Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So He Said . . .

Very short post.

We were talking about the book American Gods. He was astounded I had read it.

“I’m gonna say something,” he said seriously, “and it’s big. You’d better a hold of something.”

Well he’s a bit of a smartass, so I thought, yeah right. “I’m sitting down,” I replied. Which I was, sitting on the porch.

“Okay, here it is: I’m in love with you.”

Just like that, he took my breath away. I was suddenly glad I was sitting. I knew what I should say, but I wasn’t ready yet. I just kind of sat there in stunned silence.

“Wow,” I said. “That was unexpected.”

“I know you have to digest it for a while,” he said. “Words are very important to you. When you say it, I know you’ll mean it.”

Thing is, I knew it for a while now. Because we spent so much time saying every word but “love”. So I knew that he was aware of how I felt.

We talked for a few more minutes. Then we were getting off the phone.

“I love you,” he said again.

“I love you, too,” I said nervously.

I’ve said those words before, and it ended disastrously. I’m a little afraid of them. But this is different, as I later explained to him, by orders of magnitude. This feels predestined in so many ways.

I wanted him to know I actually meant it, not just saying I love him because he said it. I wanted him to feel special too. So I texted it to him.

He said it first, but I texted it first. And he made it Facebook official.

I feel like there’s a lot to live up to now, but I’m also very freed. It’s interesting. I am his, and yet it frees me up, this belonging. You’d think it would be stifling but it’s not.

I just wanted you to know.


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So There’s This Guy . . .

I really want to talk about a guy I met, but I’m afraid of boring my readers to death.

Like I said in my last post, we met on Facebook Dating. We’ve known each other about 2 weeks now. We started talking on Tuesday the 30th, and our first in person meet up was that Friday. It went well. We really clicked.

We talk multiple times every day. I’m absolutely over the moon about this whole thing, but it seems so fast. I mean, we are each other’s first call of the morning and last call at night. Often we send texts if we wake up in the middle of the night. The level of communication is astounding.

He talks about long term things. I think about them but seldom speak them. I am a little afraid to, as if I can jinx it. Too much, too fast, but it keeps working. Both of us are looking for the point of contention and so far there isn’t one.

He told me how much he earns. I didn’t ask, he wanted me to know. I don’t fully understand, but something about financial security in there. I don’t think he was bragging, he just wanted me not to worry. We ate out several times and I am conscious about money because I have so little of it. He paid. He also bought me a book. I love presents and I love books, so that made me quite happy.

We dance around the idea of love. I think, we are already so attached. We can just hang out and we can undertake projects. I said, “I want to be like those old people, still holding hands at 85.” He replied, “I’m in!” And we assume we will know each other at that age. We talked about, he likes to cook so he can cook and I will clean up, sort of planning a life together. But it seems too early for an emotional commitment, even though I wonder if we have already made one.

He says I make him happy, and he makes me happy too. I just grin into the phone like a damned jack-o-lantern, gap-toothed and all. I don’t know what to say half the time, I just want to hear his voice and feel connected. He’s got a great voice. It melts me when he speaks, except those times when we get excited about yet another similarity between us, because then I am too energized to appreciate his voice.

I would spend all day with him, just watching TV or working on our separate projects. I’m content to share space. In fact, I would probably run the video chat all day long, as if we were in the same room.

So this is me right now. One foot in the hot water, the other on a banana peel, trying not to fall in.

But I think I’m gonna fall. And I’m not bothered by that.


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Facebook Dating

Lately it seems like everyone around me is coupling up.

Now I’m happy for my friends, but it makes me a little melancholy. I get tired of being alone. Friends are busy with their new love and I am left to my own devices.

So I got curious. What were they doing that I wasn’t? Was I fundamentally flawed in some way, or was it something I could do differently?

I asked K. She said she met her guy on Facebook dating and they hit it off right away. They had only known each other a couple of weeks when Covid became an issue. They decided that they wanted to be quarantined together and they’ve been together ever since.

I asked V. She said she also met her guy on Facebook dating. They shared many interests and values. She was nervous to meet him in person. They’ve known each other a month and already have decided to get married.

