But you don’t have to break the law.NOTE: Because I couldn't get online last night I'm posting this in two different blog postings to break up the length.
My exit took longer than it was suppose to and longer than it should have. The train was also half an hour late. Because of this I missed the unknown to me closing time which I wasn’t told about. So until Monday I am at the worst of the worst emergency shelters. The place is miserable and scary and depressing and I don’t think even Hollywood could make it look as bleak as it really is. I have never been to prison but I imagine this is a nicer version of it and I don't know if I really can live in Skid Row... I don't know if I can really do have what it takes.
I don’t know if I am THIS strong.
The front door is staffed by an armed security guard who has to buzz you into the complex. Once you’re in you precede to the office…a hole in the wall on the other side of a “Day Lounge.” The day lounge is filled to the brim with female entities that probably haven’t seen better days since they were children. Some watch whatever drool is playing on the TV, others are chatting with others while some are threatening whoever walks by or looks at them. But most are staring into the nothingness.
Securing a bed is much like checking into the ER but with different questions.
Can you sleep on a top bunk without falling off?
How many have fallen off?
After being issued a bed number and told to wait until 8pm to be called to bed women already start to line up for the 6:30pm dinner call. Women line up as early as an hour prior to the feeding. As you enter the cafeteria a larger banner greets you and says
“Jesus loves you.”
Really? I don’t want his love. Personally I’m trying to quite abusive “loving” partners that neglect those they say they love and then serves them misery. So if this is his way of showing me some love, he should just back the $#@! Off.
The line continues past Jesus’ declaration of love where you accept your medical lime green tray of edible substance. The potatoes like substance were pale tan and tastes between squash and what I imagine prison food to taste like. There was something fried that I later overheard was supposed to be egg rolls. They did have shredded edible stuff so I guess thats what they were. The only thing that looked and tasted like it was suppose to was the small pile of salad with hidden salad dressing. At least I hope it was salad dressing. The rice, well, rice isn’t too difficult to 'make' so it looked right… like a mountain from Whoville. Except the mountain was white & the snow was black… and I was grateful for the free food.
Bathrooms in the “Day Lounge” – If walls could talk these would be scared silent, I was. But at least I know where to go for an easy drug purchase.
Soon after dinner and precisely as your ready to return to staring into the nothingness the one man religious concert starts up = Fire & Brimstone – Rock on!
…and there I sat. Wondering when my next shower would be. Whether or not I’ll be able to change my clothes tonight for bed or even the next day. Wondering what the Hell had I done to deserve this fate? Is this my punishment for settling with men I knew deep down were damaged and would do me harm? Settling with less because I didn’t think I deserved more? Never again. If I survive this, no one will ever be able to offer me anything that I can’t provide myself.