The Mooch Friend

Act Natural Meerkats
My photography. Available for purchase in my shop links located in my bio.

A friend I guess I’m closest to (as far as how well she knows me and in other ways how close she lives to me compared to friends I’ve made who live out of state & even different countries) asked if I’m staying in my apartment another asked month. I basically told her what I’d written before: Unless I want to throw my life away now, I guess I should stay another month.

I told her EXACTLY how I was feeling. I used the words I haven’t written “out loud”.

Her response: “A lot can happen in a month”.

What the hell? How can someone make me feel so unwanted and still call me a friend? I really don’t think she realizes how much she hurts me with things she says & does or doesn’t do.

Last time she texted me maybe a week ago, I sank down deeper into my depressed state for days. It’s like talking to my family. No one wants me physically around them I guess. I feel like the mooch friend. It’s easy to say things; via text or social media. To dance around without actually saying anything. Several times she’s let me down in in thinking I was a friend.

But she’s also helped me. For example the phone I have is hers. I know she doesn’t see it as a big deal if I can afford my part of the bill & I’m months behind right now but it matters to ME. I don’t like owing. I had said to her before if I’d lived with someone I’d clean & be around for the person’s kids if I wasn’t working. She really needed the help to be honest. I won’t say details. But if the situation was reversed I would have taken her in years ago. Even if I had her drama/situation going on. Because I loved her like a sister. But there have been others who really had called me sister before who have treated me similarly. Because they didn’t love me like I loved them. I know it and it hurts.

So there’s this sixteen year old girl I’ve been emailing with. She found mine & Shalimar’s poetry online and calls us “brilliant”. I certainly don’t feel brilliant when my life is like a dumpster fire right now. But she’s an intelligent kid, interested in some writing advice, wanting to be a friend and even “help” me though my tough time. She’s similar to me and has had difficulty with things like anxiety. I’ve been about PG honest with what’s going on with me and trying not to get too close to her because I feel like if I suddenly just go off the grid, I’ll hurt her. She has asked me a lot about friends in my life and I have had a hard time explaining how I have closer friends online than I do in person and why I have people in my life who aren’t really there for me. She also wondered how my friends wouldn’t necessarily know each other.

I explained in a long letter which I may have mentioned in a previous blog here about how I used to be in a church and had school friends. Later work and then the Hollywood indie band friends. Also the people I’d met while promoting the bands online, and the gals I met in the fandom I’d become involved with a few years ago. That some I may never meet unless they come out here or I go out there. But the one’s I’ve had over the past decade or so if I’d had a house party it’d be like a bad prom. I could have had three or four different groups of people to invite who didn’t know each other or necessarily not even have anything in common.

She can’t understand how I can want to live alone in a cave. I told her people crave contact with others. Having online friends, though I love them, isn’t like seeing & talking to someone in person. If I’d never met these people in person or they lived far (and for me two hours wasn’t far when had a car. It’s LA! I’d spend two hours on the bus to get to jobs & people’s houses!) and it’s easy to be okay with never seeing them. But some are right here and it hurts. Especially after a decade (well since 2004 to maybe 2013 when the last car died?) of driving up sometimes two hours to see people and now when I need them the most it’s the ones who’ve saw me least over the decade who ended up helping me out last year.

Though I wish I’d never set foot in the home of the lady I refer to as HouseMom. She still kept me from living on the streets. She drove to pick me up at one friend’s house, drove to get my stuff at another friend’s house, before we drove the two hours to her place. But it was scary with her and the other younger two there and their temper and threats. Friends said, “Oh you should get out of there!” To go where? A shelter? Has to be a shelter because there’s no one else who’s going to take me in!

Though I’d known HouseMom & some of her “family” since maybe 2007…I didn’t consider them friends after living there. A year there & this friend I’m writing about came to see me once. No one else did. I didn’t hang out with anyone else & mostly just at the house. I was pretty much completely secluded and surrounded by people I no longer trusted.

When I lived in Long Beach for what was about five years, how many times did someone come over or pick me up/drop me off there? A dozen times maybe? How many people? Mostly this friend & maybe three others once or twice? I drove to everyone otherwise.

