It wasn’t enough that my mom dropped me and all of my shit off in front of Farnham Hall for my sophomore year at Southern; as she was in a rush to make it to church, primitively into my first semester sophomore year I received a phone call from my her telling me that she was selling the house that she’d only purchased 3 years prior. Not only was she selling the house, but she was moving into a one bedroom apartment. My mother never told me that I did not have a place to live. But, it was obvious that I no longer had a place to call home during my breaks from school; as one room certainly was not enough space for myself, my mom and my brother when he stayed over from his dads. No, she never told me that I had to leave; but she did kick me out. And so I started to save my money.
I worked on campus during the breaks so that I could live there and I also continued my job as a CNA. I saved up about three thousand dollars and I got my first apartment on 1523 Chapel street in New Haven. I moved off campus because it just made sense to me at the time. I felt like I was ready to leave campus and I knew that I would be graduating soon enough; which ultimately meant that I would have to leave campus anyway so I just saved all of my money during my sophomore year and during the summer going into my junior year, I moved. I was twenty, and I moved into my first apartment one month before my twenty first birthday.
I loved living on Chapel street. I lived right on the bus- line which made for easy, accessible transportation (pre-car days). I lived right across the street from the Derby Deli; which is a bodega that is still operating. On the weekends I would go there early on a Sunday morning to get a can of cornbeef hash, a newspaper and a Garcia Vega; back then the green tubes were a convenient storage option for my leftover weed roaches. I partied on Chapel street. I cooked dinners and planned gatherings. One night I came home from the club and the ceiling in my bathroom had fallen into my shower; I have never sobered up so quick! At the age of twenty one, I remember being so naive and so trusting…so excited to see what would happen next. Even back then I didn’t have a t.v in my room (to this day I prefer not to), I always felt like my bedroom was for three activities; dressing, fucking and sleeping.
It was an exciting time. I remember it being a very exciting time in my life. I loved the independence. I was ready for it and I had a good time. Yellow was still lurking in the background when I moved into Chapel street. I remember the night that he helped to change my life forever…again. One evening he’d come over to visit me. I was taking a shower when I turned toward the shower to see (out of the corner or my eye) a camera lens! He recorded me while I was showering. I was pissed off and devastated. That was such a violation and he made light of it. To this day I was not able to get the tape back. Though he hadn’t physically touched me that night, I felt as though I had been taken advantage of sexually. I didn’t know how to feel except for how I felt and at the time I did not even recognize it as a traumatic event. I suppose that I just moved on because there was nothing that I could do about it. Right? Moving forward.
I lived on Chapel street for a year and some change until one November night I came home to discover the sticky mouse trap that I’d strategically placed in my kitchen floor corner had disappeared. I am deathly scared of all things un-human and mice are like at the top of my list next to snakes and spiders. And so by February, my best friends moved me into a new apartment; into a new adventure.