It was January 2010. My best friend just got fired from the tallest building in the Queen City. It was a corner office at the top. (She is sometimes referred by me as “the other Scanlon” in conversation.)
I was employed with Old Navy. After Christmas, capitalist retail pigs traditionally slash hours after “The Season of Giving and Love & Peace” and Old Navy was no different.
The Gastonia Old Navy store I had just transferred to was closer than the 25 mile drive (one-way) to the previous location that in 2008, I had transferred to after fleeing the deeper south from being attacked by my brother for being transsexual-after which I was openly rejected by my family. (Its your fault he attacked you)
January’s schedule was posted! “4 hours this week and 10 hours next week? Really?”
Up until the 2012 EEOC ruling of “gender expression is a Gender based discrimination”, North Carolina (and most other states) could Legally discriminate trans or gender queer individuals OPENLY!
Old Navy (GAP Inc.) was a “diverse” company and had inclusive employment practices, for the most.
Without this Job, I was toast. It is really cold in Charlotte during January. I cannot move into my Camaro. Sure my friend would be getting a fat separation termination check but that wasn’t going to help my situation.
Amanda Scanlon was the friend whom after my first living situation of Zoe Vette’s all-girl band forgot my rent payments and she was 3 months behind on the mortgage; and Diana, the 58 year old quietly peaceful landlady who attempted suicide in front of me and so I moved into my Camaro again…Amanda was there to say move in, “its a big empty house with plenty of room.”
Amanda always fought with her parents about money, although the mortgage for the 3-story, 4-bedroom townhouse was always paid on time. They always wanted my rent money On Top of the mortgage for a dwelling occupied previously by only Amanda.
That January, I had an interview with the local Taco Bell as a manager. Through the interview, even as they looked oddly at me, I really was over-qualified for the job-with the exception of being a “black-listed” transsexual…well, they didn’t call back.
It was near the end of January and I put Sheila my Red 1986 Camaro RS on Craigslist…for sale.
Sheila was my first “girl car” I owned. Not a truck nor van, she was the thing that made me smile. It was my fantasy car from High School come to life, as I was a deeply closeted teenager and from dirt poor family, who’s father dealt coke and openly cheated on my mother-did I mention that he was a real Jack Daniels pistol-waving drunk?
$1000 cash for Sheila on January 30th. But, I slipped and fell on the ice making that sale (which physically hurt longer than a year).
I tearfully handed Amanda the cash and said: “What happens after this point, I’m willing to accept.” I owed rent and could walk or bicycle to work from Mount Holly.
My blood money tribute to her parents did not get dealt out quickly. Some bullshit her father said about how “people like her will be happier in San Francisco. Blah blah blah” Obviously he too didn’t know the damn difference between a transsexual lesbian and a drag queen gay man.
anything EVERYTHING available to veterans and girls like me that would be available once I had arrived.
I had a social worker on the phone from the VA and had communication with various LGBT Center program coordinators too.
Amanda had bought my plane ticket for $100 one-way” and so I had to start sorting the few remnants of my life into even smaller boxes once again.
You see, its lifeboat survival principles: you can only afford less room. Photos, clothes, books to the trash. Things that might be sold. A lot of stored things (Amanda would dispose of later out of some crazy bored fit with her new psycho boyfriend). My first electric Guitar “Lucifer” and amp were to be stored and returned later. Lies…
All this packing time and preparations did not stop my recently adopted 15 year-old black and tan minature Dachshund Pumpernickel...
When Donna (my 2nd mother) was in the hospital for being attacked by a student, they needed someone to take the collection of Amanda’s aged dogs and to care for them (feed and clean-up after), as they don’t always hit the mark and were really old. “Bring the babies here.” I replied.
Pumpernickel was the cloudy-cataract-eyed one who picked me. (Coco and Jenny couldn’t be bothered by me.)
“Pumpy” was a puppy in youthful play, in spite of her poor vision and foul breath. I loved her and she seemed to love me back.
You see, this tiny little dog had infinite patience during this activity. She would just look at me “waiting patiently.” No time for runs at the park, days in the sun, no chasing squirrels…Lexi had to prepare for the crossing that lay ahead.
4am Eastern Standard Time on February 23, 2010, I kissed Pumpernickel good-bye for the last time as she died quietly in her sleep on the 25th, not but just 2 days after my departure.
I was hastily dropped at the curb by Amanda and given a hug so light that a hand shake would have been a warmer gesture. Amanda then proceeded to give back the necklace that I had given to her in friendship.
The sterling amythest heart pendant necklace was purchased at Zales of Wilmington, NC, as a gift to my girl within in my last days there before departing to see my birth family. This necklace had also survived being on me while I was choked and punched by the bastard who “wanted his brother back.” He was beating me to try to accomplish this…I had left from there for Charlotte.
“No, you keep it.” (confused) “I enjoyed the times we had as sisters, friends and acting stupid silly. You’ll see me again. You promised to make the crossing and to greet me in San Francisco with my dog and my guitar…”
Noon Pacific Standard Time, my flight had arrived at SFO-International Airport with just a carry-on of basics: pills, makeup, clothes-and nothing else.
The subway ride into the city is expensive and I was only given $100 of the $1000 from her, less the ticket price. Conserve money to eat.
“If I get off at 16th Street station, I can quickly walk to 3rd Street VA to meet the social worker.” or so I thought.
16th Street station is in the heart of The Mission. Its pouring so much rain, my umbrella fails as I walk past cat-calls and solicitations.
“Damn these blocks are so long!” I felt as I my walking progress had barely made a dent in the distance during the gale-force downpour. Very tired from walking in the flood, I arrive at the 3rd Street VA and speak to Mr. Stephen Something, social worker.
I was sent to 5th & Bryant shelter. It is full of smelly harassing men. I am registered and now have to wait.
“NO SLEEPING!” They yell at the group. Some time past midnight (PST no less), I’m informed that they found a bed for me at some place in the Tenderloin. “Go and present my information at the desk?”
I catch the 27 Bryant bus.
After I get processed into a bed, I lay heartbroken to sleep at 1:30 am Pacific Standard Time. I had been awake since forever…
So that was 3 years ago today.