i signed the lease today and am now an official tenant of the city; that feels really weird. considering that not even one month ago i was wondering where i would put my head. sleeping in the shelter was exhausting, i never let my guard down, i stopped being extroverted instead i became quiet, and never shared anything about who i was. i felt as if i was at the Port Authority in NYC-with my tiny black backpack.
when things became rough in the shelter i had many times where i just wanted to walk away from my backpack, leave it somewhere. i never did though-i got used to public computers, going to the library to check my email. if someone i knew saw me in the same clothes i just said hi and didn’t worry about what they might be thinking about me. i became a lottery number every night wondering where i would sleep if i was staying with my Bf i had to call in to make sure that i didn’t lose the spot on the list. the list was the regulars and hence i got a descent place to sleep because i was on the list.
arguments would start over the lamest things, paper towels, chairs, cutting in line, coffee in the cafeteria. the day room was usually where people slept incl. me, on hard uncomfortable plastic chairs that i managed to sleep on, something i still don’t understand how it happened. wrapping my backpack around my leg with the zippers facing inward i would sleep. i recall waking up to screaming coming from the other side of the room, was common there. i sat on the quiet side of the room, where i found 4 other women who felt the same way.
watching the drama taking place on the lit side of the room was a common attraction for us, although my fondest memory is of going into the what they called the “quiet room” one day and being verbally beat up by another woman who decided that snacking and drinking where okay in only her bra. i calmly walked out and busted her, something that made her really angry. she began by calling me all these 4 letter words; when i again walked out staff came in and told us Both to be quiet-in took her 20 seconds to start up, she was asked to leave for the day and was barred from the “quiet room.” i ended up having to ask for no contact from a few women who treated me like a
human punching bag. their anger wasn’t mine when i was theirs. i learned quickly who i would absolutely avoid and who was okay to talk to. i was taking depakote and haldol for the most of the duration; feeling so drugged up i couldn’t open plastic bags when i was at the store or remember simple 4 codes for my cell phone. the drugs made me feel hung-over and drained, i didn’t like staying in the day shelter i would use my bus pass to travel to places
something i did often; and coming back for dinner and role call in the evening. i would find a stiff chair to sit in the remainder was just waiting, and waiting. i realized that i could answers from staff about where i would be sleeping i felt better. this week i am getting a few things out of my storage unit. i am going to get my winter clothes i am going to savor not editing this blog, (edited entry anyway…) i am going to nap as i just signed the lease. tomorrow i will do all the things i was planning on doing tonight. it feels great.
i skipped the nap, deciding instead to go to my storage unit….
I am a 46 year old writer and poet that just published my first collection of poetry called Greylight. I live by 3 simple rules everyday, live, laugh, love. I currently live in Norway with my husband and our dog. I adore people watching and seeing how others see the city I now live in. I hope you enjoy reading and if you ever have any feedback all is welcome.