(March ’08 – September ’08)
Although you are writing a book, even in the latter stages and think you’ll write another, a sequel, and you’re living the chapter someday you will write, you do not give thought about the evil you may do knowing you can record it, or not, or choose not to do it so there is no conscience disturbance. For me, I’ve chosen to live each day as it presents itself. There will be things I am certain to do I will regret doing knowing it will be chronicled, even my thoughts no matter how personal they might be. The purpose of the book has never been about me, per se, but about God who saved me.
As I drew toward the end of February and still no commitment for work, I considered work in any capacity, even that of janitorial, but it appeared I needed to be shorter, from beyond the southern border of our country and spoke Spanish! Yes, it would have been easier to find work if I were an illegal alien. Noticing an ad in the Atlanta Journal Constitution for telemarketing, I called. I had done similar work in Cleveland and although I had done very well, to the point the supervisors wanted to listen in on several calls and train others to do what I did to increase sales. I’ve always enjoyed marketing which requires skill of knowing how to sell without fearing to ask the bottom question for the purposes of the call: “May I have your money, please?” The problem was I detested those who called me and never, ever, wanted to be a part of such work again. Yet, one thing can be certain, it doesn’t matter your work experience previously or had you committed the most heinous of crimes, you more than likely will find yourself interviewed and seated at your desk making calls within an hour of your dropping in.
I interviewed with a company which sold magazines, offering the customer the, “coveted diamond watch”, for merely picking up their phone. My first impression was, this was just another one of those slick operations, but it would be work until something else happened. I had hopes the company involved with air compressors would call and make me an offer, but I needed to have something by the first of March, my brother’s deadline. After the interview and thinking and trying to get something else where, I agreed to begin work the first of the month, and found housing in the same city of this job in Norcross.
I’d like to mention something involving what the world perceives as coincidental but we Christians call it, “God”. While searching for work, I came across an ad offering seasonal work helping out in a business dealing in artwork, of some kind. When I called to inquire, I thought I might have an advantage because the hirer, too, a former IBM’er and our conversation was heightened due to this familiar ground. His concern, however, would I really be interested in work paying so low, traveling so far, for such a short business period? I was, but as I attempted to handle the objections with my skills of marketing training, I tried not to sound desperate and managed to land a face-to-face interview. The business was located in Norcross, which was one of the hirer’s objections because it was over forty miles away from where I currently lived in Douglasville. I assured him it would be no problem since my brother made the trek daily for his job, too, was nearby of the same city! I learned quickly when looking for work in the Atlanta metropolitan area, one requirement often listed in the newspaper or during the interview will be you must live within a certain pre-calculated distance or time of travel. This is because the traffic congestion is horrendous and although being late is the acceptable norm, some, if not most employers will consider hiring someone provided they live close enough, even in the case of traffic, to arrive within an hour of their scheduled shift!
I got the address and time for the interview, spoke with my brother who was familiar with the area, and was dropped off nearby to wait for the time to show up and found a local McDonald’s to utilize the time, with my laptop, waiting approximately two hours before I’d venture out in the sunny but chilly morning. When I determined the time was about right, I set out to walk to the address given when a phone call came in with the gentleman suggesting we didn’t meet because he thought all things considered, it would not be a good match after all, even with my insisting I’d found nearby accommodations, which I hadn’t, but would have. It was to no use. Disappointed, I sought the nearest bus stop and inquired to the driver how to get back to the actual city of Atlanta.
Now, I shared this to sort of jump ahead to show you how God orchestrated this whole job searching matter for my benefit.
The bus I took from the job interview I never had would take me through the area where I would eventually not only work but where I would live, too! The art job was in Norcross. The eventual job working for the magazine telemarketing company was in Norcross, and the air compressor job which I ultimately did get, guess where it was? It was not only in Norcross, but within the same industrial park of the art job! So later, when I worked for the compressor company, two months later, I was already familiar with the area. God operates in ways we just do not understand till He is ready to reveal His way, but until then, He leads and our responsibility is to follow.
I eventually made it back to Peachtree Center and fell into my routine of job hunting and will now relate the new marketing job and its associated experience.
