Monday, March 8, 2010

In the beginning part 4b

Okay, new house, hopefully new rhythm of writing several times a week. I have received so much positive feedback the last couple weeks about my blog that I am feeling very encouraged.

I decided to write part 4b b/c I feel like I skipped through the California time too fast and missed some details. I wrote about all the big stuff, but I didn't really talk about the day to day things of California squatter years. California was such a strange environment for me. Even though, I wasn't a Christian, I had been raised in the Bible belt and so I had a bible belt set of morals and standards that I wasn't even really aware of. I would imagine many of the people I know who were raised in Texas probably take for granted the things that we think. Amongst our group of squatters, which was a pretty big group, there were a couple of the guys who were pimps to girls who were prostitutes. I remember, even in my state of little or no morals, thinking that it was really strange that everyone treated that like is was normal. I had never really hung out with any prostitutes. In Texas there was just kind of a stigma and taboo about the profession. Now I am not saying what I did, which was trade favors for drugs or just not value my body enough to be dignified, was any better, but the overt way it was promoted just struck me as odd. The girls would go out and do there thing and come back with money; everyone just treated it as normal. I even remember them sending the girls out so we could get money for drugs for us. It was just not something I was used to seeing. Some of the girls also seemed a little developmentally delayed which I also found odd. They were either developmentally delayed or had done so many drugs that they had become delayed. Not sure why I felt to write about that except that the sense of weirdness about the whole things still strikes me as strange.

I was also struck by the vast numbers of homeless teens in Hollywood from all over the place. I met people from all over the US. Alexandra's dad was from Utah, for example. We knew of about 20 squatters in Dallas (Young, punk squatters that is). In Hollywood there were probably close to 500 to 700 spread out all over. They arrived fresh daily.

We found a squat with about 10 others off of Melrose Ave. I am not sure why all these houses were abandoned. Up on the Blvd there were tons of kids staying in abandoned warehouses. I do remember having to sneak in after dark and get back out as soon as we could in the morning. I remember we used the bathrooms in spite of no water. The tub and pot were full of human waste. (Sorry, I know that is gross.) It smelled horrible. We used to steal toilet paper from the restaurants on Melrose. There was this food stand where we would all go get food called Okey Dogs. They had the biggest burritos. I think they were like 2 dollars and would totally fill us up. We would go out and start pan handling to get enough change for a burrito and some cigarettes. Then later in the day we would start pan handling for money to drink. I remember exactly what I would say; I said it over and over so it stayed with me. "Hey, you got any change you can spare? quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies?" When they would ask me why, I would say b/c I want to get high, and believe it or not, that worked for me. People would give me money. Then we would start drinking or tripping or whatever we decided we wanted to do that day. That was before I met the guys with the meth. The meth changed things a lot. I have always been a speed freak. Well, once I started doing drugs. I have spent most of my life feeling like I wanted to sleep. For whatever reason, I ended up with way more drive than energy. In recent years that is much better do to change in food choices, exercise and life changes. But b/c I always felt like sleeping, I did not want to do downers; I wanted speed and a lot of it. I really never gave much thought to doing too much or overdosing. I took all I could get my hands on and as fast as I could get it in. Funny I have always been a person of excess. I guess one might see excess in my running 10 to 12 miles a day, but I choose to call it discipline. Anyway, when it came to drinking or doing drugs, I did it hard and fast. When I was drinking, I could out drink most of the people I knew, including my husband. I didn't wait for it to hit me; I just hammered it down as fast as I could pour it. What used to worry my husband was how much I could put away and still walk and talk normally.

So, on one of the last nights I was in Hollywood is the night that the whole Sunset Strip was tripping on LSD. On the weekends we would all go up to the strip and hang out all night. We weren't in clubs, just on the streets/ side walks hanging out. Sometimes the strangest things seemed to go on. One night we were all sitting and this whole bunch of our punk friends were walking in a line down one side of the street, across and up our side of the street. They were walking in this big square for a really long time. I don't know why, but I can remember thinking it was really strange and not having any idea why they were doing it. I guess that's what we did when we were really high. So, I was panhandling for money to get some LSD. I was using my standard panhandling method. "You got any spare change, quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies?" These guys asked what I was panhandling to get and I told them LSD. (For those who aren't familiar with drugs, LSD is a hallucinogen. Depending on how strong it is, it can take you quite far from reality. You never know what you are going to see.) These guys asked how much I had; I said $4.32 (something pretty close to that-I know you probably are shocked that I can remember the amount. That would by why my husband likes to call me rain man. Because I can remember the strangest details about stuff.) They said give us what you have and put out your hand. I did and they poured a hand full of liquid LSD into my hand. (Liquid is really strong and hits you really fast. It usually only takes a couple drops and I got a LOT!!!) That night these guys had come down to the strip to distribute a lot of LSD. They were following the Grateful Dead on tour. They weren't really looking to make money b/c they were pretty much giving it away. Several people ended up tripping who did not necessarily want to be tripping. I heard that dozens of people were tripping on the strip that night and there were people running up and down the strip naked. It was like something that happens in a movie. I don't remember much of anything from that night at all. There are a couple fuzzy moments, but most of it is a complete black out. I believe I left Hollywood the next day. My best friend, Star, stayed behind. I left in a white stolen jeep Cherokee. It was driven by Pilot and contained me, Crabs (Ally's biological dad), and a girl called Chaos Pony. Yes, we all had really strange street names. Mine was Spider. If you have ever wondered why I have all those stupid spider tattoos even thought I am petrified of spiders, that would be why.

