The Parking Lot – My Thanksgiving Day Story

It’s a sunny but chilly day today. I watch the cars drive in and drive out. Almost all of them are speeding and whizzing by as if trying to win a race. Frenzied and in that angst that overwhelms the holiday shoppers, they’ve all temporarily lost their sanity and any good judgment that they may have ever had.

The store is closed today – it is Thanksgiving. Even silent is the bell of the Salvation Army’s bell-ringer, whom I have passed with disdain these past few days. I wonder to myself if they have noticed a decline in donations after the public became aware of their support of anti-gay legislation and such? It crosses my mind that the boycotting could be carried a step further and letters and emails could be sent to these stores, demanding that they not allow the group to use their store fronts for such things anymore.

This morning I was awakened by the crows calling loudly. Caw! Caw! Caw! My cats were in the windows, ears perked-up and meowing back at the vile birds as they hopped back and forth across the roof of my RV. The only one who is not disturbed is the dog. He’s grown deaf in recent months and he sleeps a peaceful, innocent sleep now. No longer is he my protector; it is I who have become his guardian, yet again. We’ve returned to the days when he was a pup and I watched over his every move like a concerned parent. No longer can my smart fella walk off his leash with me, for he cannot hear me call him away from danger or tell him to stay when need be. Now he prances and wiggles at the end of his leash, turning to look back and check to make sure I am still there at the end of the leash. “Yes, sweet boy, it is still ME holding your leash.”

This is the parking lot that we’ve made our temporary home. From inside the RV I watch the world go on around us and I have had much time to think and reflect. I may not have much, but I also don’t think that I have the stresses that most of the world has either. Ten cars have come and gone as I have written this much. Are the rolls that they forgot for their Thanksgiving dinner really this important?

In the distance, I can hear an angry man screaming. It is just after 10 am and he is cursing, “fucking, fuck fuck fuck! Fucking BITCH! I didn’t wanna do this anyway….” I wonder what HE forgot?

I think I view the world differently than most people do. I don’t care about money very much. I’d rather be poor than have that guy’s stress. I don’t even care about food all that much anymore. When I have it, I eat. When I don’t, I don’t. If I get to a point that it has been more than ten days and I find myself getting weak or feeling sick, I have learned where to go and I can get help now. It took me time in a new city to figure this out. I know where all the food banks are at. I pick out all the canned meats they give me and feed it to the dog and cats. I don’t typically eat meat anyway and I’m responsible for them so I make sure that they get their fair share too.

Today is a good day, I think. I have money this week, so I am eating. Today, for Thanksgiving, we are having spaghetti, right here in the parking lot – our parking lot today. This is the first meal that I’ve cooked and eaten hot in almost three months at home, here in the RV. Since July, I have lived without electricity. I’ve concluded that as long as I have a can opener, I am capable of eating most things straight from the can. I use free wifi at businesses to do my work all week. So for me, it really is Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for. I see all the little things….and I’m not that screaming guy.

They are fighting again. Another car speeds by, stops at the doors to the Publix and then squeals away, obviously pissed-off that others had the day off too?

Tuesday, I told the woman who I love that I didn’t want to see her anymore. It causes me too much pain. I do love her but she doesn’t see the real me. She lives in another world and I don’t have the ability to make her see mine. I tried but her eyes just cannot focus on things that she cannot begin to even imagine. It is like all along she’s had an image of what I am in her head that isn’t really me. I can’t live up to it. I quit trying.

She’s a good person, she really is, but she’s very damaged in her own way. I think she’s more damaged than I am. I would have accepted all her faults and quirks, because I was capable of looking the other way and thinking that some of it was even funny. I have made some of her damage worse, because I have vehemently stood up for myself and tramped on her feelings a few times in the process. We both had damage and I don’t think we have been good for each other, love or not. The only thing I have accomplished with her is the hurt her feelings while she remains clueless about things.

