People tell me I’m young and when I go “but I’m 28 –I’m having a mid life crisis for fuck sake” and they are like “no you are so young” and I just nod blankly and think to myself how I have probably lived at least twice what they had when they were my age, if not more. I have lived lots of places. I used to live in various cities in Oregon and Washington. I also lived in various cities in Texas, including Austin, which I used to love, but since I lived there I hate it. I also lived in New Orleans…. well… I was homeless there for nearly 8 months. And I was homeless in Chicago and Denver/Boulder and the Bay area/Oakland. I think that about sums it up. I don’t travel anymore. I’ve been in Houston for 6 years. I have hitch hiked all accross the country, hopped freight trains, built bikes from scratch in Washington and then toured long distances on them.
I was briefly a member of the clown house in Portland, Oregon. I had my own tall-bike. I lived in squats, on communes, with hippy families and acid families and anarachists –also with junkies, crackheads and bums in general. I lived under a bridge in Oregon. I lived in a 24 hour bar in new orleans, but you could hardly call it home –it was just a roof and a safer place than the street at night. it had washing machines. i lived on the roofs of buildings in the winter and slept under the exhaust vents that pointed down like candy canes so that the rain wouldn’t go down them. They blew their warm air on me and i was happy. I lived in the olympic rainforest in a cabin that was made from dead-standing trees and fallen logs. there was magically a wood stove inside, but everything was damp and moldy. The woods themselves were alive and would shapeshift on you in the night. we caught crabs on the puget sound and cooked them in our little cabin. i lived houses houses houses and houses –far too many to count, taken in by strangers and friends –should i tell you what some strangers will do to you when they take you in, or should i leave that out?? I will spare you the tales of terror. Many people gave me work to do around their house so that I could stay there in trade. I learned more than I know and when people ask me “how do you know that?” I can’t tell them how. “How do you know all this stuff that you know?” and it is very difficult to say. The jobs I have worked are as various as the places I have been, but lets not get started on another list.
yeah, hopping freight was probably the only non-drug activity I had withdrawals from. but I mean, serious yearning, for a long time. I’m over it now. I have too many health issues… and mental health issues and I can’t travel because of them. Its probably because of the way I lived back then. I was so sick all the time when I was homeless. mostly in the winter. and I was an alcoholic and a junkie off an on and I had sex with random people. I ate out of the trash a lot and slept in recycling dumpsters for a while until I almost got eaten by a garbage truck one rainy night in Washington. it was a literal nightmare. I could hear the garbage truck in my sleep, making its rounds, getting closer to my block, and in my dreams the garbage truck was a cartoon monster, going around and ferociously, loudly eating all the trash and it was coming for me. the cartoonishness did not diminish the terror.
I am totally in a better place now. houston is the best place I have ever lived and the people I meet here are so wonderful. I mean, I am in a better place physically, but I am not exactly in a better place mentally and emotionally. I suffer from ptsd, wouldn’t you guess. actually, I was diagnosed with onset paranoid schizophrenia about a year ago –which has really put things into perspective. but I am positive that I essentially relive my past trauma, which is triggered by any sense of threat from either strangers or loved ones.
Its difficult to say how I have learned to deal with the paranoid delusions. I think the best thing to do is to be honest about feeling threatened –which is hard because people take that as an accusation, which is ironic because what I really want to do is accuse them, and attack them, but I am trying not to. so whereas I would ordinarily go apeshit on someone because I think they are an aggressor, I instead try to express my feelings and be vulnerable, and that is often perceived as playing a victim –which makes things worse. but there may be a happy medium somewhere. lately I just break down completely and can’t talk because my brain is exploding and all my thoughts are cut into pieces and I say a lot of words that dont cohere and that is embarrassing so I walk away in distress. but this is often perceived as “storming off” or something. people often think that just because you are upset that it is something you have taken personally with them. and my reality, I have learned, is that I make the mistake of taking it personally with them, but in doing so I am really only projecting my past trauma onto them in regard to some little thing they did or said that reminded me of the trauma. so I try to remember that and not project my shit onto them. but its impossible to not be upset. and being upset is a hard thing to explain away.
Most people who want to kill themselves are afraid to live. I am not afraid to live. I have lived more lives than I can even remember. Most of them haunt me. I am happy to have experienced everything. I am ready to die. Its not going to happen with warning (and probably not any time soon), but when it does, DON’T you dare fucking mourn me. Don’t you dare think that i wasted something. Don’t you dare think that I gave up. When you have had as many conflicting experiences back to back, non-stop and stacked on one another to the extent that your memories are cut into pieces and rearranged constantly and everyone seems like the same people to you, but they are mashed up and everything gets swapped in your mind because litterally almost everything is deja vu… When you don’t know who you are anymore because so many conflicting influences have laid their hands on you… Don’t tell me what to fucking do with myself. You would think that I knew better by now.