I’m not looking to live together or get married that fast, but there seemed to be a pattern. These were real matches not just hooking up. I can get laid if all I want is sex; I want a connection with somebody. This seemed like a promising route. I filled out a profile and went to work.

Now I’m a little picky. I have a physical type I prefer so I was able to rule out some people who simply didn’t appeal to me. I hate being that shallow, but I know that I like a tall man with some meat on him. Facial hair is good though not a requirement. I like long hair on men, but really, by my age (over 50) long hair isn’t always a good look. So smile at the pictures of 30 year olds but scroll past. Age was a factor. I want someone with whom I can have a conversation. Under 53 years old I mostly skipped.

Next I am profile picky. Please say something about yourself. Blank profiles don’t interest me. Three-word profiles don’t say much about you. Now some things say a lot about you. If you tell me in your profile that you are anti gun control or pro Trump or God fearing, I know we are a poor match. You might be hot, but I would be so frustrated with you! I like to see several pictures, not just head shots. I also think the questions are useful because they give you something to write about.

I chose a few guys to “like” and waited to see what happened. Most of them don’t have the skills to keep my interest while texting. I’m sure they’re great guys, they’re just not MY guy. But nobody was creepy and it was fun. I didn’t expect true love, maybe a dinner or coffee at some point. So it was a semi successful experiment.

And then.

And then I ran across this one profile. They guy seemed a little goofy and somewhat geeky, which is pretty much my wheelhouse. He said he was good at making baklava and he was interested in hypnosis. I like baklava. He said Doctor Who was his favorite show. I like Doctor Who. Interesting.

I looked at his photos. Middle aged guy, blue eyes, various facial hair, some with a shaved head some with hair. He played with filters in some of the pictures so I knew he was a little goofy.

What the hell. Like.

It wasn’t long before I got a reply. We texted. Within an hour, he asked if he could call me. That was interesting. I said yes. He called, I expected some banter and maybe phone sex. We talked a while, then we talked some more. A lot more. And when we got off the phone, we were done with Facebook dating.

We met in person on Friday. We went out for Mexican food and a little flirting. Who am I kidding? The food was good, the time together better. We kissed a lot. We went to Andy’s for ice cream, and I let the thing melt. I love a Snow Monster, and I was instead captivated by the man sitting next to me. We went to a park and made out like teenagers.

Saturday I went to a pool party. I passed within 10 miles of his house (we don’t live near each other) so I called. We got together again. He greeted me with a hug and whispered in my ear, “Take me with you.” Proof that even if you love your family, you can have too much. We went to a little restaurant with a bar and closed the place. We sat in front of his house for a long time. Eventually I got thirsty and we ended up on the sofa in his home office. No sex but such fun.

It’s been a week since I’ve seen him. We talk every day for too many hours about a wide range of topics. We are very similar without being identical. I’ve known this man a week, and we wish we could be together more. He’ll come out on Saturday so we can spend the day. We have a weekend planned in a couple of weeks.

I saw him for lunch today. Barely half an hour, but so worth it. We split an entree at Chili’s and dashed back to meet my boss. It was so good to see him. We sat side by side in a booth with our legs touching. I was so conscious of his knee next to mine! He put his arm around my shoulders. It’s the little things and those stand out to me.

So really, if you’re looking for dating, I can recommend Facebook dating app. All those years of gathering data on us have paid off in a tremendous way.


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Breakfast at K’s House

I have had a good day today.

I slept in until 8:30, which is pretty late for me. I take one of the residents to work for 8:00 in the morning on weekdays so I am up around 6:30 which is early for me. Now I have a hard time staying up late on the weekends for that midnight curfew.

But I slept in today, so that was good. And I hope to sleep in tomorrow.

Then I went to visit my friend K and her other half. When she was single, we used to hang out sometimes twice or 3 times in an average week. Then several things happened at once: She got a promotion. She started dating. She moved. I ran into money issues. I moved. And, oh yeah, Covid 19. The universe just conspired against us. I actually thought for a while that she was one of those women who drops all her friends when a man appears. She isn’t, it was just a perfect storm of circumstances, and I never said anything to her about it. I had stuff going on too.

