Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I'm in Fear For My Life



            I had come so far from being the person I had to be when I was in the homeless house. I was getting on with my life, every day doing something more to improve my life. That was until my neighbor, who suffers from myriad mental illnesses, went ballistic this past summer. He decided to get drunk and take other medications as well. Prior to living in these apartments, he was a meth head and homeless. He got himself clean and got SSDI for his mental issues and moved in six months before I did. Prior to this outburst, we got along great. Both my other neighbor and I gave him our recyclables so he could augment his income. In return, he would sweep the carport every week to keep it clean. He also stopped some other meth heads from stealing my small refrigerator I kept outside because there was nowhere else to put it. But after he apparently received notice last July that his lease was not renewed, he went on a binge, threatening to kill everyone in the 5 unit apartment complex.
            I called police because I feared for the safety of his girlfriend in his apartment as he was throwing things around and screaming and yelling. Police came, and he tried to come outside of his apartment and harm them. He kept calling the female police officer names, such as “cunt, whore and bitch”. But she and her partner remained calm, telling him he had to stay in his apartment or they would arrest him on public intoxication. They eventually came over to talk to me and my other next door neighbor and we just told them what we heard. They said they were going to leave because their presence there is what was setting him off. As soon as they left, the neighbor got into his car (his girlfriend had left by then) and drove off. I called police because he was drunk and on other drugs as well.
            He was stopped less than a mile from the apartment. I don’t know exactly what happened next as I wasn’t there, but my other neighbor accessed the police report the following day to find out he had tried to run the female police officer over with his car. Either she or her partner had to shoot out his tires to make him stop. He was subsequently arrested on drunk driving, driving without a license and attempted murder of a police officer. That last charge was dropped by the District Attorney because Black Lives Matter and he was unarmed, except for the two thousand pound vehicle he used to try to kill an officer of the law.
            Later that week, I found out from my neighbor, that he had filed charges with the Housing Agency against everyone in the building (even though I’m the only other one who is on Section 8 Housing and would be affected) of harming his civil rights. All I did was call the police because he didn’t belong on the road. When you’re drunk, you have no right to get behind the wheel of a car. It was then that I decided I would no longer help him out with recycling. As far as I was concerned, people who tell lies about me don’t deserve to know the time of day.
            When he noticed I wasn’t giving him my recyclables, he began banging bottles underneath my window at 4:30am to wake me up. One day in September, I had enough and called police. I told them that I needed my rest and that he was being a nuisance by banging bottles underneath my window at 4:30am. Then went to speak with him and he denied doing anything. Thing is, my neighbor’s boyfriend heard him because it woke him up too. After the police left, the bottle banger began threatening to kill me and said things such as “You’re so fat I’m going to have to find a piana box to bury you in, you fat ass, lying bitch.” I called the police again, who told me to ignore it. Ignore this man’s booming voice? It’s the second time he’s threatened to kill me, yet nothing is being done. The police told me it was a matter for the Property Manager to take care of. I called the Property Manager who said that part of the deal was that he’s not supposed to have recycling in front of his place. I asked him what was he going to do about the death threats and he said he’d talk to me later and hung up on me. That was the last time I spoke with the Property Manager. Because now when he sees my phone number come up, he sends it to voicemail. He refuses to answer my texts and refuses to answer his phone at work.
            From then on, it just got worse. Every time I would leave my apartment, he would get up, come out of his apartment and start calling me “fat lying bitch! You so fat you need to ride that tricycle of yours, ya fat ass!!!” Then he began turning his music up real loud so that the wall between our apartments would move. I asked him one night to turn it down and he just turned it up louder. I was forced to purchase an air horn as a way to fight back, so I blasted the air horn. He just yelled, “blow that horn fatty, blow that horn!!!” I finally pounded on the wall that was moving and within a few minutes he was pounding on my bedroom window, all wild eyed, trying to break in. I called police AGAIN. And AGAIN they told me it was a matter between the Property Manager and him. I called the Property Manager. I texted the Property Manager, but the Property Manager doesn’t care. Because if he did care, he would take care of the issue.
            I was gone for a night with a friend a week before Thanksgiving, and came back the next day, only to be assaulted once again, with him yelling fat names at me. I suffer from PTSD. The thing that sets it off is yelling and loud noises, such as the loud booming stereo, which the police say he can have it as loud as he wants as long as they can’t hear it in their squad cars when they drive by. So the apartment I pay rent on is utterly useless as my PTSD has kicked in overdrive and left me just a bluthering ball of nothingness. I can barely hold on to what mind I have left.
But no one cares. I know no one cares because no one will help me. That last time I called police, the officer said he was going to tell the Property Manager to kick us both out. Because I’m the only one calling police, they think I’m making this up. But I’m not. I made such great strides after being subjected to this kind of crap in the Homeless House, run by the Fairfield Suisun Community Action Council, that I’m back to where I was the day I had to call police because my roommate spit on me, body blocked me and held a knife up that she slept with, threatening to kill me. She lied to the police and said I hit her. They told me the only way that they could arrest her was to arrest me. I had just landed a job at a Fortune 500 Company and an arrest would cost me my job. I had no recourse. Even though, for right now I’m not homeless, I am emotionally and mentally back at that same place because PTSD has taken over and I have nowhere to turn.
            The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I applied for a restraining order against the neighbor. It wasn’t granted, but there is a hearing on it on December 12th. My friend is going to serve the papers to the neighbor this afternoon or evening. I fear for my life. If he went as ballistic as he did when his lease wasn’t renewed, how is he going to respond to a restraining order?
            I just pray I get to update this blog again. Someday…

