The First Stroke of Luck


On June 6th, 2014, I found myself heading to a party being thrown by my best friend and her boyfriend at the time. It was explained to me that Diablo (the name I lovingly gave to Alice’s boyfriend) was renting a house in St. Paul, MN for 300 dollars a month and that his cousin owned it. I thought that was incredible and, while I had visited the house before some time during the previous winter, I was more intrigued the night that I showed up for a party rather than a breakdown.

A party it was. This nerdy little man had managed to pull together a pretty decent crowd of people and a pretty decent supply of alcohol. I did happen to get very drunk and kiss a very pretty boy quite a few times and then pass out at 5 am on the carpet upstairs.

This was my first night at a house I would end up living in for two and a half months. A strange, free blessing that ended my homelessness just a few days after it began. Diablo and I set up an immediate agreement; I was leaving soon, so I could stay for free and I would throw parties. That was literally my rent. Throwing parties.

That Sunday, I adopted a dog. Irresponsible as it seemed at the time, I figured if I wasn’t paying for rent or food or literally anything, I could probably afford to take care of a dog. After all, I was living in a three bedroom house with a fully fenced-in yard that my dog could frolic in.

When she arrived at the house, her name was Izzy. Her fur was falling out, she was peeing nervously, and she was too skinny. At ten months old, this poor little black lab/husky/wolf mix had already been shown a life of fear and starvation. The couple dropped the dog off with me, warning “She’s not trained at all. She poops in the house. She won’t eat. She’s scared of water. She’s aggressive toward children.

A week later, her name was Trax. She was eating regularly, she adored me, she had learned a handful of commands, and she only pooped in the house when I left her alone and she freaked out. I had a rescue who was ready for a new life. She put most of her fears behind her and began developing into an awesome dog. I fell in love.

As awesome as she was, she still had lab puppy in her, and every time the fence was left open, she would bolt for it, exploring the world and not coming back (we’re still working on this little problem). This was especially a problem, since every single day since I had arrived at the house was a party.

At a party, someone is bound to leave the gate open, carelessly or drunkenly or unknowingly. It became tradition for a set of volunteers to run into the streets barefoot, drunk, or tripping to find my dog and bring her back.

A week of straight partying turned to two weeks of partying, and Diablo and I began to wonder…Can we do it? Can we pull off an entire month straight of parties? Can we influence the people to keep coming over, every night, for thirty whole days?

Spoiler alert. We did. July fourth was looking like the end of things. At nine pm I was sitting on the roof of the house with my dog and my ukulele, watching the first fireworks. By 10:30 pm, three people were there. By 11, there were eight. Eight people and a load of booze and a few musical instruments = party.

It was the slowest night at the house that existed. It was also one of the best. Kissing cute girls on the roof, serenading new friends, topless hula-hooping. It was a crazy night for the small number of people who arrived, and it was a magical one. At four am, I puked, and it was time to turn in….

For an hour. I returned to the party in full glory for about forty-five minutes. It was a weak-at-best attempt at the ‘Ralph-n-Rally’, a pro move in party culture in which the puker remains the partier.

It was a lucky time, and one I will elaborate more on in my next blog post, which will be cleverly titled and witty all the way through…maybe.

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Playing Catch-Up


The last anyone heard from our young protagonist, she was sitting in a McDonalds try to figure out what to do with her life. That was seven or eight months ago, and the story has completely changed.

Though she doubts many of her loyal followers stuck it out after a hiatus as that had started to seem like a page from the Sherlock debauchery, she would like to begin sharing the stories from the past several months, so strap in, because juicy new details on the life of a girl with an over-inflated ego and a dangerous sense of adventure will be rapid-firing at you at the pace of a turtle waking up from a nap.

You all know me. Reliable for a week and then gone again. But it is time to start telling my story, and this familiar and nostalgic layout from my high school days seemed like a decent enough forum to do that on.

I will hopefully be publishing a short, badly versed blog post every few days, in an attempt to finally write down the details of the most interesting, life-changing year of my life.

Stay tuned.

From Home Bum to Homeless Bum


Well, it has been a rough few days. I found out only today that it is June now and I am so stunned and taken aback that I’m not sure how to express my feelings on the matter.

The other night, my friend Meg and I hung out with a guy named Charlie and we made beautiful music and chain-smoked and ran around in the rain. We also hung out at Hard Times and drank coffee and made more music and had a generally great time. We stayed up until five am and then slept in and drank coffee and then returned to the Hard Times for lunch and board games.

It was a good day. After that I traveled by bus to Northtown to pick up a backpack for my homeless adventures and hang out with some lovely people and a cute baby and a REALLY cute dog named Ghost. I was gifted sour gummy candy and got to sit around without having to put much effort into interaction, which can also be nice sometimes.

