15 May 2024

Busy busy day.

Carrie nixed the morning ticket because she doesn’t get back from visiting Corey’s until 6pm-ish. She is fully aware we’re pretty much going to be turning around and going right back out the door, and is fine with that. So, good thing I didn’t buy the tickets yet. I’m making a lot of good calls lately. I can’t decide if those are offsetting my insanity in picking up and going to California, but I don’t really want an answer to that question yet.

Went with Carrie to her appointment, and Brenda went along (she seems better). Carrie watched her true crime and I fucked off on my phone. Nice to do it without Silently Judging sitting next to me like sitting and glaring at the waiting room would have been the superior course of action.

After that, we went to the post office on Bertrand. Bless their hearts, I went into the place four times with packages stacked on my little wheelie cart. There were two clerks at the counter and each got two runs. The only real hitch was that the two so-called “large flat rate” boxes I got from the Iota post office… were not flat-rate. So one of them cost me seventy bucks. There were a few others I could have wished were cheaper, but nothing catastrophic. I was hoping for a $300 run, I gave myself a mental cushion to $500 because I’d made $2000 off the car and could allow for it, and I think I got to $570ish? I can’t remember. Definitely over five hundred. When you consider it would have cost me more than $1800 to rent the smallest U-Haul truck because they don’t let you take their vans out of town, I got off light. The boxes (and one big envelope — and that was surprisingly cheap) are all numbered and I’ve listed them. We’ll see what comes in when I get to Crescent City. The only additional snag I might have to worry about besides something not getting to its destination is if it stresses L out, especially if there’s something she can’t quite lift. I hope not. I am not going to disturb that ant’s nest. I have bugged her enough and we will just have to wait and see. But mad props to the Bertrand post office in Lafayette for their professionalism. The woman in particular was very kind. I’m so tired of random idiots ragging on the USPS. I still feel the good far outweighs the bad.

(If you ever have to ship fifteen boxes — actually fourteen boxes and one big envelope — do what I did and use a little wheelie cart like you use for luggage, and then go in with a few boxes at a time and go to the end of the line every new time you walk in. It dilutes the work for the poor sod behind the counter to something more manageable and you don’t hog the line. Did not hear one grumble behind me the whole time I was there.)

After the post office we went to Sonic and got gigantic drinks because by then we were all dried out. Carrie also got fried cheese sticks. I have been very good the past few weeks, but I could eat three cheese sticks and not have a huge problem. So I did. Never had the Sonic ones. The seasoning they use is just [chef’s kiss]. I need to figure out a keto version that I can like. I have always had problems with using cheese sticks in frying and baking. The cheese wants to melt into everything. How do you do this. HOW.

While all this is going on, we’re all gabbing in the SUV. More stuff about my dad. The fact of his not driving came up in conversation and I mentioned what he’d told me, that he couldn’t mentally focus well anymore and that was why he’d given up his license. Guess what. From what Carrie understands, the man has had at least one DWI. She told me that in the last little while that he was still driving, she got in the car with him and noticed he had to breathe into something to start the car. She queried him about it — Carrie doesn’t have much of a filter — and he said something about having stopped at a bar on the way home from work and the cops had pulled him over as soon as he started driving again. Couched it like it was some kind of trap. I pointed out that they have to breathalyze you to bust you for DWI. They can’t just assume. People drive home from the fucking bars all the fucking time without having to get breathalyzed to start a fucking car. But, y’know, he lies. She knows he lies. She said as much. I want to say she mentioned him having had an accident at some point too, but don’t quote me on that. I did share with her about the time I was a teenager and Reba was going through her abuse recovery shit and suddenly felt the overwhelming need to talk with her sister about it, so nothing would do but that we alllllll had to go to where Linda lived, and we were in the Memphis area at the time and I want to say Linda was in St. Louis. Worst-case, Chicago. Anyway this was at night and we were bopping along up Interstate 55 with Dad steadily drinking and Reba not sober herself and bottles of various alcoholic beverages rolling around at my feet. Here comes a cop and pulls Dad over. He chatted with Dad a bit and probably noticed his breath and demeanor and suggested, “Mr. Seilhan, how about you let your wife drive.” And THAT WASN’T ANY BETTER, but I suspect the main reason he didn’t just bring Dad up on charges right there was he noticed us kids in the back seat and didn’t want to scare the shit out of us or get social services involved. That’s my theory. Dude’s probably long dead by now (he was middle-aged then) and I can’t prove anything. I could tell this was the first Carrie had heard of this incident, but it is testimony to how badly Dad has fucked everything up that she wasn’t surprised, either.

But everyone else’s gonna tell themselves I left because I’m lazy. Sure, Jan.

Then we stopped at Walmart on the way back. Carrie got gas and I got some more Atkins shakes (I have been living on those things, with varying degrees of whatever, for the past couple weeks) and a twelve-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper because I’ve been drinking up Carrie’s. I tried to use up the last of my gift cards but I just happened to wind up at a checkout that had a faulty hand-scanner. Well, I need to check my balances. Could be I used it all up already and didn’t know. I did have some balance, but not as much as I’d expected.

Carrie stopped at some random house in the Iota area after that and dropped off $20 because a former student of hers lives there and just graduated high school. It is this particular class and she got particularly attached to them and so she’s been giving each of the students $20 for a bit now as graduation gifts. And that is just the sort of person she is.

She got us all back to the house and I checked the mail and my carry-on bag’s here. It’ll do. I could wish for it to be slightly larger but it has a shoulder strap which will probably function as a cross-body, and it’s small enough I should be able to handle it easily.

Corey came over when he was done with his whatever, we exchanged greetings and hugs (damn, I don’t think I have seen him since he was in grade school and now he’s a husband and father???), and he and Carrie took off. Carrie told me before she left to call Brenda if I needed anything and texted me Brenda’s number. Brenda for her part looked in on me and reminded me to let her know if I needed anything. I think we’ve got that much sorted.

After they were gone, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the tickets. I am wowed by the technological advances in taking bus transit. I have both tickets on my phone AND in my email inbox and it’s basically scan the barcode the whole way, every time I change buses.

And now we wait. I feel a bit of a fanny staying here this many days waiting for Sunday, but if I use the time wisely then I can prepare properly. I don’t know if I will get all the prep done well, BUT, I’ll get some of it. I feel fairly confident about that. If I have to leave a few things here, oh fucking well. I’ll make sure they’re absolutely replaceable. Someone will find a use for them. Fair trade for the checked bag and wallet, I think.

14 May 2024

Late last night I got a notice from Carvana that the payment process was complete. I couldn’t tell from my end when I logged into Chime. Old Me from three years ago might have been furious and panicky. Current Me thought, Well, clearly some signal has not come all the way through yet. Let’s sleep on it.

Good call. The deposit was in this morning.