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Being Single is NOT a Disease



            You’ve seen the ads. Match dot com has people around the corner just waiting for you to meet so you can get married and your life will be fulfilled. At E-Harmony dot com, fill out a 15 page report and they have the love of your life waiting in the back room. They just need to go locate him. If you’re over 50, like me, you can find the love of your life on Our Time dot com. If you’re a farm boy and am tired of meeting high falutin chicks, sign up with Farmers Only dot com. It’s all there. Yes YOU could be happy for the rest of your life, if only you would sign up on a dating site.
            But my question is this: when did being single become a disease? Maybe the same ad writers who are writing all the ads for all those medications we need now are writing the copy for the singles dating scene, but every time I hear or see one of the dating commercials, I feel inadequate. Because I like being single.
           There, I said it. It’s out in the open. I have a disease and it’s called singleitis.
           I would rather be single than married to some jerk who cheats on me. I would rather be single than married to a creep who lies, who drinks himself silly each night, even though he gets up the next day to go to work. (Please reference my February 2016 blog)
I used to joke that I got divorced before I was married almost 30 years ago. This guy and I were both musicians, singer/songwriters and met at a pub in downtown Sacramento during an open mic night. I had just lost some weight and although I wasn’t smoking hot, I was cute. We dated off and on for the next two years. The only time it would be off would be if he found a cute chick he wanted to ask out and when she turned him down, he was back to calling me. He was 11 years my senior, but that didn’t matter. We were in love. Or so I thought.
About a week before my 26th birthday, we had a talk. I told him that we had been together for two years (the longest relationship I had ever had) and that it was time we took the next step. See, I bought into the idea that someone can’t be happy until they’re married. I wanted to get that part of my life done so I could move on to the next project. I told Marshal that I was okay before I met him and I would be okay if he decided to leave. I gave him the choice. The following weekend (since he lived and worked in Sacramento and I lived in Davis and worked in Vacaville, we didn’t see each other much during the week so I spent the weekends at his place) we went out for my birthday dinner to a Moroccan restaurant on Fulton Avenue in Sacramento and had a wonderful dinner. While we waited for dessert, Marshal got down on one knee and proposed to me. I was flabbergasted! I had been proposed to before by a guy who was 20 years my senior and a drunk, but nothing this fancy. And in a public place, too! Marshal was never one to make a scene, so this had to be hard for him. Of course I said yes. We had dessert then went back to his place and enjoyed each other.
            But something wasn’t right in the land of the engaged. It’s as if that diamond ring was a go ahead to argue and fight over the smallest minutiae. It was over stupid stuff. So stupid I can’t remember. But I can remember him holding my wrists down as a way to control me physically. I didn’t know then, but I realize now, that was a form of abuse. After about two months of this constant arguing and bickering, I had moved to Fairfield the week before to be closer to my job. I was in an Improv group, RSVP, and we had a gig that night. On my way to Sacramento, I stopped at my mom’s house and called Marshal to see what we were going to do that weekend. That’s when the divorce happened. That’s when he told me he couldn’t marry me because he was afraid I would get fat like my mom and he can’t stand fat chicks.
            I was dumbfounded. All of the cruel schoolyard bullies who had ever called me fatso, flooded my head with their taunts. Here I was, no longer fat, yet I’m not good enough to get married because someday I might be? The tears came hard and fast as he told me to keep the ring, that it was his issue and not mine. But that didn’t matter. I was this close to conquering the disease of being single. This close. But I couldn’t because of what someday might be.
            So, for the next 25 years, I ate. It didn’t matter what I ate or how much I ate because no man is going to want a fat white woman in our culture. Fat Asian women, fat black women, fat Latino women, they’re all acceptable, but not a fat white woman. And when I began eating myself to death (I am currently morbidly obese), I was going to be fat like my mom no matter what I did. The man I accepted to spend the rest of my life with told me so. It must be true. I loved him and people you love aren’t supposed to lie to you, right?
            I found out a lot about myself when I was homeless. Maybe that’s why I was homeless, so I could really get to know Lynda. I finally realized, after gaining almost 200 pounds in 25 years that what Marshal said all those years ago doesn’t mean a damned thing. I heard through the grapevine he married some hippie chick and they had three kids. What he said had zero effect on him, yet I let it rule my life for 25 years. It no longer has sway over me. Unfortunately, I’m left with the consequences of weighing 200 pounds more than I should. That’s something I need to take care of because you know why when you see 100 year old people on TV, they’re not fat? It’s because fat people don’t live that long.
            Back to this ‘disease’ of being single. I love my life. Yes, there are aspects I’d like to change, like working and not being poor ever again. I allowed myself, after 25 years of a closed heart, to love again last year, only to find out two weeks into the affair, that’s what it was – an affair - that he is married. I remember him asking me why I didn’t have a boyfriend and I replied that men were assholes. His answer was that he wasn’t. For two weeks anyway.
            Being single is NOT a disease. I really wish Madison Avenue would stop treating it as such. Yeah, it would be nice to have someone around. It was nice for two weeks knowing I was wanted. But I’m not willing to give up who I am so I can rid myself of a disease that doesn’t exist.
            Who knows? My future husband just might be reading this now and not giving a damn that I’m old, fat and single. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