K made breakfast bake for us. She spray greased an 8″ x 8″ casserole, cubed 4 slices of bread into it, added browned ground beef, then a layer of spinach and a layer of shredded cheese. She scrambled 10 eggs with about 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and poured it into the pan. Finally she topped the whole thing with sliced tomatoes and baked it for 20 minutes. It was yummy. And I had 3 cups of coffee, so I felt quite full. Fruit salad rounded everything out.

Mostly it was just good to connect with a friend again.

I am seeing my friend B tomorrow at Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum. They have a patio with outdoor seating. B wants to do things again but several years ago she had cancer so she is taking extra precautions with Covid and prefers to sit outside. I’ve never been there, but one of the waitstaff is my daughter’s roommate.

After I see my friend, I might go visit my old roommates, F & L. I haven’t seen them since I moved out and it’s been like 6 weeks. It’s mostly because I owe them money which I hate. I can’t wait until I can pay it. F doesn’t say anything but I know he thinks of it. Plus I want to see Momo kitty. I miss him, but he is doing so great there, I am very happy for him.

I haven’t had a weekend this busy in a couple of months. I’d say it’s due to Covid but really it’s the lack of money. I don’t go out much these days because I can’t afford even a coke, and I don’t want my friends to feel obligated to pay for me.

Not withstanding, I have posted my peer-to-peer payment information on Facebook in case someone wants to buy me a cup of coffee.

Here are my various contact information:

Venmo = @Allison-Leonard-23
CashApp = $AllieSunlion
Zelle = 9724807770
Patreon = Allison Leonard
Paypal = Kiss5Tigers

In case someone would like to contribute. Because unemployment is kind of a bitch and I’m not getting paid by them at this time.


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Cafe Brazil

Cafe Brazil is maybe my favorite coffee place. Oh, sure, Starbucks and Dunkin’ are on the list too, but they are chains and this is a local place. Well, still a chain, but only like 8 stores, not nationwide. My aunt, who is a flight attendant, swears by McDonald’s coffee, so, you know, something for everybody.

But today I celebrate Cafe Brazil. Finally open again 24/7. I have been waiting for a place I can hang out and use wifi to reopen. Usually I use the tables at Half Price Books but they have put the chairs upside down on them which is clearly meant to discourage people from congregating. I think the coffee shop might even be shut down.

So clearly I am going to have to pay to occupy space somewhere. I could go to Denny’s or IHOP but they generally don’t have wifi or a place to plug in my computer and work. Cafe Brazil it is.

The walls are painted bright lime green and cerulean blue. There is a border painted near the ceiling of palm leaves, flowers, parrots and pre-columbian heads. The walls are usually covered with art that is for sale. This particular shop had only about 5 pieces on display at the moment. With huge windows on 3 sides, there is a lot less wall space than many locations but often there is more art. Maybe I should bring some down, see if it can be sold here.

Mostly today I had coffee and wrote 3 letters. I have one more to write before bed tonight but that can be any time. I also had nachos. I really like the nachos here. The appetizer size is a meal for one so that was tasty. I even ate a few of the jalapenos.

I remember the first time I had jalapenos. I was about 8 years old. We had come to Dallas from my native Boston to visit my dad’s family for Christmas. My mother’s brother, who was in the air force, was stationed I believe at Lackland AFB so since we were in the state, we drove down to see that part of the family too. My uncle took us across the border to Mexico. My mom, my aunt, my cousin and I went shopping, and the men went to a little cantina and were enjoying cerveza and nachos. My uncle thought he would play a joke on my and gave me a nacho. It was a crispy corn tortilla wedge with cheese and a single pickled jalapeno in the center. I think he believed I would freak out, but my first solid foods were pickles and corned beef, so you can guess I like things with strong flavor. I loved the nachos. Dad was oddly pleased and let me eat as many as I wanted. It was literally a decade before I went to Chi-chi’s restaurant in Boston and had nachos, and had that whole episode flood back into my memory.