Today is my first official day of homelessness. Isley came over last night and helped me clean my room and throw most of my things away and now I am sitting at a McDonald’s with my whole life in a backpack. I am drinking really shitty coffee and spending too long on the wifi and waiting for something good to happen because I’m really exhausted and tired of trying to make good things happen just this second.

I feel lucky through all of this that I have amazing friends who meet me at pizza shops and give me bus money. I feel lucky I have amazing friends who buy me cheap cell phones so they have a way of making sure I’m safe. As unlucky as my life is right now, I feel so lucky I have friends who are worrying about me and listening to me and doing what they can to give me happiness.

I only hope I am doing as much for them. As sad as I feel right now – because the first week of losing everything is always the worst – I have so much hope for the future. And even if the future doesn’t turn out, I have enough love and support to be okay.

I hope you can say the same. Always sending all of my love to all of you,

Telea

The Park Gathering and the Constant 90’s Vibes


Last night I just wanted to have fun. To go out with my friends. So, much like Simple Plan, I did something about it. I did not, however, steal a car and crash it. What I did do was message my friend Isley (the actual love of my life) and tell her we should make like 90’s kids and hang around in the park after dark.

Which is exactly what we did. The street lamps flickered over the old park equipment and water fountains. From the distance, someone could be heard strumming a guitar as dogs barked. A group of five people sat in the sand of the playground, thinking they were a really great punk rock band but really just being a group of people who were getting eaten by mosquitos.

Of course, everyone was cute. How can you be a 90’s TV Show Protagonist Group without being hella cute? We sat on the swings, we made music with a guitar, a ukulele, and a harmonica, and we talked about things that probably won’t be relevant at all by 2020. 

We stayed out until two in the morning and then walked home. Isley and I both got home safely on our block, but barely for Isley, who got to her house just in time to see someone get jumped right by her. I feel lucky she’s alright and that our hugs last for a long time, otherwise she wouldn’t be.

Overall, it was a beautiful night with a small group of lovely people that I feel so blessed to have as friends. And we all live in the 90’s despite it being 2014.

Today is a day of goodbyes. I am packing up my room and washing clothes in preparation for the official move-out on Sunday. I have two nights left here. How insane is that? This month has been so topsy-turvy up and down that I don’t even know what to think. In one month, I got to say hello and goodbye to my first house away from my parents, to the garden I planted, to the people on my block.

I kiss goodbye to my old blanket, which is finally seeing the end of its days after at least six years of keeping me warm. Covered in sharpie and holes, she doesn’t do her job anymore, and she smells like bum sweat, but I will miss her. I say goodbye to my books and my futon, to my fedora collection and most of my shoes. I say goodbye for now to my art, my letters of accomplishment, and my fish.

Yes, my friends, it will be a bittersweet weekend indeed, but I take solace in the fact that I tried my hardest and sometimes your hardest just isn’t good enough. Onward I move to dirtier and grungier things…but you’ll get the whole speech when its truly time.

For now, I must continue throwing the material objects of my life away. As always, I wish all of you the very best.

Not Strep and Medical Insurance


So I’ve been struggling with a nasty cough and other stuff for a week or so. After hearing that AniMinneapolis was struck down with the plague of strep, I decided to try to find a free clinic where I could get tested. My mom helped me get pointed in the right direction and I showed up, only to find out it wasn’t a free clinic.

Luckily enough for me, what it was was a place where underemployed or unemployed people could sign up for medical assistance. Being a broke, homeless street kid with not much but college going for me, I obviously qualified in just about five minutes. I am officially insured for the first time since September and damn does my ass feel safer.

I also tested negative for strep, so these icky feelings are probably just a viral infection that has gone on too long because of all of the stress in my life. I have a followup appointment just to make sure I’m not dying or something and then I get to schedule a health check up! Woo hospitals, and by that I mean…nnnnggghhhhhhhhh.

Now I’m sitting in a library utilizing my rights to the free internet so I don’t have to go ‘home’ just yet. It’s an up and down life, Charlie Brown.

My hair, for some stupid reason, now has purple and blue in it. Like I wasn’t already making enough dumb, spur of the moment decisions.

I guess I don’t really have much else to say. I still don’t have a backpack for bumming it and I’m working on deciding what belongings of mine actually have any value and throwing the rest away. It’s a hard knock life but I’ll make it through. Anyway, I just thought I should post some updates now that I’ve decided I’m still somehow a blogger. I don’t know, it seemed appropriate.

Tonight I might go dancing if I decide that’s actually a good idea, but I’ll probably just sleep a lot and cry a little over some weird thing. You know me; over-emotional about the stupidest of things. I’ll probably also try to regulate my diet again. I have been eating one meal a day maximum and that is just not good for the system, especially when you’re trying to recover from a virus.

Anyway, time to head out and find my way back to my current residence. Wishing the best to you all.

 

Don’t Cry for Me, Franklin


I hate to be the bear of bad news, but I just recently grew fur and paws and bad news bears is rebooting in my honor.

