When I was living homeless for my article in the March/April issue of Edmonton Woman Magazine, I didn’t think I would make any friends, and I especially didn’t think I would make any lovers. Both assumptions were quickly disproved when I found that hanging out in homeless shelters can put a gurl in survival mode. I quickly became part of a close knit group of young people, and I must have picked the biggest alpha male in the city to make me his woman: A 6 foot 5 long-haired temp worker who had worked on the rigs, been to jail and who’s dad had apparently rode with the Hells Angels. We’ll call him Blondie. I wanted him so bad.
Maybe it was because I have a thing for guys who look like they just crawled out of a month-long forest retreat. Maybe it was his bright blue eyes. Maybe it was the way he winked at me while his friend put out all the stops to try to pick me up. Maybe it was how sweet he was under his street exterior. All I knew was that I wanted to get him alone – but where do you go to get to know someone intimately when you’re homeless? It turns out, the movie theatre.
Unfortunately, his friend was a little possessive of me. When he left in a huff part-way-through Mama because he could tell we were flirting, Blondie made his move and asked to kiss me. When we stopped to enjoy the movie and he put his arm around me, that’s when his friend came back in. And pulled him out of the seat by his shirt. And told him to follow him outside. And punched him in the ear. It took 5 security guards to hold his friend down outside the movie theatre. But Blondie could have easily taken him.
Needless to say, after the visit to the hospital I couldn’t wait to jump his bones. My newly-half-deaf lover and I booked a romantic night at one of the city’s most vintage hotels – the detached bathroom even had a tub! Our relationship took off as we dined on free food at the shelters during the week and took turns paying for weekend getaways that involved mismatched sheets and over-sized box springs. It was one of the most memorable experiences I’ll ever have. I legitimately really liked him. I even brought him to my parents’ for dinner, despite my mother’s convictions.
But as I returned home from the streets, exhausted and ready to have my own room again, I also started dating someone new – someone who had a place of residence, a full time job and a car. Although Blondie and I had agreed on an open relationship, the relationship I was newly in was exclusive. I felt really bad about breaking up with him, but I had to be realistic. I’m running a business. He hangs out at the mall all day. It just wasn’t going to work.
Since my lover’s phone was broken, I had a difficult time getting in contact with him; we always met up at the shelter or the mall in the morning, and I was living in another city. I tried a few times to tell him I couldn’t see him anymore, but after we got our lines crossed via payphone and I accidentally stood him up at A&W because I took the wrong bus, I did a really shitty thing and blocked him on Facebook. I’m still not sure why.
Maybe it was because I didn’t want him to see that I was dating someone else. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to hurt him and cause him to spiral downwards. Telling a homeless person, who is already in one of the lowest mindsets to begin with, that you don’t want to be with them is one of the most difficult positions to be in – especially when you’ve been intimate together and care about them.
About a month later I saw him at the mall and apologized. He mentioned that he really missed me and had started smoking meth. I honestly feel really bad. Sometimes I see him when I’m downtown, and I wish him well. He really is a good guy; he’s just stuck in a bad situation.
You can read MY PLEASURE every Wednesday at MLTS Mag.