Almost. . . But Not Quite

| Oct 2, 2017

I almost left. 

Almost.

It has been a really, really, really . . . really hard week. So much happened. 

It started with my Landlady, who could take up an entire article here, telling me that she would be raising my rent $100. That would be near a 20% rise. I can barely afford my room in her house now. 

The rents here in The Bay Area are beyond insane. Beyond!! Renting a room, yes . . . a room for $1300 in Oakland or San Francisco is plain highway robbery. But I digress.

I befriended a cis girl at work. She is 29, painfully mousey and nerdy. I try to help her be better in any way that I can. I help her with her look, her apartment, give her rides, try to inspire and advise her. But, to be close, I feel I must tell someone about me. I have to tell them my truth or else they will never really know me. That was 41 years of my life that I presented as a male that are now 6 years in the past. That is significant. So much happened.

I am sick to death of The Landlady, a.k.a The Crazy Cat Lady. That house is an insane asylum. I swear, some days I want to get up — pack my shit — and leave. I mean leave California and all of the callous, insanity of its people. I feel myself doing it, and it feels great. In my mind. I miss the East Coast. I miss my many friends there. I miss my family.

So, I decided to screw over the Crazy Landlady and leave. I was going to move in with Stefanie, my friend, near work. She could take visitors for up to 2 months. That’s a generous policy for an apartment. This would be rent free. I could stay longer if it worked out. I would have to wall myself off in the living room with those Japanese folding walls. I would have a 6′ x 12′ “room” inside her 1 bedroom apartment. 

Things were looking like I would finally get out of Dodge, er, Antioch. I’d be free of The Cat Lady and her 500 cats pissing everywhere. I have one cat. She’s my buddy. She is no trouble. But, she gets chased by these other cats. They keep her company, but its just gotten way out of hand. The Landlady is trying to Save ‘Em All! She takes in any stray cat near us. She captures them and brings them inside. She takes them for care and spay/neutering, but still . . . its so many!

I told Stefanie about me being trans one night. It went well. I never tell anyone at work as a rule, but I was going to move in. I thought things we’re going great. But then, she disappointed me. She angered me. The very next day, she outed me to another co-worker. 24 hours didn’t even pass! I was livid. I told her SPECIFICALLY not to tell anyone at work. I didn’t mind outside of work if she needed to process it with another friend. Not at work! I don’t need problems at work. 

I was so angry and disappointed. There went my trust of Stefanie AND my escape pod from The Antioch Asylum that is the house I live in. I could not trust her anymore. Trust is huge with me. She failed the first major test of our friendship. Her excuses were lame. She said she panicked. She felt like she was going to slip a pronoun. So, instead. — she actually TELLS someone — as if that is better than a pronoun slip. I still don’t understand it. 

The next day, I was so stressed. I just wanted peace. I woke up for work. I went downstairs for a nice breakfast. The Landlady was yapping about something. I was feeling trapped. My escape had failed. Other rooms in the area, not in places where I would be murdered, were out of my price range. I went outside to get some peace. The yapping, neurotic dog next door started constantly barking. I plugged my ears. I heard the calming sound of my heartbeat and blood flow. I could still hear the dog — but it was tolerable. I hear the shrill voice of The Landlady. Faintly, I thought I heard something about “emergency.” I was not interested in whatever she was up to. I started to slowly cry. It was all too much. I wanted to run away. 

I gathered myself and went inside. The LL’s husband was running around in his bare chest and no shoes hollering about the flood. The LL had managed to flood half of the second floor. Water was coming thru the ceiling. She was trying to hook up some cockamamie automatic cat litter box that self cleaned. I grabbed Kona my cat and headed past the flood upstairs to my room. The LL said as I passed, that I had better care because water was in the bathroom I used. I snapped. I said, ” I’m done! I can’t do this. I’m out!” I closed the door to my room and proceeded to sob very, very hard. I’d had . . . enough. I’d had, more than enough. I’d had 3 years of, enough. It was a really bad day. I shook and was tense the rest of the night. I had to take an Ativan.

I thought seriously about leaving. I almost did. I was as close as ever to going back home to my real home. I just wanted to go. I was so very close. 

Time passes. Feelings fade. The mind heals. Today I feel better. I am more lucid. I am beginning to forgive Stefanie. I’m still not sure what I am doing about my living situation. I have 10 days to decide.

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Category: Body & Soul

Amanda F. Steele

About Amanda F. Steele: I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 4 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved here to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. The adventure continues...

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  1. Tommie says:

    When I first started coming out, I learned the hard way you can’t trust even your most trusted friend or family member. Assume nobody will keep the “secret.”