Related to this post, and some earlier whining, I have to say that I live a charmed life. Really, I do. For instance, when I was about to be homeless, I saw a brochure at the Seattle Public Library on resources for homeless people that mentioned the Aloha Inn. I went down and applied for a space that Friday, and got in right before our lease was up. Luckily, they had several spaces they wanted to fill because it was the end of their fiscal year, and those things count. I think about a dozen people were inducted in my class, and I met some real characters. I ran into one of them in the grocery store the other day.
I was lucky I had an income at this time. One of the criteria for getting in to the Aloha is that you have an income of some sort. This is necessary because you save a lot of it to get housing. You know, first, last and damage. So, although we were all homeless, we weren’t street people, like The Boyo deals with. I also had a lot on the ball. I had already applied for public housing, I was taking care of my mental health issues, etc. I later found out I was just the sort of person they were looking for, someone who would probably succeed with the program.
Unemployment benefits were extended during this time, and I was able to claim unemployment for a year, rather than six months. That doesn’t happen often. I just lucked into it.
I was lucky again, that my name came up for a unit in the building I wanted just at the time my six months at transitional housing was up. It was just at the right time. A few months later, when public housing dollars had been cut, the length of time it took to get housing doubled.
The first time I went camping by myself, I fell and broke my wrist. No big deal. But I was lucky. For some reason, during that week, there was a whole row of women who were camping alone. I had become acquainted with the woman next door, and her dog. We had gotten friendly. I was on the way to her camp when I fell. She drove me to the hospital to get it set. Lucky.
Meeting The Boyo at Beltane was lucky. He has been my best friend for nine years now, even though we separated for six months when I was homeless. He knew that the building boom in Seattle was over, and he wasn’t going to be able to support me while I was a little nuts. So he gave me some time to get used to the idea of being without him. And he helped me apply for public housing. And he helped me move. And when I wasn’t mad at him anymore, he came back into my life. Lucky.
I got the meme of a charmed life from my sister who had breast cancer. She caught it early, and it is now six years since diagnosis and five years since treatment ended. To mark the occasion, she is training for the Avon three day walk for breast cancer. She told me she lives a charmed life. I decided to live a charmed life, too. If you would like to pledge some support for her walk, you can do so here. Even though she’s made her goal, I’m sure she would appreciate it.
And so, even though I am disabled, I live a charmed life. Nothing I have is going to kill me. It just greatly inconveniences me. But my dad bought me a scooter. Lucky. The Boyo bought me a second-hand computer before I could afford my own. Lucky. The Tall Guy, a friend, sends me every iteration of a bear, my totem, that he finds, and can afford. I can bear-ly get into my apartment for them. Lucky.
And so, I feel lucky. I live a charmed life. I have three hots and a cot, and arts and crafts in the afternoon. What else do you need?