Well, my boss has called and I need to take care of something. But today was a good day. I got poetry written and letters written and talked to my daughter, and oh yeah, Cafe Brazil is open again. Life is good.


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The More Things Change

It seems I am too poor for unemployment. I didn’t earn enough money in the last year to qualify. Well, that’s why I left that job: As much as I loved it, I needed more hours. I miss it, but maybe I can go back to it one day. Assuming, that is, that I can pay them what I owe them. They covered me for health insurance for a year where I did not pay my part so I owe them that premium. And it’s the government, so if I don’t pay it back, they’ll keep my tax refund, if I get one.

Additionally, I have been approved for the temporary unemployment money but it’s not being paid to me. I qualified under the previous claim so it would be over $500 a week. Would be. If they would pay it to me. I have requested payment every two weeks on the regular unemployment claim, even though they won’t pay me. That’s the only time I can make a payment request. However, the temporary payment says there is no record of me making a payment request. I have no idea what they are looking for.

I have been trying for 8 weeks to reach someone at Texas Workforce Commission who can help me with this, but I can’t get through. I am so frustrated that I contacted my representative, Ms Eddie Johnson. Of course I did not speak to her directly, but her assistant gave me a phone number for a real person. I have called him 3 times now. The first time, I got an admin who listened to my issue and said someone would call me back, probably the same day. I called back at the end of the day, and I called today, but I got voicemail those times. I left a message today. I will call again tomorrow.

In the meantime, we are re-arranging the living situation. V my boss is moving out of the house into a new townhouse we’re renting. I will move into her bedroom as soon as she is out of it. That’s the plan anyway. Then our resident will move into the room I’m currently in, and we will have room for 2 more girls. Of course it isn’t going that smoothly.

I have been moving stuff out of my room for several hours now, into the garage. There’s no room for it in my new room because that room is fully furnished. I don’t mind lots of stuff going into the garage, but some stuff should stay climate controlled, like photographs. And some stuff I want access to, like art supplies. So I am down to the point where I’m not sure what to do with stuff.

Also, V has not moved her personal belongings out of the bedroom yet so I can’t move my clothes and things in. She wants to move the furniture into my bedroom but we can’t do that while my stuff is there and right now I have no place to put my stuff. It goes around in circles.

Tonight I took a CPR class. Again. I took it two years ago for FEMA and now I am taking it for Shepherd Inn. The rules have changed slightly. The big deal about CPR is remember compressions and call 911. There are other instructions like using the AED and giving breaths every 30 compressions, but the big two are call 911 and do compressions. Also the choking has changed. They no longer call it the Heimlich maneuver. They suggest doing it over the back of a chair. And you no longer thump the person between the shoulder blades. Otherwise, it’s the same material.

I am tired and expect to make my bed soon and climb into it. I would sleep in my own room but there is a much bigger bed waiting for me in V’s room. I can’t wait to have the dogs gone so my kitty can sleep with me and wander the house. She likes being able to be near me.

The sink is full of dishes. The drainer is full of dishes. I have to empty the drainer before I can wash the other dishes. Of course, while I do make dishes, I don’t make all the dishes; yet I wash all the dishes. I don’t mind washing dishes I make dirty even if it’s by cooking for the household. I just wish people would wash their own dishes instead of leaving them in the sink for me to manage.

I have the doctor tomorrow morning, finally. It only took 3 months to get in to see someone. This will be for my blood pressure meds though I will ask about my psych meds. I’d just as soon do it all through Parkland as have half of it here and half of it there. Yeah, I think I’ll be getting ready for bed soon, take a shower, so I can be ready in the morning when it’s time to go.

I am thinking again lately of finding a life mate. V is madly in love with someone, so is K. Even my daughter has a serious boyfriend. And here I am, with a last date literally 10 years ago. It’s time. I don’t know how to meet someone, but I’m feeling like maybe it would be nice to have someone to do things with. Maybe. I am wary.

I think I’ve said all this before just in different places. My life doesn’t change much, even though it seems to be in constant motion.


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Asking

The generosity of people just blows me away.

