06 January 2024

If you follow me on Facebook, you are aware of what’s been going on. If you don’t, you mostly aren’t. I may fill in the in-between dates here with my Facebook posts as a source at some point, but it’s not terribly likely unless I get more organized with my time.

I did end up leaving a different note to Elizabeth than I posted in the previous post. Either I have just edited it or I will when I both have the time and think of doing it. Hopefully I’ll notice this paragraph and just get it done. I like to keep records of some things.

Long story short (but this is still a long post — if you don’t like reading, you can fuck off right now):

–I couldn’t drum up the other $500 for the month of December. By the time Elizabeth came around asking on the 16th, I didn’t even have a week’s worth. She made zero effort to meet me halfway on maybe prorating some days. She didn’t have to, either, but the point is she didn’t. It went immediately to “get out.” I suppose I should count my lucky stars she gave me any time to pack at all. As it was, she was her usual flaky, capricious self and went from “get out by midnight” to “get out by 9pm.” And the “family” who wasn’t going to be able to move in until after the end of January were suddenly available, and apparently it was her daughters. I don’t know how many daughters this woman has but if one of them’s the one who vacated the place six months before I moved in, this stinks all kinds of ways.

–The eviction didn’t bother me quite so much — and here I must inform or remind everyone reading this that I did complete the original lease; this was an eviction from a post-lease informal month-to-month arrangement that was supposed to last until the end of January (this month) — as what else she said as this was happening. Apparently she has expended a great deal of energy doing… something… to do with me, and she was tired of it. I do not know what this was supposed to mean. We had a talk on 3 December about the general direction of my life and she asked me to come up with some sort of game plan consisting of three specific goals for the near future and then watch some Brené Brown video on YouTube within ten days. I completed the first part of that but not the second and I heard not a peep out of her after I completed the three to-do tasks and informed her of same. Whatever energy she thought she was spending, I heard nothing about it.

This is a familiar theme, though. People tend to work up some kind of problem with me in their own heads and by the time I hear about it, they’ve long gotten fed up with their own version of events and I’m not only supposed to be aware of it but also be properly sorry for it. Meanwhile, if I have a specific grievance that any reasonable person would have about someone’s specific behavior that has actually happened, I have unreasonable standards and I should not be upset since, after all, the offender can’t read minds. That coupled with once again being proven right when I was suspicious of a woman being just a little bit too friendly and familiar from day one has left me relieved the eviction process wasn’t more acrimonious.

Yet. Still half holding my breath in case she really goes looney-tunes. I did complete the original lease, though, and I paid for the half-month I had before she kicked me out and I have the receipts for all those money orders so the most she can come after is the electric bill, and she never gave me that. No email, no photocopy, no nothing, and no proof that she had even tried to convey it to me. Good luck with that one.

(I wouldn’t have a problem with the idea of paying it, but she kept putting off giving it to me until the debt would have been prohibitive even when I was working at Quantum and it might as well be on the moon now. It couldn’t have been that important or she’d have taken that hundred-mile walk across the driveway to pass it to me. That’s her problem now, or she can cry to my credit report. I don’t care anymore.)

— All that aside. So, I rented a storage locker which, ironically, was walking distance from where I had lived with Thea in Clintonville (the U-Haul over on Sinclair, just north of Morse and the I-71 Morse/Sinclair offramp) and got enough of my stuff into it that I could sleep in my car. I exited the apartment between 7pm and 8pm with a deadline of 9pm. I slept at my usual rest areas for the next few nights because even if I’d had money, InTown Suites (my previous housing solution before going homeless) was not taking any check-ins for the rest of December. None of their three locations. Not even when you’d think they’d have had an operational front desk. No idea why.

— Right when it was getting cold, my car decides to have trouble starting. At the rest area. Pretty much in the boonies if you don’t count Galena and Sunbury. (I kind of don’t.)

Praise everything praiseworthy: roadside assistance was not a pain in the ass this time. But that did not stop me panicking. I finally caved in and unblocked Carrie and Doug and told them what was going on.

— This precipitated, the next day, an hour-long conversation with Doug after an hour-long conversation he had with Dad in which Dad invited me to come back and stay with him. There are conditions. I don’t know how quickly I’ll meet them but I’m happy to. I knew this was my one shot at getting decisively out of this mess and I’d be a moron not to take it. I still spent the day weepy because I didn’t fucking want to go. I had made a sort of fucked-up home in the Columbus area over twenty fucking years and I hate leaving what I know and love. And there are no real memories of my daughter anywhere else. (I can look out the front door now and show you the mobile home where she took her first steps in 2006, but that’s all.) But you do what you need to do. So I put on my big-girl britches and got one last sushi lunch at Tensuke, one more bubble tea at Kung Fu Tea, and one more car picnic at Whetstone Park (lower level), where the view wasn’t even good because if you’re a sap you’d argue the sky was empathizing with me.

