“People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in a certain position, however false that position may be, form a view of life in general which makes their position seem good and admissible. . . . This surprises us when the persons concerned are thieves bragging about their dexterity, prostitutes vaunting their depravity, or murders boasting of their cruelty. But it surprises us only because the circle, the atmosphere, in which these people live, is limited, and chiefly because we are outside it. Can we not observe the same phenomenon when the rich boast of their wealth-robbery, when commanders of armies pride themselves on their victories-murder, and when those in high places vaunt their power-violence? That we do not see the perversion in the views of life held by these people, is only because the circle formed by them is larger and we ourselves belong to it.” (Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy, trans. Louise Maude)

New Readers:

Please start reading with my first post "A Cup of Coffee". Originally posted on March 19, the archival date changed when I made corrections on May 13, which is the date under which you can find it now.

I'll learn to manage this all more smoothly someday, but at present I have at most only an hour online each day (that thanks to the San Francisco Public Library system, without which I would be lost).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Distance

I was at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center about half an hour ago and found our names on a wall honoring Patrons of the Center: "W.S. and C.T., Patrons" said the plaque. As I left the Center and began to walk up Market Street a few minutes later, I started to cry.  I grieved the death of someone I used to be, a life that once was mine, a much better life than that which I am living now.

I was in the Community Center because I had become overwhelmed with fatigue as I walked up Market Street toward the Castro branch library.  I had slept well the night before, but that was the first in many nights that I had had a chance to do so.  For a considerable stretch of nights prior to that I had been up much if not all of the night getting high and having sex. 
Luckily the guy I had been with night before last took pity on me in the morning after our all-night binge.

He asked about my experience of homelessness.  I told him that I have to begin each day asking myself where I am going to spend the night.  As the day rolls on, I find myself anxiously hoping that I can answer the question before it is so late and so cold that I have to seek out the places where I can go inside for a few minutes at a time to get warm: a hotel lobby, a donut shop, an adult bookstore/video arcade.

The best alternative is obviously to be invited to spend the night in somebody's house or apartment.  The downside to those invitations is that they pretty much always involve sex and drugs.  So while I get to stay warm and comfortable, I rarely get to enjoy a full night's sleep.
When I told this truth to the guy I had spent the night with, he invited me to stay the following night, which was last night, "with no expectations."  I was touched by his generosity, his true hospitality.  I accepted and slept soundly for many hours.  I awoke feling rested, and he started fondling me.  I did my best to perform well.  I was grateful for the sleep.

I long for a place where I can lie down alone.  I am more grateful than I can say to the friends and acquaintances who have let me pass a night or two -- or more -- with them during these last months.  Yet as kind as they have been, I have not been "at home" in their homes.