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Straight and Narrow —X

How can somebody you don't know look at you with such disdain in their eyes? They couldn't put themselves in your shoes, because they haven't been where you are. Some people may get it, but that's genuinely, because they have been through it. I'm not a people person, choosing solace in silence over mingling with judgmental strangers. Nobody's perfect, but Nobody's saintlike all the way around either.

Once upon a Savannah time, there had been magic in the air– swirling about, breathing hope into me. The hope would dissipate the more I would catch the eyes of some nasty person leering at me as if I'm the problem. People who aren't without a roof over their heads automatically assume it's a choice to live on the streets or in a tent. I have met one or two people who choose the life, but that's due to their drug habit or alcohol addiction. There are very few like my family and I, who are just trying to survive in order to escape this Hellish in between.

To clarify, it does not matter what you spend money on– the cost of living has skyrocketed which makes it harder for those of us trying to leave. You see; we don't all like to hang out with those in the same situation or go to the same places they go. Most of 'em are bad news, most especially when they get to drinking or shooting up. I hate needles; alcohol has never been a friend of mine. I've been led down the wrong path in my life more than likely to open a new door to something more.

Or so, I'm hoping. At times, I don't understand why I'm still breathing. Is it because God hates me? Does he even really exist? Or are harder lessons on their way to teach me that life will never be what some chalk it up to be?

I want to have hope that if all these other people can make it then so can me, my brothers and sister. I won't know if we can make it until the opportunity presents itself. I'm beginning to think things were better as a kid due to how isolated I've become, but that's my own fault. I've seen people care just a little to have the spotlight on them. Do they really care about those of us, leading a hard life?

I do my best to obey the rules, follow the law, and keep on the straight and narrow path. It's difficult to do when less people believe in you. I'm a self classified loner. I don't care for people– at the same time, I do (down deep, in my own twisted way). I'm not perfect, legitimately.

I was adopted. I've got scoliosis and bunions which are health problems that burden me. I can't say I think I love animals more than people, because I know I do. Animals will love you unconditionally whether you're homeless, disabled or mentally off your rocker. An animal won't judge you, because that's not how they are.

All of my life, I've dealt with watching cats be born; lending a hand to help raise them. It's nothing new for me. I've been homeless on and off with my siblings for a few years. Life never goes as we plan, expecting something different each time. I may have books published yet I don't generate an income from it.

Too many people don't have the money or they just dislike my books. I don't know– don't really care. I've got too much on my plate as it is. We ended up homeless due to shady people screwing us over; destroying our lives as they went along. I started in Florida, ended up in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia then North Carolina only to end up in Georgia once more.

We were trying to put down roots after we returned to Savannah, Georgia. We became homeless this last time due to a greasy, dirty, weasley roommate who conned my brother off his stimulus check. He conned those around him anyway, thinking people would like him for any length of time. He did nothing but make our lives miserable– messing up the apartment after it would be cleaned. He stank, hardly showering while claiming to be autistic.

How can you be autistic if you treat people so low and act like you're going to do them harm? Maybe, he was a different kind of autistic…? All I know is I did a background report on him; how many people have a long list of 'molesters' and still properly function? How many people try to fuck your family over after you leave Greenville, North Carolina to make a new start in the one place more like a home then the north? How many people try to steal your sister's disability check from afar?

His initials are RTL. He goes by his middle name. I tried to report him, but nothing. And yet, somebody still has the audacity to try to steal from my sister again from afar. There's no other cowards that I know– dumb enough to try this. So thanks to him, we left before he could boot us out.

We returned to Savannah, Georgia in late August of 2021. We were familiar with homeless camps before due to when we were first in Savannah. How long did we think it was going to last? Long enough to give us time to build up, but when you're trying to make a home out of a tent– you won't have much time to get out of this shithole. Ignorant people happen to think shelters are better than being on the streets let alone in a tent which is false.

We were in a shelter; Community Crossroads in Greenville, twice. Those in charge treat homeless people equally as bad, but home isn't about the people; it's about those in it. So, I guess the true homeless people are those with nothing to show for, but a roof over their heads. There is good, bad, and neutral in everything. I may not have a roof over my head yet I'm not going to claim myself as part of the "homeless community."

"Community" is another word for cult. Plain and simple. Other homeless people are just as bad if not worse than people in houses or apartments. There may be very few other homeless people who don't bother anyone else, opting to do their own thing. In fact, I've heard stories as such yet have never met one…I don't think Barry counts.

He seems to always have a crowd of troublesome, bothersome folk. Speaking of community and cults, churches are meant to be filled with God fearing people, yeah? God loves all of his children equally even those living a rough life. He wouldn't starve or judge those he brought into this world; giving us each a purpose. Sometimes, you'll find a snake– maybe, even a cult overflowing with snakes feigning as if their work is for God.

Not only is God the only one who can judge us, but you can't say you're Godly– if you don't care enough to shoot someone a message asking about their wellbeing. Asking about somebody is a good show of friendship, compassion, and the way I'm sure God views it. Everybody's busy, even homeless people with nowhere to go. They think we don't try even when there's proof that says as much. How ignorant can this cult– this society of ours be? If you don't care then go about your merry way, but don't use God or religion to make yourself feel better and to seem like you're such a good person.

The cult leader of this church claims things that are hardly proven true. His followers and believers hang onto every word he says like the sheep that they are. You can be Godly, non-judgmental, and still be a decent human being especially those of us– you seemingly deem unworthy. I don't need religion to have God in my life; he's everywhere I go. Even though this cult had a partial hand in helping us, they never truly cared about us as human beings.