This Violent Summer



            I’m really getting tired of seeing all of the flags at government buildings at half staff. It’s not that I don’t think that those people who have been gunned down deserve our respect, it’s just that I’m tired of the killings. I had just changed my Facebook profile picture to the crying eye with the French flag in the background when more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And I had changed my profile picture FROM tears over a Dallas police badge. When will this damned madness end?

            People who know me, know I’m not one for sentimentality. Many women cry at the drop of a hat. Something has to really be bothering me on a personal level before the tears come, unless it’s Mother Nature’s once a month thingy. I didn’t cry when 9/11 happened. I was MAD. Many women in our office watched the towers fall and with them, tears fell down their faces. This was something they had no control of, yet they were affected enough to cry over it. I wanted to know why the hell our intelligence and on an even stronger level Israeli intelligence, which I believe to be far keener than ours as they have to be, failed. Someone had to know something was going on. Why was nothing done? But that was one day, involving 19 radical Muslims, taking almost three-thousand American lives. What has been going on this summer is something more insidious. While in Europe bombs and trucks are killing people, Muslims included, former military are killing our brethren in Blue in the United States of America.

            Why should I care if a couple of cops are killed? Because the very same thing we are being blamed for, holding an entire group responsible for the actions of a few are exactly what these former military are doing. They are killing cops because a few cops made bad decisions, which were then televised in our 24 hour news cycle (I truly believe news was never meant to be 24 hours. Perhaps during times of crisis, like 9/11 when the story changes every hour, yes, but not everyday. Because then news writers are forced to dig deep to show us the dredges of society. Then it becomes an “I can top that” game, where people do more and more things of depravity, digging deeper until all you hear is beeped out language and shadowy figures on your television screen.) At least every hour, the new channels are running these bad decisions cops make, which builds up in some people's minds and it seems as if every hour, cops are needlessly killing black men. Some of them just needed that one push to go out and “fix the problem”, when in fact it is only one or two cops among thousands making bad decisions. But the provocative way it is shown on television, one could think that all cops are bad.