When it was certain the date I’d begin, my next task was to find housing. Taking the bus from the interview and watching the route, I got help from another rider who pointed out a motel-type facility called, “Inn-Town Suites”. Ordinarily I would have overlooked such a place because it looked expensive but nice. My drug experience had me in a lot of motels for the purposes of using drugs and I lived in one while in Reading which ended up as a bad idea and an arrest. In this case, although hesitant, I needed something off a bus line and reasonable in cost since my new job paid so little. I called the number on the marque and learned of their availability and price, and excited that as I needed things to happen, they did.
I called Dr. Carter, to touch base with her and to let her know of my current status. I spoke regarding the job, new housing and although it did not pay much and with my current finances being dim, at least I was making headway. She did something which was totally unexpected. Unlike most motels, at least any I been too, never required a deposit, just the first week’s rent. Dr. Carter informed me God placed it within her heart to provide this for me, so I had an additional $180 to manage until my first paycheck two weeks later!
The office opened at 11:00a.m., which I thought rather inconvenient for a motel, but later learned they did not do overnights, only long-term lodging, but it was still inconvenient for me because I still had to get my room, settle in and figure out the best way to get to my job which started 12:30p.m! Finally moved-in and bags stowed, I called and frantically waited for a cab, since I had extra money and managed to begin my work on time for the first day.
I was shown an office and filled out the normal pre-requisite employment and tax forms and given a thick loose-leaf binder containing the script used in the calling process and all other materials germane to the job. Since I was the only one hired, that day, I sat alone until who would be my supervisor arrived to take me through the steps of answering the phone, which a computer dialed. I’d seen it all before. These companies must contract from the same company for their boring, long and half-witted scripts, and being African American and probably most calls would be to African Americans if calling to the Atlanta area, saying, “Wow, that’s great…” doesn’t sit well with me, but while going through the training in the conference room and eventually sitting at a phone seated near the supervisor who could listen to your side of the phone call, I had to comply and did not make any sales until he walked away to handle the needs of at least twenty other telemarketers, then I was able to do my free-style and begin to nail down some pretty solid sales. My first day, I got two completed and approved sales, which caught the attention of the manager of the organization who was pleased and could see I had a good future already with the company. Yeah, right!
At the end of the day, I walked the way the cab brought me, figuring it to be the best route. It was March and their cold weather was mild to my mid-western/northeastern conditioning, made it home within an hour. Once I got home, I unpacked, then went outside to take in my new surroundings.
Across the street was a plaza with several businesses relevant to my being here, a dry cleaners and laundry, a check cashing place and a Farmer’s Market grocery would be closed by the time I’d be able to get back home in the evenings, about 10:15. On the same side of the street, on the corner of Buford and Jimmy Carter Blvd. were a Wings & Grill, a Burger King and across the street from them, a Wachovia Bank. I thought I did not do too badly in my choice of location, and I had bus stops, for either direction close by. Fortunately, when I first began my job search in Atlanta, at the major hub, Five Points, I saw a schedule rack filled with all of the bus routes and took a copy of each. Gwinnett County, just outside of the actual major MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) had its own bus services with seven different routes. Looking at those, I discovered the time my job required, taking a bus to work would not work well and there were none at all at the end of the day, so I figured it to be an excuse to get some much badly needed exercise. The company was about three miles away and if I left at 11:30, I would arrive about 12:15, in time to relax before the grind of taking calls begun at 12:30.
By the end of the first week, leading the others for the week’s sales, walking six miles a day was beginning to get to me. I think, too, it was the hours which I hated. When I worked for IBM and trained for my third shift job, the hours I preferred, I hated dropping everything in the middle of the day to go to work and when finished coming home and it’s too late to do anything worthwhile except put on the television and hope to fall asleep quickly because the following afternoon would come too soon and I’d be off to the job again, not having done anything worthwhile having awakened and not fully rested.