First off, my sickness has relapsed after this last weekend and I am once again coughing up green alien chunks and blood. I am currently eating my first meal in the last 36 hours and it is one graham cracker because I just can’t stomach food. 

My awesome job has been giving me not so awesome hours and by that I mean no hours, so when it came time to pay rent, I was incapable of doing so. I am moving out of the dear Queer House at the end of this week. Hot June, please be good to this freshly re-bummified girl. It’s going to be a hot bum life.

So yes, at the end of the week, I will hopefully be not as sick because that is when my homeless life begins once again. Not that I minded it TOO terribly last time, more that I thought I was finally making my mother, who had invested so much into me, proud. 

She messaged me today to offer me plants for my garden and I had to respond that, at the end of this week, I wouldn’t have a garden anymore. I, too, am very, very, sad.

I am also sad that I will be moving away from two super cool cats. My luck with cats has been the best in my long run of apartment-hopping. First there was Wilson, one of the coolest animals I had ever met. I made my room mate mad because he started to like me better and sleep with me every night. Next, there was Neko, a mischievous cat who was always a lot of fun. Now, I must say goodbye to Franklin and Lucian, gray and pink cats respectively, and I am once again very sad.

Watch my life as it crumbles around me.

With optimism in mind, I will continue forward houseless, catless, and a little bit hopeless. I hope only the best comes from this but I know that will not be the case. My posts may become few and far between once again after I move out but I will try to make sure my story is told and the five people that read this blog know I’m alive.

I love you all.

The ALMOST Kick-Down


In bum life, a kick-down is when someone gives you some food, money, or something else of value, whether you spanged it, flew signs, or busked for the kick-down. Last night we were out in downtown Minneapolis looking for some kick-downs for food and gas for the big hippie van that my friends Brian and Emily travel in, with my road girlfriend and a dog with them.

Hungry, tired from the road, and without booze, no one was in high spirits as we parked the van on Nicollet Island and headed toward the bar block. It was mid-day, so not many people were out, regardless of it being a Friday. Opening the guitar case for business and trying to get Mogli (that damn dog) to calm his shit anyway, our hot May day was not bringing in the most business.

Tired, hot, hungry, and frustrated, Emily and I decided to dive some street dumpsters. It’s amazing the sorts of things people throw away. While some people look at trash cans as, well, trash cans, others look at them like gold mines, where you can find half cigarettes, half-eaten burgers, and half-bottles of soda. That’s the trifecta of a bum meal, especially if the soda comes in an opaque container so that you can fill it with beer later.

The dumpsters were pretty dry, but I managed to find a barely-eaten meatloaf burger that I gave to the troop to heighten their spirits. We also stopped by a bar to get water for Mogli, and the bartender filled a to-go container with water so that that giant dog could actually fit his face in it.

A couple of dollars, a couple of beers, and some yelling at a dog later, we reposted our asses over by Sneaky Pete’s, where our luck remained fairly minimal. I took off again for some dumpster diving and found a whole, unopened box of granola bars. It was the golden jackpot of the day and my spirits were lifted like a kite.

I headed down to the Anime Convention to run into some friends and bum some cigs for the group and did just that, finally turning around after an hour of tomfoolery. On the way back, an elderly man and his friend who were sitting outside of Chipotle  saw me digging around in the trash and called me over.

“What the HELL are you doing?”

Explaining to an older man that you’re a nineteen year-old who hangs out with street kids and never has enough food to eat is like telling your parents you do hard drugs, apparently. This man, who had just regaled his new friend with tales of having been a gang-banger, was struck down by the idea that a pretty girl like me wouldn’t be able to pay the bills and would spend all of her time hanging out on the streets with bums.

His friend, who turned out to be a minister, was much less shocked and more interested in making sure I was fed. Here comes the story of the time I almost got a hella kick-down.

He asked me how many people were in my group and I told him we were four total. He smiled and told me he would get me and my friends Chipotle. Of course, I told him that I couldn’t accept so much kindness from a stranger, but he insisted. We walked to the doors of Chipotle only to find them locked – of course, it was after ten pm. Bars were going down on the doors of Target and tired employees were damn sick of making burritos.

He apologized that he couldn’t help more and I told him it was fine and thanked him for his generosity. At the end of the day, I had my granola bars and more faith in humanity based on the kindnesses of others.

Though it may not be a meal ticket, cigarettes, beer, or gas money, human compassion is one of the best kick-downs you can receive sometimes. It reminds you that we are all just humans and must exist on this planet together, through hell or high water.

Be good to your local bum, your neighbor, and the guy who rings up the granola bars you’re going to ditch in a dumpster five minutes later. Be good to the angry-looking lady walking down the street and the dude who rolls up a joint ten feet away from the cops. Hell, be good to the cops.

Something good will happen to you if all you put into the world is good and that is a damn fact.

I love you!