So we’re stuck in/by Red Bluff. They’re kinda unfriendly around here (that will offend someone lol). I didn’t particularly want to come here and almost left on foot when my car was taken over. We got dragged all over NorCal ending in a standoff at the walmart where they wouldn’t give back my car. I was never in any real danger and am fine, thanks for asking. John too. He wasn’t even there much. Well, I’ll tell the full story later.
I say stuck but we could get “home”. A friend who mostly was blog comments has become a dear rl friend and would lend me gas money but … we’re homeless and it’s spring break. We are home.
John takes the homelessness in stride for the most part. He just told me he was going to his bedroom and crawled in the trunk. We easily make friends anywhere, but he doesn’t like it much here either. I used to struggle a lot when I was young, making friends, but I decided to figure it out and here’s my formula: go someplace the majority if the city visits… Walmart, post office, and sit. Talk to whoever walks by, if they’ll talk to you. Accept all friends as they are or move along.
That’s it. If you’re good at approaching people at all you’re good. If you’re super off-putting give it a week. People that rob you or hold your car hostage need not apply.
Except it’s some of the worst people who teach you the biggest lessons. My car thief is who has taught me the most about unconditional love.
Awhile back I nearly went into a coma after being poisoned by DMT. Bryon, who is still furious I’m sure, asked if I had learned my lesson. “Nope” I replied, grinning. Not at all. He made no further comment. He knew I would continue to befriend homeless teens that may put me in danger. Life is dangerous, and those young souls beautiful, and lost.
But _____ is hopeless. They choose that life. Fill in the blank. Addict, homeless, unemployed. Sometimes they offer reasons. Evidence people are purposely living wrong. So what? I want to see the proof they had a choice.
In spite of rumors I’m just really weird, not an addict, but I am now homeless. My friend says to write about it but it’s so hard. I’m embarrassed. Humiliated. But where is this shame really coming from?
2 things the vast majority of my friends say to me is that I’m weird (thanks, assholes), and they ask why I’m their friend. The addicts always ask that one, their circle is usually pretty small.
I ask them if they knew what started the drug war. Who fired the first shots? The older ones reply Reagan usually so I nod and tell them about studies of rats they did. They gave a cage of rats 2 water bottles. One drugged, one not. The poor rats would drug themselves to death. Some doing nothing but taking the drug until they passed. Once started, they never stopped. Aha! One hit and you’re hooked we said.
Makes sense eh? But 20 years later some other scientists came along questioning things. “I’d drug myself too if I spent my whole life in a cage.” they agreed, so they tried it again, a little differently. They made rat Utopia. All the space, toys, and most importantly friends, a little rats heart could ever want. Then they put in the 2 bottles and guess what happened? Not a single rat died from an overdose. Most chose to not even partake. The ones that did probably had rat arthritis or a rough childhood. It happens. But does it? Just happen? Maybe create it. A self fulfilling prophecy. It takes a village but ours is at war with itself. And while we fight a war on opioids, what are we replacing them with? I’ll tell you what, meth.
At least that was the story of my first red bluff friends. I was sitting in front of circle k (free wifi,) working. John was in his bedroom lol sleeping. It was the middle of the night and a young couple walked by, “I love your hair.” she said. Score, possible friend. I’m not good at smalltalk so I made my head look like a stop sign. 😉 Eventually as the conversation usually goes at 2am when you’re tattood and in front of a liquor store, “What drugs are you on?” I tell them none really, I haven’t even been drunk for years. He replies he’s the same and I nod though he’s extremely skinny. I know that’s isn’t necessarily a sign of meth use they’re often fat. Which the woman is, and beautiful though her china doll skin has been picked at. She tells me about her pain and no way to escape it. I tell her I wish I could take it away and tell them I’m homeless, expecting to hear they’re the same. He tells me though they’re just night owls and like to wander a bit when it’s dark and quiet. I smile, me too. I ask if they don’t get scared and they don’t, do you? I’m not scared of anything I say.
So they left but I promised as soon as I was done working for the night to come by for breakfast and to meet their family. They eat really early they tell me but it’s a big deal on Sundays.
Later that morning I pulled into a perfectly arranged driveway, cute little picket fence and all. John starts clapping excitedly and I hear it, they’re singing. I peek in the big front bay window and see a picture straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Mom, dad, grandparents, kids, all gathered around a piano. And they’re singing gospel. My heart soars and sinks at the same time.
Dear lord, we’re getting things so very wrong.
I know people dedicate books not blog posts but I’ma start a new trend. So dedicated to Laurie Sullivan Roy who helps me puzzle out what acceptance really means and helps me remember since home is where the heart is we’re always home.