Tanked up on a couple cups of coffee, then cooked breakfast and while I was doing that, Doug called. It was nice for once to not practically put my head through the window or have to sit outside in the humidity just to continue the conversation. Also, now that I have more of a clue about speakerphone, juggling manual tasks and a phone call is SO much easier. The upshot of the call was:

– My niece should be in baseball (fuck softball)

– Doug and I have both more or less given up on Dad. Even if he were to come around — about anything, really — neither of us would trust it

– Breakthrough. Just about everyone in my life wants to ignore what I write and come ask me the same fucking questions I already answered. The lightbulb has finally gone on for Doug and he realizes it’s there if he wants answers. I don’t know who got a hold of my brother, but I like what’s going on so far. Could they tackle everyone else who knows me, too? That would be fucking fantastic.

It isn’t that I don’t want conversation, it’s the deliberately pretending that I don’t choose that avenue of expression and basically having the position that my words don’t matter unless they get to control how I share those words. Man, just quit doing that. It’s never going to work and it wastes time.

So maybe there’s some hope there. Good timing, I suppose.

He’s heard from Thea again and Thea is pulling this shit of “don’t tell my mom we’re talking.” Doug told her that of course he’s going to let me know how she’s doing, and she just sort of accepted that. I told Doug flat out that I was glad she was doing well but that she acts like this and I haven’t hurt her at all, that my worst offense is not going along with the gender stuff. I opined that it’s probably the anxiety. He agreed that she definitely seems like a super anxious person. But he has also told her that he always has space for her if she ever needs a place to go. WHERE ARE THE ALIENS AND WHAT DID THEY DO TO MY BROTHER

I’d like to get to the point I can offer her that too, but it’s nice to know someone in the family cares.

I had hoped to get at least half my stuff mailed today but apparently L is really super busy. As much as I hated Matt for always dicking me around when I needed to talk with him about things — and at least part of the time, he was dicking me around — I suppose in a weird roundabout way it also taught me patience. The reason I needed to hear from L was I needed her mailing address. Can’t leave til I’ve shipped my stuff. Will not count on anyone else to do it. Lesson fucking learned. Sad part is I honestly think Carrie would have mailed things for me if I had promised to send her the postage and then followed through. But I’d rather not find out and I’m imposing on her enough already. Anyway, toward the afternoon, L and I finally connected. I have to mail the stuff tomorrow, but I know where it’s going. It is in Carrie’s SUV with my luggage-wheelie-cartlike thingie ready to go.

(Want to hear something sad? I used to be a lot more patient. I don’t know what happened. If this is a trend in a better direction, I will endeavor to keep it going. I don’t like me being impatient. It leads nowhere good.)

I did find out something interesting though! There are actually two stops in Lafayette where people can depart on buses. One of them is right north of I-10 at a truck stop. The arrival time in Medford is exactly the same, BUT, that one departs at ten-something in the morning. I wouldn’t be dragging Carrie downtown after sunset. COOL. I will run it by her and then get the damn ticket before it gets crazy high. They will go up to about $500 if you wait too long. If she nopes the morning bus, the evening bus is still an option and then she’s the one who said go in the evening and I’ll feel a lot better about it.

But in the meantime, as I have this additional time, I have run into an interesting quandary. The baggage size limits on Greyhound are stupid. They are actually smaller than for the airlines. I wouldn’t care because I don’t have a huge amount to travel with, but my laptop is half an inch too wide for the carryon, which must be 16″ on its largest dimension. That’s not going to work.

But I have this external hard drive, see. I could move all my shit over to it because hey, it’s got a lot of room, and then I could keep the external drive with me, and I could put the laptop into its carry bag which is really slimline, and then chuck that whole thing into the checked bag. Wrapped in my Sophie blanket, probably. I would be the one putting it on the bus; I don’t think they put any of that shit through x-ray machines. If they do now and they ask, I’ll just tell them the truth. Whatever they “recommend,” I’ve got to pass muster with luggage size. That’s THEIR fault. I don’t acquire my fucking computers based on whether they will fit on a fucking bus. I don’t know anyone who does. Anyway, I’ll use a luggage lock. I had to order a carryon bag from Amazon and I went ahead and got a lock for the checked bag while I was at it. Don’t need to lock the carryon. Though my iPad will be in it. I can’t let both computers out of my sight.

(Isn’t that pathetic? Homeless, mostly broke — that two grand has already been whittled down to Just Under Two Grand — and owns two computers! I wouldn’t be able to get jack shit out of them if I sold them. I wish well-to-do people understood how much the secondary market fucks the poor. Pawn shops are only one part of the problem. I once sold a pair of 14k gold earrings set with amethysts, diamonds, and emeralds to a JEWELRY STORE, not a pawn shop, and made $25. In I think 2000? My god. It immediately went to gas in my car. I miss those earrings.)

Point is, if I really bore down on it, it’d take me a few days to accomplish the file transfer. Good thing I’ve got time to kill.

Okay, I want to take a shower in the morning. Doesn’t mean I will, but I want to, so I should go to bed. I’m running out of steam anyway. ‘Night.

13 May 2024

Got up, showered, found that Brenda had arrived. “Hope I didn’t wake you.” I had thought I’d heard Stanford, but maybe it was her. Wasn’t a big deal, I hadn’t stayed awake for long, so I said no.

Went to Jennings and dropped off the rest of my donations, including the backpack. Observed that they’re open from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays. Oh well. Despite me dragging a little (considering my sleep had been fairly good), I had gotten off to a pretty good start timewise, so no great loss. Went on to Murphy’s and got gas for Car-car (my stupid nickname for the Sonata) for the last time. Just ten bucks because I’m not giving Carvana my fucking gas money.

Went back to Carrie’s and after a bit, she and Brenda climbed into Carrie’s SUV and we all hauled outta there. I had put the car paperwork on the passenger seat when prepping to go to Goodwill, so I had everything. Gasp.

The rep helping me out at Carvana had her just-older-than-newborn baby with her and was pleasant and helpful. Got to see cute baby and also not be dicked around. That was nice. The only slight hitch was she couldn’t scan the barcode under the VIN in the doorframe, but you can get around that by typing it in. And… I’m getting the full $2000. Apparently. She said to give it one to two business days.

I have felt naked and vulnerable all day since. It’s weird knowing I have to ask for rides now. That was so much of my life and I never wanted to be back here again.

We went to Carrie’s sister’s after Carvana because the sister is either in north Broussard or south Lafayette and I think it’s the former. And wasn’t that an enlightening conversation because apparently the sister knows Dad too? And finally it came out because both Carrie and her sister are of the opinion that Dad went to Montana because Carrie got married. It was one of those lightning “I KNEW IT” moments. Carrie talked a little more about it than she had previously. Apparently, at one time, Dad had gotten to the point of trying to control where Carrie could go and what she could do. This was a complaint I heard from Reba at least a couple times, and I bet if I asked Mom I would hear the same thing. Hell, just the other day he was trying to tell me how I was supposed to angle my room fan. Dude, let people fuck up once in a while. Or, don’t just assume they are fucking up, because we don’t all do things the same way. Some questions have definite answers, some don’t.

