feb 26, 2001
5:22 PM
I am writing this off-line from my apartment in highland. It's off Baseline. rumor has it that there is an Albertson's nearby. I'm not really sure what my address is. It's a little back/guest house. I can't fit my wheelchair in the bedroom or bathroom; so you can imagine how I've been living.
The stove's pilot light leaks but won't light.
The sink leaked all over every bathroom item that needed to stay dry.
The old bitch that owns the place still has half her shit here cluttering my space... strangely familiar scenario.
I'm moving again to a bigger place. Soon, I hope.

Hew-bird is here squealing happily to a guitar solo on the stereo.
For those that care, it's Fuel.

From the front window I have a choice of 2 views to focus on.

Nearest is the driveway for the front house...
A line-up of trashcans
carpet scraps
car with a badly neglected fuel injector
unusably filthy gas bar-b-q with a brand-new, shiney tank
undead shrubs
a boogie-board ...with bricks stacked on it...?
milk crates
porcupine lawn decoration, sun bleached magenta and green. He's upside-down with his quills stuck in the ground. Poor guy.
A pitbull/dingo mix with mighty proud hemoroids

second choice is the top 1/3rd of the San Bernardino mountains. The cloud over the peak is so dense that the whole hill is blackened. Like somebody set the base aflame and let it ride. But you know me, I like it. It's black.

I had to leave my life-long house (not home) in Colton when my grandmother spun certifiably out of sync with this plane of reality. It was somehow triggered by my borrowing 1 of 2 large, full, bottles of oregano from the spice rack. I was going to use it to flock the base of a miniature I just finished. Damn me to hell.

I haven't bought any oregano to sit by my new salt and pepper shakers yet. I haven't decided yet if oregano is my bane, or the standard of my new family crest.

I was sent to a nursing home by adult protective services (APS) while I looked for this apartment and waited for my section8 voucher. I thought it would be a short, easy stay, but I found myself trapped there for 17 days. The nursing home's social worker told me that my case was APS's exclusively; no other entity could aid my situation till APS released me to my own custody... Yes, APS had CUSTODY of me! By going to them for help I had signed my life over to them. And I couldn't leave the nursing home, or handle much of my business affairs, without going through them. Biggest problem in this is that APS completely forgot about me for 2 weeks while I rotted in that sea of crippled gang members, brain-dead addicts, and various other creatures that wear adult diapers and play bingo for peanuts. Worst insult is that APS told me they would be there to meet me when I arrived. I can't describe the overwhelming feeling of dread choking me when I was greeted instead by Nurse Linda.

the nurse had a sing-songy voice from an old school disney cartoon; perfect for lulling rabid 'tards.
"nooo-o, nobody from adult protective services is here riiiight nu-ooow, BUT I know of some GREAT people over here in the activities room that CAN'T WAIT to meet ye-ouew... EVERYouuuNe, this is Daaarill. daryl this is ethyl... dharma... drink juice... stories... keno night..."
There's plentyofroom at d'hotel californyah...

in the middle of my nursing home stay I had to return to grandma's with the police to collect my stuff.
I have most of my belongings but it was like pulling rusty nails. My grandmother layed claim to most everything that I have. If I couldn't provide documented proof of ownership or it wasn't medical equipment she told the cops it was hers. I didn't fight it. It isn't worth the effort and I don't have time to go to court. The cop had no real power in the matter; he just looks impressive.

She claimed things that were gifts from relatives of hers. The most insignificant of things. And with the most illogical, asinine reasoning. No shame at all...

My copper piggy bank -- "my sister gave him that, it's mine!"
(If only I had put my initials on the 1200+ pennies in there...)

My grandfather's dog tags -- "you were never in the army! It's mine"
("nerve gas from Operation: Camel Thunder put me in this chair! The VFW has proof..." {I pocketed them when she wasn't looking, along with his Masonic ring})

my area heater -- "Steve gave him that and Steve's room is colder. I'll hold on to it."
(The only gifts I ever got from Steve were free John Deere promos... oh, and a dislocated petela bundled with accusations of molesting his son... with a sword... dressed as a zombie pirate... "arrrrh, scourge of all necromancing butt pirates Stride be. arrrh")

the gifts from her, she can keep. I don't want them.
But her logic is still a pentium dividing by zero.
How in the fuck did I ever get A+'s in Psychology, Critical Thinking and Philosophy coming out of this gene pool?...

My TV -- "I gave him that for finishing highschool but he never finished college. It's mine!"
(It's steve's actually! I 'traded' the time before last that he 'left forever')

my computer desk -- "I bought that with his first computer. He doesn't have that computer so he doesn't need the desk."
(I DO miss my Laser128; but the desk was FUBAR. I just didn't appreciate real oak at the age of 13)

my microwave -- "I just bought it! I have the receipt..."
(She DID kinda hafta buy it for my room... I'M NOT ALLOWED IN HER KITCHEN!)

Grandma just can't seem to find the keys to the tool shed so I can get my $2000 generator... How convenient. I'm supposed to return with more police, a social worker, and my receipt from honda. seems pointless though.

While we were picking up the stuff she tried to get me in trouble with the police...

"When you pick up your fridge be careful of all those open bottles of booze."
"Don't forget that whiskey in the closet. Two big bottles."
I think the cop saw my need for a swig of indifference now and again. He was silent.

And then, the one that should have worked:
"what about that rifle of yours! Don't forget it. I don't want illegal things in my house."
(oooh, you mean my unregistered, illegally modified, 12guage roomsweaper with the pistol grip? My Columbine After School Special!? Thanks so very fucking much for reminding me while a cop is within arms reach!... kill her! kill her! kill her! kill her! kill her! kill her! kill her! kill her!)
I managed to calmly say "no, that belongs to Steve."
"No, that's yours!"
"It's Steve's. What would I be doing with a shotgun?!"
(Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!)
I haven't figured out exactly why yet, but the subject was dropped there. The cop had no reaction what-so-ever.

So, now I have moved by the kitchen where my phone line was just installed. A cluster of the previous inhabitants furniture is lending altitude to my powerbook. the dressers are obviously jacked from a camper shell. They're the kind that have drawers to small to hold more than 2 thin t-shirts.
I only have the single phone line and need to keep it open for vital calls from housing, disabled services, doctors, my attendants, my wheelchair pimper... I'll go on-line tonight long enough to send this text to my family; my real family. The people that have noticed my absence.

It's gonna be awhile before I can get back to the things that made my life livable. Maybe I'll show up for my BattleTech game next time if I can manage a decent shower.
I still have many hard tasks ahead of me. But I also have a unique opportunity to pick and choose who gets in my life this time around.
Back when Billy Joel was writing this song he brought his new creation to a recording session with his band. During a break in recording he said he had a new song and wanted the band's opinion. They listened as Joel played the song, and when it was over Liberty DeVitto, the drummer said, "You schmuck. That's Laughter In The Rain by Neil Sedaka!"

Billy Joel had ripped off another melody and hadn't even realized it.

"You mean I wrote all these words for nothing?!" he replied back.

Joel took his lyrics home at the end of the day and was so mad about having subconsciously stealing another song that he wrote a new melody: the "angry" one we know and love today.

Billy Joel told this story at a 1996 lecture. I was in the audience that night.

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