How do you know it's a cult? When every person present believes and thinks the exact same thing. Most of the time, you want somebody to challenge your views; not agree with the propaganda, bullshitting lies that you go around spewing. Think you're higher on the food chain? Then, why not try being without what some of us have to go without?

You won't think the same afterwards. At least, we would survive while y'all wimps would sink deeper than the ship you're on. We want change, but try living when you stay on the bottom consistently. I've been writing since I was a kid– crafting my own style. Has it worked?

I'm beginning to think I'm not good at what I do, but then again, what I write isn't for everybody. Most of it's more offensive, but I can't relate to censored things. I have trouble processing things especially where math is concerned. Lately, my trouble with processing has gotten worse. When people speak low or high; I still can't seem to grasp what they're saying.

I have conflict with yellers, having grown up in an abusive– dysfunctional household. My slow processing also makes it hard for me to speak right away, giving me a delayed reaction. I had a woman in Greenville call me retarded for overthinking, not being able to speak while having a panic attack. People don't understand the reality of anxiety even when they claim to have it. I say claim, because why treat somebody so low then?

Then again, I'm not perfect. So, who am I to say what somebody has? We all react differently even with anxiety. I should know better before casting the first stone. However, I won't tolerate somebody continuing to walk all over me either.

A bald headed man whose name I won't mention happens to steal, lie, cheat, and manipulate. This man is homeless. Do I know his situation? I don't care to know about somebody who can stab you every which way– metaphorically, speaking. I don't care to know about a man who wants to say your sister had a stroke and couldn't walk when the truth is; staph infection, or rather MRSA. He could have asked if he could have what we had to leave behind this last time rather than be a common thief with no morals for human decency.

He admitted a few things he tried to take to my sister. Talk about a loser. He's also a gossip queen trying to be in everybody's business, making fun of those who wouldn't do the same to him in turn. Of course, a person (let's say woman in this case), who publicly posts private messages is equally as bad especially when she's in the cult church group I mentioned prior.

Even if you got permission which she didn't, you still shouldn't go around being a sleaze ball of a human being– posting private conversations publicly for all of your non-existent friends to see. A friend to all is a friend to none; remember that, sis. Those messages were signed from me, not my sister on her Facebook. If you're gonna post something to start a war then do so, the right way. Of course, I'm no fighter unless I have to be.

Sis, we're putting things into motion. Stop harassing people like you're gonna know anything. As far as I'm concerned– hop on your bandwagon with your lame ass friends; ain't got time for fake ass bitches. You gave me an icky feeling; I knew I was right. Thank you for proving as much while we move on without y'all, as we get better.

I'm winding it down as quickly yet slowly as possible. Now, for the heated glares of stares from the Starbucks employees on Bay Street? Why are y'all so unhappy? Why try to make somebody feel uncomfortable in their own skin when some of us already do? You would have to be so unhappy with your own lives that it's not even funny.

Do y'all even know what freedom means? Then again, if y'all are locked into the ideology society has warped into everybody's brain– I guess, y'all wouldn't know what the word means. I'll be fine; with or without you. Karma is a very real thing– slow at times, but you'll surely reap what you sow. There's only one person I've ever talked to who genuinely cares about the wellbeing of those of us who were unlucky and unfortunate.

Someone she loves happens to be in the same boat, but has she forgotten about him? No, nor does she forget the rest of us either. Genuine concern is one thing– bullshitting people with careless action is another. Actions may speak louder than words yet that's not always true let alone sound advice. Also, humanitarians?

Let me ask you this; how can you be a humanitarian when you forget to care about people as people? Not for what they have or don't have. The world is lost, broken, isolated. We need to get back to real life versus fantasy land where life and creation go to die. Straight and narrow doesn't always exist, but in our case we're sticking to it– walking a straight line.

Very few people rarely care about people unless it benefits them. Someday, hopefully, soon, we'll get back to a not so careless world where the well being of others are concerned. If this shit don't change then we'll all be dead. The only thing getting me through any of this is my love for music as well as the cats I've known since before their mother gave birth to them. I had another cat who mirrored my soul as well as traits personality wise– his name was Milkyway.

Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful place overflowing with mouthwatering food, people bustling about, and nice weather during the autumn-winter season. There's just some major downsides– the people aren't always what they're cracked up to be. The city itself is loaded to the top with crime and it's laced with darkness where secrets are concerned. I may have said it before, but some things are worth repeating. If you're a family unit, they'll try to break you up.

It's definitely not the same south I'm used to like the small town I grew up in. I just wish people had more heart and compassion for those around them. They don't seem to look outside the micro bubble they live in. SCAAD is full of pretentious, unwelcoming students whose 'daddy' bought their tuition– no doubt in my mind about it. I can't say all of SCAAD is bad though; there may be a small handful of students who don't mind sharing the same air every human on earth breathes.

They may also just be laughing at us behind our backs. Ain't there with them when they're off doing whatever so there's no good way of telling. It's usually in the body language and behavior of how people treat you. They'll ogle your animals, but treat you lower (and, I'm not even talking about SCAAD anymore). I liked Savannah briefly when we were first in the city, but my love has become bitter, distasteful hatred for this place.

It's not even just the place that makes me feel so at unease these days. It once felt like home. Due to the mistreatment of judgment brought on by the people of Savannah; this place most definitely doesn't feel like home anymore. I once felt like I belonged then everything changed; a shift in the air took place– putting us at odds with this place. Here's to hoping that the future becomes brighter.

Madaline is an author. Her first four novels are published through Ukiyoto Publishing House. She's a music Lover, cat owner, aries, hufflepuff, triumphant loner. She lives somewhere in Georgia.

Image credit: Kelly Wright via Ideogram

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