Homeless – the New Retirement

Jerry O’Dovero (Quadriplegic, Disabled)

It’s been a long time since we’ve I’ve talked to you. A LOT has happened! The most notable is the fact that I’m now homeless. I’ve been living in my van since September 15, 2018. That’s the day the San Jose Police knocked on my apartment door to tell me I had 10 minutes to collect what I could carry and get out. I’m not the arguing type, so I left most of my belongings behind and left for good as it turns out. I left California on February 15, 2019 for good. Well almost! February 15, 2019 is one day after … with all the bad people in the world, I better not say. I actually didn’t have a valid driver’s license on February 14, 2019 or we would have probably left then. The traffic leaving the bay area on Friday the 15th sucked! I didn’t make it to the DMV by my birthday a few months earlier, so my license had expired. An eye test, written test, which I got my usual 2 incorrect, $35 and everyone’s favorite, my picture taken, and then it was time to put California in my rear view mirror. We? I had not been feeling well for the previous 3 years, so my friend Jim, flew into San Jose to drive me into the sunset and leave California. Actually we drove South East to Dallas, not West into the sunset and the ocean.

I need to stop and take a breath. I feel like I have hundreds of stories and millions of words all trying to get out at once.

OK! I’m breathing again.

I miss talking to you. I wasn’t going to talk to you until after the court stuff is over. But I received a text from Medusa and, well it was so upsetting I needed to talk to someone and – you’ve always listened. Thanks!

Oh this is too funny, well it is now. It turns out Medusa and I went to the same place during the Halloween weekend last year. Medusa, her daughter Liz we’ll call Isabella and I were sitting at a table together. While talking, I watched two women come in dressed up in Halloween costumes. One was dressed as Medusa. Yes the same Medusa my stepsister is named after. The Medusa from Greek mythology. As luck would have it, they sat at the table right behind me. Medusa and Isabella were looking right at them as we talked. Oh crap! Medusa turns to me and says that lady behind you is dressed up like ???? from the Little Mermaid. While I’ve never seen the Little Mermaid, the other lady’s costume could never have been in the little Mermaid show. I don’t remember a thing about the other lady’s costume, but let’s say she was dressed as an angel. All I could think is this can not end well. Before I knew it, Medusa and Isabella were talking with the lady with the Medusa costume. Are you ???? from the Little Mermaid? No! I’m Medusa from …. as I drift into oh crap mode! To my surprise, The two Medusa’s chatted for a long long long time. Medusa thought Medusa’s costume was spectacular. I thought it was as well, although for a different reason. The lady was an attractive woman. I read the actually Greek Medusa was before the transformation. The costume was black with snakes and other things for hair. I remember she had a lot, but appropriate makeup and fangs for teeth. It was a well thought out put together costume.

You’ve heard the saying, paybacks are a bitch? Well, Medusa’s text broke my heart.

Now I never asked or begged for money from anyone, especially my family. I did asked for a job. Two members of the family told me they’d hire me for the same job in the family empire I had and was very good at 25 years earlier. And they were going to buy me a house to live in!
But Medusa said NO!

It’s been two weeks since that heart breaking day and I honestly do not know what to think right now. Am I that terrible of a person? Why does my family leave me homeless? Do they think and care so little of me that they don’t care I’m homeless? Or is this just Medusa trying to make my life miserable? She’s done so many times in the past.

I’m so mentally and physically exhausted right now I don’t know what to think.

I’m tired, I’m not feeling well at all. I have a bleeding ulcer, my blood is anemic and I’m homeless living in a van for a second winter. It’s not just a physical challenge to live in the van homeless with anemic blood, its mentally exhausting as well. I don’t want to fight with anyone! So, What’s that saying? If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. My take is this, if you’re not part of my solution to my health and homeless dilemma, I’m fine with that. But please don’t be mean to me or lie to me and add to my problems.

The first winter living in my van wasn’t a good one. I wasn’t feeling well one day so I was brought to the emergency room. The doctors told me my ulcer was bleeding so bad that I was knocking on heaven’s door. They gave me two pints of blood and said I was staying for a while (days). The second time my friends found me in my van so sick in a Safeway grocery store parking lot that they called an ambulance. I was knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door again. That time I had a serious bladder, kidney, lymphoid and blood infections along with the anemic blood and bleeding ulcer. I spent three weeks in the hospital, 2 weeks on IV antibiotics and another on oral antibiotics. The doctor’s wanted me to go to a nursing home for a few weeks, but I checked into a motel. It was a lot less expensive. Well, less expensive.

What does my mother, father, brothers, sisters, their families think of me living in a van, homeless with all my current health issues? This is my second winter living in my van and they won’t say, to me! Please ask them?

Last Winter I was quite a bit stronger both physically and mentally than I am now. I’m not ready to give up yet, but for the first time in my life I’m accepting that it’s going to happen. Its hard to be the positive man I’ve always been when I wake up day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year in the back of a van feeling cold and sick with anemic blood and a bleeding ulcer.

So what does that mean? I’ve got a story to write. A lot of good, a little bad and a touch of ugly.

So tune in next week to As Jerry’s World Turns when I slip in the van and fall into a deep comma. But somehow I survive in a small town hospital while my evil identical twin, who’s not physically challenged posses as me and seeks revenge against all those he feels has wronged me. When I come out the comma, I’m living in a mansion surrounded by beautiful people, beautiful things and go on to live a beautiful life. Note, I am a twin, but my twin is a sister and she could never pass for me. She’s prettier. I was actually asked before when I mentioned I have a twin sister if we were identical? To be polite I’d say no, she’s prettier.

Now everyone reading this needs to know. If you think I’m talking abut you, I probably am and if you don’t think I’m talking about you I’m probably not!