By Kazz Falcon
No, this isn’t about the
TV show, Dallas! I did work for JR Ewing thou during the summer of 1986.
I will write about it one of these days. I made up
my mind. Once again, I ran away from home. It was time to leave home and never look back. I wasn’t getting love from my family. I couldn’t be myself. I was still struggle with the homosexuality. I just
wanted to live my life and be my own person. Living
with Granny, I was under pressure to live in the closet for the rest of my life. I can’t take it.
I want my freedom. I was suffocating
into something I wasn’t – a straight man. I took a huge chance of finding myself in Dallas. This time, I didn’t bring anything with me. No clothes, no nothing. I left on my free will, escaping
the ultimate trap that I couldn’t bare. No one
knew where I went. I didn’t want them to look for me. I just disappeared into thin air. I must find the answers I was
looking for, even I have to run away from home AGAIN!
Life was about taking chances; I took the biggest chance of my life. I went on a journey for discovery oneself.
I took Greyhound to Dallas in November 1989. Like always, I didn’t
know anyone. I checked the shelters in the phone book. I attended a Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church Of Dallas. I really need God during this treacherous time. Church
was the way to go. If I was going to live on the street
for the unseen future, I want God to be with me every step of the way. I couldn’t do it without him. I didn’t make any friends at the church nor I ever went back. I didn’t
fit in with those Christians. I walked around downtown
for a while. It was getting dark. I was scared. Man, what have I done? I knew I couldn’t go home. I left that life behind for good. There was no turning back to a life
I didn’t want any more.
I arrived at a public parking
lot. Don’t worry. I wasn’t going to steal a car. I asked the attendant for some assistant. I explained I was homeless; I was new to the city. He was an angel; he
sent me to Dallas Life Foundation. He called that place first. He mentioned I better hurry. I didn’t have enough time. They were about to close the door in a few minutes.
He gave me the directions. I rushed very quickly and
didn’t stop at all. Man, I was tired by the time I got there. I didn’t make it on time thou. It was a long walk.
I knocked on the door a few times.
There was no answer. I was worried; it looked like I need to sleep on the street. It was too bad I didn’t know the address to some bathhouses. I would have stay there for the night. Then again,
I had no money on me. I could sell myself, but I was
too tired for sex. I wanted to crash. I walked away, crying. Steve spotted me leaving and called out for me. I wondered where he came from. He was curious to see who was at the door and came out. I was blessed;
God was looking out for me. I told Steve that I was
homeless. He made an exception; I was new to the homeless shelter.
He mentioned I need an ID and
a social security card. I searched for them. I was happy that I found them. I didn’t thought I brought them with me. I was really out of it. He put me ahead of the line. Some homeless people were upset.
Dear Lord! I didn’t want any troubles on my
first night. I can’t fight. I never learn how to fight. I could cry. That was easy! Steve set them straight. I
filled out some papers in line. I gave them everything.
Another worker took me to the side and explained the rules. They sound reasonable enough except one thing. I need to leave by 7 AM and get back by 3 PM to get in line for the bed
every day. That really sucks. Where can I go that
early in the morning? I have no clue. They put me on probation for three days. It goes for all new people.
For a new guy at the shelter, I hardly
got any sleep. I was placed under a bright light. It was hard to fell asleep. I felt like they were going to ask some questions like the police do. I woke up a few times during the night. The light was
distraction. They turned on the lights; everyone got
up for breakfast. I mentioned I need some clothes. They took me down to the basement. I got two of everything – pants, shirts, socks, underwear. The clothes won’t get me through the week.
I could get more on Wednesday.
I ventured out to the streets alone.
7 AM was way too early for me. There were any places to go either; none of them was open. I didn’t know what to do and what place to go. No one could stay in the courtyard either. It
wasn’t easy to find something to do. Being
homeless was never easy. I wondered where’s the library at. I heard it was near the city hall. Someone pointed me to the right way. I arrived at the library. Man, there was already homeless people waiting to get in; a few were
sleeping till it opened. I was uncomfortable
with them. I didn’t bother with any of them. I mind my own business. We had a long wait ahead of us. The library opens at 11 AM.
I really need to use the restroom.
The library was still closed. I couldn’t hold it any longer. I noticed the city hall was opened. I rushed to the city hall. I asked for the directions. The restrooms were down the hallway through the doors
on the right. Someone snuck behind me; he scared the
living daylights out of me. I thought no one was in the restroom. I didn’t heard anyone to come in. I realized he was in the stall. He pretended peeing next to me. Dear lord! He kept on looking over me.
I can’t do this right now. Sex was the furthest
thing from my mind. I need to look up some information at the library.
The short black guy was interested
in me. He made a pass. I backed away from him. He kept on looking at me. I zipped my pants. He blocked me from leaving. No, guys, this wasn’t attempted rape. I mentioned I wasn’t in
the mood. Someone will walk in on us. I don’t
want to be caught. He claimed they hardly come in the restroom. He touched me on the pants and started to kiss me. He persuaded me for sex. He did his thing. Now, he wanted to top me. No way! Not with his thing. It
was way too big for me. I really don’t want
to go any further. Thankfully, someone walked in to use the restroom. I immediately left the restroom. It was a close call. I went back to the library.