The sister (I’m sorry I can’t remember her name) feels Dad just wants to be alone to drink himself to death, which is interesting because I’m not sure she ever actually spent that much time around him. But that’s also a thing I hear from multiple people. Will anyone do anything about it? I have mixed feelings about that too. My first impulse is “fuck no, someone intervene so we can fix him,” but no one’s ever figured out how to fix an addict. When they get fixed, they decide they want it for themselves. If you could change a person’s mind, like literally alter their brain, wouldn’t that violate their rights somehow? I don’t know what the right answer is here. I suppose it depends on why he’s an alcoholic. I don’t think even he could honestly answer that question at this point.

Oh and guess what? I’ve been grumbly for a while because he sold his nice old trailer to Rafael? He didn’t sell his trailer to Rafael. He gave it away to him. Signed it away. For free. We’ve been living in that shitbox because he gave away a multi-thousand-dollar home because he didn’t want to watch his best friend be married to someone else.

Right but I make all the shitty decisions in life

And he fucking lied. I’m 99.9 percent positive he told me he SOLD it to Rafael.

And from what Carrie says, he wasn’t taking care of it anyway. The ceiling in the master bath was falling in — that lovely master bath with the Jacuzzi tub — and he wasn’t doing shit about it. That put me in mind of the mushy floor in the master-bathroom shower and the way a tree fell on the other end of the trailer during Hurricane Rita and you could see the water damage through the hallway wall — the plastic wall covering was rippling. I don’t get how someone becomes a Navy senior chief and then does not take care of things, and at that point he still sort of could — if nothing else, he could hire it done. Nada. Fucking… He’d have a decent place to live now. I do not understand that man.

Came back here, got to talking about luggage and Carrie’s got some pieces she doesn’t use and it turned out Stanford had some extra stuff too. So right now it looks like I have the checkable suitcase, which rolls, thank you very much, and also a wallet because I wanted a leather one that zips around and Stanford had bought one that he ended up not liking. I am not sure about the bag they suggested for carryon. Reason: I want to keep my document pouch on my person. We’ll work that out. I still have that gift-card stuff to spend (I am not sure I can take it out of state, so why chance it) and sixty in cash. One bag in the dimensions Greyhound allows won’t be a big deal.

Have been disgruntled because I had hoped that Chime would deposit the Carvana money early, but no such luck. Carvana has told me this evening that they completed the payment process from their end. So it’s tenterhooks time. I need to notify the OMV (Office of Motor Vehicles — Louisiana’s name for it) that I sold the car and I’m a little afraid they will want me to pay them something. As it is, I owe GEICO thirtysomething bucks, prorated for this month. If OMV doesn’t fuck me, that’ll be okay. I just want to get this shit SORTED. The OMV’s tab is staying up on my browser until that money comes through.

Have looked over possibilities for travel AGAIN… like, given where all the stops are, why do I have to go to Medford? I have tried starting in Lafe. and stopping in Sacramento and getting on a different bus to Crescent City and that option’s not available, not even through FlixBus, which does the last leg of my trip to Medford. Make it make fucking sense. So I had best leave it the way it is.

It is looking like I really have to leave here at the evening departure, though, which seems to usually be around 9:15. It’s the only way I will make the transfer to the Crescent City bus in anything like a reasonable amount of time. And if I wait til the day prior to get the tickets, they’ll be closer to $500 than to under $300. It may be that it’ll be as late as Saturday or Sunday before I can take off. Which I have already explained the situation to Carrie, and she’s fine with that. She gets back from Corey’s on Friday afternoon anyway.

But it’s fret fret fret in the meantime. I WANT MY MONEY

I miss my car.

I don’t miss the bills associated with said car, though. Because that’s the other thing that would have sunk me.

Okay. I had to rip this out of myself and you don’t want to know how long it took. Bedtime. Zzzzz.

12 May 2024

Dad did me the favor of taking a nap early enough that I was able to do what I told Carrie I would do in a text to her this morning and get over to her house by early afternoon. The most hair-raising bit was getting my stuff out to my car. The front door was squeaking, you see. I decided it was better for Dad to have to contend with a few flies than for me to have to contend with a big fight if he got up in the midst of my moving-out, and our usual practice with groceries had been to leave the door open until we’d gotten them all inside, so that’s what I did this time too. It helped that once I had the things out the door that screamed OBVIOUSLY MOVING OUT, what I had left was entirely reasonable: the trash bag I was taking out last thing. No problem. I left the note in the previous post on my bed with his housekey and mail key, and I beat feet.

Carrie had advised me that she was visiting her mother but that “you know what to do” — I’ve had a standing invitation to go over to her place whenever I need the internet, which meant using her hidden front door key to get in. She showed me where it was. I had maybe taken her up on it once ever because I feel weird going into people’s houses when they’re not home, but this was a special case. Turned out I didn’t need to unlock anything. Stanford was home and the door was open. He was a little surprised to see me but I explained the situation and then he seemed totally cool about it. I know for a fact he bitches about people behind their backs (I’ve seen/heard him at it) so I am not taking that at face value, but I also don’t plan on being here long enough for it to matter, so I played along.

Got the rest of my parcels in. Made sure everything I needed to donate was in the car. Set up the car paperwork left out where I will see it tomorrow when I go sell the car so that I don’t leave it behind, because that is exactly what I would fucking do and furthermore, I wouldn’t realize it until I’d passed Scott or something. Oh my fucking god.

Nasty storm after I got settled in — it was like it was just waiting for me to get here. Darkened sky, lots of thunder and drama and nonsense, rain blowing HORIZONTALLY and at one point we could not see the trees across the road. Got a little hail too.

Found a page on Greyhound’s site listing the size limits of carryon and checked luggage; found that Matt’s backpack is too large and nothing will make it not too large. Earmarked it to go to Goodwill in the morning. Mixed feelings about that. It’s a good backpack. It did come from Asshole, though. Probably better off rid.

Not sure if Stanford and Carrie are still sleeping in different rooms, meaning him down on my end, so am not showering tonight though, fuck, I fucking need it. This humidity has been fucking killing me; I’m not surprised it led to an almost literal shitstorm. But I mentioned Carrie’s central A/C, I think? It’s nice and comfy in here.

And there is a body pillow on the bed! I will wrap it in my Sophie blanket. That’ll be nice.

Goodbye Dad

Don’t get excited. When I left, he was fine. This is just what I left on my bed for him, with his keys.

And if anyone has any fucking questions, I photographed the fucking thing, too.

12 May 2024


Yes, I’m gone.

I wanted to wash the sheets before I went, but the situation didn’t seem to allow it. I did at least remake the bed [with the other set of sheets].

I also wanted to do that trash can swap for you, and then I thought about it. And then I got mad. I don’t want to keep doing and undoing and redoing pointless things for someone who turns around and calls me slow and stupid and doesn’t even like me.

