For 3 months I was out on the street, lost in my psychosis. I was eating out of the garbage expired food from the dumpsters in front of Duane Reade and rite aid. I was no longer welcomed in some Starbucks around Trump hotel international. There where about 4 Starbucks in the area, and I wasn’t allowed to go into them anymore. Only one would let me sit in the bay window area, and they would give me the sample cup of pike coffee.
It got harder to steal food from the drug stores, that I picked up quickly that the stores would throw away expired food. I would go dumpster diving with a few other homeless people, where I was able to get sandwiches, and small cracker and cheese platters. I ate mcdonlads out of the garbage when I found a 20 piece chicken McNugget half empty, and a half eaten slice of pizza.
I was sleeping in the gazebo or Wells Fargos vestibule. The lock was broken so I would sit there on the radiator. There where two other homeless people who also sat in the vestibule. It was the month of March or April and still chilly out. I had resorted to asking patrons at the bank getting money if they had a spare dollar, I would walk up the block to the dollar pizza joint and get a slice of pizza.
Alot of woman where giving me money, $10, $20 that I had found an iPhone on a park bench that a woman had left and when she saw me walk away with it to turn it into lost and found at the time equities building, her boyfriend gave me $50 for the return of the phone. I was able to buy synthetic hair, a comb, and Pink moisturizer for my hair, and I sat in the park and braided my hair into long extensions. It didn’t come out that great, and when I was done I tied my hair back into a bun.
I spent my days walking back and forth, hallucinating. That a priest from the local church had stopped me and gave me a bagel and a bottle of water and suggested I stay at the church, that they would help me. I could take a shower, and get something to eat. They would give me a case manager and try to find out how to help me. I declined the offer. I didn’t know how I felt staying in a church. I was lucid. I was under the impression that my family was in the trump hotel international, and I was proving myself to bad boy entertainment.
I had asked the receptionist at the time Warner shops for paper and a pen, and she gave it to me, that while I was in the building I would stop at Williams and Sonoma for sample of hat ever they where cooking for the day. I was so hungry, that I had no choice. And then I would sit in time equaities waiting area, which was a depot to just sit and use your computer and connect to the free wifi or have lunch if their wasn’t any activies going on for the day. I would sit and write on pieces of paper. I had collected the “relative” paper from the receptionist, and I found something to do with my day.
It was all jargon. My writing made no sense, but I was determined to keep myself occupied. I had the two pre paid cell phones I had boosted, and some money in my pocket from when a kind stranger gave me $200 in the train station by under ground market. I had bought a pair of ear buds and a google play store card so I could have a play list on my phone.
But as you know things are expensive. I took the rest of my money and went to H and M and bought something to wear. It was a tunic top and then I went to Duane Reade and bought leggings, and changed I the bathroom of time Warner shops.
I would hang out in Whole Foods catching samples with a sample cup, and sitting in the eating area, that I didn’t know that I stole food from Whole Foods. I took a bacon eggs and cheese sandwich and A bottled Ice coffee, skipped the line and went to the cafeteria. No one said anything. I thought you could eat in Whole Foods for free. Until I realized that there was a line to pay at the cashiers, so the next day I bought food and a tote bag and a pair of sweat pants.
I would stand charging my prepaid phone in the time Warner building or in time equities. I was in the throws of an episode that I was singing loudly the security asked me to tone it down while I was in the time Warner shops building. I was looking directly into the security cameras, I thought I was performing for 50 cent, and the music industry could hear my play list. I was talking to myself and trying to find ways to stay afloat while living out my “challenge” for bad boy entertainment.
