This is originally from a Facebook note I had written just after moving into the Balantine Plaza after having stayed at The Rotary House on Skid Row for three months in February of 2011. Forgive the misuse of punctuation, I didn’t care for it that much back then:
March 18, 2011 at 6:25 p.m.
This week was a week of putting off things i must do till the end of the week which in retrospect worked out really well.
So I’m writing this note cause it was originally a status update but i figured it was more important in this note format.
Going back to last week’s failure of utter disbelieve i shall recap:
Having moved into the balantine plaze in downtown l.a. i am now on board and care. i still dont know why? except thats the way the mop flops for artie. this means no more food stamps and no more general relief. apparently i receive some kind of pittance after 45 days of residency which (i was told) will amount to 100 bucks a month. a far step down from the 420 and some change from the social services people and boy do i miss that. so this sacrifice has got me into a better living situation. for sure and it right on the outskirts of skid row. basically the block before u go right into the hub of where it all goes down.
skid row is a very contained area. apparently it used to go all the way to freakin broadway. WTF? i cant even imagine that. WOW and HOLY SHIT that must have been a nightmare. but now its like a 4 block radius thing with everything centrally located.
Now going back to this 45 day no money thing.
My first thought was how in the world am I going to pay my cell bill? its due the end of this month. 50 bucks a month. totally doable with my social service pittance. but now i have no social service pittance. so it comes to me in a flash of brilliant white light. I KNOW!!!! plazma. of course. plazma. brilliant.
so i go to plazma and they tell me need proof of residence. WTF? the address on the I.D. card not good enough o.k. i come back the next day. i use my last address cause it was the only mail i had and they say this address is not good enough. its on our not so super fabulous list. come back when ur more fabulous o.k. so now i have to score a piece of ‘official’ mail for this place and go back and see if i’m super fabulous cause according to skid row housing and trust i am too fabulous to qualify for their SRO program???? i mean WTF?
yes i got rejected for SRO cause when i moved into the balantine when i got on board and care it officially took me off being homeless so the skid row housing and trust people said your too super fabulous for us please go away and good luck. which brings me back to plazma and wondering if my address is now good enough for them. so i guess we shall wait and c about that. i mean WTF? i got the application almost a month before i got into the balantine got my three referance signatures, my verification of income, i.d., social security card, tb test, and im good and then they say im not homeless. what kind of homeless person on the skid row even has all that shit. believe me if your on the streets im willing to bet several nickles and a dime bag you do not have all those. fuckers
it was not what i would call a super fabulous week except that my v.a. case worker gave me a couple of job leads which went like this
lead number 1:
call us back on the 28th to schedule an appointment for april
lead number 2:
come in monday at 8 a.m. 🙂
so this week was pretty much getting into the routine of the balantine
6 a.m. is breakfast and it super fabulous. i mean really outstanding
eggs and cereal and chocolate milke, and orange juice, and passion fruit juice, and fruit and its really glorious. the thing that sucks about it is 6 a.m. WTF???? and its the only meal really worth going to so u have to go to it cause of course that 45 day approval for the 100 bucks a month approval thing of whatever.
lunch sucks. sack fucking lunch. its the same as the last place i was at cause they cater to the same fucking people. definately a lowest bidder influence going on there which of course makes sense since i sacrificed food stamp money for this. subway every freakin day. i miss it very much. plus to add another insult. NO FREAKIN’ JUICE???? its actually a step down from rotary house
dinner is a very small step up from rotary house but like tonight it was just nasty. if i ever have another fish mash meal again it will b too soon before another friday night gets here
so after breakfast i end up going back to sleep till at least 10 a.m. usually because i dont get to sleep till like 12 a.m and the whole 6 a.m. breakfast is really throwing things off. sometimes i sleep till 11 a.m. or 12 or 1 tho it depends whats going on that day.