Your words (“I don’t like you”). And no, that wasn’t the B&C [bourbon & Coke] talking. I don’t think I could ever believe you actually liked me. You just happened to say the quiet part out loud that one time.

And now we need to set a few things straight because there won’t be another chance.

I know and understand a lot more than I let on. Two reasons. One, you often get angry for irrational reasons. Two, everything I say you have got to get nasty about it. If I am just going to be told I’m stupid, there is no point. And the actually stupid part is, sometimes you are dead fucking wrong, and I find myself nodding along or yes-sir-ing or saying nothing because there is no point. You will not be persuaded.

I am not stupid. You hate my smarts. You cannot possibly come up with a good excuse for that. I did not force my brain to be like this. It’s like hating me for having two arms. You know, you are no dummy yourself. You need to find better uses for it than putting people down, or slowly poisoning it.

About the job thing: I am not leaving because you wanted me to work. That is an entirely reasonable request. I am leaving because you said “do something” and when I did, suddenly it was “no, not that something.” You literally wanted me to leave for having no job when I had a job. You didn’t say I had to make five hundred a week. When I was last here and said I couldn’t settle for low wages, you thought I got too big for my britches. Now I’m bad for making low pay. You know what? I don’t need this. I am under too much pressure already, and the people who should be in my corner want to take potshots at me. That is bullshit. I never did that to you and trust me, I could have. You gave me lots of material.

You lectured me about your post-Navy working life. Yeah, I had a job right after the Army, too. It lasted two years and then the Army made my husband move. The number of times I lost a job due to a man is not zero and is greater than one. I also had more responsibility for my children than you ever had for yours because women have to pay for someone to mind our kids. You were pretty much constantly employed. I was out of the workforce for 17 years. Do you really think I had the same chances in the job market as you? Based on what?

My situation is worse than you want to believe. I could make $50k a year for the next 17 years, which is how long I have, and it would not be enough. Maybe if I only lived to 70, but not otherwise. Your side of the family might only make it to 70 or so, but Mom’s tends to get into the high 80s.

And I can’t make $50k a year, so there’s that. I’d be lucky to crack $25k.

So, two things are true: (1) I need to retrain into something higher-paying. (2) It needs to be something a sick old lady can do, because I will not get to quit.

And don’t act like this is some special failing on my part. Lots of middle-aged women go through this. The only ones not suffering in this way are some degreed professionals (lots of them are broke too) and women living with a man. That is not “doing well.” That is walking a high wire without a net. These women don’t have money either. Their boyfriends and husbands do.

I should have been able, two years ago, to work through my grief and then figure out a game plan for my situation. Matt was sending me $600 a month. It was the perfect time. You just could not let go of your burning need to boss around the stupid person. You think you’re angry? You have no idea what I have been carrying around for fifty years. I had to burn through resources I should have conserved, like my car, because you got mad every time I looked at a screen. That was not “help,” Dad. That endangered me. If I were half as stupid as you think I am, I would be dead now.

As for your grandchildren, I only “lost” one of them, and you can thank my ex’s family for that one. Would you have helped me get a lawyer? No. I never lost custody of the other, because for once Matt didn’t do the asshole thing. Lazy, I guess. She was almost 17 anyway, which puts me well ahead of you when you ditched D.R. [my brother Doug] in 1992.

How much of your beef with me is just anger at yourself?

Probably a whole fucking lot.

I can’t help you. Only you can, and you won’t.

Enjoy your solitude again. Wear your Life Alert.


11 May 2024

Late last night or in the wee (ha ha) hours of this morning, I got up to pee and did my thing with the lights off except for the bathroom nightlight and as I was first lowering the raised seat to pee I thought, “Huh, someone had a hell of a shit… there’s a big skidmark in there.” Then, as I was flushing and starting to lower the lid, I realized the “skidmark” had a particular familiar shape. Oh hell no. Blinked on the light just a couple seconds and… it was a dead tree roach. And here’s the fucking mystery. Did that little shit (see what I did there) fall into the toilet and drown? Did Dad spray it and then drop it into the water? Inquiring minds don’t really want to know. I PEED ON A TREE ROACH, Y’ALL. That’s all that needs said.

This is likely the last full day I’ll be at Dad’s. Not trying to be dramatic (no, really), just giving a heads-up to the grand total of five fucking bots who ever read this. Anyway, I’m within sight of the goal. Given what’s going on around here, I probably won’t be able to do laundry before I walk out, but it would be weird if Carrie didn’t let me use her facilities if I asked. And I have a plan for making sure that pretty much everything gets done and that I won’t be left with dirty clothes in my laundry bag, now that I’ve had to trot that out again — I can travel with some clothes dirty like that, but I really wouldn’t want to.

I have an appointment with Carvana in Broussard (Lake Charles was not even an option) on Monday at 1pm. Had I thought things through a little bit better, I might have gone later in the day, but it is just as well because I-10’s traffic between Lafayette and about… I’m gonna say… Scott? westbound is ridonkulous starting at about 3 or 4pm and it’s not fair to do that to Carrie even if her SUV is more up to the job. I may have actually hit the sweet spot without even trying, because I have a couple things to do before we go over there. I have one more Goodwill dropoff to do if I can’t get it done tomorrow (my bet’s on no), and I really should wash and vacuum the car, which I may or may not get done tomorrow and thus wouldn’t have to do it Monday. But I at least have wiggle room for both on Monday, if need be, if I get my ass moving in the morning.

Back in ’99 after I got Mike arrested and was suddenly homeless (but spare-bedroom- and couch-surfing), I spent a lot of time writing out to-do lists. I find myself doing that again. I’ve done it a few other times between then and now, but always in times of crisis. I write to-do lists in times of crisis for the same reason I hate getting interrupted when I’m working on something: I just fucking KNOW I will forget something important and fuck it all up. Of course, I’ve also had to rewrite said list a few times because I kept realizing I was forgetting important things. I cannot fucking win.

But I’ll do the best I can. I can’t do anything else.

The two things I dread most about this situation are seeing what they actually pay me for the car and then paying to mail a bunch of packages. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH

But I hit the deadline in time for the $2000 quote. I don’t TRUST it, I’m sure they’ll find some fucking reason to drop the offer by about eight hundred fucking bucks, but I think I could even get by on $1200 okay for the next few months if I play my cards right. I’d just rather not have to. I think that if I get paid somewhere between $2000 and $1500, I’ll be okay for a while. If I get the $2000, for sure I will get a bicycle on the other end and then I’ll REALLY be doing well. It can be a Walmart bicycle (yep, they have Walmart in Crescent City). I’m not picky.

I’m not looking forward to paying for the packages, but carrying them in is going to be even less fun. What I might do is just take in two or three at a time to give other people a chance to go through the line. If there is no one else in the line, it won’t matter. If there are people, it’s a win-win situation. Carrie might even be okay if she can sit in her SUV in the air conditioning playing her phone games. I miss having a countertop scale and a printer at home, though. Those may be things I spend money on when I’m earning. Having it ready to go is a huge help when you have a lot to send.

