Mar 16 2006

And the moral is?

Posted by J. Craig Canada in camping, church groups, Genealogy, greenway, motels

It was difficult leaving the motel this morning.

I was an hour late getting out.

As I was dropping off the key and DSL cable the owner asked me how I was, and without really listening started rattling off about how I was better than she was. She was sick with the flu and had to work and couldn’t stay in bed all day. And the doctor wouldn’t give her any antibiotics.

About an hour later I ran into Steve on the way to The Concentration Camp. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while. Months. He said he’d been in Reno but it got too cold. He said he was sleeping on the church groups.

I told him how they first told me over and over (after I’d signed onto the church group) that I had to go to the armory, and that this was 2 days after I got my computer. And how everyone knew this meant I would have to stand in the pouring rain, with a laptop, for a half an hour.

And he shook his head and agreed: first I would have to stand out in the rain and then I would have to watch as they opened and searched everything – and especially the computer – in the rain.

And they wouldn’t let me medicate there; at least twelve hours in that Hell without my medicine, and after what I’ve already been through for years and years…

He stood and listened as I rattled on about how time after time, after I’d signed onto the church group, they told me I had to go to the armory. And so I’d get a motel room. And then come back to the same thing. Until I’d spent every cent I had and could borrow. And then they told me I WOULD GO to the armory and that I couldn’t go on the church groups anymore. And this was just when I’d got my debts paid and was going to try to find something.

I had half a mind to try to talk to Vicki about getting back on the church groups. Sleep deprivation will get me if nothing else does, and now that I don’t even have a blanket getting any sleep (especially in the rain) will be impossible. But the conversation with Steve reminded me that sitting up all night in a damp windy alcove would be preferable to going back to those people for help after what they did to me.

Which, I have not doubt, is just fine with them.

Steve’s rant was about what a ‘quagmire’ the place is, and how everything is set up to make it impossible for anyone there to get or hold a job. Which is true. In case you have any doubts when you get there, it is made abundantly clear to you that the convenience of the people that work there is far more important than the clients they purport to ‘serve’.

Which brings to mind fuzzy strawberries. That was something that came up in my last conversation with Charlie. He mentioned that the food at the ‘cafeteria’ had been crap lately, and my response was it was too early for fuzzy strawberries. I learned quickly not to go in there without my reading glasses. If you’ve ever picked up a moldy strawberry for breakfast after being woken up at five to get on a bus at six to stand outside in the coldest hour of the day without a toilet (first thing in the morning, after having coffee) for an hour until 7, or later…

…and if you complain about moldy strawberries someone screams at you, “If you don’t like it you can leave.”

Just thinking about the place sets me off.

The fact is, the time I spent in that motel and the money I spent was as much for my mental health – for my sanity – as it was for anything.

I agonized for hours over whether to pay the storage this month. And I thought about the photos of my great-great-grandparents that I haven’t scanned in and incorporated in my genealogy yet. In the end I paid it, and made sure I had enough credit to pay for my website for another month as well. I keep hoping, against all odds, for some miracle – that I will somehow find a way out of this, and into a home, a real home, without losing everything.

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