            Don’t get me wrong. Black lives matter. That there is still a race problem in this country with a black president is disgusting. It’s disgusting with a white or green or yellow or red or blue president. Because in the end all lives matter. And since these images are shown over and over and over and if there is no new update on the case, the television news continues to show them over and over because they need to fill the airtime, a few whackos think they are righting a wrong when they are only wronging a wrong. As the only way to right a wrong is through the court system. Let the bad cops stand trial. And if they are found not guilty by a jury of their peers, so be it. 

            We need to all just calm down, take a deep breath, and love those close to us. Let the people you meet when you are out and about know that they matter. You may not know them, but everyone has something to contribute. When someone cuts that person’s life off, that contribution dies as well.

            Let’s get those flags back up at full staff. Because I’m tired of changing the profile picture on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Swirling Vortex of Emotions



Whoever said “Old age ain’t for sissies” wasn’t kidding.
This past Monday, it was a perfect storm for the day from hell. I’ve been surviving on Social Security Disability for three and a half years. I’d rather be working, but all the radio jobs that were lost during the recession are permanently gone. I was going to sell my book about my time being homeless, as an agent I met over four years ago, told me to write it and he would make me a bestselling author. Since I’m only about 75% done with it, I instead sent him a manuscript of a mini-novel I wrote in 1987 and just found in my storage unit to try and get some cash flow until I could finish the homeless book. I emailed it to the agent and called a week later to see if he had received it and had a chance to read it. I left a voicemail and he called back. To tell me they were not accepting new clients. I reminded him that he had been leading me on for over four years and that I was almost done with the other book. He said “such is life” and hung up the phone. Talk about having the carpet yanked out from under you! Took the wind right out of my sails. Everything I have tried to do to get out of this poverty bullshit has not worked. And the one thing I thought would be my saving grace was anything but. That was a week ago. Now back to Monday.
I had been sick with two infections for a few weeks and kept telling my friend Rodney that I would take him to Costco. I have had problems with my car. I just replaced all of the hoses, yet there was still a leak. I took it to the mechanic last week who said there was a leak in my water pump and it would cost $200 to fix and that he didn’t want me wasting my money because with all of the overheating that had occurred due to broken hoses, he feared my head gasket would go within 6 months and that’s easily a $2000 job. Which is $600 more than I get a month. He told me to just make sure there was water and antifreeze in the radiator every other day. I topped everything off Monday before I went to pick up Rodney. It smelled like rubber burning, and I told him it was the stop leak I put in, like the mechanic told me to. We got about halfway to Costco when the car stopped. The water pump died. It was 80 degrees out. I called the insurance company to get a tow and they told me that I didn’t pay my bill. Um, yes I did, I tell them. I have the receipt in my email inbox. He put me on hold as I watched my battery drain. I hung up and called my agent. But it was President’s Day and he was off. I called the tow line back and they said they checked and yes, I did pay my bill. It would be at least an hour and a half for a tow truck. I had no choice but to wait in the heat. I texted one friend who lived nearby to see if she was home and could bring me some cold water. I didn’t get a response. So I texted another nearby friend. No response. I then texted the guy who has called me his girlfriend for the past four months to see if he was in town. No response. I finally got a response from the second friend and she brought me some water. While waiting for her, another lady stopped by and asked if I needed anything and I said cold water. She said she wanted to do more. I jokingly said a car that works. She said she had an old car she called Nixon because it was ornery but still ran. She said she wanted to donate it, but her mechanic told her to sell it. She asked if I would buy it for $10. Sure, I said and gave her my business card with all my information on it. I still haven’t heard from her. Tow truck finally got there and took me and Blanche (that’s my car’s name) home. Rodney had called his roommate to come get him. But I still needed to go grocery shopping and pick up my asthma medication. My neighbor allowed me to drive her car and on the way back, the guy who has been calling me his girlfriend for the past four months, called. My phone was in a bag and I was driving anyway, so I called him when I got home and could plug in the phone.
