Well, I couldn’t come up with rent so now I am technically squatting and the only justification I have is that they are overcharging so much for this very tiny room, that it has bought me a few days, perhaps up to 2 weeks, I hope as I am waiting on reimbursements and a return of the exorbitant tax money I have paid into the State of California this year (due to a lien for not filing correctly, I have actually paid more in various tax obligations than my ‘net’ income — which, with two jobs for the past 9 months and a significant decrease in pay, have made it difficult for me to survive).
I have looked into a myriad of ‘programs,’ and I am grateful that they serve those who most need help (there is an amazing program in Orange County called “Pathways,” which provides support for women to have a chance at life) but, alas, I don’t ever “qualify” because I have, quite simply, fallen through the cracks.
It’s odd to me that it has to get SO bad and so desperate before you qualify for any sort of ‘help’ — or what I used to hear called a ‘safety net.’ I have paid a lot of taxes in my life; I am now paying them again, for, foolishly, losing my mind and not ‘filing’ — the taxes were withheld, and the State Franchise Board knows exactly how much but they pretend to need my piece of paper as well — and have proven it by taking over $ 9000 this year alone. The irony — they take from you when you are making a lot less money, and there is no negotiation. I have tried. I got sent more forms. I asked if there was non-profit help; no, I was told. I don’t even know an accountant or a lawyer who could help me. I wish I did.
This mess of a situation started a few years back when a toxic home and workplace almost did me in. No one believes that. They choose instead to create wondrous tales of madness and intrigue about me that I only heard about much later. As gossip goes. Destroys lives. No one cares. People are just like the blood-sucking polls on Entertainment Tonight, almost licking their lips hoping that Mackenzie Phillips would relapse due to the ‘stress’ from her ‘revelation’ on Oprah– there was actually a POLL about that. I didn’t stick around for the results.
People don’t understand things like incest and continue to judge the people who get abused. That’s the way our society works. It’s pathetic but true. And you have to end up nearly dead before you get any kind of help. People find ways to blame the person who is falling apart. Perhaps that is why I am in this survival mode, continually. The ‘entertainment industry’ is no place to be. I’d be better off in the military. Seriously.
So, I started this post with this in mind–I found this today. Only, it’s in NYC, not Los Angeles, which is now ‘homeless capital of the world’ — and you can see it on skid row. But this is all I was looking for:
One of the most fundamental approaches to reducing homelessness is to prevent it in the first place. With that in mind, the Coalition created its renowned Eviction Prevention Program, which keeps potentially homeless families in their apartments by providing one-time grants for rental arrears.
One month. A program. Shit, a commitment. I’d spend my days doing something useful to pay it back. I want to be working. I just can’t find anything. Too ‘specialized,’ I hear my father say in my head, that warning he gave way back; that, I thought, would be countered by the equally deceptive, “Do what you love…” and??? The money will follow? Maybe. Maybe not.
All I’ve got left for heroes are Charles Bukowski (who ended up able to buy a house, so I may never make it that far) and Henry Miller (who chose art over food in Paris, but, alas, also ended up with some nice property in Big Sur) — because they have lived this hell I am in. Nowhere to turn.