next week i actually have appointments monday, wednesday, and thursday so im hoping next week goes well cause last week was incredibly dissapointing with the plazma rejection and not having the super fabulous address and then the SRO rejection cause my address was too super fabulous.
so this week i didnt really do shit monday tuesday wednesday. yesterday i called my 2 job leads and then today i did my once a week mandatory v.a. case worker update and would u believe it took ALL DAY??????
i go in the morning give my update and she sais we need to update resume. o.k. so she works on it. FOR AN HOUR. sais come back at 3:30. fine. of course when i get it their are misspellings and misprints and what does that sentence even mean. of course she was reluctant to change it. its the end of the day on a friday and she should be gone for the weekend and im holding her up plus i need bus tokens for monday and wednesday and i need copies of my resume and cover letter and of course she was working with someone else and it also took forever to get the number to the v.a. in west los angeles cause i have an appointment on thursday but no clue what its about and she had no clue about the whole board and care thing which i figured was common knowledge with them but NOOOOO. anywayz what i thought was a kick ass case worker is only a mear human and it was dissappointing. but FINALLY i got done what needed to be done and my week has thus ended well.
now with all that purged the reason i wrote this note in the first place.
yay. we finally got here. good for artie and great for you tho your only allowed to read this if you’ll still respect me in the morning
where did they go these feelings and empathy for the common lacky of slime central? i noticed this walking to the v.a. case workers office today. now that im at the balantine i have to walk through skid row the real hub of it all to get to her office which is right across the street from the union mission. those of you who have seen michael moores ‘sicko’ will recall the union mission towards the end of the movie where they dropped off that lady who had no health insurance. this is my main thought every week when i sit down with my case worker and see the front doors of the union mission staring right back at me
now yesterday i had to walk thru skid row on 5th street past the los angeles mission cause i was going to do the case worker update yesterday but i got there just as they were closing so no beuno for artie. what made it worse tho was the moment i got to that corner that the l.a. mission is on a woman walks right past me with fresh blood running down her face. now this believe it or not is actually a common occurrence. if this happened in the bumblefuck wisconsin. i would be concerned. here my thought is . . .
and just keep on walking
now u must remember this is not bumblefuck wisconsin. los angeles has this bizarre twilight zone thing here called sidewalk traffic. and there is a shitload of it in the downtown area.
now as far as the hub of skid row the rule is to keep walking. you walk past someone whos bleeding, keep walking, guy just got slashed and looks like a mess, keep walking. now 9 times out of 10 these things happen due to a drug deal gone bad or they had it comin. i have heard stories of random bullshit happening to innocent people but with how many ever millions of people in los angeles thats just to be expected.
but what surprised me today is that walking through the shit and piss and the hub of the midnight mission i really dont care for these people and it concerns me.
i think its because if u really wanna get your life on track skid row is your best option probably in america as a whole. every program to help you is right here. if your on the streets here in downtown l.a. thats just pathetic. if your going to live on the streets. do it in style. go to venice beach. but of course thats the thing about skid row. u can be homeless on the street and have everything you need. which is where im sure the feeling of not caring comes from. you have at least 3 missions that serve meals 3 times a day and however many more there are not including the people who will set up shop with their street meals which is very illegal unless you have a permit. god bless those baby republican jesus people for being enablers and the people who give away shit all the freakin time with clothes and whatever else you can imagine.
call me a heartless bastard but i honestly dont give a fuck about the curb creatures of skid row. now if your homeless in beloit wisconsin. different story entirerly. i mean thats fucking homeless. especially when you a healthy male in your prime with no kids its a nightmare trying to get anyone to help you. and the last thing you want to do is join the mormon church in your thirties because you think it will be a good networking opportunity.
anywayz just wanted to share and purge. feel better and more hopeful about life in general even if that horrible fish mash makes me wanna upchuck and die. life for all its worth will always be super fabulous from now on and im dealing with a lot less bullshit than i would be dealing with if i was back in the land of the cheese wiz utopia.
i just really miss my subway 😦