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.