Friday, April 7, 2017

A Poem by Gary G Pelow, On The Move

He struck me hard in the arm with a broom handle and left a bruise, a room mate I did not really know well.
I lived in that rooming house for three fucking years, the landlord said he would put five people into that rooming house if he could arrange it, find the right tenants.
He never really seemed to be able to find the "right tenants", after 2 or 3 months he often evicted most of his tenants.
It was like a fucking revolving door, people, tenants, of all shapes, sizes, races, religions, cultures, and nationalities came and went for three fucking years.
The landlord was a good guy, he kept the rooming house in good repair and enforced common sense rules for the tenants, hence the constant evictions and the revolving door.
I was was the only tenant there that stayed for an extended period without being evicted for the three years I was there as a tenant.
My room mates came and went, or more accurately, they came and then were evicted for all kinds of violations.
Drug use, drunkenness, unreasonably loud noises, yelling and screaming, and all around general chaos.
Of course some tenants had to leave simply over money, or the lack of it, to pay the rent.
Some of the tenants moved in while on "welfare" and for whatever reasons had their "welfare"  or "public assistance" cases closed by the local department of social services.
No money, no place to live.
I have been fortunate, even as a mentally ill person, in terms of financing, that is having enough money to at least pay the rent, buy food, pay for my psychiatric care and medical care and money for the bus.
I was on a form of Social Security program that was for the disabled that was need based, not on employment history and paying taxes into the Social Security system in the United States.
It was much less money for rent, food, medical and psychiatric care and transportation, I was never homeless, but it was a tight budget that I did manage well most of the time.
Then my father died.  Within five days of his death The United States Social Security Administration sent me a letter saying I was from that point forward to receive Social Security Survivor Benefits based on my father's work history and based on the fact I was considered disabled by mental illness before the age of 22.
So I had more money per month and a less strict budget but still a fixed income.
So, I was living in this rooming house for three fucking years and I put up with all kinds of bullshit because I needed the landlord as a reference to find my own apartment.
I saved up $1,200 and one early morning I got up to go the the bathroom and was promptly attacked by one of my most recent room mates with a broom handle, the fucking pigs did not arrest him and I never got to press charges against this fucking idiot who apparently went off his psychiatric meds and started using heroine.
I had had enough, my psychosis and fear and anxiety were rising, I was never really safe at that rooming house, so I bolted.
I am now living in less fear and with more privacy.

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