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Monday, December 26, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 2 Back in Albany New York


I am sitting in the same van that we took on our day out in Saratoga, except this time I am being driven back to Albany. 

A space suddenly opened in the independent living section of the Parson Child and Family Center group home. I am told that this means I will be living in an apartment directly above the group home and that they will be keeping an eye on me and helping me if I ever need anything. 

I am also going to have a roommate who is part of the program and we will share a bedroom. I will be taught skills on a weekly basis that are designed to help me to move into my own apartment. I will be given a weekly check in the amount of $135.00. This will be used to buy groceries.

I am being driven here by my good friend “Counselor Dave” who volunteered to do it. It seems things didn’t go so well when the cops were unable to find the large amounts of marijuana that they were promised. So now Dave has been given the crappy jobs to do.
Truth be told, I think that he wanted to see me gone and if driving me was the best way to do it, then so be it.

The group home is located on New Scotland Avenue in a very residential neighborhood. They feel that this is the best way to make sure that the kids are safe and can be brought up in the most normal way possible. 

As we pull across the sidewalk into the driveway a blond hair kid on a Schwinn bike, comes flying from the back of the house right into the street. A blond hippie looking girl is standing on the porch. I can hear her yell “Roger” after the kid, he peddles away maniacally. She raises her hand and waves at Dave.

Dave returns her wave and I watch her walk down the front steps of the house. Her arms are folded across her chest, her blond hair is in two ratty braids and her sweater is hanging off her shoulders. “We’re here!” Dave gleefully yells while looking at me in the rear view mirror.

The blond woman comes around to my side of the van and with one pull, yanks the door open. It slides easily on its track. “Hi I’m Marci,” she says extending her hand. On closer inspection I see that she is wearing overalls and Birkenstock sandals. I am immediately reminded of Peppermint Patty from Peanuts. 

She just starts to ramble as she helps me out of the van. “How was the trip?” “Is this your suitcase?” “Are you nervous?” “Is this your first time at this group home?” In between my answers she uses the words “Cool Cool.” She now reminds me more of Janice from the Muppet Show.

Marci grabs my suitcase and begins to drag it across the gravel driveway. She is in non stop talking mode the entire time. Dave follows behind us. I can see in Dave’s eyes that he has dealt with Marci before and that staying silent is best.

My suitcase bumps up the four stairs to the porch. Marci seems winded. I don’t know if it was dragging my suitcase or her constant talking. “Were almost there” she says looking over her shoulder at the house.

The house is two levels and is painted an olive green. One of the house numbers has recently been replaced and doesn’t match the other two numbers in color and style. The porch has a slight squeak and a distinctive sag towards the middle, which causes us to lean to the left at a slight angle. There are two doors framed in dark wood in front of me but at complete opposite ends of the porch. “The Lady or the Tiger,” my brain whispers.


Marci drags my suitcase across the porch to the door on the left. Reaching out she turns the handle and pushes the door inwards. I hear a bell jangle and she drags my suitcase into a foyer. There is another steep staircase in front of us. John Cafferty’s “On the Dark Side,” is being blasted from the top of the stairs.

To be continued……..

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

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