In fact, by the end of the second week, I was disgusted both with the job and the walk, more with the way there. The walk “away” from the job I was thankful. My sales were showing my dissatisfaction and using the Sabbath, as an excuse, to get away from the job regardless if I was observing it or not became an issue. I began questioning God why was this happening to me, this hatred of what was going on, each step such a burden to and from this place, although thankful the weather was always kind to me and never stormed as I walked. Thankful for my Friday evening ability to leave early, one week just as I arrived home the weather completely changed. You could see evidence from the balcony of the motel, the second level where I lived the sky turning a color which I’ve never seen before, followed by heavy rain and ferocious wind. I learned later tornadoes were spotted and Atlanta suffered its first tornado event leaving broken windows in some of its downtown businesses and hotels! It would be the first time hearing warnings blasting with a recorded voice telling all to take cover. However, through the storm and the storm of my life, God made it clear to me this was punishment for having gone backward by my infidelity to Him for abusing drugs and involving others in my sin, since having learned from my days in Puerto Rico. To sin is one thing, but when you involve others, your brother and sister, that’s another and God takes it quite seriously you’re involved in not only the loss of soul salvation of yourself but you’re the culprit who’s taking others with you and this will not be tolerated!
Remember my stating at the beginning of the chapter although I determine to write, the fact of my doing things which may be wrong and the choice I still have regarding the sin and the telling of it? He just ministered to me why I am here today, in jail, writing this chapter! I will share what occurred when I began the next section, “New York”.
While still in my first month, March, I knew I had to re-register my new whereabouts before something occurred resulting in trouble. Every night as I walked home I feared being stopped by the police inquiring why I was in this part of town. Thankfully, none did. I called my father and asked if on his day off if he would be kind enough to take me since the Sheriff’s office was not reachable by any bus and taking a cab would be too expensive. Thankfully, the law regarding where sex offenders could live was on hold as the legislators re-evaluated its legality, but I was fine for now.
In exploring my new environs, there was a pawnshop close by and considering I had a laptop I could no longer use because the USB ports were no longer functional, and my brother after examining determined too costly to repair, I decided to pawn it hoping to get at least $75. When I brought it in and turned it on, they were impressed with it and offered $150 to which I agreed. They’d call for a while after the first month and gave up when I never bothered to return the call. At least with this laptop, I did not have to worry about any police visits because it had been stolen. My conscience did bother me that some unsuspecting person who saw it, purchase it, probably for an additional hundred or two above what they gave me, would be highly disappointed when their mouse or printer would not work. Everything about the machine was great, but I could not use the touchpad mouse and I certainly would need printing capability never mind the carting of it around when I had a good one available and came with the latest technology.
I must go backward for a moment and finish further discussion regarding my sin.
I believe I have been called to ministry and have been given proof. How can a man responsible for the lives of others, particularly for drug addicted women, instead of helping them be the cause of their demise? How many women have I already been with and am the cause of their continuing in addiction because of my offer to smoke with me? How many women decided to stop the day I met them but were furthered on for another day, month or years because I stopped by and instead of imparting good news shared with them the smoke of death sending them into the dangerous spiral to hell? Could I possibly expect to live the life of those redeemed, with my congregants, who walked the streets or sat in the churches of crackhouses waiting for a life giving gospel and I, Brother-Pastor supplied it on the end of a crack-pipe!
This is the challenge. This is the activity which must stop. The blood of innocents paints my hands. How many children have suffered because Mom did not know how to come home? How many went hungry because I stopped by and her remaining meager resources gotten from somewhere was spent chasing just one more hit of crack cocaine? How many homes were caused or remain broken much, much worse than mine could ever have been for at least we thought we were happy and did not go hungry. We were not rejects of society merely the poor until such time things were made better by education and the blessings attending it. What have these women who follow a substance whose deadly attraction keeps them bound which destroy natural affection?
A decision and a commitment need to be made. To sin on one’s own is bad enough but to carry someone else is unthinkable, and added the fact my call to ministry especially to women, to be responsible for their fall and not their recovery will hasten my own demise even unto death!