I still haven’t told Dad. I think I have already gone over why I am not telling Dad and even if I haven’t, I’m not in the fucking mood right now. I haven’t been sleeping well. It isn’t even that I feel bad about leaving here; that emotion is more like smoldering aggravation that my one option up til now to not wind up sleeping in my car through an Ohio summer was to move in with a guy who’s a dickhead when he’s drunk and not much better sober. And everyone applauding me for being there for him. The only reason y’all were so damn happy is it didn’t have to be you anymore. There is every chance you know him better than I do. Do you not feel any obligation to look after your neighbors, despite a very clear standard in the Bible that that is exactly what you should be doing? Whyever the fuck not? I mean, I don’t follow the Bible, but most people around here claim to. I’m still waiting for the fucking evidence from like 99 percent of them.

Well, I have some bad news for you. It does have to be you again. Good luck with that.

And, real talk, I know y’all WERE there for him. Maybe not always as often as he needed, I guess, but enough to keep him alive. And thank you for that. But how about not acting like “WHEW I GET TO UNLOAD THIS INCREDIBLE BURDEN ON YOU NOW”bruh, your “incredible burden” involves you walking into his house every once in a while. You haven’t had to put up with his mood changes and irrationality. And drinking. Did I mention the drinking. Y’all had the option of refusing to visit him if you knew he was drinking. Me, I had nowhere else to go.

Until now.


I’m not sure whether he’s guessed, though. He hasn’t said as much, but a little while ago he gave me a used prescription bottle full of quarters. Did you know that the normal-sized prescription bottles are just big enough to house ten dollars’ worth of quarters? He was telling me that the other day. The way he gave the bottle to me this evening was weird. He was watching TV, then he got up and shuffled to his room, then next thing I know I’m $10 richer, then he went back to watching TV. Like… does he know? Because ten dollars’ worth of quarters is indeed a useful thing to have when you are traveling by bus. Vending machines, y’know. Even if he thought I would be driving, the same is true of rest areas on the Interstate. I dunno. I have given up trying to figure him out. I am not sure it is actually possible.

I should say, it was more like $9.80 richer. He accidentally put a nickel in with the quarters in the bottle. No skin off my nose. I have several quarters of my own, so I swapped it out. He was definitely right about the ten-dollar capacity, though. That’s cool. Lots easier to handle than a paper roll around a stack of quarters.

Speaking of coins. I really need to see if I can find a Coinstar around here. I hate them because you have to pay a fee, but in a pinch they are highly useful. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Jennings Walmart has one anymore. I wonder if the money services people have a similar machine behind the counter and would be willing to use it for me? It benefits them too. If I even remember, I’ll try to ask. My penny collection has gotten the fuck out of control and that’s just extra weight to carry.

Revising a bit what I said yesterday:

1. Yes, I’ll be leaving some things here after all. Pretty much innocuous. I didn’t want to, but I’m already tired of lugging things around. I’m leaving the document shredder, the purple photo and document boxes I kept pics and memorabilia in (moving the boxes to California is out of the fucking question — I was a more efficient packer tucking their former contents in with other things, and here’s hoping I don’t ruin any photos), and maybe a couple other things. It won’t be like last time, at least.

2. I may get to the end of the gift card balances before I’m done with my last Walmart errand here. I need some kind of rolling luggage with a handle on it, and I need a wallet. I have now shitcanned the purse I got here two and a half years ago because it is fucked, quite frankly, and I also do not feel like juggling three bags when I could just have the two, and only one of those to deal with during the actual trip. My wallet (it was closer to a pocketbook, I guess, in size?) was fucked too. My luck it would have fallen apart or something and anyway, it wouldn’t have fit in my pocket, not even the ones on those cargo pants.

The backpack Matt gave me is fine for a carryon. I’ll double-check the Greyhound site to make sure, but I don’t see why not. Bonus, it has water-bottle pockets. One on each side. I will also stash my laptop and my iPad in there (don’t get excited; I bought it four years ago and it’s one of the original Airs) so I can keep an eye on them.

The funny thing about the purse is that I cleaned it out before I tossed it, and… there was thirty dollars in my fucking purse. Not in the wallet. In the PURSE. In one of the two main compartments. A twenty and two fives. I have no idea how it got there. So I had forty-three in bills (more in change), and then found thirty, so now I have seventy-three. WEIRD. The most likely explanation is I already had that thirty and then forgot it was there. If Dad is being the Money Fairy now, I have no idea why. My bet’s on “no.” Me forgetting things and him being vague are not a good combination. A couple times I’ve jumped right to the conclusion that he stole something, only to discover I’m just a fucking fanny. I’ve been right about him taking something of mine one time. Just once. Found it right where I expected it to be, too. It was absent-mindedness, not larceny. So if I’m usually wrong about him when it comes to things disappearing, I can’t automatically assume he is making things appear.

Ugh. Let me pack the last of the Goodwill shit in that last box and then crash. I really should get things out to the car because he’s in bed now but, real talk, I am not down for any more tree-roach encounters. I will have a bit left to do in the morning, so if he’s up then and I have to wait for him to nap, I’ll have something to occupy my time. That is not a bad thing. Ni ni.

10 May 2024

Still preparing to go. I have always hated moving, and I hate it even more when I’m the one who has to get everything ready, even though I am excellent at packing, especially when I have funds for all the proper materials. Hating getting ready to move is entirely my fault. I have a very bad habit of acquiring things I don’t need (entertaining myself is also sort of a need, but how much am I entertaining myself when I never use the entertaining item? Get your mind out of the gutter) and then not getting rid of them for years. The not-getting-rid part might not be so bad if I did not have the awful habit of once in a while running across said unused objects and thinking, “I had better keep that because I’ll use it eventually.” Reader, I do not use it eventually. I should be ashamed of myself but this is lazy materialism, not serial rape.

Long story short, I should already be able to pack three bags and go, with no more than one to three cartons of things to go to Goodwill because I needed them here but won’t need them without a car. Instead, I find myself triaging my belongings into Keep, Ship, or Goodwill, which makes everything take ten times longer than it ought to take. I don’t mean the selection process; that has mostly not been difficult. I mean containerizing the objects so that I can transport them.

I would still be faster at this effort than I currently am, but I’m terrified of selling the car. First there is the obvious reason: once I have sold the car, it will be literal years before I can acquire another one unless something really unexpected happens. Secondly, it would be just like Dad to tell me he changed his mind about the ultimatum the very fucking minute I get back to Carrie’s from Lake Charles. Not that I’ll give him many openings to discuss anything with me once I am out the door, but it is not outside the realm of possibility even so. Thirdly, and maybe my biggest problem, I am terrified they won’t pay me enough for the car. This factor more than any of the others has slowed me down considerably because I am afraid it will stop me in my tracks.

