Two Worlds

They look at you with disappointment…. thinking they know something…they have no idea how wrong they are…if they knew that would they act the same…would they make stupid comments…tell you they are not involved…ask you what are they doing to you…do they remember the innocent one in the middle…

You scream….yell…FUCK OFF…as loud as you can in your writing…they act shocked at your choice of words…writing “stuff it”  instead of using the words that come out of their mouths…they like to share your thoughts with each other…laughing back and forth…like your life is their game to be played with as they wish…to them it is pure entertainment…

Do they feel better when their foot shoves your face into the mud…when they grow tired they find someone else to shove down you some more… they all stare, laughing as they watch you struggle to get up… wiping away the spec of dirt that splattered back as their boot kicked your innocent one…you stand up out of the mud…you look deep into their soul…you see nothing but anger and hate…

You wonder…can she see a time where he did not get into the car…there is no insurance settlement…the older wise one did not start her in that house…no free and clear…she gets pregnant…he is screwing her friends…she is upset…she takes one more of the pills the Dr. gave her for pain…everything seems a little brighter…a year later..no money… over due bills… and that new problem…dope-sick…is she strong enough to handle that…can she turn down the needle full of heroin knowing the sickness is approaching fast…

Does he know how inches could have changed his entire life…he has been drinking with his friends…gets into his new truck…lines start to blur just a little… he tries to bring them back to clear…cannot see the car with the single mom of three…can he see the felony DUI…the manslaughter charge…can he feel the guilt ripping him apart…does he feel the relief when the vodka slides down his throat and starts to numb the pain…

They judge with only the knowledge formed from their own world…based on what they think is normal…

THEIR world where…. compassion is conditional…monetary success required…functional addiction mandatory…
VS.
YOUR world where…. empathy is expected…sharing required, as you cannot take it with you……AND the understanding there is only a moment in time…only one wrong decision before they come slipping into YOUR WORLD ….

Welcome to F*#K Fest 2012

On Christmas Eve we decided to not book another night in Fountain Hills.  I have no idea how we got everything crammed into the car, we must be learning.  We left not having our next hotel lined up, so we went to our main McDonald’s for some wifi and milk shakes.  Two hours later we were checking in to our new home ready for some peace and to enjoy Christmas.

During our constant struggle to keep a roof over our heads we also had to deal with what I now call “Insanity”.  This started with a family friend, Dumb-Shit, starting a rumor that was spun by King-Shit into something that actually affected how family treated me in different states.  Dumb-Shit is my mother’s best friend and has known me my entire life. The King- Shit is my father’s brother, who at one time I was very close to. Thirty-six hours before we found ourselves calling my best friend from McDonald’s, we had no idea what was about to happen…

We walked down the hall to the room the three of us had been staying in for the last two months.  There was a note on the door with my name on it.  I thought the handwriting looked liked my grandmother’s, but I was not sure.  We sat down talking about how things had started getting weird in the house.  There were nine people in the house and for the past week it seemed like something was very off.  It was like being in high school and we were being bullied and shunned.  My husband was getting the brunt of it, but he had been keeping it to himself. I had noticed a difference with the treatment of our son.  At the time I just thought it was a difference of opinion  Looking back I cannot believe I did not see it sooner. However, this was my family.  I had a trust that they would not sick a knife in my back and twist it until it hurt my son.

I could feel my heart start to pound as my eyes skimmed across the words that had been typed.  ” It would be best if you left tomorrow.  I am telling you today so you have time to pack some clothes.”  Pack some clothes?  What the hell is King-Shit talking about?  I read it again, letting it soak in for a second before I looked at my husband.  We have to be out tomorrow I told him as I handed him the now famous note….

The next 24 hours were a blur.  Disbelief, shock, hurt , and a million other feelings ran through us like a a freight train running off the tracks.  How could they do this to our son a week before Christmas, I thought as I tried to think what to pack. What  do you put into a Saturn to survive with a 12 year old in the winter.  Scottsdale still gets cold at night. What paper work did we need? What did we own that we could sell for fast money?  We had no bank accounts, no credit and our poor little Saturn had seen better days.

Normal people would be thinking what the hell did you do to get kicked out with your son with less than a days notice….” You being here is causing Gram and Gramp stress”  I understood that to a point.  However, what about the stress of seeing us running around asking what we did, could we stay until the end of the week, could our son stay to finish out the week of school…I think that was little stressful.

