So there I was. Me and my thing. Outside. I had no where to go. No one to go to. No where to sit down. So I did what anyone would do - I began walking around aimlessly trying to think of a plan. A goal. A way out of this mess of homelessness. When you live somewhere for 3 years, you never create an alternate plan for when everything falls through. Why would you?
An indeterminable amount of time later (my "thing" was a sweater, not a watch) a nice guy came over to me and asked me if I was lost. I had no identification. I had no money. I was in such shock, I didn't even respond. The cold, sad, hollow look in my eyes must have tipped him off though, because he brought me to a place where I could safely wait out the day. In hopes that my roommates would come looking for me laden with apologies and explanations. The nice guy left me later on in the day. I assume he had things to do and I do not fault him for leaving me alone. He had done everything he could to help my non-verbal, lost self with nothing but a sweater.
From far away I saw another person - a lady - stop the guy as he left. She looked over at me and back at him over and over again. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I watched eagerly hoping for the best. When they finished talking, the lady came over to me and offered to bring me into her house so I could eat, drink, and relax - at least temporarily. I was grateful and thankful that someone cared enough about a complete stranger. One that had been deemed un-important enough to abandon in the first place.
I just could not figure out what I had done wrong. What I had done consistently wrong. What had I broken? I tried as hard as I could to find an explanation. There comes a moment when you have thought all of your thoughts and are left confused and empty. Both happy that I hadn't done anything to bring this upon myself and also hurt and sad that I had still been pushed away, I found myself sad and pretty down in the dumps.For a couple of months I lived with the nice lady. She had a cat. She had a pit-bull mutt. She had a lizard! There was lots of fun and happiness to go around. I tried to seem like I wasn't even there, but the pit-mutt wasn't a big fan of me and in spite of my better judgement, I got sucked into a few fights and screaming matches. It was then that the nice lady began to help me find a new place to live - maybe only temporarily but maybe forever!
At times, when I had been out walking around, I'd see my old friends. My old roommates. They either acted like they didn't even see me, or worse, that they had and waved but made no attempt to bring me back into their lives. They had gone on without me. They had made a concerted decision to live without me and seemed to be happy about this, even in hindsight. I refused to let this get my spirits down. I had a good friend. I had a roof over my head. I was going to be okay.The New Year rolled around without any changes. When you're homeless and just crashing at someones house, 2 months is the longest time...EVER.
On New Year's Day 2010, I went outside for some fresh air. Just as I was heading out I ran into (almost literally) another lady. She said hello to me, and I her. She exchanged pleasantries with the lady whose home was my temporary respite and then went on her way. Donning what was obviously last nights clothing, including a pair of sunglasses shaped into the number "2010," she scampered up the steps and out of my sight. There was something about her. I can't explain why, but I just felt this magnet pull me toward her. I ran up the steps after her, but she was gone by the time I got there. Defeated, I went back downstairs and joined the nice lady on a late morning jaunt.
Four days later something spectacular happened. *Knock knock knock knock* at the door called me to attention. The nice lady opened there door and there she was. The lady from New Year's Day. The lady I had tried to catch up to on the steps. I didn't know yet why she was there, but I couldn't curb my excitement. Something just felt different and special. This is when I learned that she wanted to give me a permanent home. A Family. A future. A Friend. Someone who would never kick me out. The person who would protect me and allow me to protect them in kind. Someone who would lose their home before abandon me. I was so happy I peed. As embarrassing as that is, I'm not even ashamed.
Sure, she has her annoying habits. Of course she annoys me sometimes. Sometimes she makes me so mad I just want to destroy all of her things. But I love her and we're perfectly happy and I wouldn't change it for the world.
|Me and my Mom on the 4 year anniversary|
of the day we met - New Year's Day!