chronically homeless still have enough self respect to respect other people’s property, unless they are family. That’s a completely different dynamic that I won’t address, because I have no personal knowledge with a normal family. Dysfunctional, you betcha!

The majority of homeless people are very self-conscious about their appearance. Bathing regularly is a must. Keeping properly groomed is a must, especially men! There are those who are so physiologically gone, that grooming isn’t something they are aware of. And there are those that are so far gone in their addiction, or allusion, that it doesn’t matter. They are the ones that in the “community”  *we* stay away from.

I will give you an example. I’ll call him Ned. I have no  personal association with a Ned, other than Ned Flanders, so I can’t offend anyone.

Ned is a couple of years younger than me. Ned is homeless, has a grown daughter and living parents. Ned smokes pot and does meth and God knows what all. He is also a part-time hoarder. He hoards stuff until it disappears, or is stolen, or he believes it is stolen, or he gives it away. He desperately wants a woman in his life. I know this first hand, and had to deal with some shit he said about Will. Will has known him longer, better than 2 years? I think. Ned has had medical issues, had a heart attack, severe water retention issues, edema. He’s kinda fucked up y’all. Now, he had built a fire at his campsite with treated pallet boards and it impacted his eyes. He told me yesterday that he needs an optical surgery and they may have to take his eyes. He could see me, and this has been an issue for a couple of months. I don’t doubt Ned has a severe issue, but being homeless and needing medical care is a huge one! And he will routinely make a mountain out of molehill. Many know his parents and have met them or his sister, so the homeless grapevine is healthy and thriving and keep the fables at bay. I do care for Ned, but my partial brain can’t handle his little boy crying wolf routine. Others, including Will and I, have real health issues that will eventually kill us, not self-inflicted bull-pucky exaggerations. Being Stoned or High is self-inflicted and I just don’t care. Haven’t since I was 17 and some things just don’t change.  You’re an addict and want to live that life? Have at! Just don’t think I want a special invitation to join you.

Just so you are aware, most homeless don’t defecate next to their vehicle.  Some might, if they can’t find a bush and I know a few whacks that defecate in the public square intentionally, but they have problems that were dealt with at those “Hospitals” back in the day. The practice of dogs not shitting where they sleep is also  human trait. We use public restrooms at Safeway, Starbucks, Panama Bay, Ross, TJ Maxx, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s. We like to wipe our bottoms and wash our hands, thank you! And we do not leave it a mess. If you think we loose all sense of human decency, you are wrong. My God, Will is so fastidious he drives me nuts! He has to shave regularly and complains when he sees himself as unkempt! Clean clothes without stains are a big deal. And a pleasant color palette.   He is Gay after all. Some behaviors will not change. That’s why he makes me chuckle. I love him to death, even when he is Gayer than Christmas Bloomies.

I guess, I could say it simply, perception and reality don’t talk, meet, or have anything to do with each other. And a few small-minded people can dream up whatever they wish, but it won’t make it so.

 

 

https://www.insider.com/map-how-many-homeless-americans-there-are-in-each-state-2019-11