It was 6 pm and we were trying to get the last of our things to our car having no idea where we were going, when I hear my name called.  I look up and there is King Shit’s wife with my grandmother who is crying saying that King-Shit had said we had a place for the night.  One of many lies he would tell my grandmother in the upcoming weeks.  They ask us to stay until the day after Christmas.  We had no where to go, so we went back inside.  What I will never understand is how we all sat at that same table and ate supper as if the last 24 hours had not happened.  That is some insanity.

Later that night I received an email from King-Shit.  It was becoming apparent that he only spoke with his fingers and a keyboard.  Not sure what happen to his balls that I had assumed he was born with.  Maybe he lost them. The email floored me and spun my adrenaline into a tornado that is still spinning….A few hours later we were at our now favorite McDonald’s….

Thank You McDonalds…

The hotel in Fountain Hills went well past having bad customer service, they were completely disrespectful.  I still cringe thinking about how she said “homeless”.  However, it was the stigma attached to us after, which made me stop using that word.

We had contact with four people there, including the general manager, Bob. One of them was pleasant and felt horrible that we did not have a good experience with the front desk staff. She even asked if there was anything she could do.  It is interesting that her name was not Bob. Up until then, we were starting to think everyone there was unfriendly and incompetent.

Fifteen years of management experience on the Las Vegas Strip taught my husband how a guest should be treated in a hotel. Two weeks of lessons from the street has taught me how a human being should be treated, period.  It does not cost anything to smile at someone, or let them have a parking spot.  It cost the manager of the McDonald’s we have come to love, nothing to make my son smile and say, “he is a really nice guy.” There was no free food and no special VIP treatment.  We were on the receiving end of someone that wanted to know what they could do for us.  He even thanked us for letting him serve us the chocolate shake we ordered.

She is “Homeless”…

When Hotwire showed me the name after I paid for the room I was surprised.  Fountain Hills is a very nice town northeast of Scottsdale.  It was not down the street so we had to figure out the best way to fix the two car load problem.  We loaded up the car with load 1 and I took my son and the dogs to Fountain Hills.  My husband stayed on the patio outside the first hotel room with the 2nd car load.  When I drove away I did wonder if anyone in my family really understood the time difference between check in and check out.  It is about four hours.

After losing my GPS signal and driving in circles for about 30 minutes I found our next landing. Twenty years had built the area up, but it was very much as I remember it.  Coming around a corner I saw The Fountain in the middle of the man-made lake shooting water into the sky.  My son asked if we could go see it.  I told him as soon as we got settled for the night.

I walked through the doors and up to the front desk.  I was greeted with a generic hello.  I go through the… what is your name, etc.  The credit card question pops up.  I explain to this lovely woman that I do not have a credit card.  Then I think I said the word that locked in the way we were treated from there on….  Homeless…

“No, she is HOMELESS….No, she is a female..”  she whispers loudly into the phone to her boss. The disgust she felt came through clearly.  The thought of what might have happened if I had been a man, or black crossed my mind when she said that.  Hanging up she says it will be 100 cash if you do not have a credit card.  The options I was given before her phone call were gone.  Knowing that cash may be a requirement to check in we now had some set aside. However, this place was three times as much as the Hilton property and even though I was close to that, she would not budge.  I told her we would be back and went to my car.

My son was sitting there surrounded with our 1st load.  His dogs were jumping and licking his face making him laugh.  I could feel my heart break a little more.  We had so much to do before he could just watch some TV that night with his two best friends.  I got in, letting tears of complete frustration flow out of my eyes.  He patted my shoulder and said..don’t be upset momma, it will be Okay.  Looking at him knowing nothing about this was okay, I smiled and said… let’s go get Daddy and some McDonald’s.

Learning To Survive

As my dreams faded into nothing I felt the adrenaline start to rush in as I jumped up ready to run. The room was quiet and I could hear the sounds of my family sleeping quietly next to me. I relaxed slightly and thought about the events of the past 24 hours.  It had ended with the front desk manager waiving the fee and requirement to have a credit card on file.  They did say my best friend could come in and put her card on.  When I said she lived in Colorado, not a problem just have her fax fifty different statements, copies, signatures, and the right to her unborn child and you are good to go. I do not know if he stopped the circle of “I might want to charge something to my room” when my son walked up or not.  Either way I do appreciate him taking the chance I might be telling the truth.

We spent three nights at The Double Tree.  A move to a different room because the heat did not work got us free internet for our stay. The internet is a necessary luxury to have when you have no one on the outside that has your back.  Everything that we owned and needed to sell was tied up with someone that was becoming crazier each hour.  We did manage to have two car loads of things at the end of the three days.  I do not think anyone understands the “check in” and “check out” problem we were going to face during our little adventure.