The day before had been Valentine’s Day and I got him a little something, some good dark chocolate because he likes that better than milk chocolate. I had texted him to see if he was coming over Sunday, but then got sick and said let’s meet up later in the week. Monday morning, I had jokingly sent him emails about some boots that were on sale I was looking at, saying he could buy them for me, since he’s always saying how rich he is. I sent some texts to tell him what size and color and then told him to read his email. Apparently, all of this communication was too much for him and that’s what he called about. Asking me not to send him stuff during work hours because then he has to stop and read everything in case it’s an important text. He could do what I do and assign different sounds to different people so I know without having to look, who it is. But he doesn’t so he has to stop. And I made him stop at least four times. Then he said that he wasn’t my boyfriend and why was I acting like he was? Um, because for four months you’ve called me your girlfriend, that’s why. Because when you come over to my place we end up in bed? Because we talk every day, sometimes for hours on end? Because you’ve not only said you loved me but you have shown it? That would lead one to believe she is your girlfriend and you are her boyfriend. Thing is, he’s married. He’s insisted since I found out and confronted him with it – I flat out asked on our first date if he had ever been married and he said he had been – that they were only business partners and that’s why they are still together, to keep the business. He’s a plumber.  I accept his answer but lay down the rules if we are to continue as boyfriend and girlfriend that he will no longer lie to me and no one gets hurt. I find out his wife is hurt by his infidelity, it ends. Turns out I have friends that work with her. He agrees and we continue on as girlfriend and boyfriend. Until Monday. When he informs me he is not in fact my boyfriend. What do you think about that, he asks. What do I think? I’ve just had one of the shittiest days after one of the shittiest weeks after one of the shittiest months and what do I think that I am no longer your girlfriend? As he would say, Are you kidding me? He then asks if I want to work for him, help him with his paperwork and he’ll compensate me. I remind him that I suggested that, without the compensation, when we first started dating. You could do that, he says. Then he changes course and says since I don’t have a printer for my laptop and I sleep all the time (you would too if you were fighting off two infections, ya little prick!) that I wouldn’t be able to do that. Next thing I know, he’s telling me he’ll call me back in an hour because he has to pee. He tells me not to fall asleep and hangs up. The tears come fast and furious.
Ninety minutes pass and the phone rings. I had just put a baked potato in the oven as I had a steak thawing and had bought some asparagus at the market. I answer it, knowing it’s him because he has a ring all his own. He asks why I called. He tells me to talk because I called him. I said, no, you called me. He begins slurring his words and I know what he’s been doing the past hour and a half. He’s probably drunk an entire fifth of whatever the liquor of the night is. I told him I don’t want to talk to him when he’s drunk and I reiterate that now. He keeps up with what did I want to talk about. I hang up on him. He calls back and I let go to voicemail. And the tears start flowing again.
Many reading this will wonder what they hell did I see in a drunk married plumber? We made each other laugh, we could talk for hours on end about anything and just enjoyed being around each other.
I’m better off without him, my friends tell me. But he’s the first boyfriend I’ve had in 25 years. Twenty five years ago, I was engaged to be married and the jerk broke up with me over the phone, saying he was afraid I would get fat like my mom and that he didn’t want a fat wife. I did get fat because those words hurt. And I swore off men because they were all assholes. In fact that’s what I told my most recent boyfriend (who is no longer my boyfriend) when he asked why I didn’t have a boyfriend. Because men are assholes was my answer. He looked at me, grinned and said he wasn’t.
Wow, the lying began at the very beginning even before he asked me out.
To add to the misery is this thing called menopause. That’s why the tears came fast and furious. That’s why I was sick on Valentine’s Day. My hormones don’t know which way to go, which way is up, which way is down. And I’m in the middle of this swirling vortex of emotions and hormones with a broken car and a broken heart.
Old age may not be for sissies, but middle age heading towards old age isn’t for any sane human female being. Because the sanity goes the moment the vortex begins and your life unravels right before your very own eyes.
That’s me. Right now. Swirling in the vortex, not able to control one damn thing.