My month-long penalty would show promise prior to its end. The last week in March I heard from the air compressor company their employee would stay but they wanted me to consider another opportunity as the manager of their inventory, shipping and receiving department. There was no hesitation in accepting this job and would begin the first of April! My last week was the worst of all with my not caring. If I hadn’t had this new job in the wings, I do not think I could have lasted any longer with this one. If I didn’t need the money, I would have left immediately. I was answering the phone making it appear I misdialed. I racked up twice as many calls than normal but what gave me away were the calls lasting less than eight seconds and this was being recorded and monitored, and I was spoken to regarding it. They wanted the Roy from the first week to return with the promise of promoting me to the next department as a “checker” instead of telemarketer; however, checkers would market, too, when there were times of no checking. Hardly seemed worth anything to aspire even at the $1.00 increase per hour. By Wednesday, I could hardly bear to answer the phone and on Friday, after four hours, I had had enough. I quit.
Walking from that place for the last time was like marching in a celebration. I think I smiled and greeted everyone on my way home, in true Southern fashion especially since it was daylight opposed to it always being dark. I was thankful for my lesson learned and thankful my punishment was not one of a much longer length. In my thinking, homelessness would be preferred over dealing with a job I detested and truly hated. I love selling things worthwhile and with quality but lying to people and gifts of worthless watches with a piece of sand denoting a diamond was not my idea of gainful employment.
The first of April, I began my new job as Manager of Inventory, Shipping & Receiving. The job’s location was in Marietta, which meant I would have to carefully plot how to get there from completely across town, using public transportation. I’d get up at 5:00a.m. and prepared myself to catch the Gwinnett County bus by 5:50. To ensure I’d never miss it, I would always be there a quarter of the hour and at that time of year, always dark albeit the weather delightful. The bus would take me to the train station, since this was the end of that particular line, or beginning, depending the direction you needed to travel. I got off the train at a stop near the actual city of Atlanta and catch a bus, then I’d have to catch another bus which would deposit me within a five minute walk from my new work location, in all the total commute time about one hour and a half, my arrival about 7:30’ish.
Although the office didn’t actually begin until 8:00, thankfully one of the owners, Cecil always began early, so I could gain access. My boss, David, exclaimed amazement, when I learned later because the employee, Brenda, who I was being considered as her replacement but decided to stay, arrived anytime—literally after 9:00a.m., blaming traffic but coming from the same location I was! She’d stay later but there was always a question if she stayed as long as she should, but they were pleased with my demonstration of punctuality, which meant dependability, regardless if I had to car or not, which was a concern during our first interview. By the second day, I was given my own key.
I re-met everyone, who were very nice and got settled into what would become my office getting a feel for their computer software and familiar with what it was they actually did. At lunch, I was taken out to a nearby Dave & Buster’s where the food was good and the atmosphere, involving gaming, a very popular business in Georgia. Finishing the day, I reversed my commute, again joining the many thousands, who choose to travel in this way. I left my job at 4:30 to catch the always never-on-time bus going the opposite direction, now in the hot sun of the late afternoon, and would not arrive home until nearly 7:00p.m., so my day was longer than most, but I did not mind. I was working, earning a better wage and would be able to handle my expenses which were the weekly rent, cellphone and Internet broadband access, food and commuting.
While learning the job in April, by May I was involved with packing up the office preparing to move from these quarters to a more suitable warehouse with office space, quite more attractive than the renovated apartment building we were, but the benefit for me was it would be in the same town I lived! God certainly could not have planned it better than this. Now my commute was taking “a” bus for a fifteen minute ride with about the same time to walk from where the bus would come the closest to my destination. The weather was often so nice and for an excuse to walk and get exercise, I often walked home, that is if my boss would not be there at the end of the day always driving me, his preference. There’d be times I would walk in the morning, taking me just 45 minutes to cover the distance and I would not arrive sweaty because the mornings were often cool enough for the time to be refreshing.
In June, my boss lost his job, said due to the worsening economy, but listening to the owners, paid him too much for what he was actually doing, disappointed with his performance, so I had to step up to the plate and replace him. By this time I’d already gotten my driver’s license and because the job involved having to take parts to various customer locations, I was given the keys to one of the company vehicles and was able to have transportation, which was great in order to get around.
