Posted by Andersen Richards
January 11th, 2016
If you’re reading this and you’re already sick, I’m sorry.
If you’re not sick, you soon will be. I’m sorry for that, too.
For a long time, all I did was tell people it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do any of this. I’m just somebody who… well, someone is not going to get sick. But nobody cares if it’s my fault. People don’t blame me. They just want…
That’s not why I’m writing this.
Right now I’m parked in a cul-de-sac where I will probably spend the night. I say “probably” because there’s always the possibility I’ll get rolled by the cops again. Or, worse. I’ve been sleeping here for weeks, mostly because it’s nice to have a bit of stability and the cul-de-sac is empty. Around the corner is an offshoot street that ends in another cul-de-sac. That road is lined with middle-class homes, filled with people who aren’t happy I’m sleeping in my car around the corner on an empty road. But I’m not super pumped about sleeping in my car, either.
It’s nice to feel safe when you’re six feet trying to pack yourself into a four-foot space. It makes waking up every fifteen minutes to re-position a little less stressful. I’m not doing anything to the neighbors, we’re all sleeping through the night, no one is doing anything to me. So what’s the harm of parking the car here?
My phone is plugged into the cigarette lighter and I’m piggybacking the wi-fi signal off a nearby house. But that’s not on me. They could password protect that. Free wi-fi is one of the few things going my way.
Most nights I struggle to fall asleep. After last night…
I can’t go to class anymore. I’m not welcome at work anymore. My apartment is gone. My dad has enough to worry about without taking me in and my mom… well, I couldn’t stand to put my little sister at risk like that.
I spent the morning outside the “work service” building waiting for them to open. This is the place you go when a judge orders you to do community service. But not the kind of B.S. that rich people get away with saying they’ve done. The kind where two officers with pistols drive you to the side of a busy highway and make you pick up trash.
You can turn it into a game if you see who can count the most instances of drivers on their cell phones nearly hitting people picking up trash. If you get clipped by a sideview mirror, you automatically win. If the car hits you, you get to go home for the rest of the day.
Some of the people are there because they got off easy. Some people are there when they should have never been charged in the first place.
It’s a good group.
This morning was low forties. Somehow it was hailing in San Diego. The sidewalks looked they had little snowbanks made out of chewable ice pieces, the kind with the empty tunnels in them like you’d find in a hospital. Every breath felt like I had to pull it out from underneath a piano. When I breathed out, it rose in front of me, still smelling of blood.
The officers kept asking me if I’d been fighting. I wasn’t sure what to say that wouldn’t get me arrested. Obviously they know my name but I don’t think they recognize it yet.
The same friend who told me I should try writing this blog told me it was good that I still did my community service. She thinks this is all going to resolve itself somehow, unless I convince myself its the end and I self-sabotage.
I don’t believe her. I don’t believe the world could ever go back, or that my life could ever be the same. After last night, how it felt when they were shoving me into the back of that car… there’s no going back for me.
My life is worth less than a pile of money.
But this is America. You know how that feels.
Anyway, my friend picked me up after my first offender’s group tonight. I called crying. Please understand, I don’t do that. She picked me up and took me back to her studio. We listened to David Bowie until we both agreed I had to go.
Bowie died yesterday, did you know that? Someone told me while we were picking up trash on the side of the road. I was very lonely.
This friend and I used to listen to “As the World Falls Down” so much I can’t really think of it without her. So much has died now. So much is gone. And I’m sitting in this cul-de-sac typing a blog post on my fucking phone because she said it might help to tell people how it feels, what all this has done to me.
She told me to write it all out because she doesn’t know what to say.
Which is probably fancy speak for, “Stop bringing me your problems.”
But you probably get that, too.
You won’t know what to say when I tell you what’s happening to me. When I work up the courage to tell you who I am, you won’t know what to do. That’ll be okay.
Just… let me finish before you turn and leave.