See, I need starting-out money. I figure that if I can possibly still have five hundred left over after I get where I’m going, I’ll be okay for several months. If the specific one I have in mind is available where I’m going, I’ll be switching to a cheaper phone service when I get there. Failing that, I’ll look for something similar. I will want a local number anyway — high time I ditched the Ohio one. I may even do research into changing my hosting service, as little as I want to do that because I have one website (hi, Rory) that will be an absolute bitch to move. Probably I will end up not doing it. If I don’t then, if my phone service switcharoo happens, I’ll be at about $60 a month in expenses since I will not be paying for auto insurance anymore. It will buy me time to either find a job or else get some self-employment income going OR both. I’m fine with both. Nothing that my future roommate needs me doing around the house is going to take up my entire day, and one of those chores isn’t going to be a thing until winter, and another will only be a thing when she’s out of town, and then there’s only one other one. And I think she goes out of town a few times a year, but she’s not CONSTANTLY gone. Like me, she is a homebody. Doggos will have five-star service whether I’m working or not. So if I end up with both a job and a side gig, whatever. I will not suddenly be liable for rent, I’m used to not having much, and I have to keep in mind that a move will happen again at some point, so I’m not going to want to acquire much. I’ll be able to save up a LOT.

(Not enough to retire on in seventeen years, DAD. But a lot just the same.)

If I only get around $1000 for the car, my other problem is that I need to ship that of my stuff which I intend to ship to her house. (Or to her P.O. box. Either way. We need to talk about that, actually.) I will use the cheapest methods possible, and clever little me decided to employ a few flat-rate Priority boxes for the denser stuff, but it’s still going to add up. I’m assuming about $20 a box right now, average. There are more than five. You get the idea.

IDEALLY I walk away from the car sale with a net amount of around $1500. One-third of that for the trip, one-third of that for the shipping, and then one-third of it to last me… some amount of time.

It helps that I seem to be done with periods. That’s a major expense right there, gone poof. I still like those Poise pads, but I can wear one of those per day and I’m fine. Sounds gross, but we already do that with underwear, so who fucking cares. It’s saving me money. That’s all I care about.

I will also use the last of my Walmart gift card balances to obtain noms for the trip. No reason I should waste my money on the road. There is a special place in hell for transit vendors who take advantage of a captive market to screw over low-income travelers. This is a longstanding problem and not likely to end today. I will just have to plan for it.

It even occurs to me that I should take ONE water bottle, and also take some flavor drops (the bottles for those are small), and be prepared to refill the bottle at stops. They have water fountains or, failing that, sinks in the restrooms. DAMN I’M BRILLIANT.

And then I catch myself sliding my reading glasses down my nose to look for my reading glasses. Never mind.

(That didn’t actually happen just now. But it’s happened before. Because of course it has.)

(Sliding down my nose? Yes. It’s like a weird form of bifocals. My mid-range vision is still okay and my distance vision is fair to middling — good enough to pass a DMV vision test — and anyway, reading glasses are designed for close work. I can’t focus on anything through them past about two feet away from my face, thus must slide my glasses down my nose to look far away. And that’s the weaker ones. The stronger ones are worse. Shorter focus field.)

ANYWAY. I could ask Dad for going-away money, but I haven’t even talked with him about leaving. (More on that in a minute.) My other option is on the “a little help” page here. I set up a new GoFundMe. I would rather not go begging like that, and if there were some way for me to offer little premiums like a doodle or whatever, I would do it, but I think I’ve said somewhere before that I’d be an idiot not to exploit all possible resources in a situation like this. It’s masochistic. I am not a masochist, just a complainer. There’s a huge difference. The masochist would be enjoying herself and thus NOT complaining. That aside, even little dribs and drabs here and there from the GoFundMe would help sustain me for a while. Look at it this way. You’re not funding some poor girl’s self-mutilation mastectomy. You get to help GFM give money to a terf. Feel smug. You’ve earned it.

I thought about doing some more Ubering and that was my first impulse, yes, but these fucking roads… I thought the southeast Columbus metro area was horrible. There are entire sections of Louisiana’s state highways where the pothole-patching IS the pavement. And of course it’s uneven, and my suspension is halfway to shot so I feel every fucking bump. I think my poor car has taken enough abuse. Hopefully Carvana will take good care of her and then whoever gets her next will be a retiree who just needs to run errands once a week. She’s earned a retirement herself.

(I know she is not literally female. But she mah bud. She saved my ass SO many times and, for a while, she was even home and safety. This is another reason I’m dreading the sale. That car is also the last place my daughter and I ever sat together to enjoy a meal: car picnic with sushi, natch. This is going to hurt. I fucking know it.)

Speaking of retirees. No, I have not talked with Dad about leaving. I do not even expect to be in his house past the end of the weekend. I’m not telling him and I’m not saying goodbye. He was a shit to me about the matter of the Ubering. First he was happy because he viewed it as me getting a job — which was fine, I never intended it to be my final stop, I just wanted a stopGAP so I could keep my bills paid until I found something better — and then, VERY SUDDENLY, he did a 180 and issued the ultimatum. You know what? I’m done with Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde can fuck right off. Dr. Jekyll appears to have kicked the bucket lots of years ago. I don’t need this shit. So he can think I’m mean all he wants. Everyone else can think I’m mean too. None of them ever had any real use for me anyway. I was an obligation. If I need to tell you how NOT fun it is to be viewed as an obligation, you need to get out more. And now I’m not that obligation anymore and oh boy, they all want me to know it. Read ya loud and clear, assholes. This is me, taking matters into my own hands. Hey, it’s not suicide. I will be leaving you with no mess to clean up. Not even my leftover books and things like last time. You’re fucking welcome.

It’s funny, actually. The situation at L’s will be such that I might finally be able to align my life more closely with what I want my values to be. Feminism is part of it but not the only thing. It has long vexed me that EITHER I can hang out with people who ARE NOT loony vegan genderdorks OR I can hang out with feminists but I couldn’t seem to accomplish both at once — at least, inasmuch as said loony vegan genderdorks claim to be feminist, and of course they aren’t. That problem’s about to be solved. Either I am in for the disillusionment of my fucking life or I’m in for some massive improvement in my circumstances. I really hope it’s the latter. The signs are encouraging.

Don’t count on me talking about my housemate much. There are safety issues involved, because we have a lunatic-overpopulation problem in this country and none of them are being kept in check when it comes to uppity women with a command of the facts. (Y’all quit acting like this is a difference of opinion. We are literally getting our lives ruined for TELLING THE TRUTH.) I also don’t anticipate a situation like the one with Matt and definitely not like the one with Dad. For one, I’ll actually be able to breathe the fucking air because L doesn’t smoke. It’ll be fucking great. And no animals pissing and shitting in the house either, other than hoomins using the toilet, unless someone has an accident. I expect the latter will be quite rare.

Okay. I got on here in the first place to test a couple external drives I found in my stuff, and I thought I had better provide an update to the latest festivities, but now it has turned into more procrastination. Let me get on with that other thing. ‘Later.

