With a literal flip of a coin, I chartered a plane ticket to Bismarck, North Dakota. Yeah. I know. Bismarck. Why? Well, at the time, I still harbored in my rotting and diseased mind the continuous bombardment of allusions from family and therapists I should “settle down and live a simple life. It would be the best for mind and body”.
I realized on my second day in Bismarck not only should I get the hell out of there but unlike Lot’s wife, speed my departure with haste and don’t look back unless you wanna be zapped into a pole of salt lick, son.
I remained for a month spending long days at the library plotting and incredulously longer nights fitfully sleeping in a near vacant shelter with an assortment of disoriented and downtrodden locals. Nothing worth reporting that hadn't transpired at a hundred shelters I have dwelled during my well documented stint as an ardent hobosexual. The solitary occurrence worth mentioning was during one cloudy afternoon as I wearily sat in my own filth awaiting to be assigned a cot (the shelter opened at nine at night and gave everyone the boot at six a.m.), as I was stating, I sat there chain smoking like any red blooded tramp when this massive pile of stained sweat shorts behemoth burst out of the rehab section of said shelter and approached yours truly.
“Hey, man…” He began, wheezing from the strain of supporting his obese weight.
“Yeah?” I croaked.
“Wanna make some quick cash?”
Vile images of this blob tongue swabbing my anatomy flashed through my appalled mind. “Like what?”
“Sell me your piss.”
“Sell you…my piss?”
“Yeah, I gotta UA in thirty minutes and I’m gunna come up dirty.”
“Uh…nah. Nah, that’s cool. I kinda need it.”
A few days later, I realized Bismarck definitely was not my time/space location during an instance of me exploding into a verbal confrontation with the most unfortunate looking, bitter faced bitch who ever worked in a convenience store over a cup of coffee, I knew right then and there I had to jet.
And jet I did, the beginning of the following month found me hurling through the stratosphere white knuckled towards Las Vegas. Sin City. The rattling plane plopped into that neon labyrinth near midnight. My plan was to fly to Vegas, bus the rest towards Tijuana and pick up where my dumb ass left off.
So, after snatching my bags, I jumped a taxi to the Greyhound Station. Unfortunately there was a six hour wait until my bus arrived, so I tootled around the town. Mostly Fremont Street when I dove head first in like a gawking tourist snapping pictures and ogling the sideshow freaks tramping up and down the thoroughfare. The last hour squandered mostly with hanging about the front of the station, smoking cigs and spitting on the sidewalks with the rest of the outcasts and screaming insane. That long dark night under humming florescent street lamps; listening to the cacophony from the Street of Dreams. A muttering beckon falling silent on these sad and desperate Heroes.
Eventually, I found my weary ass plopped into dusty Yuma, Arizona. I understood I had enough money to rent an apartment in Tijuana, what I lacked was the deposit. So, I hunkered down to flop a month at the Crossroads Mission. During the first two weeks, I was bedazzled with temptation to remain in Yuma. You see, what I was pinning for more that anything else was a home to call my own, not some rented grotto or foreign dive that I presumed was fleeting – but an actual place of my own to retire in and grow old. Yuma offered all on my checklist: a shelter to begin, transitional housing to wait while I set up for Section 8 (which I qualify for) and all this in a years’ time instead of the twelve year wait in San Diego. Albeit, TJ seemed far more adventurous, Yuma was a decade quicker. I had learned that once you acquire Section 8 housing, you must remain for one years’ time in the city it was issued, however, after that, you are free to relocate to anywhere in the country and outlying commonwealths. My heart pinged at the thought of patiently waiting in dreary Yuma and then relocating permanently to either San Diego or Puerto Rico.
So, the long process began. Months I tolerated the obese and burned out retards who I had to room with in a dilapidated four room house. Two to a room. Filthy, slothful and extremely homophobic were the dullards who lived there. It was taxing on my patience and intellect, to say the least. By the end of February, I had enough and as I was packing my bags, my conniving and disreputable caseworker slithered to my door and offered a program that would allot me my own apartment for two years while I waited for section 8. I took it without haste.
All was not well in the aftermath. I waited….and waited. Patiently, yet bitter. Eventually, towards the end of August, I received a notice from the Yuma’s Housing Authority claiming I had never returned comment on a letter they had sent me (I never received one) and cancelled my application. I spiraled into depression. This entire year wasted on nothing. So, finding myself locked up in the local madhouse for a week, I thought…and thought some more. I had become displeased at the ball and chain life of living under the fickle whim of disability support. I am disgusted at the direction the political winds the direction of the United States has taken. It was time to get out and once and for all, take the reins of my life.
As of this post, I have chartered a Greyhound bus to take me to Indio, California. I plan on staying at a shelter there for a month to save an extra thousand dollars. You see, I had attained a TEFL certificate during my stay in Yuma and plan on flying out to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to teach English and to experience life in a strange and different culture. Who knows what adventures await? I am excited and terrified to say the least. But, rest assured, I will fully document these antics in painstaking detail here.
And so it goes…
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