The day came for me to leave. Woke up at The Host's place, looked outside the window: Rain. I shuddered. While I had a place to stay that night, and (as I found out later), my circle of friends had gone into overdrive arranging things so that I'd be out of the cold, it was a nasty reminder of the sudden instability that had invaded my life. I turned away and made my bed. The Host woke.
"So what time you gonna be out of here?" he mumbled.
"Dunno," I replied. "This might clear up by noon. If it does, then I'll set up shop and take off at sunset. If it doesn't, then I'll have to wait till five, since Anna isn't expecting me till way later."
He grunted and nodded. I made some breakfast, washed the dishes from last night, and settled down to watch the weather report on the morning news.
"So I"m gonna need you out of here by eleven." he said.
I blinked. "But I said that I might not be leaving till noon, or five,"
said," he snorted.
A shake of my head. "David, have I done something to piss you off?"
"Nope," he shrugged. "I've got someone coming by at eleven. A lady."
"Then you should have told me that when I said that I'd be out of here later," I snapped. He looked at me blankly. "Fine, fine, I'll be out. by then."
Sure enough, as eleven rolled around, I found myself outside in the rain, taking shelter with various local street kids under the overhang to one of the public bathrooms, listening to background lectures on the importance of keeping one's feet dry in damp weather in between coughing fits on the part of my new friends. The cold and damp seeped into every cell of my body, causing some serious but temporary concerns as to how quickly mold might be able to grow on my skin.
Off to Anna's (annanda111
)that night: She was furious that I was once again without a place. I listened to her caring yet frustrated lectures, nodded, agreed, and went to bed. Night one out of the way. I was told that after I crashed with Larisa (moon_panther69
), I would be welcomed at least temporarily by my friend Laurel (rainsongwg
) and her boyfriend Mike in Pasadena. Or, rather, that I'd be crashing with Laurel, then Larisa....it's all been a blur.
At any rate, I went to Laurel's. I re-introduced myself to Mike. We got along famously and instantly, although I admit that I felt a more immediate connection with his six year-old daughter Savhannah (sic), a child who very nearly defines the word "precocious". She's remarkably bright, fun-loving, and reasonably sweet with just enough of the devil in her to not be insufferably dull. Also, she's the most stubborn child to hit this planet since I was her age. We hit it off immediately.
The first night at Laurel's, I had some issues sleeping. I suspect that it mostly had to do with the sudden shifts in my life combined with her apartment being utterly unfamiliar territory. Fine. Figured I'd make it up at Larisa's.
I'd forgotten that Larisa's life runs by no set schedule. Instead, I found myself up at four a.m. on her back patio, smoking cigarettes and swapping bizarre stories. Due to my sleep deprivation, however, I was unable to contribute as much as I usually do. This problem was compounded when her two lovely daughters invaded the living room at six in the morning to watch a Garfield DVD after I'd managed to catch an hour's worth of sleep.
Back to Laurel's. The original idea was that I'd split my time between Larisa's and Laurel's, or at least as much as possible, until I found a permanent residence. However, this changed as Mike and I became good friends, and I began to play with Savhannah on a regular basis (fun, but she cheats at Chutes and Ladders). Eventually, I was being asked to babysit here and there when I wasn't at work. I always accepted. Also, I found myself picking up some of the Savhannah-wrangling chores in the morning, giving Laurel a chance to sleep in every once in a while.
They began to make noises about my staying there for...well, by no means "moving in", but on a more indefinite basis while I get things together. Then I spent Christmas with Anna, Nathan, and my goddaughter Elysia and her sister Emily. It was a lovely time all around. Still, I found myself missing Mike, Laurel, and Savhannah.
That night, after they came by to pick me up, Mike mentioned that Savhannah had had two godfathers. One had died, and he hadn't heard from the other in ages. He asked if I'd be willing to take the role.
I said "Yes," and managed to maintain my composure somehow.
In a recent entry, I mentioned that I wanted to be home. I still haven't found that in a place, but I've found it in people: Laurel, Mike, Savhanah, Larisa and her daughters Amethyst and Aurora, Nathan, Anna, Elysia, and Emily. These are my family up here. These are the people who have given me nothing but love and hope at a time when I could have given in to total despair.
And what about Chana?
I've saved the best for last: She's simply an amazing person. No matter what she may have gone through in the past, she is willing to work to improve her life, to make sure that things come together, and to put it all together with enormous dignity and compassion. She's received little to no help from the social services people who have been assigned to her, and has been forced to follow up on complex bureaucratic matters and unconscionable delays while grappling with the neurochemical nightmare granted to her by the fates. And through all of that, while making sure that she doesn't sacrifice her own hard-fought gains, she manages to be a wonderful mother to her children, and an amazing girlfriend to me. The past is the past, but the present is amazing. She is beautiful in mind, body, and soul.
Whatever good thoughts you've all been sending my way have been doing the trick. Please, keep them coming so that I can finally give Mike and Laurel some privacy.
Still alive. Still in good spirits. Safe and warm for now.