Living in Norcross, and now having more time on my hands due to less time commuting, I found myself missing companionship. Although David, my former boss and I got together from time to time, there was missing from my life a friend who I could be with, speak with, confide and develop a relationship, so I prayed asking God for a “friend”. I was not gender specific, because in my thinking I needed a “friend” as opposed to having a “girlfriend”, and within a week, or so, of making that prayer while walking near my home on Buford Avenue, God introduced someone to me who’d be added to my list of “best” friends. I’m told if you have a friend, you are blessed. Well, God knew I would need to have more than one, even better, to have more than one “best” friend due to my family relations were not too good and went lacking. This someone would be Samantha.
Our new work location was looking rather sparse with all of the actual warehouse space and now individual offices, Cecil asked us to try and find used office furniture and racking suggested looking through Craigslist on the Internet. I used Craigslist to find this job and now using it again to find furniture instead found an ad in the “Personals” stating: “Looking to speak with former SDA male who may or may not still be attending and would like to know why.” When I read the ad, it spoke directly to my heart as if it were a message to me. Only a Seventh Day Adventist would recognize the acronym and I was not attending church, though I think I would have if I’d taken the initiative to try and find one, but up to this point I had not. So, I responded to the ad, “I think you are talking to me because I am a SDA and do not attend.” She, Samantha, readily responded and what ensued was a telephone conversation which was informative, cordial and began to fill the hole in my heart of having found a friend. I do not believe this was one-sided because events would take place indicative this was not a chance meeting at all but one directed by God in answering two person’s prayers simultaneously.
In one of our conversations, she mentioned moving to Alpharetta and of course being the friend I now had become offered to assist her if she needed knowing she could not expect much help from her children, A.J., then eight and daughter, Lexi, age 11. Samantha was not married, raising her two children as a single mother, a former Atlantan returning home living in Alabama, currently staying with a brother, interestingly named, Samuel, who was named after his father, Samuel, who would have a son, yes, named Sam, Jr., and the siblings would be completed with a baby girl, Samala. The only one not named in such a manner was Ms. Brenda, the matriarch.
When I met Samantha, well, let me back up and describe the circumstances. It was agreed I would help her move a bed from her brother’s home. Since David was still working and had access to a truck, he agreed to join me, so we made arrangements to meet Samantha. We arrived first and when I saw the slender black woman something inside me went, went, I’m not sure what happened, but whispered to David, “I think I just met my next wife!” Not to embarrass her, because she’s my friend, and some things are sacred, just suffice it to say I was attracted to her, in more than just physical. She first appealed to my intellect, then to me by her faith.
I met her children while there and her nephew, Sam Jr., visiting, and after installing the bed in its proper place, said good-bye. While backing out the driveway to a beautiful community, I again spoke a word of prophecy, “I am going to live in this house.”
Now since we both met and got an eye-approval of each other, it would not be long before we arranged to meet for dinner. At the time, I still was not driving and David was still there, so Samantha agreed to meet me at my apartment and we’d go to Olive Garden for our first “date”. It was a great time. We could not have gotten a better server who joined in with the comedic personality I can easily revert to when I’m in the public eye. I’ll never forget having finished dinner and being the gentleman, allowing Samantha to lead to her car. (Note: This account will be a rather personal one, and if you are reading the next sentence, it is because I was given permission by Samantha to print it.) Okay, here it is: I’m a man and man are visual. I’d have a good idea of her appearance, in front, when I met her. When she picked me up for dinner, she was seated, and I wanted—now, to see what it was she was sitting on! She complied, later confessing, “I knew what you were doing, or wanted to do, so I wanted you to have a good look!”
Our dinner went well and I did not want the evening to end, so I, in my shy manner suggested if she wanted to extend the evening, perhaps we could see a movie. She agreed and we completed the evening much later. I don’t remember if I attempted a kiss good-night, knowing my shy characteristics but I can tell you, my day was great, although it was night, the birds were singing songs of love, and I was happy. Well, maybe I heard night birds! There are “night birds”, right?
