Update: February 7, 2017

Where to begin. Left The Hood on Ridgeline Drive the day before Thanksgiving, 2013. Moved back in with my fiancee for life, My Valerie, her roommate Ally and Ally’s freaking dog, off Tuckerman LN, The Gables. Rents reflected the name, $1,900/month + utilities. Burned thru most of my inheritance from my Mom’s estate, covering the Rent and Utilities. Me and My Valerie moved to Fireside Park Apartments in November, $1,250/month with Gas Heat and well insulated Brick and Block construction. $150/month combined Pepco and Washington Gas bills in January. Much better than the $450/month total (bullshit) electric Heat Pump “Das Vinter Haus” on Tuckerman.

Got out of the Hood just in time. The Daughter came home from her facility for wayward youth a few months earlier. The Son who got thrown out of his “wife”‘s place moved back in. The place on Ridgeline became “the place to be” in The Hood, 24/7/365. Blasting Rap music, dysfunctional Reality TV shows, drugs, and lots of pellet gun firing practice out in back of the apartment, and 10s of “guests” on the floor, out back, wall-to-wall. The Son’s 4-year-old son dumped off every weekend by Son’s would be ebony supermodel “wife” so she could party party party til she drops. Little Travon on his own, no food, no water, daddy passed out on the couch.

So, my Golden Years. Early Social Security retirement, $1,400/month after Medicare deduction. Medicare B and D cost almost twice what my Gov’t subsidized Obama Care cost me. It don’t go too far. At least now, with the more reasonable rent, me and Val aren’t rationing food or deferring minimal material needs.

My well-off Little Brother [big bucks IT manager with Symantecs, the Norton software guys] out in California and my sons have helped me out with cash when times got critical during the past several years. It’s good to have successful and financially secure grown children. My youngest gave me his 2006 Toyota Corolla in early November. (My 2000 Saturn L1 and former “Mobile Home” during my homeless guy days) died in Feb, last year. My very rich (well, not Trump rich, maybe a 5-percenter, not a 1-percenter) Little Sister and her hard working general contractor husband have a beautiful farm out near Poolesville. My Number One Sister, guaranteed job for life/lucrative retirement (retired) teacher and her even more lucrative guaranteed job for life/retirement (retired) Federal Civil Servant hushand are retired and living good. The hubby is working part-time. hoping to Double Dip by qualifying for Social Security, on top of his lucrative Federal retirement. Hey, it’s free money and you can’t be too rich. Get on that teet and suck it! My Middle Sister and her husband, retired teachers, are doing all right.

So, for a first-born Son in a big Italian-American family, held up as the one to be like, it’s been a humbling fall from grace. My assessment: (1) poverty really does suck, (2) being homeless makes it suck more, (3) rich siblings who loved you when you were helping them out financially/emotionally/and otherwise may not love you as much when you need help from them. In fact, that $500 that would let you keep your health care for another month (MHIP), buy your meds for diabetes, high Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol, for a month, or even just let you buy some groceries, that $500 may just be too much to ask of said siblings. ‘Big Bro, you gotta pull yourself up by your own boot scraps, like we did…’

Maybe the thing that sucks the most about poverty, the harshest lesson I’ve learned from my little unplanned, unwanted, and unanticipated Poverty Experiment, is enduring the harsh judgement of those who loved you and really know better, fellow liberal Democrats they all are. The shame and humiliation of begging for money to live another month, from people you loved, helped raise, lent and gave money to, for the decades you were rich, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

And now we have a filthy rich, vulgar, likely mentally disturbed, idiot in the White House. God help us all. OK, there is no god. It’s just an expression that means: We in some serious shit now!

Peace out…

Update from Ridgeline Drive, January 21, 2013

Well, first the good news: I’m still no longer homeless, hanging in my crib here in The Hood since July, 2012; things are going well with my new housemate/friend , she’s one of the most appreciative people I have ever offered to help and fun to hang out with; her 15-year-old daughter [who’s room I occupy] is in a program for wayward youth and making glacial progress so I have the space indefinitely; and all-in-all, I have a great space to hang in. Now, the not so good news: her 24-year-old son now lives here for free—he took his roommate’s car, rammed his estranged girlfriend/mother of his 2-year-old son’s car, hit several other cars, led police on a high speed chase and totaled the car he was driving [he’s facing 6-years in jail, plus 14 traffic tickets for over $1,000, while driving on an expired Learner’s Permit but was released New Year’s Day without bail] so the roommate understandably is no longer offering to share his place; her 21-year-old daughter and that daughter’s 6-month-old daughter are also living here for free. Both are legal adults but otherwise ungrateful needy children. They moved in at the start of the year. Tasha asked me to keep the keys to “her daughter’s” car [the ownership of the vehicle is a little murky], so her son could not drive it illegally. He tried to break down my locked bedroom door and threatened to kill me with a knife when he found out I had the keys. The police officers got here really fast and the situation was defused. My door held and no Tai Chi hand-to-hand combat was required. I’ve taught the classes for over 25 years and am 6’3″ but still, the best fight is the one you don’t have. The door was the only casualty. For $64 (money and labor contributed by me of course) I have a new door and better outdoor strength lock and deadbolt. Good times…

When not dealing with homicidal rage or cleaning up after my housemates or otherwise doing the chores to maintain a household, a skill not widely shared by them, I’m taking photographs, teaching my Tai Chi classed, hanging with my fiancée, and finishing Why Women Are So Problematic: A Memoir And Whimsical Polemic. I plan to self-publish it through Xlibris later this year.

It’s still all good here in The Hood…