Although I have a room for rent, and am not actually living in a homeless shelter in Horry County, I still go through transitions from time to time that could very well lead me to becoming homeless in a snap. For example, since I pay weekly rent, I have to be sure that the money is there each Friday, or one of two things can happen. One, the landlord could kick me out, or two, they could work with me until the money comes in. Depending on the landlord, this could be a dangerous situation, but, many times, it’s just a matter of whether or not you are currently working a legitimate job, can prove it, and/or if you can pay a late fee.
I use this Horry County homelessness blog for not only informational articles, but also for real life stories, such as the one I’m about to tell you. I was working a job as a steward on the north end of Myrtle Beach for a couple of months, but a few weeks ago, things went bad. I had trouble with getting a ride back home at night. I got off at 11 p.m. and, since the buses stop at 7:30, I found myself riding a bicycle from my job home. It took me about forty five minutes to an hour after my work shift to pedal my beach cruiser all the way back to my room. Most folks would look at riding a bicycle that far as crazy. But, the truth is, I enjoyed the ride. And I’ll tell you why.
You see, sometimes you can’t allow people to help you do anything, because they try to treat you a certain offensive way when you let them do the smallest things for you, like they are trying to act like they are in control of you, just because you need a small favor. For example, I paid one guy I worked with ten bucks to take me home, then he started trying to rush me out of work as soon as the shift ended. The problem was, he knew I had to stay at least another thirty minutes or so afterwards (I was the only steward on staff, they all were temps…). Otherwise, I’d have to walk into all those dishes to wash (plus what the cooks used to prepare food the following morning) the next day around 2 p.m. I would be the only one there at the start of the shift, because he and/or nobody one else would come in until hours later to help me do all that work. But he didn’t care. He just made it a point to let the entire kitchen know that evening that he was my ride home, not mentioning the fact that I was paying him to take me, just that I was holding him up. I paid him for a total of two trips, but couldn’t stomach riding with him anymore.
The next guy I asked I didn’t even make it to two trips with. After the first one (which actually went well), I paid the man ten bucks at the beginning of the next shift to confirm my second ride from him at the end of the night. Then, about thirty minutes before we were about to end the shift, he starts a bullshit argument, just to start fighting about something. It was about me telling him that if folks were to leave me in the kitchen to do all that work by myself that I’d let the supervisor know about it (that’s what most of the temps did, leave abruptly many days, and I was tired of it). All of a sudden, he said he saw me as a “snitch”, and didn’t wanna deal with me anymore. So, a half hour before it was time to go, he gave me my ten bucks back, then he left a few minutes later, the minute the shift was over. I had to call a friend of mine who didn’t work there out of the blue at that late time in the evening to come take me home.
So, those few middle of the night that trips I rode my beach cruiser home on warm Ocean Boulevard were actually time that I took to meditate. I thought about how I’d lived in Horry County homeless before, and how God had brought me through so much this year. I thought about how he’d blessed me with a suitable weekly rental that was warm, quiet, with no roommates. I thought about how strong he’d made me to make it through all that. I felt absolutely blessed during those long rides home.
I had a plan. I mean, I have enough sense not to quit a job without having another one. I definitely wasn’t trying to become a part of the Myrtle Beach homeless population again. I was going to just work as a temp, just as I had all summer, until something else full time came up. Turns out, God felt my pain, everything that I’d just went through, and favored me. By that following Monday, he’d blessed me with a full-time job bussing tables. All I did was print out my resume, walk into the restaurant in response to the Craigslist ad I’d found, and bam, I was hired on the spot. The best news was the shift was one that worked around the bus schedule, so I didn’t have to walk or ride my bike to work anymore.
I explained to my landlord that I’d changed jobs, and she said that I’d have some late fees. But that’s nothing I couldn’t handle, I just had to roll with it (she wasn’t that understanding a few weeks later when I got arrested by Myrtle Beach police on the motel property for no reason, and she evicted me…I’ll tell y’all the whole story of what happened in a few posts). The good news is, the Good Lord had brought me through yet another transition of homelessness in Myrtle Beach, and I was very happy and thankful about it.