So I got a job, washing dishes. When I told the head chef; who hired me, I was planning on catching the bus back to where I lived from town (16km) at least until my bike was fixed I figured he understood that I intended to bus back from my first shifts.
I’m sure he thought when he told me I’d need to plan ahead ‘sometimes’ and that it could get quite busy, that I was made sufficiently aware that walking home was an option.
First shift rolls around, I work hard. I was there to kick ass and wash dishes and there were like… a lot of dishes. So I kicked ass at that. There are procedural things that would have been a learning curve (were I going back) but I had that under control and was getting compliments from the nice server and joking with the cranky server. I was told multiple times I was doing a great job by all.
Up till I realized it was 9:10 and the last bus home was going to leave at 9:20.
I got enough flack that I’m certain the only reason I was allowed to leave without finishing “my job” was that I was about to burst into tears. I hate leaving work unfinished and it was only then that I was informed work regularly goes to 10pm.
I run to the bus stop. I see people there. All signs are good. I have a surge of faith.
I discover the bus schedule I read was for that saturday 9:20pm crowd of late night partygoers.
The actual bus on a weekday leaves at 9:10pm.
Mom’s not answering her phone… my mom wakes up in the middle of the night to do her work. She was rightly in bed by that point and I knew it. We had talked about it. I had been very sure I would be able to keep watch on the time and leave by 9. I had been both stupid and crazy with that madness called ‘hope’.
So at this point, it is 9:15pm at night. I’m exhausted, having put a lot of energy into dishwashing. I am still quite sick; I have not eaten since 2pm, having forgotten the food made specifically for me at the resturant in my mad dash to catch the bus; made futile by my own craptacular reading and remembering comprehension; for which I had just left a job I needed and cheesed everyone off. A job that I would not be able to make it home from on a regular basis.
At this point: do I remember that I can actually call at least four people (or more) whom would have helped? No. And more to the point, I was starting to freak out about just the idea that I would have to call any one of a number of people I adore and ask to seriously burden them with myself either to put me up for the night or drive me home. It was a really big deal at the time.
So I have a hysterical breakdown about not being able to get home at the bus stop. LIKE I HAVE NEVER HAD IN PUBLIC BEFORE. The incredibly nice people waiting for the bus to a completely different part of town sweetly coaxed me onto the bus with kleenex and soft words while the bus driver called ahead to the salvation army’s emergency shelter and secured me a space for the night. Instead of paying attention to where I am going: I do some processing on the fact that I just got a job I can’t keep and I needed it so badly.
The lovely bus driver and entire bus of 10 or so people drove me right to the door of the house and were near sickeningly wonderful to me and so many tears were shed. By the time we were there, I hadn’t realized we’d been moving. Someone from the back of the bus who was not one of the active coaxers said “Good luck Amie,” and I will never forget it. I’m going to cry again if I think about the level of kindness I was given last night.
I’m not going to talk about what happened at the emergency shelter because the first rule about emergency shelter club you don’t talk about what happens at emergency shelter club.
I basically cried all night about my stupid life and my stupid life choices that have landed me in a situation where I literally cannot connect the dots and form a coherant picture of a productive life.
Absolutely everyone there seemed not only ok with it, but like they were used to it and it was massively helpful.
I got to let go of some very serious pain in a place built to shed exactly that.
My mom was up at 3am for work and so we texted. She assured I was ok and we agreed that coming to get me after her jobs in town were done was best. Neither of us wanted to be a disruption to emergency shelter club. They have like. Curfew rules and it’s not a flop house. So 7:30 was fine on all counts. Besides. Picking me up before the jobs were done would not have been productive. I was in no condition to help.
At that point in the night, I had not eaten since 2pm the previous day, having gotten to emergency shelter club too late for dinner. I had not slept since the previous day. And I had been sobbing heavily since the moment I knew for sure I had missed the bus.
Being able to hug my mom and come home was one of the best feelings. One of the biggest things for me was that I felt like such an imposter for using that service when my home IS SAFE. I did have options. You know who you are, offered me direct assistance. But by that point I also felt committed to spending the night at the shelter… and where better to deal with the very big hurts inside?
I’m usually the type begging people not to start in on their ‘everything happens for a reason’. But maybe this happened for a reason. … perhaps that reason is I am stupid and do stupid things. I think; moreover, one of my unique skills is to take or make a benefit from intense situations.
The past 48 hours have been the strangest, … not perhaps the MOST emotional, but definitely the very strangest of my very strange life.