Read the Blog in Full

Read the Blog in full

Read the Blog in full

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 6 Back in Albany New York

Time passes quickly at the group home in the Independent Living Wing. Jonathan is sad and tragic and reminds me of a little bug that got sprayed with Raid. He sort of flounders through life on his back and I’m never sure if he’s breathing.

One unnerving habit he has is his nighttime routine of sleepwalking. Every night like clockwork I find him standing next to my bed staring at me. The first through the tenth time it happened it scared the living shit out of me. It’s no less scary now but I’m more used to it.

Being in Independent Living means that they will start helping me to become more independent and finally live on my own. That’s the main plan. I receive a weekly check that is to be used to buy groceries and cigarettes. Well, they never said cigarettes but I assumed.

I have helped Jonathan a lot in the past couple of weeks. I see it as tough love but really I got sick of the filth and the smell. I made him finally clean up his shit and take daily showers. Showers that I time him in, twenty minutes is the minimum he has to stay in there. After the first time he showered, he was just as dirty coming out as going in. I realized that he was just standing in there nowhere near the water, waiting me out. So I put him back in and for the next several showers, I scrubbed him.

It’s clear and a little sad to me that no one ever taught him the importance of this. The first day I watched in horror when he removed his clothes to get ready for bed. His white underpants were a color I have never seen in nature before. He liked to go to bed at around 7:30pm.

After closing my eyes and asking God to take my life while I was sleeping I dozed off. Several hours later when I woke up, Jonathan was standing by my bed staring at me. After screaming “What the fuck?” and jumping up to defend myself I realized that he was sound asleep.

It was the fact that God didn’t kill me in my sleep and how much Jonathan broke my heart when I just looked at him that made me really want to try to help him out.

I spent a lot of days trying to get a job. That was one of the “laws” that I had to follow living at Parsons Group Home. I was supposed to get a job. Can I tell you how hard it is to get a job when you live at a group home? I had one set of clothes and no skills.

The only job I could get was at McDonalds. The first two weeks I was in a tiny room near the fryers watching training videos. My money was wearing down and I was forced to wait for a paycheck. By the third week I got to work on the floor sweeping and mopping. I was so hungry that when I would take out the garbage I would hide by the dumpster and eat out of the bags. 

I could tell by the looks I got returning into the store that everyone knew what I was doing. They also had a video camera above the dumpster, so everyone had seen what I did on the little monitors in the back of the store. I was humiliated and starving. No one would speak to me.

After I was fired for being caught eating out of the dumpster for the third time I was also told that I needed to return to school. I was told that his time I would be going to Albany High but I was terrified to even enter the building. The first day I stood outside and walked home after the first bell rang.
Every day at 4pm I would sit in the bathroom and press my ear to the door that separated me from the group home. I could hear the kids talking to each other. We were also under strict orders to never talk to anyone that we saw who lived in the group home.

I was so alone and had no one that I could talk to. One day while I was sitting in the bathroom, I reached out at 4:05 and opened the door.

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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