Lunch was tomato sandwiches with chips and dill pickle spears. One of my favorites. Rosa and me sat in my kitchen talking after our meal. I am so glad to have her home. I know it sounds cliched, but Rosa is my best friend and also my lover. She is also my confidant.
"What is the hardest thing you have ever been through?" Rosa asked me as we sat there striking up a conversation.
"Childhood," I replied. "It was a dark, ominous time for me. I felt depressed all throughout my youth. I struggled with being ostracized and being overweight."
"I hated being poor as a child," Rosa said. "Momma would have to pawn things to buy us shoes for school every fall."
"That sounds tough. I never had to worry about money growing up. Mom was a teacher and dad was always a pharmacist with his own business."
"What is the hardest thing about being an adult now?"
"My lifelong love affair with drinking," I replied. "Alcohol can be a cruel mistress. That, and the schizophrenia."
Rosa had a rare moment of introspection about her own trials with crack cocaine. She rarely talks about it.
"I can't believe I sold my body to get more rock. I would do anything to get high."
I held her hand. "We will not regret the past nor shut the door upon it."
"You sound like a good Alcoholics Anonymous meeting goer," Rosa said as she smiled.
"I've been indoctrinated!"
"You still have dreams of being homeless?" Rosa then asked.
"Yeah, I can't help it. I feel it should be my penance to pay -- to atone for my sins. The anonymity of it all appeals to me as well."
"Always talk to me about it, okay?"
"I will," I said.
"What was the hardest thing for you being homeless?" I then asked Rosa. I like to hear her talk of her homeless days.
"Not knowing where I was going to be sleeping at night. I would do tricks to get up enough money for crack and a cheap hotel room. Me and some working girls would usually go in together."
"It was the cold for me," I replied. "I never did like being cold and I almost froze my ass off when I was homeless."
"Yeah, but you had an income," Rosa said. "And all that camping gear. I had nothing, but the clothes on my back."
"True," I replied. "I had it easier than most."
"Then, why do you want to be homeless again?"
"I can't explain it. Maybe it is part of my mental illness, or part of my lack of self respect. I just think it would be easier."
Rosa had enough talking and helped me clean up the kitchen and put away the dishes. It worries her about my homeless fantasy. She thinks I am going to have a moment of weakness and walk out the door to never return.
"Promise me you are not going to leave," Rosa said, wiping a plate clean and putting it in my cabinets.
"I promise," I said with good intentions and an earnest heart.
I do hope I don't ever become homeless again. I don't want to relive that part of my life. My homeless fantasy is what imaginations are for.