I have a favoite author, SARK, who says, “Ask. Ask again. Ask differently.” I like that. Not to bug a person, but sometimes your request gets lost in the general noise of life. And sometimes people don’t understand what you’re asking for.

On a business level, Shepherd Inn is opening a new home and needed furniture. My boss asked for in-kind donations rather than cash. In-kind means people donate the item itself, so if we need a sofa, they donate a sofa. In two days, the house was furnished! Well, two exceptions: coffee table and end tables for the living room, and new mattresses for the new beds. I’m going to ask my friend K about the tables, she’s really good at finding things for cheap online.

On a personal level, I posted that I got turned down for unemployment and that I was worried about taking care of my cat. One friend brought me food and litter, another friend Amazon’ed me a huge bag of food and some litter, a third friend donated cash. I am just blown away by this. I mean, I knew people can be kind, but so many people concerned about my cat, wow.

What I take away from this is that it doesn’t hurt to ask. I didn’t ask for someone to get me pet food, but people saw the need and jumped in. My friend L taught me about asking too. She asks for prayer for things and usually someone is led to help her out in a material way. In fact, she is one of the people I send money when I have a little extra. I haven’t had any extra lately, but L and N get money from me. And daughter of course.

Even if I hadn’t gotten donations, I would have vented about my fears and that would have helped as well. Keeping my fears and needs to myself just seems to magnify them. They become so huge and overwhelming, probably because they end up taking up so much of my brain space.

So, another thing I got, that I need but didn’t ask about, was this evening I am off. I will be so happy to get some time to myself. I have chores to do around my room, but mostly I will go to Half Price Books for a look around, maybe to Barnes & Noble. I want a copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ “Between the World and Me“. I already know it’s sold out at Half Price but B&N might have it. After that, I’m thinking of a poke bowl. I’d like to invite daughter and boyfriend to join me.


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Christian Dating

There’s a joke that Christian dating is kind of a contradiction of terms.

My boss has recently found her faith. I’m happy for her. She has also recently found a boyfriend. That makes me a little envious.

Our household is reading a book called “Why Men Love Bitches” which basically says that if you make yourself too available up front, that level of attachment is a turn-off for a lot of guys, so keep up with having your own life even when you’re dating. Only of course the author uses more words and tells better stories along the way, as well as describing specific behaviors to avoid and why. It’s a good book.

So my boss went on a first date with a guy, and it went well. He goes to one of the local mega churches that she is thinking of joining so also has an active faith. They are absolutely adorable together. He checks all the boxes on the “acceptable boyfriend” list, including things like “flies for free” that she figured were pipe dreams. (He works at the airport.) He’s pretty much made to order for her.

They went out the other day, and he asked her to go out again so they went out 2 days later. Then he asked when he could see her again and she called me. I’m the worst, because if I like someone, they can get all my free time, but I told her to give him 2 times and see what he says. It’s in the book. She offered 3 times, and he basically said he’d take them all. Which is very flattering. They are out again tonight.

You can’t tell me online dating doesn’t work. My boss met her guy online, my friend K met her guy online, clearly online dating works for somebody. I’ve tried it. I’ve been catfished or attempted catfished every time. At least the ones I followed up on. I am apparently an easy target. Maybe because I’m middle aged so they assume I have money and I’m lonely, neither of which is true. But anyway.

I’m happy for my boss, so I’m not jealous, though like I said I’m a little envious. I keep meeting these terrific single lady friends, and it seems like within a month of meeting them, they are coupled up. I want a long term friend, or a long term boyfriend. I don’t need to get married, I’m happy with consistent dating.

My friends S and H have a relationship I appreciate. They live walking distance apart and they’ve been dating for over 30 years. They each have their own space but they spend most of their free time together. They do things like donate blood and they also get martinis at a local high-dollar department store. He takes her on vacations. I mean, I could do that kind of dating for a lot of years.