When I was laying in a hospital bed a month ago, wondering if I was going to live or die and in so much pain that they were shooting me full of morphine, the only thing I thought about was how I felt about her. Yet, she didn’t bother to call or even offer to come and see me. I took it as her way of not wanting to be seen involved with a woman. She still passes as straight, lives in a straight world and enjoys straight privilege. In recent months I have texted her that I missed her and she never, not one time could bring herself to say “I miss you too” or anything even remotely like that.

In the past six months I have lived without electricity for the most part. I have gone without food for extended periods of time. I have read my bible by the light of street lamps and I have sat in libraries and restaurants (when I had money) to use their wifi and do work, bid on work and write my blog and work on my next book. In that time I have been stiffed by two clients for $478, when I was starving, literally. I was in the process of being evicted.

I never asked her for anything, but when I sent too many emails to her (probably because down deep I was frantic and worried and stressed and looking for any kind of friend or someone to listen), she called me needy. The St Vincent De Paul society came through for me and gave me a 30 day bus pass so I could get to the soup kitchen and pantry. Finally, I could eat daily! I remember the first day I stood in line with homeless people, men and women were all in the same boat as me. In fact, I was better off because even though I may have to park in parking lots, I had a bed that went with me everywhere.

The abandoned parking lot that my RV in far background made home for Thanksgiving Day.

Through it all, the woman I loved would call once in a while, talk about how hectic her work schedule was, how awful her patients were from time to time, going out to eat with other friends, how she didn’t understand why I spent so much time on Facebook even though I have told her a thousand times it is how I network and sell my books and market my blog. She would tell me that I wasn’t hearing her when she was telling me what she wanted/needed. I’d think to myself that I was starving, had been in the hospital and she couldn’t even call me and she wanted me to hear HER? This is when I began to realize that I didn’t love her anymore. In fact, I had grown to resent her. All I ever wanted was to be accepted, to be given some kind of affection … a hug once in a while. In six months, I haven’t been hugged, kissed or even touched first by her. She said to me one day, “you know if you had a car we’d see more of each other.” She hadn’t even listened to me talk about not being able to afford food or rent or having chest pains before I went in the hospital … but she thought if I had a car we could see more of each other.

Don’t get me wrong. Through the entire ordeal of the last 9 months of my life, I have a lot to be thankful for. I heard God speak to me and I’ve been able to let go of a lot of pain and agony from my life, especially my childhood. This woman who has hurt me so many times also helped me by being the catalyst that pushed me to these things … so I don’t regret knowing her or coming here, but I realize that the time of being useful to each other has passed. I can learn nothing else from her now. It’s time to move on.

In the last six months I have published 6 books and I have 2 more on the way. In June I started this blog, which now has over 2100 followers. I have a fan page with almost 500 fans and nearly 500 followers on Twitter too. I am getting back on my feet now and I have that to be thankful for. My old dog may not be what he used to be, but he understands how to show me that he loves me and I’m really thankful for his hugs and his kisses.

Today, I am thankful for this parking lot. There’s a guy in a car parked not far away. He’s drinking straight from a bottle of booze in the front seat. I bet he hates his life today. It’s sad. I should but I don’t. I feel sorry for this guy. Here I sit, with paper and pen – I’ll type it out tomorrow when somewhere with wifi is open. I’m armed with my cell phone and I am alive. I have food. There is a bed in here. I don’t want or need much else, except I guess to be loved for who and what I am. For someone to realize that this simple way of life is sort of what I am best at. I survive for a living in many ways.

Today, I want to remind you all that you should be thankful for what you have. Be thankful if you have love. Be thankful for every friend you have ever had, every person you have ever loved regardless of how it ended because they served a purpose in your life. If you don’t see that, then you have not learned your lesson. If you forget the butter or the rolls today, tomorrow and or any other day, eat the rolls with gravy instead. Be thankful you are eating because there are many who do not. There were a lot of people who had no one around or a big meal to boast about on Thanksgiving day.

Just CHOOSE to be okay with what you have! You will survive. You’d be surprised at what we can survive when we have to. God bless you all, from my parking lot to your home … remember that we are all just temporarily parked in the parking lot of life and eventually our space will be vacant. Enjoy the parking lot while you can.




