When I was 18 and sold to a university in Chicago for the low low price of 65,000 dollars, I took with me a scrap of hotel paper I’d once found beside the house phone. It was unremarkably crumpled, creased, forgotten, and marked with slashes of my father’s strangely sharp handwriting.
All it said was ‘just when he thought he was ready.’
I’ve kept it on my person ever since.
Nine years have passed since that Joan Jett haircut sporting, confused, freshly heartbroken, and so so naive bitch I was packed what she believed was most important in to a Honda CRV and headed west.
I don’t still live in Chicago.
I live in London, England.
The road here was far more crooked than the indiana sky-way, but at the time, I thought nothing could be.
I spent just a single year falling in and out of taxi cabs, puking pilsner and slivovitz on to once prestigiously respected side walks, skiving off math because I couldn’t be bothered and gaining 30 pounds of pure macaroni and cheese.
I came back scarred, scared, and confused, moved to northern Maine for safety. Acted my ass off for five years and still managed to avoid earning a degree.
When the actual, eventual wall met my face and I was jobless, homeless, loveless and desperate, my eldest sister Jessica offered me a room in the lean-to building she and her friends had dubbed The Compound, in Salem Massachusetts. And like most desperate people do, I reached out, I grabbed on to it, and I pulled myself above thesinking heads of my past existence.
And I moved to Witch City, America.
Just when she thought she was ready.