I suspect I’m just past it at this point. I have gray hair, I’m overweight, and there is that missing tooth. I’m not cute. Even older guys are looking for cute. I am a wonderful person and I’m interested in a lot of things, but I am not cute enough to hold someone’s attention long enough to find that out. And I know this because I’ve been actually told this. It’s as if people think you’re fat so you have no feelings and it’s okay to say “I like you but you’re too fat for me.” Well you’re too shallow for me, if my looks are what you care about. Yeah, I’m a little worked up about this but it will pass.

Because I have a full life. I have friends and support groups and a job and a daughter. These things take time out of my life, time that I don’t necessarily want to give to a man. I like these things. I like writing letters. I like my cat (just one, cat lady but not crazy). I want a greyhound again one day but we’ll see about that.

Right now I’m going to start soaking beans for chili. Tomorrow I’ll make the chili in a crock pot. It’ll be good. Tonight I’ll write a letter for my swap group and talk to my daughter about her experiences with the protest today. I’ll read before I go to sleep. And I like all these things, I’m not unhappy about this.

It would be nice to be someone’s goodnight text, though. Maybe someday.


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Blood Pressure Meds

Today was an “adventure” in getting my meds.

I dropped one of the girls off at work, then went to Parkland to go to the urgent care office. I am about 2 1/2 weeks away from seeing the doctor and I ran out of blood pressure meds. I just needed to see someone to give me enough refill to last until the appointment.

I went to the urgent care clinic building and got sent to emergency, which is in another building. I had to pee the whole time, so that was doubly frustrating. I asked if I could use the ladies’ room and they told me no. There’s a Starbucks in the building that was doing roaring business; I wonder if they would have let me in to get a coffee.

Either way, I went to emergency. They checked me into the building by taking my temperature and playing 20 questions about my possible exposure to coronavirus. Then they walked me to emergency who took my vitals and checked me in again. Blood pressure 136 over 88, so a little high. Usually I am closer to 120 over 80. I don’t know if it was irritation or if I need my meds tweaked.

I waited about 10 minutes in emergency and got taken back across the street by an elevated walkway to the urgent care clinic. The lady at the door had told me it was closed! Clearly it wasn’t closed.

The whole office visit took maybe 15 minutes. They re-upped my prescriptions and sent me on my way. I walked to a third building where the pharmacy was. I got checked in over there, including taking my temperature for the third time in maybe 90 minutes. Then I settled in to wait.

It actually only took 15 minutes for my number to be called, but they only had one prescription ready. Three had been called over. I could wait, they said, about 45 minutes; but no, I needed to be back to work. I had to leave.

I went back later this afternoon. I brought my daughter with me to save the $5 parking fee, but then I spent $7 on drinks and a snack for us, so really it was a wash. Happy hour at Sonic means we got huge drinks for a little money, plus corny dogs. I have no air conditioning in my car so those drinks were very welcome!

The wait was completely different. First of all there was a disabled man in line in front of me. I appreciate that he had mobility issues. He walked very slowly. He kept stopping but every time he did, he raised his cane to waist height and blocked the entire passageway so I couldn’t pass him. I’m pretty sure he was doing it on purpose, though not specifically because of me. I found it frustrating but I don’t think I sighed or anything.

The registration desk gave me number 988. The display showed they had just called number 964. I knew it would be a while so I texted my daughter. Then I waited. And I dozed a little. And I waited some more. Finally they called me. It took like 3 minutes to get my stuff, and it was free. Really I spent most of the day waiting.

By then it was 5:00, rush hour. Which is really the opposite of rushing, more like parking on the highway. Literally. Came to a complete stop more than once. Still, it was nice to spend the few extra minutes with my daughter.

Daughter tells me a friend of hers hung himself several weeks ago, and there hasn’t been a funeral. His friends feel the lack of closure. It looks like she is part of the group who is planning a memorial service. If daughter doesn’t go to the service, she is going to a rally for George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died after being knelt on by a police officer. I don’t know what to say. My daughter makes me proud, taking emotional care of her friends or standing up for what she feels is right. She’s a good kid.

Now I am home. I need to take one of the girls to the store, but that’s okay. Should be a quiet Friday night.


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Ecstacy and Hospitals

A young friend of mine, L, went to the hospital early on Thursday. I got the call from her roommate M at 5:45 in the morning. I always get these calls just before my alarm goes off.

