Days 4-8 in L.A.
You thought day four was messed up? Please. More shit happened that day that involves more of my menstrual cycle being an nuisance. I had to haul ass about a mile down the boardwalk back to my car to tie something around my waist; my book bag was my only cover up of the stain going up the crack of my jeans. Not sure if anyone saw anything, but who cares now. For the rest of day four, I pretty much chilled after my trip to the beach. I needed to find a decent facility to clean myself up and that is where good ole McDonald’s came to mind in the suburbs.
Sunday, day five, was basically me playing the waiting game. I was scheduled to work that following day and I couldn’t be more excited. I get to start making some money! I had no clue how matters were going to turn out and to be honest, I didn’t care about that either. Whatever happens, happens. That night I slept in my same spot in the parking garage. I swear I was getting to comfortable. I was beginning to call it home for a minute. No one bothered me. I slept good that night. I woke up on my own to the cool morning of day six here in L.A. It was about four a.m. and I had to get a move on so I wouldn’t be late for my first day of work. Now in Cleveland, driving on the freeway at four in the morning, you are bound to only see maybe two or three cars on both sides of the road. But in L.A., there were a whole fleet of people speeding to get to where they needed to be. I mean forty to sixty cars on each side of the freeway, GONE! Everyone is at least going eighty miles per hour. Being who I am, I didn’t mind it. I had a lead foot anyway, so the speed suited me just fine.
I knew the facilities at the college would be better than my usual Shells gas station, so I decided to wait till I get there to use the bathroom and change. Once I finally arrived at the place, I had a hard time finding a parking spot. Mind you, it’s the morning and I must desperately relieve myself again. I drove around the small campus at least four times before I finally ended up saying fuck it and parking in the plaza across the street. I quickly ramble through my suitcases to find a pair of black pants and my old work shirt. I didn’t want to put the monkey suit back on, but I had no choice. I scurried across the street to the side entrance to find that it was locked. Okay, should have known better. It is the wee hours of the morning.
I walked to the main entrance and tried those doors but guess what?! Those were locked too. Through the glass doors, I seen the security guard walk by, so I banged on it to get his attention. Not too sure if he heard me or not, but he didn’t come to my rescue. It wasn’t long before I saw a student outside smoking a cig to let me in. I took a few minutes to clean myself up before work. Remember, I didn’t go to the gas station this time. Work started, and it was a bit frustrating at first, but I got the hang of it. I am so used to knowing how to handle things in the workplace that it truly bothered me being the new girl. When I tell you that my feet were hurting so bad… I couldn’t barely stand anymore. When you are used to constantly working on your feet, and then relieve yourself for over a week by sitting inside a car all day, you could easily get tired. Making coffee is so particular and it requires a knowledge that I did not have. The students were ordering drinks that I have never heard of. For example, I have never heard of Chai Tea or Yerba Mate. The whole time I felt as if my head was going to explode.
I was mentally and physically distressed. At my last job, a six-thirty to three thirty shift didn’t feel that bad. As a barista, I get off a whole hour early and it feels like hell. I am rolling into day two and my ankles feel as if they are going to collapse. Could be due to all the swelling and improper way of sleeping, but still. It got a bit better during day two of starting. I learned how to make coffee and my supervisor threw me to the wolves to better educate myself. It got so hectic she had to call to help me. It’s all good though. Days six through eight were basically a drag. I haven’t felt this tired in a while. Finding a new place to sleep was a bit annoying, but I had to push through. After all, what choice did I have? Pouting? Nah. As soon as I got off work, I jumped in my car, drove through the long, hot, L.A. traffic, parked in my usual spot at McDonald’s, and slipped into a coma.
Sleeping in the car began to become a bit of a stress. Not only are my feet and legs swelling up, but my skin looks terrible. I have very oily skin and I am barely washing it which makes me look like a grease monkey. On top of that, because of my oily skin, white and black heads are popping up on my face. It’s all on my neck and chin and I’m starting not to look like myself. I haven’t posted many pictures on social media because of this reason. I am trying my best to look presentable. My hair is not helping. Honestly speaking, I hate it. There is a reason why I do not go to barbershops or beauty salons to get my hair done. I ask for a specific style and it turns out to be something totally different. This happened yet again. Went to the barbershop before I left home and he cut my hair like how the young boys are getting their hair cut these days; shaped real high in the back with straight, square edges, tapered lightly on the sides(barely) and sent me on my way. My lines were crooked and the design that he put in the back of my head didn’t look fresh at all. I was all fucked up. When I got to Los Angeles, I hit up my friend who is a great barber and she straightened me up. She showed great hospitality. The cut was nice; however, she took more of my hair off. So, now I’m out here in L.A. blending into the scenes of West Hollywood. For those that do not know, West Hollywood is where most of the LGBT community hangs out. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but I look like a butch. I am a girly girl and I feel that there is barely any ways to spice up my look with this haircut because I am uncomfortable. The fact that my hair is red kind of makes it better, but it doesn’t compliment my oily skin, you know.
It’s coming to the end of day eight and I believe I am about to pull up to a Denny’s parking lot. I had no other choice but to choose this spot. Everywhere in Los Angeles has a fee attached to it. Sleeping in my car in a public place may not be the safest thing, but it’s all I got right now. I thought about going to a woman’s shelter for a night, but something inside me wouldn’t drive there. With all that I have been through, I guess I haven’t had a complete ego death just yet. Personally, I didn’t want living in a shelter to be a part of my story. I can deal with living in my car, but a shelter is too “real” for me. Either way it goes, I FEEL that I have came a long way and I have to say that I am proud of me. I did not drive back home, I did not cry to my mother about how hard life is because this is what I chose. This is the journey that was called to me. I have sit tight and suck it up! Until next time….
Stay Focused. Stay Positive. Vibrate Higher.