08 May 2024

So, while I don’t quite have a firm date yet, I have pretty much settled upon taking a bus all the way to the Left Coast unless something weird happens. Like, I’ll probably get a few more of those Bayou State scratch cards and see if I win that $4k after all. I doubt it will happen, but if it does, my ass is flying out. L, my strongly prospective housemate, advised me on how to get to Crescent City by airline instead of having to catch a bus in Medford. And I wouldn’t mind catching a bus in Medford, but if all planes is faster then let’s do that instead. This just isn’t terribly likely. I suspect my first two wins were a fluke. Even with much better odds than the Powerball.

Really, I don’t mind long road trips but if it’s a crowded bus or fuckery happens it could get unpleasant. I will do it anyway in the service of saving money, especially if I get fucked on the car. If a diabetic man twenty-two years older than me (Dad) can survive riding a bus from south Louisiana to central Ohio and then out to southern Oregon and then BACK to fucking Montana, I can do this. Come on.

I think I have some wiggle room on when to leave, because Carrie has invited me to stay over to avoid future angry interactions (she has known Dad something like thirty-five years; she knows how he is) and I am going to take her up on it just to make things easier, and I also want to see more of her before I go. But I need to get the car sold this week, so I absolutely must get rid of everything I am absolutely not going to be mailing or carrying over there. Goodwill’s going to fucking love me again. It’s all good. I thought about selling my sewing machine and keyboard, but… I am just so fucking sick and tired of dealing with people. They can’t even handle a simple thing like defining woman and man, they flake out on or dramatize the simplest personal interactions, and back when I offered things on Freecycle I got no-shows a lot and that shit was literally free. And that’s if I don’t get robbed. Might as well stay out of trouble, keep my stress in check, and do some good for humanity. I know Goodwill has issues, but they also employ people and help the disabled. It’s not all bad.

I need to get the car sold this week because I need some lead time to get the Greyhound ticket. I cannot fuck around with that and I also need to get luggage (no more carrying my clothes in bags!) and also ship my stuff off.

If I sound confident, it’s not on purpose. Part of me is screaming WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? YOU DON’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE IN MEATSPACE! YOU HAVE GONE MOST OF YOUR LIFE WITH NO CAR AND IT FUCKED YOU! But I’m living with someone I don’t know NOW and he’s got a little bit of a lying problem and a drinking problem and also a cruelty problem, and you can get just as fucked owning a car as you can going without one. I’ll be a mile from town and I need exercise. If I get enough money for the car, I’ll have enough left over to keep me for a bit after I get there. I will have internet at home, I will have desk space to work, I won’t have to travel all over creation just to get the simplest things done. And my roomie will not be constantly up my ass to entertain her somehow. Yes, please.

(The dogs may be up my ass to entertain them once they get used to me, but I may be able to head that off at the pass when I’m not in the mood for it by the simple expedient of closing my bedroom door. I have a feeling I may not be doing that a whole lot, though.)

I’m pissed. I thought I had $30 in the Uber account but it was more like $20. I don’t think this is anything shady on Uber’s part. I think I just glitched. I still have a decent amount of gas in the car and I shouldn’t need to tank up again before going to Lake Charles to sell it. I don’t want to do any more Ubering. Every time I drive those horrid roads I feel the car rattling apart just a little bit more — the suspension has been grumpy for a while. I know I have been paranoid about that for two and a half years, but you have to figure my paranoia will be justified eventually. So I am not sure what I will do for money if something comes up. Being this low on money will likely push me to Carrie’s sooner because I can’t just keep buying Atkins shakes. They are cheap meals (a four-pack is seven bucks and some change, five bucks and some change if I get the Walmart brand, and I drink two per meal because I’m too low-calorie as it is) but duh, every time I buy them I am spending money I need to keep. It’s going to get untenable if I don’t get out of this house soon. Eating the food in the house would push me into Dad’s path and we are just not going there. If he wanted a relationship with me, he should have quit fucking biting my head off.

I just remembered I’ve got something like $35 left in potential Walmart gift-card balance. Well, that’s good. That needs to be spent before I leave the state anyway because as soon as I cross that state line I don’t have Medicaid anymore until I apply for it again. Whose bright idea was it to have state-based public health insurance? I wanna slap ’em. But that’s my answer to needing noms until the car’s sold. More tape and boxes, definitely, if needed.

I am getting my shit sorted today — well, I got a start on it. I’m on hold right now because Dad was asleep when I got home and the one roll of packaging tape I have is NOISY when I try to unroll a piece. I know a lot of those brands make racket, but the one I just used up wasn’t like that. Duck brand I think? Small green dispenser. I don’t want to go all the way the fuck back to Jennings to get more Duck, and I can’t this time of night anyway. I’ll wait until he’s awake to make tape noises. He might still complain but at least it won’t be because I woke him up.

(I actually just got an idea to make it quieter… let me see about that first.)

I am aiming for what I tried to do when I left Matt’s house and not take things with me I can’t replace later, keeping in mind that if things go the way I hope they will go, I will have some money to buy a few things. I won’t want to go crazy with it but, for instance, the paper I want to use for portraits is less than five bucks a pad on Amazon. I’ll keep my pencils at least. That won’t be a problem. There is no way in hell I can take my fixatives with me — they are in aerosol cans and USPS would shit and I doubt Greyhound would like them either — but a can of that shouldn’t be more than another ten bucks. The thing with pencil portraits is the work you put into them. The raw materials are not a big fucking deal.

Oh shit, I’ll need a ruler too. AGAIN. Sigh.

At least this time I don’t have to worry about some idiot mailing me shit I don’t need. Matt got in his yuks two and a half years ago sending me boxes full of literal trash. Moving on now.

I just really hate having to get rid of things. I feel like I should change my name to Inanna.

Spent some time with Carrie today. Mostly it was just visiting (and I showed her a couple more Gary Meikle comedy reels… she couldn’t always understand him, but she definitely laughed in the right places), but we also talked some about my situation. She’s pissed at Dad. Understand that I have NOT been after her like “omg my dad is such a monster, please hate him” or any bullshit like that. They will remain friends unless he REALLY fucks up. I am completely fine with that. I have expressed my ire, absolutely, but I also tell her — and this is the truth — that I do get where he’s coming from. There is nothing actually wrong with him wanting me to be employed. It is not the premise I have an issue with, it is how he looks at it and responds to it. He does not have the answers to my problems that I actually need, especially when no one will fucking hire me and even if they did, there’s no way I can earn enough to be safe in retirement in just the next seventeen years, so he might as well calm the fuck down and let me figure it out because I literally have nothing left to lose. He doesn’t even know what the fuck is going on in most areas of my life but BOY DOES HE FEEL FREE TO JUDGE. Carrie places most of the blame on his drinking. I just mentioned above that they’ve been friends for thirty-five years. She knows how he is on the booze. She’s actually fussed at him about it and told him she can’t be around him when he’s drinking because of his behavior. He’s been in love with her for decades (she’s never felt the same about him, though she loves him as a friend and sort of a bonus brother, and she told him so) and if even her declared boundary hasn’t put him on the strait and narrow, well, don’t fucking blame me for the outcomes of his life because he doesn’t give two shits whether I’m around or not so what influence was I supposed to have, exactly?