If you talk to my friend, Don, he will make the joke, “The brother does not waste time,” referring to how many times I’ve called him asking him to polish his shoes because I would need him to be my best man, shortly after having called first reporting I met someone, and with Samantha, it was, “Roy, just living up to” his reputation.
Believing God had done more than to just send me a friend, and Samantha believing the same, after dinner and during an evening of expectation because Samantha had put together a website where we, both writers, would blog about our feelings, giving our family and friends an opportunity to journey with us, would confess our issues, mine being a registered sex offender and no way could ever be in a relationship not fully revealing that I was and what it would mean to any prospective wife, did so, and she accepted me, brought me to my knees proposed to her, and she gloriously accepted. Samantha and I planned for an October wedding! There was much to do, but we’d have no idea of what was ahead of us and as fate, better still, Providence would have it, by October, certainly by November, I would be living there, but not because we were married.
In June, I received a visit from the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department to inform me I was no longer in compliance where I lived. A deputy knocks on my door at 10’ish in the evening, which alarmed me especially when I saw it was a uniformed officer. The injunction was lifted and sex offenders would not be allowed to live within 1,000 feet from churches, schools, libraries, nurseries, community pools and parks. I calculated the library was just outside that limit, but what I did not know was directly behind the motel property was a Hindu temple. It took some time to find the nondescript building, which was a normal house, with a small sign indicating what it was, next to the sign which said the building was for sale! Yet, I had to move and within hours!
Unfortunately finding a place to do so, would not be easy. The reason why the law was appealed was because to find housing, affordable housing, meeting the constraints, in a southern town known for being in the Bible Belt, where churches are everywhere, never mind hotels and motels equipped with pools, child-care or nursery facilities, some not too obvious, people would either live on the street claiming to be “homeless” or many, about 10% would abscond. I had a job and future plans to marry couldn’t resort to those measures, plus the disadvantage of not living here for a long time could not be expected to move as easily as someone who grew up here and had family who could assist them. Although my brother lived in an approved location, and I would have been willing to make a long commute, first needing a license and car, would have made it a little too impractical, plus my sister-in-law made it clear she did not think it would have been a good idea if I used their address and yet moved to a different location, which I agreed from a legal sense, but I was angered by her response to not having known my legal status at first which might have changed her invitation when I was first given while living in New York.
While walking home those many times, eventually by August, I thought I found suitable lodgings, again on the bus line and even closer walking distance to work if needed, but by now I did have a license and company vehicle, Samantha and I moved my things to the new motel. Where I lived first was very nice as compared to what I would be eventually reduced to. I had a normal-sized room, clean, a microwave, stove and full-sized refrigerator. My rent was $165.00 a week. The next place would be slightly less in cost, about $20 less, but would have a compact refrigerator, half the size of what I’d been accustomed, with practically no freezer space. This motel had obvious drug and prostitution issues and I never felt safe leaving my things unattended while I was at work. That uneasy feeling would not last long because this place, like the first, would not work because another hotel down the street had a pool, which I hadn’t noticed before. I was becoming exasperated about the whole situation. Every week, at least every three days, I had to drive to the Sheriff’s Department to give them my status. My fear, too, would be I could not work where I did because of its location to the same types of restrictions, but the focus was where I lived at the moment and at one point I thought to live there, at work, even getting approval from my boss, when it was determined a distinction would be made where people like me could work. It became a game of waiting the Sheriff’s Department out until I was told if I did not find compliance soon, I could be arrested. I had heard of a guy who was jailed for not having an address and homelessness did not legally qualify as being under compliance, so thinking I just needed to get out of this county—period. I found another motel after meeting with some sex offenders by driving to their approved location asking for help, told me they personally several sex offenders who resided there.
I began using Google Earth, which was what the Sheriff’s Department used to determine if a place was okay. One woman, a civilian employee who I registered with, too often, pitied me and told me to go through those who they had on record and perhaps it would be easier to find something for myself. While doing so, I located two persons who had two different last names and from the satellite I could see it was a regular house in a residential area. It was my intention to see if they were renting and if there were additional rooms or if I could pay them a fee to agree with me this is where I lived although technically living where I wanted. Expensive, yes, but peace of mind—priceless. I met with a couple, her husband who for awhile suffered as I, except he was married, found this home and determined okay because a high enough fence separated them from a community pool in the next development. Although very nice to me and understanding my situation suggested a place, another motel facility in DeKalb County. I immediately drove to this place, checked myself in, went to the other place and moved my things.
