What was she doing here in this hot weather? The day was hot and humid, yet going in and out of the subway would have been too expensive. Her chin hit the sidewalk. It happened almost without her realizing it. One minute she was up and the next down. Her whole body hurt but the chin got the worst of it. he hoped someone in the street full of people would offer to help her up. No one did. he struggled up again as best she could, picking up her purse. She shook her head and on she went. The day was too bright to think about heartlessness.
It is indifferent. It is not seen, not visible. The struggle to amount, to stand out and be counted among one of the fortunate ones has failed. The effort was great. No one could have said that there was no perseverance, no push towards something better. No one would have dared complain about lack of interest on her part or not enough drive. She had enough drive for 2 women. If one thing did not work out, she tried another, and another and yet another one. The feeling inside her made her anxious and a little afraid. It told her that it wasn’t right, it shouldn’t have happened that way. This life wasn’t her real life; the one in her soul was the genuine one. Her outside actions didn’t count for much. They just showed the world, if they cared to look, a woman, a woman down on her luck.
No one. No one hears the cries. She might as well be mute, with no way of expressing herself. The cries are sincere; they come from the heart. She has had them inside for such a long time, hiding underneath fake smiles. The fake smiles are part of her survival kit. They have to be on most of the time. She thinks about the house she lost, the 2 times she was on the street, the cold streets of a large city. There were some so-so moments, but even so, she was out there, getting wet in the rain. She lost her home, her homes. That can’t be good or even fair, no matter how some people say that fairness does not exist. As the water came down, she had nowhere to hide, nowhere to go.
The cat was seated on a chair, her face on her paws. The woman approached her and petted her gently on the head, then under the chin. She looked into the cat’s eyes. There was nothing—no recognition. She thinks you are a very nice lady, a woman behind her said. The woman nodded and turned her head to look out the window. It figures, she thought. We don’t live together anymore. I am nothing to her now.
White Collar Crimes
I have heard that white collar crimes could be harder to prosecute from now on. My question to whoever it is in government responsible for this possible law is: What are you thinking? Why do alleged white collar criminals matter more to you than the American people, the American borrower? Why is an executive so out of reach from the arm of the law? I lost my home, my beautiful condo in Atlanta, Ga. to foreclosure on November 1st. 2005, because of white collar crime. I was a victim of predatory lending and mortgage fraud. I will never forget how I felt while trying to save my home and myself from such a horrible fate. I tried everything, including refinancing and a letter to the then governor of GA. to no avail. The governor never responded to my letter. My credit score was 754, a very good credit score. One time, when the CBS show 60 Minutes had a story on foreclosures in the state of Ohio (I think it was Ohio) I cried for at least an hour and a half. My tears wouldn’t stop. The persons on the 60 Minutes segment who had lost their homes were me. We had gone through the same horrible experience. Since my foreclosure, I have been and I have felt totally homeless. I believe that my physical housing insecurity stems from my GA experience. Being evicted twice after this has not helped at all. Being secure and safe someplace, having a roof over my head to shower; sleep in a warm bed, make myself a cup of tea and take care of my cat—that is what I have wanted. Our representatives in Congress and the Senate have to stop being so nice to their friends in Wall Street. I have nothing against being rich. I think being rich and having money is great. But without us, the consumers, Wall Street and the banks would not exist. No customers, no business—it’s as simple as that. I yearn to have my condo back. I want to have my condo in Atlanta, GA. back. As far as I am concerned, it was taken from me unfairly. It’s the same as if somebody had stolen it from me.
Oh! How I loved you. I loved you so much! I didn’t know what to do with that love. I didn’t know how to hide it or how to behave. Most of the time, I felt like a little girl eating a chocolate ice cream sundae. I didn’t think I deserved it, but I wanted it—I wanted you—just the same. I had to have you near me. I had to be where you were, doing whatever I could to make myself invisible.
It is it. Rather, it is them. And it is sometimes only them. They are the protagonists, the stars of the story. They are the stars of the conflict that consumes their existence. It is them and only them. They care. Nothing in their lives is as important as that, their drama. Sometimes it is pride. Pride is the culprit, the guilty party. Sometimes inexperience about sex, about love and what it means is the one. That can hit a young person suddenly and unexpectedly. What does this mean? Why am I feeling this way? What can come after this? What can I do to learn? I am afraid. I don’t know why it didn’t happen sooner. I like it. I love it. I have no one to talk to about this. Who can I trust? The people I know are not my age; they are a lot older and they may not understand. I feel alone. I feel isolated. I don’t want this experience to go away ever. If it were up to me, it would last forever. I’d be near him forever. I would never leave him. To go away would hurt me. And I would come back over and over again. I would do that just to see him, just to be near him.
They care. Sometimes it is only them. The protagonists, the people involved in the matter, in the conflict, care. It is their story. It is part of their lives. The drama belongs to them and to no one else. If they fail, it is because of their flaws or their unwillingness to give in. Sometimes their pride betrays them. Other times, it is something else. Often inexperience is the culprit. Inexperience about love and sex. Sex is one of the subjects that wasn’t talked about in other years. Children were not supposed to know that there was such a thing as sex. When they became teenagers and young adults, they were baffled, confused. Why am I feeling this way? What does it mean? Fear. Fear of finding out more. Fear of knowing more because you might not have the person you love.
How did it happen? We were but then we weren’t. I loved you, but I couldn’t always show it. I cared but I pretended I didn’t. I wanted you; my eyes said so, but my words denied it. We spoke. What we said was in codes. Strangers were watching. They were strangers who would go home and gossip. We didn’t want a scandal. Safety was better. Safety had no conflict, no drama. If we told ourselves we didn’t feel what we felt, all would be well. We wasted a lot of time. That time cannot possibly be retrieved. There is no way to get it back. We can remember our dreams. We can remember wishing that the impossible would happen and that somehow we could be together, free to be you and me.
In our hearts, we would be strong and courageous, ready to fight for our love. In the end it was our eyes. Our eyes didn’t lie. They wouldn’t have dared to.
The house, that apt. we lived in. I went by it yesterday. For a moment, I wanted to walk up the steps and go inside. But then I remembered. I don’t have the key anymore. It isn’t ours. We don’t live in it together, like we did last year. You don’t live with me now. You moved up to a better apt, while I moved elsewhere. I miss you so much, my little one. I miss being near you, taking care of you. You gave me so much love and comfort. I thank you for that. My heart is not satisfied. It wants us to be living in the same place ASAP.
If you heard and listened to the individual stories of those left homeless. If you knew about the pain of being evicted, of not being able to pay the rent, of having nowhere to go with your kids and beloved animals, you’d understand that eviction and homelessness is not just about dollars and cents. For the tenant it can be—it is—a very emotional ordeal, with sleepless days and nights full of stress. It is Hell on Earth. Not having a lawyer to defend your rights in Housing Court is scary, even humiliating. The other person, the landlord, has someone, usually a shark-like attorney. A lawyer has to be there to fight for your interests because if the landlord has a lawyer, the tenant has to have one as well. It is only fair. Only by being in an evicted person’s shoes will someone understand what it feels like on a day to day basis. Only by living the agony will someone get to have some measure of compassion for the person who soon will have no home.