Coyote Jones


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Crossposted from DW:

I've been staying away from Dreamwidth while I have nothing nice to say about my current landlord, who let me live here an extra week, or my current roommates. They're manipulative and beyond juvenile. The types of people who shouldn't be allowed to breed. More about that later, maybe; I've ranted enough on Werelist.

I found a new place! A place with big windows and sunlight!

It's not downtown, but it's less isolated and the bus route downtown is faster. I have only one roommate aside from the landlord and her boyfriend. I'm moving in tomorrow or Friday.

Thank god. My current place is a lightless, noisy hellhole. I'm looking forward to peace and quiet. This will be the first holiday season in three years (four?) where I'm not staying in a homeless shelter. In Spring, I might receive funding for a used RV and vacant land to rent. It can't hurt to apply. I might commission a professional to draft a business plan for me. I can do the grantwriting on my own for now.

iskulya is a constant encouragement, a beacon of "home" in this miasma of endless roads and endless rows of streetlights where no single location actually feels like "home" to me. Home isn't where my blood family is, or was. It isn't where I grew up. It's where my friends are, my adopted family.

I've moved over 25 times in the last ten years. 30 times, maybe. I frequently forget where I am when I wake up in the middle of the night. I locate myself in time and space by the location of my friends. Do I live close to Paul? No. Do I live downtown at all? No. Does Paul visit me where I am? Yes. Then I vaguely remember that I'm on Hamilton's West Mountain, and finally I remember the street.

My memories are a confusion of so many streets, so many houses and rooming houses and shelters and basements and hostels and abandoned buildings and friends' couches.

The sodium streetlights are cold fires indicating so many thousands of homes, warm secluded places, none of which are mine to enter. I feel most like myself on the periphery, in the woods at night and staring out into the city, or sleeping in an abandoned building or in some tiny scrap of wasteland within the city like a stray dog. I feel like I'm always on the periphery. Liminal beast.

How could it be otherwise? Even in the sunlight in the middle of the city, I'm watching passersby with canine eyes that catch even the faintest and furthest movements, that watch gait and read expressions and parse vocal tones for intent. My hair is shaggy and sometimes full of twigs and bits of thistles, and it falls in a ruff around my shoulders. I move in a relaxed, languid walk, maximizing every stride, or I dart from one safe spot to another. The thought of self-defense is always in the back of my mind. I speak clearly and assertively with more cheerfulness than I feel. My muscles ache, but I'd sooner hide than be seen walking with a limp. Concrete makes me walk unnaturally, but I don't go barefoot downtown. Little noises that others don't notice catch my attention, like a nest of birds hidden in the ceiling. I'm used to the city, but it isn't home. It's a hunting ground, a place of opportunity, but not a place to sleep. A place to dash into and back out of. Someone gets too close and I reflexively curl my upper lip and just as quickly I remember to make my expression neutral.

iskulya's company is "home" without a sense of place. I could live anywhere with a mate and never find myself lacking in anything, never longing for one of those houses in the city. A partner in crime, less literally this time around. (You wouldn't believe what I used to get up to. I've lived.)

Perhaps I can finally stop travelling the rail corridors and hydro corridors, stop this pointless search for a literal home I'll never find. Home is right here where my friends are, where my cats are.

The future intimidates me and excites me. The prospect of company is foreign and intriguing. I've been alone for a long time, not because of any shortage of apparent interest in me, but because I'm too focused on the goals ahead. I only sleep well when I've accomplished something. A life of willful mediocrity is a life I wouldn't consider worth living, not for me personally. I want to unlock more possibilities, and the nonprofit and the web development career will help me get there.

My roommates are back. They're farting and burping and laughing and talking about meals at McDonald's. This is the pregnant couple who fights viciously every other night. Mind-numbingly banal and juvenile. That's the only reality they will ever know. It's the only reality they seem to want, assuming that "want" can be measured in part by how hard someone works to actually create a better reality. They don't strive for anything. They're content. Left to their own devices, 99% of people who receive Disability income in Ontario never get out of that situation.

Swiftpaw was right in her old WereCard. Most human beings are sheep in a pen.

I want to be far away from these kinds of realities, so very far away. I want the freedom to choose my company and the person with whom I share my housing. I want open space to roam. I want to try rock climbing, hang gliding, horseback riding, piloting my own small plane. Scuba diving. Collecting shells on the shore of the ocean. Road-tripping cross-country. There's so much to experience.

Eventually, I want a house surrounded by spooky trees. I want wolves in my backyard.

I want a property surrounded by dark roads where the street lights are few and far between, where I can see the faintest stars in their riot of red and gold and blue and yellow and white.

There are a million obstacles on the road ahead, but hell, I'm used to obstacles.

Thanks for being around. And thank you to iskulya for being around. I'm busy this winter into mid-spring, but perhaps I can pay you a visit in late spring 2015 or in the summer, or you could venture up here. I think hiking and camping are in order, and a big ol' bonfire that would impress even Burning Man attendees, and home-cooked meals. Something to look forward to, perhaps?

There's already so much to look forward to.

I feel calm and patient. A lifetime of hardship means I'm less likely to back out when the going gets tough. I can do this. We can do this.

We can do this because we can't settle for anything less.
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