I was starting to become a little more familiar with ways to book a hotel room online with no credit card.  Hotwire is now on my task bar permanently.  They take pay pal.  I cannot find anything to beat their lowest rate.  Of course nothing is free in life so you have to roll the dice sometimes and hope you are right.  I know Scottsdale pretty well, so when Hotwire offered rooms for 29 in North Scottsdale, I thought I would take a chance we probably would not catch VD from the room.  I did get to find out what happens when you say that scary word “homeless” to a stuck up front desk clerk in Fountain Hills, AZ….

One Thousand Words Not Spoken

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A boy and his best friend...waiting...

A boy and his best friend…Waiting as the storm of ignorance, lies, and pride comes screaming towards him, making him invisible and then non-existent…

Spun2013: The Beginning…

Two weeks ago the word homeless had never even crossed my mind. On the streets, living rough, dispossessed, destitute, without a roof over your head, down and out.  No matter how you say it, there is a stigma attached.  These are the people who wake up to an empty bottle of Old English800 malt liquor and ask you for a dollar. They are the one’s who shot up the last of their heroin last night. Their thoughts flooded with the sicknesses they will feel if they cannot find some more soon.

When I see someone on the streets I always think about the idea that they did not start out under the bridge.  I give them my dollar, and if they want to buy crack and not an orange I have no problem with that.  The dollar I give has no strings attached. I may not know how they got there, but I am starting to understand how the world looks at you differently when you get here.  Suddenly we are” those people”.   Those people just went through some shit so fast and crazy it has become impossible to explain.

If anyone in my family actually stopped to give someone a quarter, it would be with a lecture.  Do not buy crack dear, you put yourself here so you need to get yourself out.  Never mind dear, I am taking back my quarter, you need to help yourself.  Do I get the quarter after that?  Bad luck, stupid decisions, God’s humor, and whatever good old Karma has in store can hit you at once.  You are spun into a different world before you realize anything happened.  Would you be able to survive?  Maybe even thrive?  This is an ongoing story that started two weeks ago.  I have no idea how or when it will end.  Sitting here in a hotel room in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband, son and two dogs on the first day of 2013 is not something to write about.   How we got” here”, and what happens while we navigate through it just might be.

The day of our great escape I sat at a McDonald’s with my son watching a video on YouTube with my lap top.  My husband had gone back to get our two dogs, I was not about to go back into that hell.   The events of the last 24 hours had been so intense I felt like I was on the run from something I could not see.   We had no money, no bank account, no credit card and no plan. I just found out my parents were on a “you need to help yourself” kick.  I had not spoken to them in a year and told them I would only ask for something if it was for my son.  The few frantic messages I left three people at 9am were returned in an email with the encouraging words of “you have a real mess going on there, you need to help yourself”. Really??, you cannot call? My father, who used to freak out if I did not answer the phone before it went to voice mail, was now sending me an email at 4pm. He had no idea what we had just gone through. Come to find out it would not have made a difference.

I was aware of the “sorry no help for you” that my parents created was probably going to include a few more people in my family, so I called my best friend.  All she said is where are you? I told her Scottsdale Rd.  After a few clicks of her mouse in Colorado, she had booked us into the Hilton Double Tree Paradise Valley.  That is a friend that knows nothing except you just went through some shit.  That is has spun you so far, you need something better than a motel six to land on. I will always appreciate those first few nights.  It showed me my son did not have to lose his dogs to a rescue and go stay with my sister. His Idiot parents did not have to climb back up from the lowest place they could be shoved into. The half way house would have to wait.  It was a week before Christmas and I thought that plan was insane.  I had no idea the insanity would spread so far and so fast that it would change our entire lives.

Walking into the Doubletree I had a fleeting thought about the no credit card situation I was currently in.  I thought, this is a messed up situation, they should understand what happened.  I mean,   I am the mother of the twelve-year-old boy whose life has been turned upside down and spun around so much; he will never be the same.   Is that not what the programs on the Hallmark Channel are made from?  I am starting to think my life might be on a different channel than Hallmark.  Maybe more like Showtime or Comedy Central.

I tell the front desk my name.  The room is paid for, but they are still going to need a credit card for “incidentals”.  I tell her I do not have one.  I wait for that to click in her pretty little head, we are in Scottsdale after all. She says no problem, we can also take twenty-five in cash.  While that is considerably cheap, that is also an issue for me at the moment.  She cannot wave that fee, however the manager has that power, he will be back after his “lunch” at 6:30pm.  Would I like a warm chocolate chip cookie and a fresh bottle of water while I wait?