It wasn’t until I had no playlist that I downloaded treble which is free music and I had the dirty money album last train to Paris at my disposal. but it was for coins. So I had to do little tasks on the app to keep the music playing. Like connect to wifi, or download games and play them to a certain level until I ran out of coins. It was going on May, and I could no longer sleep in the Wells Fargo vestibule because security would come around and kick every body out. I had one night sleep in the waiting area of CVS pharmacy. I think the employees felt bad for me, so they let me stay and sleep, and I had one night at Wendys second floor seating area. I had resorted to going to a different bank so I could crash on the floor of the vestibule but the surrounding private owned buildings where calling security on me, plus I was also in the security camera footage. That I had found the gazebo, and I was sleeping there at night. When It rained I would crash in the train station on 59th street at underground market. The second time I got picked up by the cops I didn’t have my suite case yet, I had to prove my identity, and then go back to the transit cops office on 59th street to retrieve my bag that I had found on the street with my poetry in it. I was loitering.
It wasn’t until the first week of April I presume that I got picked up by the cops and EMS, and was admitted to ST.Lukes hospital psych ward. I wasn’t discharged until May where I was taken to Franklyn woman shelter in the bronx.
While on the street, I thought there was. prostitution ring going on, and I thought that the music industry had turned into the FBI and where working for Trump. I thought there was a secret society for entertainers and they had chosen me to join them and they had put my family up in the trump hotel, but I couldn’t go in. 1 Central Park was the address. I would sit across the street and wait for a sign to be let into the hotel.
My psychosis all started when one of Diddy’s fan pages requested me to follow on instagram. I thought it was my big break. I was already hearing voices coming from the smoke alarm in the apartment, that I thought there was a drone in the bathroom mirror. That by the Time I got to Susans place, I was talking to myself in the shower. I thought the music industry was sending me cryptic messages and I was clouded by something called “glass eye.” I would ask myself if I was still in the FBI witness protection program. I really believed that celebrities had access to everything, and had hold of my social security number, and put me in something called glass eye so they could watch over me. I really believed that there was a security camera in the ceiling fan of the apartment and the music industry had logged into the camera.
Now that I’m not going through a psychosis anymore, my obsessions with Diddy and the music industry is over. Its been a long year. I no longer hear voices telling me to write poetry so I can become a song writer. I was so inspired by Beyonces Lemonade that I had wrote poetry in a notebook for Rihana with the the same theme.
Having a psychotic episode is scary. I don’t know how I made it on the streets of New York City. I never want to experiece what I experienced ever again. But while I was in the hopistal I didn’t consider that they would put me in the a shelter. I would look out the window and wonder where I would end up. I would just got back to 59th street and be a panhandler. I didn’t consider that I have to medicated. I didn’t know that being homeless was illegal. You can panhandle, but you need a place to go. There are too many shelters in the trip state area for you not have a roof over your head.
When I got discharged I had a $1 and 27 cents to my name. A cracked cell phone that no longer worked, and my suite case with little belongings. I managed to buy some slippers at Duane Reades and I was wearing them in the hospital. My hair had bugs in it from sleeping in the gazebo. The nurse let me cut the braids and gave me a comb and I combed the braids out of my hair and washed my hair in the shower.
One time, I stole relaxer from Duane reades and locked myself in the Petco bathroom on 99th street and broadway and relaxed my hair. I had acquired a sewing kit and a pair of a scissors I had stolen from rite aid on 97th street and columbus ave. And I cut all my hair off. I had found a beanie hat in the street and put that one over my hair cut. I washed my hair out in the toliet.
Another time I had gotten locked in petcos bathroom over night. I had gotten food poisoning from star bucks after someone had given me $20 to get something to eat. I had bought a ham and cheese sandwich and a frapichino from Starbucks. But it didn’t egress with me. Starbucks was closing, I just gotten finished throwing up in the bathroom. So I ran up the block to Petco went down the escaloator and went to the bathroom to throw up. I heard the employees turning in for the day, and no one checked the bathroom. The lights where cut off, it was 9pm. Everybody had left the store. I stayed throwing up for about 2 hours, while the voice in my head was talking to me.
After I finished throwing up, I left the bathroom. The store was pitch black, there where security lights on that faded the color yellow. I found a dog bed in the for sale basket and took it to the bathroom. I needed something to make a pillow out of. I folded the dog bed and tried to get some sleep on the hard lenonlum tile.
