Who Art in a Haven

08.08.14 (Day 229)

17.42

The squat has gone. And so have I; from the squat. I’m still around though, always the highwayman. I’m in a safe haven at a location undisclosed to all but those who need to know. I have guardian angels of my own now: the family of one of the 16-year-old girls whom I befriended. So I am okay, despite what those who don’t understand think.

It’s relatively quiet here, in that only those from the Pink Heart Family who stuck by me and didn’t abuse my generosity still come to visit. I’m still the head and founder of The Pink Hearts but I’m no longer the boss now that I’m in this temporary haven. Instead, I’m a guest. I have protection of a different kind to that which was not on offer at the last place. I have gate keepers here, looking after me while I look after myself; something I should have done a while back but I got into the positive rut which was the squat. There are fewer kids but those who remain – those who followed me – are the ones who know that I need them as much as they need me. 

I miss being the boss to an extent but submitting to a kick up the arse, despite me hating and usually ignoring authority, is something I can do if I have the right sort of (understanding) authority guiding me and being patient. The parents of my friend are just those sort of people. They understand the complicated thing which is me. I’m still The Snake but they’ve caged the animal, giving me guidance and direction but a degree of protected freedom too.

The exit from the squat (Steve’s Place, The Nuthouse, Grievers’ Estate) was as amicable as expected, given the special relationship I’d built with the owner. I’ll miss a lot about it but it is time to move on. There’s also a lot that I won’t miss. The gear is packed up and either with me or in storage.

In this stepping stone of a haven there are relative luxuries which I last enjoyed when I had a home which most would think of as “proper”, although the squat became home because of the people in the place. They made my life what it is, mainly for the better. Here there’s TV (currently we’re watching a double bill of Cheers), wi-fi, laundry, and most importantly, company and support. What makes this haven home is the people – the family – in it. And the family who visit: my friends; my kids. All amazing people who support me and wise way beyond their tender years. Most have baggage. We leave that at the door. I love them all and it’s reciprocated. I need them. 

I’m not getting too comfortable because this is a stop gap. I remain in transit. The journey took a turn though. Today I emerged from my shell, with the help of my friend’s mum (also a friend herself). In the space of less than a week, I’ve gone from being not able to even leave my comfort zone to spending four hours out. There is life out there and there’s still life in me. The paranoia is still there but I did it, with help.

I’m re-registered with CRI (Crime Reduction Initiative), which I’ve run from and kicked back against in the past and am due to attend the next induction on Monday. This will be my third, having tried and given up before, having felt patronised and pressured. I’m re-registered with a half-way house I’d also kicked back against in the past: I was resisting arrest and what I saw as imprisonment. But with the right kind of pressure, patience and understanding of my long-term and new helpers, I achieved in one day what would otherwise have taken fuck knows how long.

And the kids helped too. They still do. This is why I love them so much. Inappropriate relationships? No: misunderstood. The persecution will never understand and the feeling is mutual.

Then there’s my little secret. Baggage is left at the door but secrets are kept to oneself and I’m keeping this one for the rest of my life. No-one’s getting that little thing from me.

After dealing with the business of the day, myself and my hand-holder had some chilling time. In a pub! I ate some food. Shock, fucking horror! After four hours out though, I needed to return to the haven, hand held. No kids today as they’re all indisposed with selfish things like holidays. So busy but quiet. And I’m cooking again. Hopefully this will be another place where when I move on, my cooking will be missed. Maybe I will be too.

And the busy bits mean that I’m taking baby steps again towards getting my biological kids back. They’ll be wondering where I am. My adopted ones know.

I’m in a haven; a safe one.

Your father.

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