I thought I’d share a bit about something I tweeted to Michael Gungor. I realize that some of my friends may check me out on there. Knowing that my story has some dark parts to it, they may read into what I said. Sometimes I can field questions about this easily. Sometimes I just give a knee-jerk reaction, or brush it off. Partly because a lot can happen between my online writing & the next time you see me. So I thought I’d take a moment to really share about it.
First let me open making sure all of you are on the same page. Michael Gungor tweeted:
Not a great night of sleep. Probably ought to change out of my suit next time I sleep in my car..
to which I responded: [@bought_as_is] don't know bout that one [suit part]. avoid the drivers seat. I hated that. no choice at the time, but hated it.
For some reason I thought about this today. A lot. Wondering if someone would think that I had been homeless for a time. Or that I ran away when I was young. At the very least wondering what age I was when I did this.
This isn’t a sad story. Or part of that. This is one small story in the first community I was in outside of my family. [That is: Mom & Dad, & “The Nolls”, etc.] They/we were called YAF Fishnet. I don’t know how many times Fishnet went to Wyoming for a “summer camp”. I know I didn’t go along every time. I did go twice. I also don’t remember the two times separately anymore. It plays in my mind as if it was one trip, somehow. Except for maybe the discrepancies within them. So, I wasn’t really made to sleep in the drivers seat of the van. I just knew [have always felt] that I can handle un-comfortable situations more than some can. I don’t mean this to sound: tough/poor me/ no one loves me, or anything. I guess I just feel like: as long as I’m not being shot, set on fire, cut up, or beaten it can’t be that bad, really. I’ll live. [whether I like it or not is up to me] So I volunteered to sleep there. Mostly because SOMEONE would have to. Now you cannot recline in most rental vans really well. [this was a rental] So I woke up kind of “out of sorts”. Stiff. I joked about it. I remember hoping I wouldn’t have to explain to a cop why it was that a 15 or 16 year old kid was sleeping in the drivers seat of an “out of state” rental van, at a rest stop on the interstate. Thankfully, I didn’t have to. I also remember feeling very awkward when we drove a little down the road to a Hardee’s. We got to use their rest room, to clean up for the day. You cannot imagine the looks you get when you go into the rest room. Proceed to try to wet your hair into some fashion that no longer resembles “the mad scientist” look, then wash your “pits” [you haven’t LIVED till you dry your armpits with rest room paper towels.] & then brush your teeth there. To make matters worse, I have always looked younger than I actually am. [a trait I have generously received from my Dad. He looks about 5 years older than me, no, seriously. It’s funny…& it’s not so much.] So I actually AM about 15 or 16…but don’t look a day over, what 8? 9? MAYBE 10? [why is it: “you don’t look a day over___”? Why a day? Why not 14 hours & 7 min.? just curious.] Now that you have hopefully laughed at least a little. …I gotta say I thought a bit about how it might feel to be homeless. NOT that this little moment would really give me much of an understanding, mind you. You don’t know what any negative experience is like, until you’ve lived it long enough to want to turn it off or change the channel. Only to realize… that you can’t, because you’re not ON TV. People look at you differently. Or try not to look at you. You can imagine the looks our leader got. Being seen as “the Dad” for us, by some. There was an unspoken look at times of: “can’t take care of all these kids? You should be ashamed.” He took it in stride. Looking back, the hardest part of dealing with us was after U2’s The Joshua Tree came out. 2 ½ to 3 days of the whole …tape on repeat. Poor John [aka: “Yanni” Don’t ask…no, seriously, don’t ask] Between my buddy Scott & I we bought, what? 4 copies of it the year it came out. Stupid hungry tape deck. [for my high school friends who remember… That was Scott also called “Spot, the finely groomed mutt” I still miss his drawings. And his/our “lingo”. Freshie. Stylin’. No race. Sexy chick. Konnichiwa. Yes I loved having our own little language. And I do know that Konnichiwa is Japanese. Which I had with several of my friends. You know who you are. And I have the surveillance recordings. Safely tucked away in a vault in the side of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. You can only get there by helicopter, in the summer months. I could go on, I won’t.]
Sorry this is a rather silly post. I do like making people laugh. However, please do not come up to me & say: “be funny”. Because…well… that’s not funny. Also, I’m not a vending machine.
There is something serious in there, somewhere.
I’ve only ever had a feeling similar [to the homeless feeling] when I went to see Gimme Shelter. I went by myself. Due largely to the circumstances around the evening. As well as some of the subject matter in the film. Sometimes it’s just better to go to a film by myself. So no one tries to “comfort” me while I watch it. I still have certain times when touching me doesn’t “translate” like you might wish for it to. I’m not one for soft touches, anyway. Gives. Me. The. Creeps. It was a bit tough & “reminiscent” for me to watch the abuse scenes. These I can watch & remember my own at the same time. If someone was with me, they might have wanted to comfort me during those. When I remember these times… someone touching me is like putting your lips to my ears & screaming as loud as you can. I’m just…”on”. [you might better understand it as feeling very “bring it”] Anyway, I saw this with only two other people in the theater. As I watched it I became self conscious. The main character is in a gray hoodie. I wasn’t quite back to health yet so I had worn one in. I was fine for the hour I sat in the theater before the movie started. Ravenously reading Purpose for the Pain by Renee Yohe. And remembering meeting her the night before. [I think it was during this. That I realized that she was the first person, outside of my family, that has hugged me & I didn’t “jump” or defend myself from it without thinking.] I forgot about my “unknown companions” in the theater during much of the film, till the end. Then I’m wondering what they think. Do they think I’m like her? Alone with no one to care about me. [I have felt that way at times.] Part of me wanted to tell them that though I’m alone tonight, I really do have people in my life. My own “twloha” community. Who, if I called, would ask roughly 3 questions: Where are you? Maybe, how do I get there? What do you need? How can I help? And then give an “ETA” so I know when to look for them/ how long I have to wait for their arrival. It’s nice to know I have a lot of people who will be with me. No matter what I have to live through. Family. Families. It’s nice to be chosen…rather than tolerated.
take care. Hopefully you are thinking of your "people". The one's who will drop everything & come running if you need someone. The one's you have "inside jokes" with that no one else would understand. Those people are the best.
May His grace drip from your fingers,