August 1st – August 12th… ish?

So… let’s see if I can pick up where I left off a few days ago. In recapping. Aye… so much is still happening that I can’t keep up with!

Okay, so I went to check out a place I found on Google for homeless/helpless/hopeless youth. It’s called TLC, or Transitional Living Center. Something tells me that title was actually a backronym – they thought TLC sounded cool, so they attached words that matched. Jabs aside, it’s a cool place. At first, when I pulled up to the place, I was like “wow, this place exists?”. It’s a non-advertised place with zero signs of any sort. Someone came to the door and asked if they could help me, I’m like, “I hope so!”, and proceeded to explain what’d been going on with me. I was hesitant to get into the program because, first, I knew nothing is free and they’d be making me go through classes and stuff. I explained that, and she explained the whole system. I figure I could probably live within those confines… it’s a cage, but it’s a very big one! Hell, it’s not even so much a cage as just a leg-band or a satellite-tracker thingy… both can be quite annoying to a falcon, but I can still live my life and that’s what matters!
(I still think falcons hate those fucking leg-bands. I hate people that “band” falcons as if they’re doing them a favor attaching something to their legs…)

I still wasn’t 110% sold, and they couldn’t do anything that night, so I spent the night in another motel room up the way for $30 a night (plus a $5 key deposit). After I checked in that night, I helped the office-person-on-duty use my computer and dialup internet to help find some person they lost contact with, using reverse phone lookup and things like that. I got her in the right direction. They were really interested in my laptop, or laptops in general, wanted to buy mine, etc… but finally, I settled down and picked up a nearby wireless network. Yay me, free sort-of internets. Then, curiously, someone rapped on my window (I had the blinds open), I opened the door, and the guy asked if he can use my computer to check his MySpace. Really long story short (so it may seem sketchy but don’t doubt my actions here, lol), the guy had been hitchhiking cross-country and had been taking a Greyhound back home to Missouri (I think?), but someone stole his bags with his tickets, and he was stuck there. Lost for a place to sleep and having no clue where to go in Fresno, he had been told the nearest truck stop was in Tulare or something. Truckers give him rides whereever they happen to be going, and he knows his way around the truck system, so after many hours of yakking it up and considering giving it all up and me driving to there or Canada, I take him to the big truck stop at 99 and Herndon (ish?). It was like paradise for him. It was also way further than he could have ever known, and not many other people would have known about that (it seems), so it was like karma perfection. I spent about 25 miles of gas on the trip but it was worth it – I also got him some food at McDonald’s. He was a little older than me, too, so of course I had nothing but respect for the guy! 🙂
Oh, and for the curious, here’s his MySpace. (In retrospect, I guess he was more than a “little” older than me!)

A cush hotel room with all my current belongings

Anyway, I spend another day at that hotel, before I decide that’s it, and I’m not paying for another day of sleeping in a hotel. I go to the TLC 1 place that TLC 3 (where I originally stopped) referred to, and met with someone who will forever be known as one of the “awesome people”, who is now my case manager, worker, whatever. It’s always tough to explain the whole “Falcon” thing to anyone in person, because it just seems so strange – obviously I’m NOT, and don’t even SEEM like, a falcon, when I’m talking to people in person. It’s only really on the internets that I can actually come out and explain it without myself thinking I’m a little weird. But with just mentioning my online name, Falcon, this total stranger just “got” it and basically said, well, I’m human now, I’m stuck this way, and I just have to make the best of it. If that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is. To say the least… I was hooked on this place. I found “Home”, “Hope”, and “Help”.

After much talk and such, a piece of paper was given to me that netted me 6 days of free-for-me room at a nearby high-price (by my standards) hotel room. Free internet (cheap DSL), too. A mini-fridge and refrigerator prompted me to go shopping for the first time in months, for frozen and refrigerated items, and I got some frozen meals and stuff to make sandwiches. And cheez-its. They rule. So I spent 6 days in a cushy hotel, with the few clothes I had left, the stuff I packed in my car, and my figurative boots on (you’d have to see Behind Enemy Lines to get that one). A few meetings and a lot of paper-collectings later, I was “in” their program and just waiting for one last paper. After I got out of the hotel, I moved into a temporary apartment and was finally “mostly in” the program. Let me tell you, it was perfect timing, because I couldn’t stand to shove 5 more quarters in a darn washer…