The following day I went to Gwinnett County’s Sheriff’s Department and told them I was leaving the county because I’d found a place. They asked if it were approved, and I said it was because there were others, about five, who, too found refuge and I would just work in their county and all was well.
This place was a step down from the previous. Even less space in a refrigerator, I had to find, because it was so small it was contained in the entertainment center with the television. No microwave, carpeting frayed, a definite prostitution location for this is where they worked, never mind the drugs and roaches who lived and died often mistaken for floor covering! It was appalling and each move I made it was getting worse and what topped all the other frustration, although just a five minute drive from work, they wanted more money to live there!
When I got an appointment with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, I got the worse news I could have received, it, too was not in an approved area and I would have to move! When I stated there were others there and I was told it was fine, they would not relent, saying they were aware of them and they, too, were advised to move. Fully disgusted with having to move so often and explaining to friends at work some concocted story of my not staying in one location for very long as a normal person does, I begged the official to tell me where I could live. Legally, they can tell you where you cannot live, but they cannot tell you where you can! With my persistence, she gave me two motel locations, one which I knew was absolutely too far, near the county line, a worse prostitution trap, with a pool but because it was not functional did not disqualify the facility. The first place I lived, which suited me fine, which also had a none working pool, about a twenty minute drive from work, required the highest of all the rents I had to pay, almost $190 a week, no microwave or refrigerator of any size, no stove and lack of furnishings. I could request a deluxe which would have given me those things but I was afraid to ask for the cost, so I settled for this dump which had sixteen sex offenders living there at the time, along with their complimentary roaches, the kind you needed to make an effective amount of noise and action to disturb them and even then you’d only get them looking back at you disapprovingly for disturbing their activity, and too big to squash, so you just waited for them to scurry or go out immediately to purchase bug-spray and begin holding my own baptismal services. However, the bug-spray would not be enough to deal with what eventually came crawling—literally—from behind the crevices—bedbugs!
As a child, like most I believe, your parent would send you off to bed with the admonition, “Good night, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.” It’s true and I’m a witness, they do!
One night after about a week while adjusting to my new environs, I guess my presence gave rise a buffet was being served. It first started with the gross feeling something was crawling across my face, and with my fear of spiders, I make no small efforts, uncontrolled, purely reflex to get the probable eight legged creature off me, except when I swatted, I could tell I hit it hard enough not to knock it off me but actually smeared it across my face, then I smelt the metallic smell of blood! I twisted to turn on the light and this is when I discovered what I had been doing all night unbeknownst to me, I was being fed upon by a colony of bedbugs! There was blood already smeared on the bed sheets because of their feeding and my twisting and turning, killing them inadvertently! I think it should be stated when I sleep, its normally nude, so there I was standing in the middle of the floor, swatting what appeared to be anything resembling a bug and in the poor lighting, meant every blemish, scar, pore, all over my literal body including my head, thankfully clean shaven. I never felt any of them and definitely not any bites, but I developed rashes where they had concentrated and fed. I could not shower enough to get a clean feeling.
I sprayed the floor, around and under the bed and would have sprayed that if I did not fear the motel housekeeping staff, finding me dead from toxic exposure. I became literally afraid to sleep in the room, thinking every so often one was on me, never mind the usual gnat, which otherwise would be ignored. After several nights of broken sleep, I had to move. I could not stand it anymore. For all the legal mess regarding sex offenders, I had given blood for the cause. This was war! Not against the bugs but against those who initiated these laws restricting people, decent people who might have made a mistake, from being able to live as they wish. This would be the beginning of a very personal war waged against the sex offender laws. Like Sylvester Stallone in Rambo, “They drew first blood.” I called Samantha in October, and the same home I predicted earlier where I would live, in Alpharetta, moved in.