I hate moving. Moving transforms me into the Simple Dog. The only voluntary moves I have ever made in my life were the ones that took me from 'living in my parents' house' to 'living absolutely fucking anywhere that is not my parents' house, seriously, I don't even care anymore'.

All of my other moves have been due to forces beyond my control. The semester ends, the lease ends, college ends, the friendship ends. Moving to Boston was the first time I've ever even had a choice as to where I went, and that was more a matter of figuring out where I thought it would be most pleasant to starve to death than anything else. Usually I'm just informed that as of X date, my home will not be my home anymore. The lead time varies. I land in the only place I can both find and afford before I'm out on the street.

I even hate it when the landlord has to come in to look at or fix something. I don't like reminding them that I'm there. I know I probably sound like big brassy trouble rolled in a boatload of sequins when you read my writing about the circus peeps and all, but I actually get through like 95% of my waking hours without talking to anybody. I'm used to authority figures looking at me in perplexity, realizing they have no idea what to do with me, and then quietly leaving me alone, on the theory that it'll make life much easier for both of us. This suits me fine, because when they meddle in my life, bad things happen.

Having someone simply inform you that you need to pack your shit and physically exist somewhere else makes the universe feel arbitrary and cruel. Anything could be taken away from you at any moment, and there's nothing you can do about it. The world does not care what you want or need from life, and is certainly unconcerned with your comfort.

I know perfectly well that if I were booted and left on the curb with all my luggage, I could find a place to sleep. I'd have to call a bunch of people and it would be intensely uncomfortable,  but someone would be able to take me in. But it would be for a few nights, living out of suitcases in a space that wasn't mine, and then I'd have to move again. And again. And again. It's incredibly hard to keep your head above water when you have no safe place to go home to. Physically, I'd be fine crashing with any of my friends, and I'm sure they'd be very nice to me, but emotionally it crushes me to feel like I'm living in a narrow hallway, constantly having to shuffle my things around and press myself against the wall so that other people can get past and into their proper rooms, always apologizing for being in the way. I'm not really supposed to be there, but there's nowhere else to put me. No matter how small I make myself, my existence is an inconvenience.

Money is always a problem. I'm wrestling with the idea that maybe I just can't adult like I'm supposed to without collapsing in on myself. One of my friends informed me that the problem was that the rest of the world didn't perceive the value in my contributions. He's a card-carrying mensch, and it is very nice of him to try to reframe the issue as 'you're clearly brilliant, they don't fucking know what they're talking about', but in the end, the problem is exactly the same: The set of things I am capable of doing and the set of things that would justify my inclusion in society are not isomorphic. It doesn't really matter how amusing people find me if I can't pay my own way in life.

How do I know what I can't do, for that matter? It's easy to figure out if you are mechanically deficient. I can't bench 300lbs, because I lack the musculature needed. When the deficiency is one of energy or concentration or being able to do things without dissolving into hysterical crying then I don't realize my incapacity for doing things until I notice I've spent a long time just not doing things, and try to figure out why. How do you explain to people that, while in theory you are physically and intellectually capable of doing that thing they want, on the soul-lular level, you have, as tumblr says, lost your ability to can? How do you tell them that you spend so much of your day talking yourself out of a dead panic and breathing very determinedly to keep yourself from passing out from heat and just getting the fuck out of bed so you can do some dishes that things like work that are normally of paramount importance just get shoved to the side?

And how do you justify doing -- or worse, buying -- anything even remotely fun while you're like that? "Because otherwise I would go insane" is not a very acceptable answer. "In for a penny, in for a pound," is not what they want to hear either, but it's closer. It's a bad idea to go hog wild, but even if I put every cent I had towards solving the problem, I would fall tremendously short. A couple dollars of chocolate seems like it shouldn't matter much, especially since it's calorie-dense and I'm not eating much of anything else. I still have a tiny stroke trying to figure out how to explain that later, when someone interrogates me about where the money's gone.

I feel like I have to defend how I came to own anything at all. I have a computer because I need it to work. I have portable widgets and fancy ball gowns because sometimes people give me things that aren't money. I can't sell them, they're not worth anything second-hand. I have costumes and hoops and makeup because it's part of how I make a living. I didn't blow all my money on toys, I never had any money to begin with. I don't expect other people to pay everything for me. I just make do without. You just don't notice, because I'm trying hard not to let it show. Acting skills are free, so I have a lot of them.

Jazmin is trying very hard to take me with her. Her mother and sister are also involved here, so I suspect there were a lot more arguments about it than I got to see. She's twenty-five. I don't want to be her hard life lesson on why it's a bad idea to trust people with money matters just because you like them.

I do want to thank, from the very bottom of my heart, everyone who has sent donations and well-wishes of any kind. Twenty bucks makes the difference between having groceries and not having groceries sometimes, and sympathy helps.

It sounds petty, but one of the really depressing things about not having any relatives worth speaking of is not having a lot of people who respond to crisis or holidays or birthdays by trying to feed you or give you useless tchotchkes. I don't really miss being handed stuff. I'd just have to move it later anyway, and gifts from my family always came with godawful strings attached. It's just isolating when events in my life, good or bad, go completely unremarked upon by the outside world.

Comments

  1. Chocolate is not a luxury. Science has proven it; it is a staple of life. Hang in there. JE

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