Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I'm not a scammer

The day started with an exhausting phone conversation with my sister. We were talking because a week ago, I woke up to find that half the things in my apartment were gone. It was hard to believe because I sleep in the same room as all my things, and I'd thought I'd have noticed half them leaving. But I didn't, and they're gone.

So, I run downstairs to tell the front desk man that he failed at his job; half my things didn't go out through the roof. "I've been robbed!" I tell him, and he gives me that, "Oh well," look I get all the time cause I'm homeless, or used to be homeless, or look like I'm homeless.

But he gives me that look and I say, "Call the Police, man, come upstairs, I'll show ya!" And he says okay and slowly calls the police and comes upstairs. And I show him my half empty apartment. "It looks fine to me." "What?" I yelled at him, "My table is gone, my plant is gone, my rug is gone, and my TV is gone!" Then he's staring at me like I'm a little girl who just broke a lamp. "Oh, no no no, man, I'm not trying anything." "Well I didn't see anything, ma'am." I hate when people call me, "ma'am."

When the cops got there they asked me all the wrong questions.
"What's your name, ma'am?"
"Ruby Jazz."
"That's an interesting name, Ms. Jazz."
"Thanks I chose it myself."
"How old are you and how long have you lived in Collingwood Heights?"
"Uh, 65, and I've been in 1207 for 2 months."
"It says on your record, here, that you lived in shelters for 7 years, and you have 23 arrests is that right Ms. Jazz?"
"Yes, but uh -"
"And you're aware that there are video cameras in the foyer which show no table, or plant, or rug, or TV ever leaving?"
"Uh, I didn't know that, but uh -"
"Ms. Jazz, is there anyone who can verify that there was in fact a table, a plant, a rug, and a TV in this room? Any neighbors, or -"
"Yeah my sister!"

So I went to the phone by the El Cheapo, to call my sister. (I hadn't bumped into any neighbors yet, cause there aren't that many of us living in the building. And I'm staying for cheap under the floor that's being renovated, so no close neighbors. It's noisy, but I'm not inside while they're working too often.) But I'm at the El Cheapo trying to call my sister and she keeps not picking up. "Hello, this is Nancy, please leave your name and number and I'll call you back when I can." I run in and ask the guy Shawn if I can get a quarter maybe, I've been coming there for a long time, so I think he might if I tell him what's going on.

But my bad, because when I asked him, he went off on a 7 minute rant about how broke he is, and how some kids broke is window, and how we were in the same boat.

So now it's a week later, and I'm in bed, and my sister finally calls just to tell me that she's sorry about what happened, but she can't do anything, because she doesn't think it'll help and she doesn't have the time. And I got mad because what the hell? But she fell apart, crying about how much she does for everyone, and I told her I was sorry, and that everything would be fine, and give her grandkids a hug for me, and to tell Jerry, "No," sometimes. And she told me to be safe, and keep my head up, and to get to tell Betty she said, "Hello."

So I sigh, then smile, make myself an egg and hit the street.