Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Monday, July 5, 2010


My youngest brother seems to be unlucky in love and has asked to move in with us until he can get back on his feet again. We had offered in the past to support him as much as we could while he went to school and worked but lately that has become more and more difficult to do. We had always maintained that if he came to live with us he could save up some money, get out of debt and go to school down the road. He is not a child so the idea of living with us was not desirable but lately he finds himself a free agent and ready to take us up on the offer.

I think about what he is going through and it reminds me of the times I found my plans not working out and needing to move back into home or asking a friend to sleep on their couch while I sorted through the remains of my life and tried to move on. I think about the time I found out my boyfriend was also the boyfriend of 3 or 4 other girls and I had to confront that reality and get out of his place fast while I still had a microscopic thread of dignity. We never really talked about it, one day I was there, in his bed, and the next day I was gone. I couldn't even take my things with me, I just left them there for him and never went back. I thought about him for many days after but I never went back. I knew that if I did I wouldn't be able to like myself and so I stayed away.

I think about the time I waited until my boyfriend went to work and then I feverishly moved my belongings and furniture out as quickly as I could so that all evidence of myself would be gone when he came back from work. I even picked up my dog's shit in the yard so that if he walked out there he wouldn't even find traces of my dog. And the stuff I wasn't able to move or get in the truck, stayed behind and I never went back for it. I got a letter from the cable company 2 or 3 years later saying I owed over $300 dollars for a cable box that I had left there because I never went back to get it. Lucky for me, Peter, another roommate at the time, had kept it and I finally returned it and they stopped billing me.

I think about the car I loaded up with a TV, coffee maker, Birkenstocks, diamond rings, perfume, clothes, portable CD player, bedding, books and more and drove them to my boyfriends house and then gave him the keys to the brand new car he had bought me stuffed full of the stuff he had bought me, because I couldn't accept another gift from him and was ready to give him back everything he had given me. I just kept repeating, "I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this" and got into my old car and drove away as fast as I could.

Thinking about my brother helps me affirm that things in life happen for a reason. When something ends, something new begins. And when life gives you shit, you make shit sandwiches and go on a picnic. Looks like we'll be making extra sandwiches for a while.

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