It has been two and a half years since my wife abandoned our family. The time since then has been extremely frustrating, but I have survived. I’m alone now, year and a half after being the only one in the courtroom, other than the judge and court reporter, for my divorce.
The life I’ve been living hasn’t been much of one. Without our combined income, I was evicted from our three bedroom apartment home. After moving everything into storage, I was able to stay with friends. I had to sell most of the many furnishing and use what I was able to get out of it to pay bills. With what was left over, I paid my friends what I could for letting me stay with them. Actually, I was homeless.
That was two and a half years ago, and I’m still homeless. I was on my way of finding a home, because I had a good paying job, but my former employer let me go after six years. They didn’t care for a homeless person working for them, and the manager would rather keep his friend employed than me. There was even a time, for about six months, I lived in my van. It was okay, I made do. My current job pays 33% less than what I made before. Oh, well. If I learned anything in my nine years in the US Army, it was…”Adapt and Overcome.”
I could have easily let go and end it all. Yet, there were some things that kept me going. First, it was my photography. I’m a very visual person, and I’ve been this way since I was a child. I documented some of my life during my homelessness. Second, it was my writing, or more precisely, my poetry. Finally, it was my music. Oh, I attempted to play guitar, but it was the listening of music that saved me many times. There are two singer/songwriters that are VERY important to me: Sarah McLachlan and James Taylor.
The past few months have been particularly frustrating. My “ex” flew back into town to visit her family and friends. We spent a few hours together for small talk. Of course, she had to tell me how wonderful her life was now. I simply smiled and said, “I glad for you.” I could never hold a grudge, knowing someone for thirty years should mean something, shouldn’t it? Apparently, not for her though. Then, a few weeks ago, I almost lost everything I own in my storage unit. Fortunately, I have some good friends where I currently work who helped me out! But, that very same day, my van broke down. To this day, I’ve been walking to and from work everyday until I can save enough to fix it.
Through all this, I even lost my own family. I can’t believe all the shit that has happened to me. Why? I don’t know, but I’m still here. I plan to be here for a long time too! There’s a reason for all this, and soon, I hope to find out. My only fear is that no one really wants to associate with me, like I’m some kind of leper. I hate being alone, but you can’t force a relationship with someone. With that, I can only accept that I’ll be alone…possibly, forever. Adapt and Overcome.
Time to let it all go.
Each day in my life blends into the next. It has become a routine that seems to have no end. The way I now live is greatly paired down from what it used to be. Once there was a family, not anymore…just me.
Being homeless has a certain stigma associated with it that many wish to avoid. As such, the only people I interact with are my co-workers. And, with them, it’s only at work…not after. That’s okay. I’ve learned to be comfortable with myself, even if others don’t wish to really know me.
The place were I have temporary lodging is a bit of a rat hole, an unfinished basement complete with spiders, cockroaches, snakes, etc… It’s not as bad now as it used to be. I believe these critters are wising up in staying away from me. What belongings I own, mostly books…more books…a few more books, clothes and music are stored in plastic totes with lids. My photography gear is sealed within my zippered camera bag. My sleeping arrangements comprise of an outdoor camping cot, a blanket and a couple of pillows. I usually spray my cot with OFF insect repellent each night before I go to sleep…just in case.
For entertainment, my laptop does everything. I watch my dvd’s, listen to music and do all my writing on it. Plus, I use it for all my photo editing with Photoshop, version 6.0.1. Yeah, it’s old. I also play guitar, but not very well. That’s okay, I do it for myself.
In regards to dining, it’s kinda sad, but oh well. Most of the time, I can only afford one meal a day. I usually eat it at night, a couple of hours before sleeping. There’s nothing more annoying than having a growling stomach while trying to sleep. If I’m at work, I’ll try and get a hot meal. It’s nice to get 50% off with my employee discount. There are times though, I just get a couple cans of Ravioli…cold. I try spicing it up with Tabasco sauce and eat it out of the can. The Army has taught me much that you just do what you need to, so you can survive.
Transportation is another story. I have to walk everywhere until I get my van repaired. I walk at least 4 miles a day, while carrying a 30 pound daypack. It carries my mobile office (for my writing) and my work clothes. The nice thing is that I’m getting some much needed exercise, at the same time I’ve even lost some weight.
All of this is only temporary, or I hope so. I’ve been saying this for over a year, so it has to end soon!
Now, to get ready for work.