Saturday, September 10, 2011

Homeward Bound

My life blew up a few months before I started writing Notes. So...

I lived in a motel for a year and a half.  It's on one of those busy roads littered with strip malls and shops for miles and miles.  Carpet stores and bed stores. Big stores, little stores.  It's a divided road with two lanes on either side.  One of those where you have to go out of your way sometimes just to make a u-turn to get where you really want to go.  Really it's a commuter road now a days for people who want to avoid traffic on the highway.  And though not exactly a no tell motel, all the places on this strip are known for prostitutes, drug deals, teenage parties, and of course police visits.

I lived tucked away in room 101.  The first room in the front of the building.  Away from the hustle and bustle just a few yards around the corner in the main section.  I was never aware of the reindeer games going on in the busier section.  I'd come back after a day's work with some kind of cheap fast food and close the door on what ever the future held in store out there.

The thing is though, one doesn't really live in a motel.  In fact the first year or so I was there I had to check out for one night every three weeks and find some other place for the night.  Of course they offered to let me store my stuff in the room.  Well, you know, for a charge.  No mail could be received either.  If they let you get mail you would be establishing residence.  NO establishing residence!  No packages either!

I was a person of No Certain Address.  Wow.  I never in my life imagined I would be able to; have to really, say that.

I knew all along that there were some people that did stay there all the time.  No checking out.  No shuffling off hither and yon.  I always wondered what I was missing.  Why I couldn't just stay.  Until one day.  One day I went into the office to pay up and the woman I always saw behind the counter gave me permission to stay.  "I trust you now" she said.  I could come in and pay for the week and just stay.  No more hassle.  My weekly wonderings of "Why not me" were over.

I was in limbo though.  I didn't have a home.  Some times home just isn't where you hang your hat.  For various reasons I'd allowed my life to stagnate.   

Various reasons?  Well sure.  I had started over in this life a few different times.  I've crammed clothes in bags and belongings in the car and left.  I've planned things out, set a date and left.  I guess I was in no mood to start over again this time.  I didn't want to set up a life again.  Get used to something again just to eventually move on.

Then one Sunday morning I got up and got a newspaper.  I was determined suddenly to move on. 

See I was teasing somebody at work one day and they thought I was serious.  So being an adult, this person said something he meant to hurt me with.  Classic malice aforethought stuff.  Cut to the bone stuff.  It didn't hurt though.  It woke me up.  "Is that what things look like from the outside" I  thought.  He was one of the only people who had a chance of really understanding what was going on in my life.  Evidently he didn't.  He did make me think though.

I'm renting a room in a duplex now. 

I answered an advert in that newspaper.  I went and looked at a few rooms in this house and chose what I thought was the best.  I came back a few days later to pay my first and last and move my stuff in.  As I was doing that the manager of the house presented me with a piece of paper to look over.  It was a list of the rules of the house along with a list of things I was supposed to read and initial.  Things like; You will come to weekly meetings, You will submit to random drug tests, You will allow your room to be searched at any time.  I was getting more frustrated with each line I read.  "Really?" I asked in response to what ever I read first.  I was ready to take my money and go.  "You can't be serious!"  "Dude, you really should tell people this is a half way house before you ask for the rent money" was the last thing I said before I handed him the money.  "Transitional House", he said.  He wouldn't call a half way house.  More like a two thirds house. He envisions this as a last stop before real life for most of the people who will be staying here.


I'm in transition.  I didn't even know!  Although we all are in some way or another I suppose. 

I have an address now.  Is it home? Nah, I don't think so.  But I am homeward bound.  It may not sound like it, but it is a step up from the motel to me.  I'm sure I'll be tellin' ya about some of the people who pass through here and what lessons we could learn from them. 

Had enough? 

Yeah, me too I guess.

Keep your stick on the ice.



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