In LA at my Grandparents place, I lived there almost two years. Not including the boyfriends…haha… Once I had someone over for an hour or so because I did him a favor in Hollywood & he was doing a favor for me for once. I think one girl came over for a movie night–once. Another girl picked me up to go out twice. I had to have help when I got my wisdom teeth removed. That was the only time I let my mom stay otherwise she would have tried to move in. Yuck. Every other time I drove to everyone. It was nice living twenty minutes from Hollywood at least. Haha. I still had to drive to Mom & family still as far as Pomona, San Dimas etc. I worked almost two hours away.

Way back living in Pomona with my mom from 2004-2009ish? Once the first girl I’d befriended in Hollywood came up, but there’s nothing to do if the fairs not open. I think some of the Hollywood crew met at my mom’s place ONCE–before we drove to Vegas for their show there. I drove to Hollywood from there sometimes three times a week to see everyone all over Hollywood & sometimes picked up friends like in Pico Rivera to come with. Sometimes I went up after work from San Dimas or Anaheim & would only stay two or three hours. I loved going up there. Before that when I was with the ex-fiancé, I drove from my mom’s to LA to see him, I went to school in Azuza & later Santa Monica. I worked mainly in Arcadia but then Montclair & sometimes did shifts in Glendale once to Montebello, West Covina, Riverside…and of course visiting family out just as far.

I drove up to Sacramento alone once, just up and back to see a band. I also drove up to San Fran once up and back to see another band I knew with a whiny female friend. After that I drove up twice more alone. I stayed longer, and in a super old, cheap hotel. All four times all on my own dime, once or twice in a rental. That girl maybe bought herself food but the gas and renting the car was on me. The second band boys bought me a drink or two twice up there and I got free cd or three over the years. Haha. The band in Sac did add some stickers & stuff my last order. They’re dolls.

If I still had a job & someone needed a place to stay…and didn’t mind being stuck out here in the boonies with me, I’d let them stay. I know I can have a second person here. The person has to pass a background check, and I’d only do it for a friend because this place is tiny. But I’d let them. Hell, even if someone could cover the bills until I got a job I’d say yes & cook & whatever as long as I wasn’t treated like crap like I was at HouseMom’s.

But yah. That’s just me. And I’m tired of feeling like I’m the mooch friend.

Most of the Hollywood trips were to support my friends’ endeavors. Mostly bands and some friends had had three or four bands they played in. I spent time promoting these bands, making separate accounts & emails to book bands & tell people about the shows. 99% for free! I also took photos also for free: Candid and posed at the shows and sometimes band shots or solo singer shots at a location, film as well as digital. I kept them for my portfolio, but they got copies to use them for whatever. Once, a friend couldn’t afford the shirts he asked to get printed I bought them off the person who was a friend of ours. Another friend & I decorated some of the shirts with glitter and stuff & we sold most of them for barely more than I paid for them. I bought four pairs of new never worn panties to toss onstage as a joke for one band. There were photos of the singer (a friend or something. We weren’t dating. Never even kissed.) wearing them on his head & putting them on the guitar. He didn’t know it was me until after. He put photos up on his website for months. Why did I do it? Cuz it was fun! To make them laugh!

I do stuff out of LOVE & usually don’t even mention it or get credit for the support. Except for maybe the photos I didn’t really ask for credit. That’s not me. You give me a hug, buy me a drink. A band or two dedicated a song to me a few times…Made me happy.

And this last year when some of the girls rallied some money to help me pay for bills, and HouseMom and two other friends let me couch surf for a bit…I can’t tell you how much it meant. I cried and cried and if I could pay them all back I would. I can’t ask them to do anything for me again. I won’t. But this one girl, who is supposedly my “closest” friend? Besides the phone I spent about three days cleaning her house for money. We hung out a few times. I still adore her though it’s scary for me to be close to someone who reminds me so much of my mom. Even HouseMom was like my mom but in the more extreme verbally abusive/ hair-trigger temper. This chick is cool but I see it. She knows I see it. She has been terrified of looking inward since certain trauma in her childhood and people betraying her. I get it. Sometimes I think that’s why she says she’s going to help then backs out. She wants help too but insists on doing it on her own. But technically she has tons of friends and family and doesn’t really have to. She has people to fall back on. I don’t. I don’t want to ask either but it hangs there in the air rotting away our friendship. And I feel that someone like her would let me live in the street rather than take me in.

 

So as far as I know, I’m on my own. But after all this, am I the mooch friend or not?

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