The trial and mild inconvenience of being a privileged white male. The first in a series. I am experiencing homelessness.
Statements like that might lead to some rather inquisitive questions, like:
Well, Zac, if you are homeless, how the hell are you accessing the interwebs to make such a statement?
To which I’d gladly respond:
Why, I am using my ASUS Ultrabook with a touch-screen and SATA drive that allowed me to create the post from boot-up to word-processing program in less than 30 seconds.
Alright, so the question is being slightly avoided with the shifting of shoulders and waving hand gesticulations, but it is a flushingly embarrassing question: Why are you without house and home yet provided with a $1000 dollar laptop by your father who is currently spending his springs in a Dutch resort drinking mango smoothies on the flour-textured beaches of Aruba?
It's explained by Abby, my girlfriend. No she didn’t kick me out--in fact she and I will be coming on a year of consistent tolerance of each other’s pizza toppings come April 28th, meaning that dating her for a year has made me vegetarian and I can no longer enjoy pepperoni. I’m assured that there is a meatless alternative.
She is a year older than me, and her being a senior and me being a junior, has allowed her to enjoy off-campus living from the wee, prestigious liberal arts college we both attend. Typically you aren’t allowed to leave until your senior year, as underclassman are encouraged to focus on college community, tacitly allowing upperclassman to follow the higher pursuits of illicit substance abuse and undisturbed sexual activity.
With such benefits, we started living together almost a month into our relationship. Quickly my dorm-room was abandoned to the roommate who gave his grumbled consent to the new living arrangement with something like a “I’ll be sure to have sex with my girlfriend with this gift you have given me.”
But access to the piles of stale, smoky clothing; musty library of paperback Hermann Hesse novels; and iron, Finnish steamer trunks that comprised my material possessions, remained within my meagre college student powers. Due to student conduct laws and housing bullshit, I was required to continue paying the Department of Student Living $3000-$4000 dollars a quarter for a glorified storage space. My now-ex roommate referred his new single room as his “masturbatorium.” I wasn’t there so the accumulation of tissues and ransacking of $30 dollar Target bowl chairs didn't irk me that much. I got to live with my girlfriend while having a safe back-up plan that only needed a bit of bleach to be as good as new.
Until a few weeks ago. Thought this ASUS laptop is a mighty gift indeed, luxury doesn’t come naturally to my divorced parents. With my mother and stepfather working to pay off my step-sister’s college bills off, and a father prone to galavanting across floral Caribbean beaches with his girlfriend, myself developing a sense of fiscal responsibility doesn’t seem too obtuse.
It’s not pleasant. Thinking about money doesn’t produce hives but I’d like to think it agitates my self-diagnosed psoriasis. Or I hope that is psoriasis. Either way it creates the nervous gut-busting grumble of anxiousness and dependence on others when I realize I owe them.
So when thinking about my tuition bill, and how those tens of thousands of dollars added to my student loans are being poured into someone else’s sex cave, it dawned on me like a TLC special that an easy way to save money would be to just move stuff out of the dorm space that was currently converted into my slap shack
So when the official opportunity came to uncheck student living from my tuition box, I took it.
But being a full time student, even with two part-time jobs, finding the money and time to apartment search was difficult, and the soonest one I could find was ready for move-in April 28th. That left me with a month of homelessness.
So here is this petite, auburn-haired stage director and blacksmith with the tendency to squeak like a woodland creature when tickled telling me that she wants me to live with her. Really live with her this time--unmarried and barely able to help out with utilities. Basically paying for my housing. Cook me meals. Comfort makes me uncomfortable. I owe her.
Admittedly staying with Abby is nice, but acquiescing living space to her other five housemates can be taxing. Not to say that they don’t deserve the space, they pay rent and all, but they bump into my vintage ‘80’d speakers and scoff at my collection of Beach Boys vinyl. Though my stuff shouldn’t be there, in their home. I owe them.
So no, I’m not technically homeless. I have loving, amiable, welcoming girlfriend and friends, too, who are allowing me in their home with no real escape plan. I’m stuck there. They know that and I know that, and it doesn’t seem to cause them to break out in various skin diseases but my fingers are itchy. Welcoming dependence, and realizing I don’t have a choice, changes the dynamic of Abby and I’s relationship. I am burden, and it doesn’t matter if I am light or heavy,
She hasn’t kicked me out, and I haven’t snuck any pork-roast into her curries so hopefully that means we’re in the green in terms of relationship status, but I’m in her hands for another two weeks. But, if I want independence: from finance, parents, school; albeit for only two weeks, I have to depend on her.