I was also promised $1000 in aid money, which Dad and Carrie sent to me through Walmart the next day. (The way Dad couched it, it was two years’ worth of Christmas money which, yes, he’d been in the occasional habit of sending Doug and me $500 each per year around the holidays, and I’d missed 2022 and almost 2023.) Got the oil changed. Ordered a palm-sized USB-charging jump starter via Amazon to pick up at the Amazon locker at Whole Foods in Dublin. Sold some more media (twenty bucks for, among other things, a complete Game of Thrones box set and a book that hasn’t been published since the 1980s and is a collector’s item now AND I got checked out by a man who pretends to be a woman — fuck you too, you won’t be missed), donated some stuff to Goodwill, emptied the storage locker. Strongly considered getting the starting problem looked at but it didn’t seem to be predictable and Advance Auto Parts informed me that the battery, starter, and alternator were still all good, and the amount of moving personal property around I’d have had to do to earn back what I’d have had to spend on a repair would have been ridiculous and exhausting. I decided to go all in and just make the trip. I left Ohio between 6pm and 7pm on the nineteenth of December.

It was a much less eventful trip than the one to Ohio in 2022 or even the one to Louisiana from Ohio before that in 2021. All that delivery-driving has made me a much more confident driver, and I wasn’t quite as much in a hurry because Reba invited me to stay with her halfway through my trip. I also got to avoid the Atchafalaya Basin bridge, which made me very happy.

I still don’t want to be here. I’m happy enough to see people but I don’t belong here any more than I felt welcome in a place that took two decades of my life. I will feel even less like I belong here when the hot weather gets here. Even worse when, not if, Dad dies — the only question is when that will happen. I honestly do not know what’s going to fucking happen afterwards and it’s freaking me out more than a little.

There has been some talk on Doug’s end about moving me and Dad out to Oregon to live with him. I don’t really want to be there either — even if Dad wanted to go, and I’ll tell you right now, he won’t. For my part, I hate Oregon what with all the bullshit happening in Portland, I don’t want to live in the west at all, and I am extremely worried that things would go well for like six months with Doug and then go straight to hell again. I know exactly two other people in the entire state of Oregon (unless some of my Facebook friends are also there) and they’d as soon shoot me as help me or even associate with me again. And at least one of them is terrified of guns, so that’s saying something. No bueno.

But Aunt Emily seems unusually interested in reviving connections between herself and Dad and me. She invited us over for a holiday-season shin-dig at her place and came over today with pie and stayed for over an hour and a nice chat. The other day, Aunt Matilda was here. I may have pissed her off talking about Dad’s drinking in the past, but maybe we can reach some sort of détenté now. And now she is talking about selling her car and seems to be open to selling it to me. And both of them have made a point of mentioning what a good artist they think I am. I feel like there is some possibility there. Like maybe I don’t have to feel like an isolated freak so much anymore.

It probably won’t last — if nothing else, life happens and I’m easy to forget — but it’s nice to think about.

Meanwhile I’m still trying to puzzle out the car situation. I at least can put off worrying about the car insurance, since now the payment’s due in early February instead of the 18th of this month. It’s a mixed blessing. Toggle (which is part of Farmers) doesn’t cover anyone in Louisiana at all, so I had to go with a different insurer. Progressive refuses to insure my make and model due to high theft risk. (Have they SEEN Acadia Parish? Nothing fucking happens here and if someone tried to steal my car, like as not their fucking cousin lives two trailers down and would recognize them on the spot.) Two others also didn’t want to insure me and wouldn’t say why and another one was way too expensive. For baseline liability. GEICO it was, so it’s more expensive AGAIN than Toggle was after I’d moved to Dublin. GEICO is Matt’s old carrier and I used to be on his policy and GEICO never forgot, so I got to find out he owns a Honda CRV now and, given it’s a 2009, I’m guessing that’s Thea’s. Spending money was always the one thing Matt was willing to do. At least in this way it works in my daughter’s favor. Wish my parents had wanted me to have wheels. My life would have turned out so much better. Now that I’ve way digressed, I’ve been too chickenshit on account of the potential expense to pursue actual car repairs. I need to get over myself. I am not sure I’ll get things registered on time either. I’ll be cutting it close with my driver’s license as it is.

I’ve put in one job application so far with Major Retailer. I probably will not get it. I have other possibilities though. I will get onto those Monday when I go back to the OMV about my license — assuming I can, assuming I have the right kind of proof of residence. I will probably be rained on again. I will just have to deal. But Carrie’s super helpful about letting me use her internet connection, so that’s where I’ll job-hunt.

I’ve even worked out a way to start back up with my Substack and other blogging and also my Etsy listings. I’ll just write things up and save them as text files and then add them in when I can connect. Someone is actually a paid subscriber to my Substack again and I feel bad there’s been nothing new for her to read. What I’ll probably do in that case is write a bunch of pieces and schedule them one by one. I don’t have to schedule anything here. I will just date these things and time-stamp them a minute before midnight. Easy enough.

I can’t believe I have less than a week left in my forties. Whose fucking idea was this? Not mine.

Okay. Sleep now.