L had been offered some ecstacy by a friend of hers. She declined it and then went out. After a few drinks, the friend convinced L to take the drug. Things were fine for a while, then they went all pear-shaped.

L became violent and aggressive. She hit one of her friends in the face. She got mad at her boyfriend because he wasn’t her father. Then she decided she’d had enough and left the apartment. Her boyfriend sensed something was very wrong and went after her.

It’s a good thing he did.

She climbed to the roof of the parking lot and tried to go over the edge. Boyfriend restrained her. She began kicking and punching and biting. Two other friends and M came to help. It took all 4 of them to keep her on the ground. She was screaming the whole time, no words, just an unending shriek.

When she wasn’t screaming, she was talking to someone that nobody else could see. She kept saying “I see him,” but she wouldn’t or couldn’t say who she saw. We believe it was her deceased father but we’ll never know.

In the meantime, neighbors heard the ruckus. They stepped outside with phones. At least one of them called the police. That’s when M called me.

M was scared and crying. Both of those are perfectly understandable responses to the situation. I told her she was doing the right thing. She put me on speaker phone. When L heard my voice, she shouted, “You piece of shit! You’re never there!” and went back to the wordless yell.

M apologized to me, but really there was nothing to apologize for. We got off the phone and I called the cops again. I gave them some details that they didn’t have.

I heard later that a lady cop arrived first. She apparently was the mental health expert but once the male cops arrived, they didn’t treat her with respect. They cuffed L, who was cooperative with the process, and took her to a local hospital.

About fifteen minutes after that, I arrived at the apartment. The young people were all sitting in s circle, decompressing. They talked about what had happened. We all laughed uproariously when a cat missed a jump. It wasn’t that funny, we just all needed a break so badly at that point.

The friend who supplied the drug never appeared. I assumed she was at work or otherwise out. It turned out she was in her room watching cartoons. She had been there all night. She had not followed L outside or tried to help or even come out to see what all the commotion was. The whole group of young people is, as they say, over her. She lost a bunch of friends that night.

Boyfriend got together some clean clothes, L’s glasses, her wallet and keys, and we headed to the hospital. We tried emergency and they wouldn’t let us in. They told us they hadn’t seen her, but gave us a number to call. We tried the psych ward; they also said they hadn’t seen her. We tried psych emergency. They said they could neither confirm nor deny that they had her. That meant she was there so I left a message with my phone number. Boyfriend and I went home.

I spent the day wondering how she was. About 10 hours later, I called again and left another message. I gave the number to boyfriend and to M, so they could call and leave their numbers in case she preferred to call one of them. Finally the phone rang.

Of course nothing can go smoothly. I answered the phone, but there was no sound. I assumed it was L, so I explained that I couldn’t hear her and I was going to hang up. It happened 2 or 3 more times and I eventually called the ward. The person I spoke to said they’d been having trouble with one of the phones and they would provide her with different equipment. At last the phone rang and I could speak with L.

Her voice was hoarse from all the screaming and she sounded tired. She stated she hadn’t seen a doctor. I asked if she was in an observation room, since I assumed this was a 72-hour psych hold. She said no, she was in a big open room with recliners and no beds. She just wanted to sleep. We got off the phone.

I called the ward and asked about the doctor. It didn’t make sense that she had been there that long and not talked to anybody. Fortunately she had signed a piece of paper that they could talk to me. They told me she had been seen twice but she was so out of it that they weren’t surprised she didn’t remember. They also told me they were going to release her the next day, Friday. I said I would pick her up.

When I saw her, she looked rough. She was clearly tired and out of it. Her anxiety was high so we stopped at a gas station for gas, cigarettes, and drinks, then I took her home.

We have talked a few times since then even though it’s only been 2 days. We talked about what could have been different, what I could have done, ways I can be there for her. She broke her hand during the fracas so we talked about ways to splint it. She told me she plans to move since friend cannot be trusted and therefore was no longer a good roommate.

I am just glad L had friends who protected her from herself. I could wish everybody had friends like that.