Categories: life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “The Parking Lot – My Thanksgiving Day Story

  1. Ruby

    Oh WOW! Thanks for sharing…Really puts alot of things in perspective…..BIG hug!

  2. Wendi

    Jesse – I found your site through my friend Grace. You are an incredibly talented writer. I look forward to reading more of your words.

    • 🙂 Thanks, Wendi! Grace is a wonderful lady too. I’ve had many a long conversation with her and she and I understand each other very well and I respect her a great deal! Pleased to have you along for this ride!

  3. Tammie

    It has been said that we only grow through suffering. I have learned to value each and every ounce of pain that has ever been brought my way. Although I may not understand it at the time, I eventually figure out the lesson in it and one day I will find out why this lesson was so important. Each person we encounter plays a pivotal role in creating the person we are truly meant to be, if only we take the time to put our ego’s aside and be still and wait. Truly learn what it is that God is trying to teach us. If we do not, we get to relive it, over and over again (which I did for about ummmm 4 relationships before I realized I needed to shut up and learn something about It is amazing to get to share in your journey of self discovery. I love watching people grow and find their true self.

  4. Amazing what we can ‘survive’ that others cannot even comprehend, been there, done that

  5. Hey Onion lady,
    Today I told myself I wasn’t going to cry any more, well that’s that one out the window.
    The simple way of life sounds bloody perfect to me, too much is taken for granted in this world. I think that in life ,we should all be grateful for what we have around us and only take from the world, what we need to survive. This will never happen as long as we have greedy fuckers grabbing as much as they want and not as much as they need.
    I am so sorry that the love of your life wasn’t able to see it that way. The love of my life doesn’t see things the way I do either, but still 2 years on I text her and check she is still in this world and breathing the same air as me, the thought of her not being there is to much for me to bear.
    There are some lyrics from a song by a band I love called ‘fUN’, and it always fill me with hope that one day this will be true for both of us. They are simply ” let the past be the sound of your feet upon the ground”, its called “carry on”.
    I am not a religious person Jesse, but I admire your faith in it.
    I lost all the faith I had when I was being raped by a 24 stone ,cigarette smelling lorry driver aged just 15. I still to this day cannot see a God that would allow the things that happened to me, happen.
    Or a God that see’s the slaughter of millions of innocent human beings.
    That said, there have been many times I have spent hours sat in a cold church, asking why, what was it about me.
    Anyway Jesse, you are a fantastic writer and an amazing human being. God bless you and your dog and cat
    And above all thank you for being YOU!
    Sending you (((((huge hugs))))) from a very cold and wet Dorsetshire ,England.
    Stay safe my friend xx

    • Thanks so much, Rita. The experiences that you have had, that I have had, that ANY of us have had are lessons. I know that the painful ones make us wonder how, why, what did we do, etc? Here’s the thing I have come to learn. When you have suffered SUCH atrocities, then you have a perspective that is uniquely yours and filled with compassion and empathy that only you can have. You are needed now, somewhere, by someone and while it may not be clear to you today, it will eventually be clear to you. When it is, the veil will be lifted from your eyes and you will realize your purpose and how something horrific can offer something good. You are a great person, full of compassion and love … it comes through in every message you’ve ever posted on my board and on Facebook. I believe that you have no idea how you touch other people and what a difference you make. Your words have a passion and a meaning that they could not have if you’d not known suffering. I know this is so hard for some to understand, but it is simply true. Have you noticed that those who suffer the most are the most giving and kind, full of compassion and charitable? Those who have had it easy tend to not lend an ear to those in need. They are the ones who step over the homeless on the street and refer to them as beggars and speak with disdain as they scowl. I can’t do that. I realize I have been but one breath from their shoes. When the world stops turning a blind eye, then they world will change. This I believe to be true. Stay who you are, Rita. I think you’re pretty cool. 😉 Hugs right back at ya’!