She and Doug have talked about things too and while Doug has not been talking with me directly since I told him what is now going on, he’s also pissed at Dad because Dad directly broke a promise made to him when they were discussing me coming back down. So let’s piss off the favorite child too. Great going, Dad. Doug and I have had our shit in the past and I have no idea what’s coming up, especially with me living a whole lot closer to him before much longer, but he really went to bat for me on this one and Dad was totally unfair to him. I hope Doug’s not expecting a sudden epiphany. It’s not going to fucking happen. Dad is Dad. The end.

I’m glitching again but the tired kind of glitch. Let me see if I can grab a couple more things out of the front cabinet. I think I have two more boxes and the sewing machine there. And then maybe figure out getting my ass into bed. It’s way too hot here right now and I was uncomfortable last night, but maybe tonight will be better. At least it won’t be hot like this on the northern California coast. I never wanted to move to CA, but there are worse places. Opelousas, for instance. Rafah, definitely. [flips both middle fingers AND both middle toes in the general direction of Israel]


07 May 2024

At the Lafayette library again. I basically spent the day here yesterday alternating between looking things up and stress-scrolling (you can still scroll on a laptop. Sort of). I did some delivering today though, and will go back out and try to do more, but it really died down after my first two trips. Grumble.

I found out that I can maybe get $2000 for my car from Carvana, though it may be more like $1500 once they look at it, if I’m lucky. I don’t think I will get over there to sell it in the next seven days, and in fact I want to actually take it in and get eyeballs on it before they give me another offer. Because I don’t want them coming back on me later like “you sold us crap and now you owe us money” — when I sell this, I want it SOLD. Done. No additional drama.

Part of it is that if the car were in much better shape I’d almost not do this and I’d opt to drive to California instead, except I don’t know what the delivery market is in Crescent City, and I don’t know if I could earn enough money to both sustain me here and buy gas all the way there, and delivery on the way isn’t really an option because I’d have too much stuff in my car. I could get out of that one by getting rid of a lot of stuff first, which I am going to do anyway, but having to stop to deliver all the time is just going to make the trip longer and it’s already a 37-hour trip. We are talking probably three or four days. And sleeping in my car, or else probably getting motel rooms at $100 a pop. And going up the Rockies, and my car already did not have good get-up-and-go even before it started aging badly. It’s a feature, not a bug, with the Sonata.

Part of it is that if I can get at least $1500 for the car, I found out that if I get an airline ticket to the nearest biggish airport to Crescent City, which is just north in Oregon, and I get it in the middle of the week, it can be less than $400. It might still hit $400 with additional taxes and fees, but I will be surprised if it goes over five. Then I would take a bus to Crescent City and that should come out to less than fifty dollars. So I’d have $900 left over, worst-case. With it being a plane trip, even if I eat, that shouldn’t cost me more than an additional $20. Carrie has said she will take me to the airport, so no cab there. I will no longer be paying for auto insurance, either, so that should last me a while. Housemate has a car, housemate’s neighbor has a car and a truck, and when I get there I can buy a bicycle. I’ll be okay for a little while. The weather stays mild, too.

Driving — or worse, renting a U-Haul — would be a disaster. I’d get there with basically nothing. I might not even be able to swing a U-Haul if I get less than $2000 for the car.

This is weird. I’m looking at the Greyhound site, and it is telling me that there are no trips from Lafayette to Crescent City. BUT, if I search for Lafayette to Medford, which was also the nearest viable airport? Oh yeah. BUT. The destination in Medford if I took the bus from Lafayette is NOT at the airport. Which is where I would have to start from to take a bus from Medford to Crescent City.

But I just looked up info about local cabs and apparently there is a really good one in Medford. I think this might actually be my best bet. It’ll definitely leave me with much more money at the end.

Now it just comes down to deciding what day. I think at this point I need to focus on making money for food, gas, and postage. If I can keep those squared away, I’ll be all right.

(I also need some decent traveling bags. Because right now I have two: Jack and Shit.)

I may also finally try to sell something on Marketplace. I will photograph the Things Involved tonight so I can jump on that NOW, that way I won’t find myself waiting til the last minute to hit Goodwill if no one bites.

Okay. Let me try to make some more money. I hope.

06 May 2024

Am at the Jennings library. I need to look up some stuff and then go driving but wanted to check in.

I have this Facebook friend in northern California who is a published author, which is why I friended her (I think I sent the request): I like her writing. She also happens to be a terf and is plugged into that community, but years ago she caught the attention of the low-carb community thanks to her exposé of the health pitfalls of vegetarianism, so we’ve intersected at least twice.

Anyway, from time to time she advertises for a free roommate, as in she does not charge rent. She has a couple chores she can’t do, and she needs her dogs looked after while she is out of town. I have never looked into it because I thought, “yeah right, I’d have to share utility costs, surely.”

Well, she just happened recently to advertise again. It is not a thing where she constantly asks but never gets, just that people move in with her and then move out again later. This was another later like that. I still dismissed it at first because of the above rationale.

But after Dad blew up at me I gave things a good think. I DMed her last night, asked her some questions, and suddenly I have an option.

Here is what I am thinking. If I sold my car, I could find an alternate route to California — rent a UHaul van for my stuff, or get rid of most of my stuff before I sell the car and have Carrie take me to the nearest bus station. Either way. And then get out there and buy a bicycle and look for a job in town. I would also have lots of time to finally get that proofreading course done because my day wouldn’t be taken up in full-time job or delivery driving. (I will be surprised if the town she’s near has got much full-time stuff.) I could draw, too. Apparently there is a desk in the room.

It would be a real place to regroup and relaunch, in other words. And I have not had that up until now. Dad should have been that, but he was too busy being a paranoid hateful fucking control freak.

And no one’s going to expect me to be a fucking social butterfly. Bonus.

This is probably all going to hinge on what I can get for my car. If I can get at least $3k I will feel comfortable with it. It’s supposed to be worth $6k but I know how people are.

You’re going “Dana, you’re crazy,” but the actual crazy would be going back to Ohio with a half-gimpy car and no friends. If this works out then I will have Roommate Friend and then another possible friend up the way who stops by now and again (and he’s another writer I’ve followed for a long time and I really like his work). PLUS, given where it is, I’ll be a lot closer to Doug, so striking up an actual in-person relationship with one of the few relatives left who still likes me, also his kid, wouldn’t be a bad thing. Long as I don’t have to live with him because, after what happened when we were kids, if that one goes wrong it will go very, very wrong. Do not want, thank you, drive on through.

Okay. I have not had breakfast yet and I’m running a little bit behind. I might write more later, though it won’t appear here til tomorrow, probably. Unless I go to the Lafayette library again. You never know.