I have to handle this…

August 29, 2009 at 1:16 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

better than my father did.

He stayed at the very very bottom of the economic ladder for several years, (due to alcoholism)

An illustration of how far down he got:

He had just died about a month prior, and I’m sitting in my office cubicle, minding my own business…

And the phone rings…it’s the City of Cleveland cops. The conversation went something like this, on a work phone, on company time…but I was never called on the carpet for it.

“We have warrants for your father’s arrest. Where can we reach him….” Heavy on the intimidating tone.

“He’s dead,” I said rather calmly, figuring that would be the end of it…
…it wasn’t.

“That’s what they all say, lady. Look, Beachwood and Kirtland have warrants for drunk and disorderly too, and they can’t reach him either. You’re his daughter. You *have* to know where he is.”

Well, I’m good at arrogance, and intimidating tone too. So I used ’em. But I was also angry and couldn’t help raising my voice, so the three other people with desks nearby couldn’t help but overhear, and I’m still sorry about that.

“I’m not deceiving you…”Officer,” He died in a halfway house on Detroit. October the 28th.”

“I don’t believe you, lady, with all due respect, you’re giving us the runaround and it could go badly for you.”

“There was an *autopsy done,* sir! I am at work now. Surely you have the number to the Cuyahoga county coroners office?”

Grumbling, and finally figuring I might be on the up and up,

“It’s not my job to prove that. If it’s true you have to get a copy of that autopsy and bring it here. I have a warrant.”

“Good God, I was one of the ones who cleaned up his mess while he was living, and I’ll be damned if I continue after he’s dead. Call the coroner, and if you have questions then, call me back at home! Not at my place of business! Are we clear?”

The officer said something non-committal and hung up. I never heard from cops again, not from the city or the five separate suburbs where drunk and disorderly charges had been brought.

The point is: No halfway houses. No homeless shelters. No matter what. I will not do that. I’ve got to do better than my father did. Because if I do, there will be a way out for me….

I find myself nearly at that same bottom for different reasons.

Distasteful things have to be done. Contacting charity orgs. Filing medical bankruptcy. A possible move back in to subsidized housing, as the roommate is less and less able to handle (most) of what could be handled if I had a roll in shower, again but that same opportunity for accommodation….means I’d have to live alone, something I’m not certain I could actually do.

Living with family has been suggested, but the family that was suggested is not able, in any real sense of the word to handle my presence in the house, either physically or emotionally.

Trying to see the way up, the way out that will begin at some point….and trying to counsel friends on job choice, on how to avoid abuse and neglect by someone who has shown that behavior before…trying to stay useful.

It isn’t simple. Or easy.


1 Comment

  1. wheelchair dancer said,

    you will. you are strong enough for this.


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