Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Penance

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 laughed.

"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.

15 comments:

A. J. Franklin said...

Yours is the first blog I have read (other than my own) in three years. Do you have any idea how talented you are? This is amazing. If you haven't shared it with your therapist make sure you do. It will save your hours of explaining your life to Him/her!!

All the best--and you have another friend out here in the world, cheering you on to struggle, along with everyone else, to make life a wonderful experience...the good, the bad, the beautiful. All of it! Sober.

Your recovering friend,

AJ ( http://nastyletterstocrookedpoliticians.blogspot.com )

Cheryl said...

Here's a little story. I had been a hairdresser for a few years. I had a boyfriend who was a bad influence on me, and I decided to quit. I had been a waitress and remembered it being an easy job. So, I waited tables for about 6 months. It was so much harder than what I had remembered and much harder than being a hairdresser. I quit and went back to doing hair, and never looked back. Your looking wistfully back on your homeless days? They were bad. You're living the good life now. I know you know that, but this story just came out.

¤ Émìlíå ¤ said...

Great entry!

Windrider said...

Good for you Andrew. That sort of honesty with someone else can be almost painful sometimes. But it is a purging, or a cleansing of the soul if you will.

You are quite lucky having Rosa in your life. Especially due to the fact that she can relate to the addiction issue. A shoulder to lean upon is a good thing indeed.

It may sound odd, but I can completely relate to just throwing it all away, slinging my backpack on and simply disappearing "into the green". I came very close to doing just that during, and right after my divorce.. But I knew that doing that would really be quitting once and for all on my life. It would have also wounded my family deeper than I could ever imagine.

That was the main thought that kept me from it, hurting those that love me... But, to this day I still feel the call whenever I'm frustrated or angry. But, I'm better off where I am..

You are too..

Be Well.

Pen and the Sword said...

It is wonderful that you can reflect on it. Maybe talking about it to Rosa will help you with your fixation with it. Lord knows I DO NOT miss my homeless days... even if I was only homeless for about a week. It was the longest week of my life.

Nikita1 said...

Hi Andrew...good post...nice and open relationship...keep your promise and stay put! Glad you like the pics about SA..more to follow...soon.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Sleep well my friend, sleep well!!
Always,
Crusty~

Chaim said...

Like at least one of the previous commenters, I, too, can relate to impulse to just walk away. Leave. Give it all up. It's a strange thing to struggle with, but I can't imagine it when compounded with the other things you go through.

I've been reading your blog for a while. I love it. You *are* working on a memoir of some type, I hope? You have a great talent.

Also... tomato sandwiches: Good move.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Rosa is incredibly wise, and she loves you very much, Andrew! Telling someone when you feel like drinking or feel like running away and being homeless. That is the first step, isn't it? Reaching out for help. It's something we all have to learn, that it's ok to ask for help. I am grateful that you are doing that. I also respect your honesty so very much!

Anonymous Boxer said...

I have a version of this and there are days when I wish I could act on my wish to be someone else or somewhere else. I think we all do. But you said it best;

"My homeless fantasy is what imaginations are for."

Le Fleur said...

I agree with anonymous boxer on this; I also have my self destructive fantasies, but I thank God I'm too much of a wimp to follow through with them :)

have a wonderful night, luv.

hensteeth said...

I have dreams where I dance.

It's a place I left long ago, where unbelievable freedom was mine only because the sacrifice was extreme.

We take steps forward and can only look back at the shade of who were were and what we left behind.

And that's ok.

Thank you for sharing. Especially over tomato sandwiches.

LORD MANILA STONE said...

I was once homeless. Three years ago, I got addicted to gambling that I couldn't support my family. I self-pitied and wandered the streets of Manila. I got scared of drug addicts and snatchers near the side of the road where I slept. I met a scavenger and he gave me a hand. Those days were over. Recently, I got addicted to gambling in Casinos. I felt like I wanted to be homeless again. My boyfriend is my hero...^^

SOUL: said...

pretty much a carbon copy to what anonymous boxer said... ya that.

take it ez.

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