  6. ritavassie

    Oh and I can’t do that either. I have never walked past a homeless person and not stopped to have a chat or go and buy him a sandwich, or give my whole packet of fags when he has only asked for 1 or indeed the last fiver I have had in my purse. Thank you for helping me to see myself as the person I am x

  7. Jessie, I have only been following you for a short while, but in that time I have come to feel your sadness and your spirit. You are an inspiration to me as you never let the little bumps in the road of life get you down for long. No matter how strong we seem or pretend to be, our hearts are fragile, but able to forgive, sometimes forget but always allow us to pick ourselves up and continue to move forward with our dreams, our lives and our never ending search for true love. Unfortunately we are duped at times into believing that beauty and femininity on the outside matches the heart on the inside. Many times this is not the case. I can tell you after being on this planet for 53 years I have learned the hard way that ‘straight’ woman although charmed by our demeanor and satisfied by our experience and the novelty of butch woman more times than not won’t be able to commit to us. They will come to us time to time because they know it doesn’t get much better, but I can tell you that they are not worthy of love like we want to share fore they do not know how to love our kind of woman, we are not men although we are strong and protective we don’t love like men and we are not like them, we don’t dress like them or in many ways act like them and it throws them for a loop, it confuses them. Jessie you are an honorable, loving woman who is worthy of the utmost respect and a woman who will love you for you and not some ill conceived notion of who you should be. Never settle I think any woman who doesn’t want to scoop you up and love you like crazy is missing out. I hope you find your pot of gold you deserve that and so much more.

  8. Jill Joiner

    Sadly I have seen so many like your ex. They refuse understanding or empathy. Precious lady you will come out of this.

    • Something just didn’t click with her. It’s like there was a switch that didn’t get turned on or something sometimes. She cared, I KNOW she did. She just didn’t know how to show it and I was like a dog starving for scraps of affection. I tried to explain it to her. She didn’t really get it. She just wasn’t able to connect the dots. ???

  9. Lena Dwenger

    I feel like you reached out and touched my soul. You gave me cause to sit back and reconsider my values, what truly matters to me. We all have our sad and horrifying experiences; some of us are privileged enough to look back and simply remember, while others live the hell each day.
    I’ll admit that sometimes the memories can turn a good day into a horrid one, my mind’s eye never ceasing the replay of those terrifying images. Overall though, it is a beautiful thing to be reminded of what should come first, what actually makes life ‘worth it’ in the long run, what needs to be a priority. Thank you so much Jesse for your raw, open writing.

  10. Nicole Debaris

    You are a real trooper and an inspiration. I remember going through a similar relationship breakup feeling just like you. All I wanted was to be seen and that was what she couldn’t give me. But why couldn’t I see it? Was the need for love making me blind? Was I so hungry for love that I created in her someone who didn’t exist? And yes, she lived in the straight world too, and wanted both worlds without paying the price. In the end, I wound up really disliking her and perhaps hating her. Later on, I found out she married a wealthy man, joined a gay hating church and activily campaigned against gay marriage. And this was someone I thought at one time that I loved. Obviously, I had some real problems in seeing the world. I couldn’t have picked a worse person to mate with if it was Billy Graham or some other gay hating conservative. Well, Jesse, I think you are great and heroic in how you are living your life. We learn through out mistakes and errors, and I have learned a great deal from my emotional blindness.I

    • I must admit that it really wouldn’t shock me a great deal to find out that she has married a guy in a few years down the road. IDK, there’s just SO MUCH that she doesn’t get and you nailed it when you said “wanted both worlds without paying the price” and I doubt that she will ever understand that or how it makes me feel. As I told her, she was too busy telling me that I wasn’t hearing her.

  11. Ilen

    Jesse, It is so very hard to dive into our lives next chapter when our hearts are so wounded. You will always remember this woman and at times you will still smile when thinking of what you had wanted it to be. In a very short period of time you have gotten steady work, you have decided you want to move back home and you have actually purchased land and have looked at plans so that you can build your new home. You are on your way and you seem so determined not to slow down till you get there. I have just recently ended a 16 plus year relationship with the person I thought was my souls took me 3 years to be able to allow my heart to let go. I cried, I was angry, I stayed in bed for days on end and then one day without even looking for it I met a woman who has made me feel safe enough to try again, I threw caution to the wind and I am so glad that I decided to allow someone to touch my heart again. This woman has touched my soul and not only loves me but she is helping me become a better human
    . You can’t go searching for love, it has to find you and when you least expect it someone is gonna sneak up behind you and whisper in your ear that she loves you and she will be your forever girl. Be patient something this good is worth waiting for!

