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.

I researched 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.



The Seeds Of Tomorrow

A lot has been digesting with me over this entire week. Socialization has been great to have a friend introduce me to one of her friends on 2 occasions. I also got to thank someone for being nice to me at random more than a year ago. Talking to her, I lifted her up from an adverse situation. I was all too glad to repay the favor. Lastly, work has me re-evaluating many things.

The one thread of this I prefer to dive into is that of my friend-which was the catalyst for all things being processed.

My good friend and fellow “excellent bitch” V, has introduced me to the wonderful trappings of vegan eating. Likewise, she single-handedly has introduced me to some really great people. After the most recent Monday night at Death Guild, we had a lot of time to reflect-on me. She has taken an investment in our friendship that is typical of a family member. Atypical to my blood family, I will admit that she is family in the textbook traditionale sense to me. She expressed many observations about my work and personal interactions that really sunk in. She made no bitter-sting-of-truth, as some do, but conveyed concepts through a caring nature.

As we struggled to find a way to get home at 2 am, the “Owl” bus ride gave us yet more time to draw ideas and bring practical applications into focus.

(The “Owl” buses travel across large areas of San Francisco. They do not traverse most common needed routes without waiting for another bus at 2:30 am.)

Rather than walking from the “scarier” part of North Point, I depart the bus at Filbert street (named after a seed/nut producing tree). Filbert street runs parallel to the famous Lombard street: straight up and straight down-and I am in the same heels I have been dancing in all night.

The comfort of foghorns, street lamps, the mist, and a clove cigarette are my only companions to my swirling thoughts. I haven’t been this peaceful in a while.

Having had a friend, extract and purify the substance to enhance my life was like an intoxicating substance. Truths about nature of work, friends, and such-settled deep into my psyche. The walk itself was both tiring and refreshing. Filbert street seemed as blank as being in the middle of an ocean or desert-any direction is as good as another, right?

I arrived home safely with really only 4 people total that I passed by. As I removed my velvet Grecian heels from my blister clad feet, the potency of the subjects were seeping deeper into me.

Tuesday morning came to me about 3 hours after I went to sleep. Hungover and exhausted, but mentally charged, I had one of the most productive days at work in a very long time. The coworkers were blurred outside the field of my vision and interactions were withdrawn due to focus.

The rest of the work week flew by as I listened to my headphones with sunglasses on with my head down.

End result-well its just a beginning. I was terribly full of achievement in the face of living for others that girls like me are prone to. So I got a few global quotes, but that was hardly something that is a long term development of my road.

I can clearly identify that my current job is temporary, dating on the internet isn’t for me, and if I got half the chance for career or dating, I am going to go beyond my slackluster performances from a previous life.

(A note on dating: I am new at this. I really don’t look towards anything beyond possibilities, I try to keep myself open to possibilities by not having my face buried into my smart phone dating app when some really nice opportunities may happen. No expectations, no worries.)

But aren’t those truest achievements the most gratifying?