It’s strange, to sit here quietly on my couch, close my eyes and relive a time in my life I’ve always just wanted to push away. That ten years of extreme intensity. The drugs, the crime, the people. Sometimes it feels like a mirage of something that never existed. Like I’m a fly on the wall in someone else’s story. It’s heavy to realize, over and over again, that this story is my own. I have to be choosy now, with what I share, and when. The hole is getting deeper, and I need to wise up enough, not to let myself get lost in it. These are memories, not a novel I’m making up along the way. It could potentially be dangerous, not to process this all properly, and just type it out in a never-ending frenzy of expression. Which is so like me to do, because, I’m restless.
I’ve been thinking about where to go from here, my mind going right back to cold confines of the jail. I want to talk about the stage leading up to my arrest. The life choices and circumstances that carried me to this place. I think it’s more important then even being in jail, at all really. I will get back to the rest of my time in prison, but I want to stop and hang out here for a bit.
Jail, was an end. Life before it, was, a scary place. This very small span of time, a few short months, in between rehab, and incarceration. Yes, I got out of rehab, and within months I was in jail. Classy stuff.
I never graduated the rehab program. I was stubborn as shit. I didn’t like it, it was bullshit, that’s all there was to it. Total tunnel vision. So, after eleven months of pushing back, they finally kicked me out. I was SO happy. All it took was a little scrap with one of the girls to get me there. Had I of known, I probably would have instigated it earlier. I was very mature, if you hadn’t already noticed.
There was only one place that would accept me back, after my spit in the face. My old group home. I think I lasted there a few weeks, before I took off. This being nothing new, since I had over three hundred A.W.O.L’s on my record by the time I was sixteen. Like I said, I’m restless and running away was an addiction stronger than any drug I’ve faced since. The staff even had to go so far, in the past, to lock up all my shoes in the staff office. Always. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, me living in a group home,but I did. I don’t really have much to say about it right now. Let’s just move on from there. I left. With the clothes on my back and a nap sack filled with socks, underwear, and deodorant. Five dollars in my jean pocket, and a heart of pure stone. I just couldn’t stay there. That house, instilled in me a kind of anxiety I just couldn’t fight. Couldn’t before, and certainly couldn’t now.
It had been over a year since I had lived there last, and nothing had changed, except for the new load of way ward teen girls filling the rooms of the house. Apparently, I was so stoked to leave rehab, at the time, I didn’t realize I would be walking right back to the same shit life I had entered rehab from. So, suffice to say, my being able to fight the urge for freedom was short lived. Making the choice to leave took a matter of seconds, like a drug relapse. I called a shelter downtown and just left. I remember sitting on the bus, knowing full well, I had just dug myself a deeper grave, but also knowing, that nothing was going to convince me to turn around and act on the sound advice to stay. Give it a chance. In my mind, no one gave me chances. No one actually gave a shit why I did the things I did. No one understood me. So, I HAD to go. Nothing and no one could convince me that waiting out my time there was a proactive thing to do. Because I’ve always had severe tunnel vision, my options always seemed slim. There was no grey area with me. All or nothing, and since I couldn’t give my all in that house, with those rotating staff, my only option was to give nothing. Just give up. That’s exactly what I did. I ignored the pleas of the staff I’d known for years, fell victim to anxiety of sitting still, turned my back and walked away.
When I hit the front steps of the shelter, the weight of my choice felt all the more heavy. I don’t know what I was expecting, I mean shelters aren’t the effin’ Four Seasons. I just didn’t expect the smell. Rank, putrid and sticky. Everything about this place felt sinister. Dark. Sad. Hopeless. I knew immediately that yet again, I wouldn’t be able to trust anyone here. It was likely I shouldn’t be trusted either. Can’t blame them, can’t blame me. It’s just the name of the game. I decided right then and there, I would only be staying here for as short a time as possible. Who wouldn’t. That notion sticking in me deeper, as I was taken to my room. It was tiny, and I’d be sharing it with a three hundred pound woman, who did not shower. Good times. I was given a locker for my minimal amount of belongings, with no lock. I’d be carrying my stuff on me, here on in, you’d be surprised at what homeless people will steal, as in everything they can get their hands on. Everyone needs socks and pit stick. The smallest of things become luxury when your out on the street. I’d be learning this lesson, again, very soon. I cried myself to sleep that night, feeling the dread grow in my guts. Knowing I had made a bad choice, but was too stubborn and pissed off to change it. I stayed at the shelter a total of three nights, and was swiftly kicked out for threatening one of the girls, who had slept with a guy I was into. Who knew, a reasonably healthy treat would send me on my way. Zero-tolerance wasn’t a statement I tended to listen to. She had ran right to the director, who had immediately called the police to have me removed. I’d say nothing to the cops, except and kindly screw you and let me go. I would then spend an entire week with nowhere to go, and nowhere to sleep, since I had officially burnt every bridge available to me. Except one. The Y. M.C.A. That tall brown building, with rows upon rows of glass windows. Housing for a barrage of the down and out. From refugees, to abused women and children, to the elderly.
It was a cess pool of filth, poverty and drug abuse.
A catalyst to my rash crime spree.