    • Such a nice comment, you made me smile very much. It didn’t take me long to make the decision to go back to Missouri because in the past few months, when I was slowly realizing that she wasn’t treating me the way I really needed someone to treat me, I kept thinking about what I gave-up to come here and I was sad. In a way, she drove me away. I’d have stayed here and been at her side forever if only she could have looked at me with love in her eyes and told me that she cared, that she wanted or needed me. She could never do any of that and so the starving dog wanders away from home in search of scraps somewhere else. I hate to make it sound like that but that is what happens, isn’t it?

      • It doesn’t have to be like that again. Learn from this and next time demand filet mignon and champagne and don’t settle. Crap girl look at you, you are very attractive and are sexy as shit in your cowboy hat, and that big smile. and you like powertools a lesbian’s dream you you write with passion and have women falling in love with you every day you are obviously a skilled lover or you couldn’t write the way you do. I write lesbian short stories too and alot of what we write has either happened, we fantasize that it has happened or it will happen in due time. Listen studdly when u get to Missouri strap on that belt, hang your hammer on the loop and build that home and let life just happen…you never know maybe a pretty little forest ranger will stop by..shit happens when you least expect it. Peace

  12. Nicole

    In my younger years, I did the bar scene and of course, met a lot of women, many of whom were incapable of anything beyond sex. The craving for me was always emotional intimacy while what I found was available sex and an emotional desert. In fact, for awhile, my best friend was a gay male who I confided in. But why was it so hard to find love amongst women? For one, bars and licor and drugs are not real, and the next day, we still have to figure out who we are. But how many gay women really know who they are? This is the real test and something you seem to be challenging with a lot of courage. As a young teenager I remember being drilled by a popular football player who thought I wanted a wild beast, and was disposed to giving me what I wanted. But I didn’t know what I wanted. And that’s where the problem was. Even with women, for so many years I really didn’t know what I wanted and hence was used and abused by them. I thought we were all gay and in the same boat and I trusted them only to learn that women could “drill me” just as roughly and ugly as any man.In fact, one women who I trusted in wanted to pimp me out for an escort service she started up. Told me it was great fun doing men and getting revenge and money at the same time, while learning to abuse them.

    In the end, I learned my “mommy” died a long time ago, and I had to become a big girl, and take responsibility for my life. After that, I started to have real relationships instead of looking for mommy to make me feel safe and secure.

  13. Patty Moon

    Jesse, a very touching thanksgiving story. it brought tears to my eyes. but i think a lot of gals would be overjoyed to have a sweet and intelligent butch like you in there life. give jesse mac the high road and stay away from straight gals. today there is so much confusion. so many young girls are looking for saviors. maybe for awhile they think they are gay. but when push comes to shove back with mr. penis. love your books. very hotsy. but yu have to up the prices…$9.99 at least. if the cheap c’s won’t pay the price, let them read shakespeare. love and hugs

  14. Pamela

    Gay women as a whole look for utopia in their partner. They often put too much stress on one relationship. It is like we strive to make the other the family, community and friends we never had. Being rejected by family is a horror ridden trauma. How do you recover from being cast out by the people you come from? It is like floating in space without an anchor. For many years, the answer for me was bars, clubs and an endless succession of women, straight, gay, bi and even a few men.

    • I detest the bar and club scene. Outgrew that years ago. Would sometimes go out dancing with friends but not for picking up women. Never have been with men and never would…yuck. Don’t think wanting a person to touch you or express any affection physically is making a partner into a ”utopia” so I am unsure where your post is coming from here at all, to be honest. It is true some lesbians may make their relationships into life or death dramas…but plenty of heteros do too. Personally, I do not want someone up my ass all the time, but at the end of the day want someone who is there for me when I need a hug and want a kiss.

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