I went on a free camping trip this weekend to relax. I should know that it wouldn’t end well. Every time I try to relax the universe screws me over. The last time was 2014, and I got the shingles. It was Labor Day weekend then, too.
Came home so tired I just collapsed. Then yesterday I went to do some writing and my computer was gone. I knew I’d left it (and the charger) on my bed because I’d pulled an all-nighter writing something on deadline, finishing just before I had to leave before camping. And I left it on the bed.
I tore my room apart (twice) and couldn’t find it. Asked my roommate’s boyfriend (the only one home all weekend) if anyone strange had been over and explained the situation. He asked if I was sure I didn’t bring it with me. (Yes, because I’m going to bring my lifeline to the only work I can eke out on a camping trip that entails taking a five-mile canoe trip to our campsite…) Or if I’d hidden it somewhere.
My roommate isn’t answering my texts. I don’t know if it’s because she knows he screwed up or she’s giving me space. Either way, when I’m done teaching for the day I’m going to go back home and dismantle my entire room just to make sure (even though I already know). And then I’m filing a police report. Let them interrogate my roommate’s boyfriend. That’s their job, not mine. I think there are also security cameras in our building. Let’s hope they are real and not just deterrents.
Because I have literally $2 in my bank account, I’m eating once a day from leftover canned goods in the pantry, I’m getting fruit from the stand only because the Iranian dude there has a crush on me (and God help me if I have to sink so low as to have to start giving him sexual favors for day-old produce), I’m mostly walking hundreds of blocks to get places unless I can find people to swipe me in on the subway, and I’m once again finding out that drinking lots of water really does help you feel full. That laptop was the connection I had to a better life, the possibility that I could still climb back into normalcy, that I could write something on spec that would turn things around. And, you know, my fucking book was on there. Which I think I backed up to the cloud but iCloud was acting up lately, so who knows?
In the end, I know I made the choice to be here. I know that I chose not to have a Plan B, and that means riding out the hard times even if they turn into unthinkably unbearable times. So what if it feels like this is going to kill me. I’m an educated white woman who, when walking down the street, still passes as someone who has her fucking act together. I’m a brilliant impostor. I just don’t know how much longer I can keep holding it all together. Things are rapidly collapsing. The curtain is crumbling, the façade isn’t what it used to be. I’m hungry and tired and soon I won’t have a place to live. All of my things in storage that I hold so dear will be auctioned off soon as well, unless something magical happens.
I’m beginning to think that I’ve done something terribly wrong to deserve all of this. And I probably have. I just wish a little bit of sunshine would creep in. It’s been so long I don’t even know what it looks like.
For now it’s work and walking home unless I get a swipe and then police reports and who knows what else. You do what it takes to stay alive. Hunger makes you do interesting things.