I grabbed the phone books and
sat at a table by the window. I looked under the clubs for the gay clubs. Man, I didn’t have any luck; I have no ideals of the names. Any of them doesn’t sounds too gay. I tried the churches; there
was too many. Where can I find a gay one? I don’t
know what religion I can search under. Forget the damn Baptist! There weren’t too kind to the homosexuals. I learned the hard way. The Baptist church mistreated me like trash. They looked down on me and tried
to change my homosexual ways! Some Christians they
are. They judged me for whom I was. I was frustrated with the phone books. I was going nowhere at all. I gave up and took a nap on the second floor where no librarians could see
Someone nudged me. I wished
they would leave me alone. I need my sleep. They nudged me again. I rose up my head. I was surprised to see who it was. He was staying at the shelter too. I thought so. We introduced each other. His
name was Mike. He was with his brother, Ted, and his
mother. They waited for us outside. He mentioned we better leave before it’s too late. I looked at the watch. Damn, I slept a few hours. I missed lunch. We had about 15 minutes. We met his family outside.
We chatted along the way.
They left their home. None was
happy there. They wanted to try their luck in Dallas. They were here over a week. Mike didn’t believe in God. I had a hard time with that; I didn’t understand. He didn’t think God created the
universal or us. We came somewhere else. Ted and…let’s
called her, Linda…still loves him. I can’t recall the mother’s name. It has been so long. His beliefs didn’t change their love; he was the same decent
loving person. I have never met an atheist before. It threw me a loop. I accepted him for who he was.
I was pleasantly surprised that Mike
was gay. I didn’t see that one coming too. Finally, I had a peer I can relate to. For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable with the fact that I was gay. Mike’s friendship lifted the pressure
off the shoulders. I can be gay and live a sinless
life at the same time. The Yorks taught me that there was nothing with being gay. It was the person I was all my life. I needed to accept it and live my life any way I want
to. I don’t have to bow down to any hypocritical religion. I was my own person.
Mike talked like Latka Gravas,
the character that Andy Kaufman played in the TV show, Taxi. It was really his voice! He didn’t mind I called him “Latka.” Latka was my favourite character, next to Louie De Palma!
I loved Taxi very much. I watched that show all the
time. I mentioned that Mike should play Latka in the Taxi movie if they ever made one. Mike will be fabulous in that role. He got the voice and the character down pack!
I felt comfortable being with them.
We grew closer; they became my family. I always longed for a loving family. I was never close with my own family. We did about everything together. Vicky explained we must pay to stay at the
shelter or work there. Say what? I can’t afford
to pay. I wasn’t working. The sad thing was I couldn’t prostitute myself. I didn’t have that much time.
The shelter placed me in the kitchen to work
to earn my keep at the shelter. I probably worked all day. They worked me like a dog. I wasn’t able to go anywhere on some days. I was tired from working.
Ted woke up early. He goes to
a place for work. Lots of people go there. Some of them weren’t chosen to work. That how it goes for the homeless. Some work for drugs and alcohol, not Ted. He was serious about working and making himself
a life with his family. Ted always work on most days.
A few times, they didn’t choose him. If they don’t, Ted will hang out with us. Mike hardly works; that work wasn’t his thing. It was too hard for him. I don’t blame him either. I
wouldn’t do that work too. Ted paid his family’s
way at the shelter. Vicky was getting food stamps.
Hey, the food stamps were a pretty
good ideal. I can work less in the kitchen. I can exchange them with someone for cash. I asked Vicky where can I sign up. She mentioned I could go to the Day Resource Center down the street. They
have a wide range of services, including referrals
for housing, medical assistance, job training, and treatment for substance abuse and mental health problems. I checked out the place. I was quite impressed. There were lots of shady characters;
I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole!
I wouldn’t truth them if my life was in danger! I didn’t want to know any of them.
A worker gave me some papers
to fill out since it was my first time. Damn, they needed an emergency number. For sure, I was against putting down my family’s number. They will call them in no time. I can’t risk that.
I want nothing to do with that so called family.
They were out of the question. I put down a fake number. I can’t let my family to track me down. I need to be on my
own and search for my self-discovery. With my family,
I couldn’t do that. I don’t need them in my life to mess things up for me. I won’t put my life on hold again. I have to find myself. I can’t do that with my freaking family
in my life.
I waited for a while in the waiting
area. The worker called out for my name. I went to his desk with him. I mentioned I want to sign up for food stamps. He mentioned he can do something better; I can get SSI for being handicap! Wow! I thought I wasn’t able to get SSI. It has never cross my mind. I didn’t bother
getting SSI. I was relieved to hear the good news. I don’t have to sell myself. I will have steady money coming in. I was grateful. It was about time that something fabulous went
my way. The SSI payments will start in a month. He
mentioned it was best to have an account with a bank.
There was one thing I didn’t
have – a checking account for the SSI money. I don’t want to hold the checks at the shelter. Someone might steal them. I will be out of the money I deserved. I checked some banks in the area. It was either
Bank One or Bank Of America. I wasn’t so sure about Bank One. I decided to go
with Bank Of America; they had a better offer. There was no monthly service charge with a monthly direct deposit to my account.
I went straight back to the Day Center.
I told the same guy that I just opened up an account for the SSI payments. We finished the paper work. I will get the money in the account! Thank goodness. I won’t lose the SSI checks.
My money was safe. I was on my way for a better life.
Hopefully, I can save lots of money when I stay at the shelter. The guy pointed out that I couldn’t have over $2,000 in the account. Drats! That really sucks. I don’t want to carry lots of cash on me.
I know I will be homeless for a while. To be
on the safe side, I tell no one about the SSI payments. I can’t trust anyone, as long I was homeless.
The next day, I didn’t
waste any time. I went to Dart in downtown for a handicap bus ID. I didn’t have the
referral letter. Dart sent me to the nearest SSI office
on Main Street, near Greyhound. I went on the second floor to the SSI office. I got a print
out of my SSI and a referral for Dart. I walked back
to Dart. They took my pic. I got the ID within 5 minutes. I was ecstatic to have the bus ID. I was no longer stuck in downtown. I got the Dart map.
To be continued.....at a later date.