Around 6am the manager of the store found me in the bathroom, and with her cell phone camera recorded me leaving. I told her I had gotten food poisoning. She said thank god I didn’t try to leave because the alarms would go off. I went up the stairs and left the store, and walked down to broadway. I had asked the morning time vendor on broadway if he could spare me a cup of coffee, he told me no. I sat on broadway in the island where there benches, and waited until the library opened at 10am on 100th street.
I made it to the library and asked if I could use the computer. They let me use the computer but told me I really needed a library card to access the computers. I had 45 minutes on the computer. Then I looked at the urban fiction novels, I had read all of them already, like B more careful, they even had some of the cartel by Ashley and Jaquarvius. I found a book I didn’t read, and found a table in the back of the library. I took the security sticker off and put the book in my pocketbook that I found in the garbage. It was a gold Ralph Lauren pocket book. You would be surprised at the things I found like a ripped Louis Vuitton doctors bag. I used it until it was ripped up. I found it in front of Starbucks on 57th Street and 8th ave.
For a couple of days, I kept going to the library to use the computer. I was making business eins on the irs website and using my old address, and tried to join AARP. I was researching the music industry to see if I could find a number, and I found bad boy entertainments number for their local offices, but I didn’t have a phone.
I had even fallen asleep at one of the back tables in the library, that the security guard had to walk me up. He gave me $20 dollars, and I left to the 711 where I bought a pack of Newport 100s. Then I walked down to broadway and asked the kiosk if I could get some matches. He gave them to me. Then I would sit in mcdonlads for a little while, thats where I met Fred Ball.
I was hopping the train on Central Park ave and taking it to 59th street, where I ended up staying, after I was arrested for loitering in mcdonlands. That one night a restaurant across the street from Trump square a little park with seating arrangements left baked ziti for a homeless person. I had scored a dinner. I sat and ate and then slept on one of the tables. It had started to rain so I walked in the rain to the translation, and sat on the steps of the underground market. The maintenance didn’t want me sitting there so they asked me to leave. Turnstyle was closed and I had no where to go, so I jumped the turnstile to the 2 train and sat on one of the waiting benches in the train station. I slept there until the morning.
Not alot of people at the shelter know my story, not even my case manager Ingrid. When I met Ingrid it was her job to make sure I was complying with shelter rules, and to make sure I made my appointment with the psychiatritst that was given to me from Franklyn. Then I was given appointments to see the GYN because I have a IUD in place, the internist, the dentist, and podiatrist because I have arthritis in my feet. They had my full medical history.
It wasn’t until the shelter was put in quartine at the hotels from DHS mandarin that I decided to buy a laptop from amazon. So I bought a MacBook air 11.6 refurbished. I got a paid may and June from social security, and since Im not seeing my regular case manager to put money in savings I decided to treat myself to an investment. We are going to be in the hotel for 3-6 months. With HRA close and social security offices closed I can’t build my income profile for landlords. But I’m sure to save some money for when we do get back to the South Bronx. I have to have something to put away in savings.
Living on the street, was the scariest time of my life. Not knowing where I was going to sleep, or when I was going to get my next meal. I spent my day wondering around between two pharmacy’s trying to steal packets of tuna and crackers. Or packets of salmon. I was stealing bags of chocolate candies and eating them. I was trying to sit in Starbucks and loiter for as long as possible. When your homeless, everybody knows. There are some that are kind enough to give a few dollars or buy you a meal. There was a man who bought me a cup of coffee and a buttered roll when I was sitting in the gazebo and also a woman and her dog, she gave me her breakfast of hot tea and butter cookies. But you can be picked up by the cops at any time if they see that you are loitering a specific area for too long, which is how I got picked up the last time sitting in front of the post office.
I decided to start a blog to share my new life as a client of Susan place, and give full detail what its like to live in a mica shelter. Life goes on with or with out.