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Monday, June 20, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 14 Leaving Home

The first thing I did was to make it over to the Albany bus depot three blocks away. There I used a payphone to call Kerry. Thank god, it was still early enough in the morning that she was still at home and picked up on the first ring. After telling her my story she said, “I’m not sure that you can stay at my house but we can ask around.”

I walked another three blocks over to Washington to catch the bus to Stuyvesant Plaza. At the bus stop located on the corner of Lark Street and Washington, I was feeling like a wanted fugitive so I stood a little ways back from the street and kept my head down. I was hyper aware that at any moment someone from the shelter could come driving past and make me get in the car or worse, they could have called the police and I could be asked to get into the back of a police car. It took about 25 minutes for the bus to come and I climbed aboard with my head down.

Kerry was waiting for me by the time the bus pulled in. I ran over, climbed in her car and we drove to school. “Tell me again what happened for you to run away from the shelter?” she asked pulling out onto the highway.

I went through the story again and Kerry inserted various “Wow’s” when I reached the parts about smoking weed, getting caught with it and then being told I would have to leave. “What do you think that you’re going to do now?” she asked. “I don’t know.” “I am going to ask several friends at school if I can stay with them.” I didn’t have a lot of time to find a place to spend the night. I knew that it was a lot to ask of someone but to then ask them to let me live full time with them? I even knew that was a lot to ask.

Kerry pulled into the school parking lot at Guilderland High and looked right at me. “Are you ok?” she asked. I nodded and fought back the tears. “It will work out she said.” “I know” I responded opening the car door. Pausing, I asked, “Can I leave my bag in your car?” “Of course,” she said and we headed into school.

I ran to homeroom before the bell and checked in. Our homerooms were organized by last name, so everyone in my homeroom’s last name started with the letter D. Thank god that one of my best friends Debbie was there, I needed the laughs and the support. Debbie was one of the funniest human beings I ever had the pleasure to get to know. We had started a school newspaper together once, well more like a flier that had a great expose on various cheerleaders in our homeroom. I quickly went in and when I didn’t find her there I knew where to go.

Like every high school, the students at my school all grouped together in familiar groups. The various groups are separated into the various categories, jocks & cheerleaders, nerds, heads and theatre people. I was part of the theatre people group. The theatre group also lumped together all the people in band. 

If you played in band you were also allowed to hang out in the band room before school started, after you checked into your homeroom. Being that I was in theatre but not band, I was tolerated but breaking all the rules by going there for homeroom. Today, this point it seemed a mute one.

I didn’t have a plan but figured that I would just start asking for people’s help. On my first attempt, my friend Beth said that she would ask her Mom if I could spend the night. Beth and her mother lived alone and they had plenty of room, so she didn’t think that it would be a problem. Twenty minutes later Beth cleared it with her Mom and I was to go home with her at the end of the day.

I was so relieved that I had a place to spend the night but I needed to ask around to find other places to stay. I was sure that Beth’s Mom was not going to make this a permanent thing.

To be continued…….

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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