Well, I have been in my lovely sweet little apartment in the interesting part of the City for almost a year now. How I love it here! Despite the distraction of the suffering and sometimes violence outside my apartment feels like a sanctuary. My world relies on me to keep turning. I have no friends in real life. It is not easy to make friends in the City during a pandemic, besides, me and trust have a very tenuous relationship. I keep trying to force myself to get out there, join a walking group, perhaps a chess club, do something that involves other people, but my sensible side just sees enough risk taken already and instead takes me on walks alone or sometimes with the Boy.
He goes out for runs, goes to school online and is generally the sweetest, most well adjusted young man I could ever have wished to have raised. He makes me proud every single day. He still enjoys cooking for me, making me nice things to eat. The kid has a talent for making gluten free bread. He pours such care into showing me that he loves me and appreciates me. I know I am lucky. I suspect his life would have been much easier with a different mother, but he got me and I got him, and the fact remains that we are both alive. It was not assured that things would turn out that way. I kept him safe and he kept me wanting to live without ever knowing he was doing so.
It is a lot to put onto someone to be entirely responsible for surviving an almost unsurvivable situation. The pressure has weighed heavily on me. I have always tried to do fun things for him, even if it was just a walk to the Presidio, going and throwing a ball with him when he was younger. I can’t play catch with him anymore, try as he might he throws too hard and I have got too old. Besides nowadays I drop the ball all the time. I just don’t have the range of movement. All the beatings have made my body seize up in my middle age deterioration. Everything hurts. My right leg has gone painfully numb on the inside of my leg and knee, and my left is wrecked from being broken. My back is a mess, and hurts all the time. I have to move carefully and slowly. It is like being balanced on knives. I have minimal damage from all the partying, but the beatings wrecked me. I hurt so badly I worry how much worse it is all going to get. I don’t know if I can cope with more pain. I’ve arthritis in my fingers and to be frank, I am a bit young to have such gnarled up hands. I suppose when someone bends your fingers back and hurts them all the time, you got to expect consequences. In short, I am a mess.
I have one month left of sanctuary. My subsidy will not be renewed. I am working on a solution, but it is not assured. This might well be my last month I am able to do this, and if I have to leave, I will have to find another solution for the Boy. I cannot drag him outside to be homeless with me. His school is going well, he is older now and he needs to make a life. He is a wonderful young man. He has a whole life ahead of him. I just wish I could spend it alongside him as a proud and supportive mother. I want to be there for him, desperately.
What a wild ride it has been, being a mother. I gave up all my good years to try and protect and love them both. I did everything I could to keep them safe. I put my own body between them and danger. I ran and ran and took the consequences. My son is absolutely wonderful. He is all I have left. I have loved the days when I had two small children and would go walking with them in Tokyo parks, making pizza with them in my tiny kitchen, splashing in fountains and rescuing them from the top of climbing frames in Japanese playgrounds that are designed with the idea of creating tough human beings, not health and safety. I kicked leaves with them and stood in cherry blossom showers. I stood in sunstorms and my dour and joyless self laughed and was lighthearted and enjoyed every single second of taking them to Disney when my husband got free tickets but had no interest in going himself. In my minds eye I see the two of them, very young and full of pep and energy, rolling down a hill in Chiba, laughing and giggling and pointing out bunnies and the hawks that circled overhead. How I wish I could go back there.
I am defeated. I couldn’t do more than I have done. I fought and fought and ran on empty. I ran continents. I ran countries. I ran on wings and I ran on 6 wheels and a prayer across prairies and mountain ranges. I ran to San Francisco, but who can afford to do this. Who can make enough to stay in safety after an entire adult life spent up on trying to just survive? Not me. I tried. If I hadn’t been fucked over by a publisher, if I had got a few more breaks or was better at the pitching game. If. But that is not what happened and now I am staring down the barrel of the downward slide. But at least I had this year of perfection. I am unhappy because I lack security. I am unhappy because I am not free to be me. I am an eternal doomed Ruby Tuesday, “who could hang a name on you, when you change with every new day…who is going to miss you..” or something like that. Just don’t ask me why I have to be so free. I’ll only tell ya it is the only way to be.
I am thinking how stupid I was to allow myself to have books and plants. Thank fuck I didn’t have a dog or anything else to rely on me. A table? Get out of here! I have no need for a table past this year. A bed? Posters on the walls and a Tottero stuffed animal? Ridiculous. I should never have allowed myself to act as if I was settled. I should not have allowed myself to pretend this was long term. I should never ever have allowed myself to be carried along on a fantasy of letting myself have ‘stuff’ which cannot be thrown into a backpack and taken down the road. I was stupid and weak. I like making people happy. The reality is different. I should have got no more than I could fit into my suitcase, and slept on an easily disposed of inflatable bed. Stupid me.
I don’t think I can concentrate on writing. What is the use anyhow? I don’t make enough out of it to pay the rent. I don’t much feel like pouring myself onto the page, besides I am easily disheartened nowadays. A walking dead girl. What is the fucking point? Why even try, I am only going to fail. And I can’t even let my freak flag fly anymore. I am so edited and reduced, so crushed and made vanilla that there is no fucking point in it anyway.
I am me. For better or worse trying not to be me is making me miserable, depressed and small. I am never going to survive being this shrunken shriveled up thing you see sniveling here before you. Failed. made bland and thick, juiced of all life. Fuck hope. Hope is not realistic and disappointment is worse.
So what for me if I can’t find a solution to this mess? I will find a good solution for the kid, work with authorities to do so and try and walk off into the sunset. There will be talk of having ‘gone to live on the farm’, like they tell all good children when a loved old dog has had their day. People might say I have gone to Thailand. They might say I am in New York. Perhaps it will be a case of being seen with Elvis on Mars, or else gone to live in Albuquerque with some cult. I don’t know. I suspect I will fade away out of view as fast as I faded into it, and with no impact made at all. Who knows. Right now, I don’t know shit apart from that I wish it didn’t have to end.
Ruthie says promote my patreon, but there is really no point. The link to it is in my biog.