So we took off for Dallas. The clutch went out right outside of California. Of course no one had the money to get it fixed. This is where I learned to power shift. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is how you shift a car that is a standard without a clutch. Yes, you can drive a standard without a clutch. It is not good for it and probably not very safe, but we got all the way back to Dallas that way. We would stop and panhandle for money for gas; we may have done a couple of gas runs too. You start out in 2nd gear and chug a lug to get the car going then you shift with the rpms. The hardest part is getting it going. I remember that Nirvana had just gotten really big at the time. We listened to Smells like Teen Spirit all the way back to Dallas. It was on all the radio stations, so we heard it a lot as we went from station to station across the US. At some point a long the road I called my mom to tell her I was on the way back. She let us come and stay. We didn't tell her we were driving a stolen car. It is so funny that we managed to get all the way from California to Dallas, Texas in a stolen car that we were having to power shift to drive. I think it was pretty close to Christmas, too. I am not sure, but there seems to be some kind of remembrance in me that says it was. I am pretty sure we were in Cali for Thanksgiving. Mom, let us all stay with her a couple days in her apt. We smelled super ripe. She tells me that she had to throw the blankets we used away when like 3 washings did not get our stench out. I am not exaggerating. We were nasty. I personally had 1 set of clothes I wore. Every once in a while I would go into a gas station and wash out my underwear then wear them around wet. Man, I cannot even imagine that now. I don't ever go a day without a shower.

We ended up in Deep Ellum drinking and eventually left Dallas. Crabs got put in jail for fighting while he was drunk. When he got out, we went to Austin for some reason. On the way back from Austin we did a dye and dash (we went into a Sally's and ran out with a bunch of hair color. Man, we were idiots.) Then about Waco we did a dine and dash. Right outside of Hillsboro we got stopped by a state trooper. He actually took us in for having an open container. It was a bottle of vodka with literally 1 gulp in it, but it was enough. They arrested the 4 of us and impounded the car. The next day 3 of us got out, but the girl who owned to car stayed in for warrants, I think. We were stuck in Hillsboro, though. We all had mohawks and were wearing leather jackets, combats boots, etc. The folks in Hillsboro did not like us at all. There was one place that could take wire transfers in the town. We were trying to get someone to wire us money to get the car out of impound. The police got us kicked out of the only place where we could have money wired to us. They kept telling us to get out of town, though. I am not sure what they wanted us to do. I remember being really scared that once it got dark they were going to make us disappear. We finally convinced someone to drive down and get us; we left the other girl and her car. We just wanted to get out before we woke up buried alive or something. We got back to Dallas. We went to party at some really big ritzy house, stole a bunch of stuff and took off for Minneapolis. We had convinced these two girls to drive us. We also convinced them to do all of our dirty work b/c they looked normal and we didn't. They used to credit cards we had stolen to gas up and buy all kinds of stuff. We had them pawn a ring for us too. That happened later in Columbia, Missouri. We all took off in a Sunbird (tiny with a hatch back). I am pretty sure there were like7 of us in it. I was laying on top of the three people sitting in the back seat. To make the trip go by fast I took 2 xanax (which I had stolen) drank a bottle of nyquil and drank a couple beers. I am lucky I woke back up. We ended up stopping in Columbia for a few days; I am not sure why. We met some people some how and stayed at their house on the floor. Crabs and I had strep throat really bad. We were so so sick, running fever and all. They ended up leaving us in Columbia b/c we all knew we were probably going to be squatting in Minneapolis and were afraid Crabs and I would end up dead b/c we were so sick. Eventually Crabs and I took off hitch hiking. We ended up stuck on the side a a highway. No one would pick us up. The midwest is a really bad place to hitch hike. They don't like to pick people up. We even had hats on. I remember we kept going back to this truck stop and couldn't get any help. My toes were frozen to my wool socks in my boots. It was so miserable. This is where my absolute hatred for cold was really solidified. Finally someone picked us up and drove us into Kansas City, Kansas. We went to a shelter in Kansas who helped us get to Travelers aid. All they did was put us on a bus that took us into Kansas City, Missouri. At the bus station we called a shelter. They picked us up and took us to the Hospital where we got treatment for our horrible strep. Then they took us to the shelters. We had to be in separate shelters which we didn't like at all. We left on foot after like 1 day. We asked around and found the place where all the punks hung out. We met some folks and found a place to stay. I think we were in Kansas city for a couple months. It was here I realized I was pregnant. I got tired of Crabs. He was a jerk for the most part. I called a friend from Dallas and he drove up and rescued me. He actually lived in Norman, Ok so I stayed with him for a bit. Finally, I ended up back in downtown Dallas. I hooked up with one of my old friends ?? (I decided to remove his name, due to possible incrimination of him- that is not my place to expose) and moved in with him and his room mate.

Now we are coming up to the part where you get to hear how I met Jesus, but alas, I must go pick up Chloe so this part of the story will wait for another day.

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