In the dawn in the half light eyes unfocused it is easier to imagine your arms your nibbles your breath on my cheek and harder not to weep. I miss you.
Welcome to the USA, where citizens are assumed to be out of “compliance” in their own country, where their own identification no longer satisfies officials they are who they say they are, where those born here are considered to be running afoul of the law and forging their identities unless and until they can get a computer to agree they are who they say they are. Social security card, driver’s license, passport? Nahhhh…those aren’t proof you are who you say you are. If some computer somewhere says you don’t exist as you’ve proven, then you don’t exist, and it becomes your job to prove it by calling some stranger and providing the same information you have already provided in the forms of documentation. Then somehow, maybe, you’ll become a citizen.
What a load of fucking crap. When are people going to stop putting up with this terrorist crap? When are people going to realize that having to endure shit like this is a worse threat than the highly unlikely possibility someone will bomb us? It’s all about control on the part of a very few. We need to stop allowing them to take control. We need to stop complying simply to prove our innocence, to prove our citizenship. Too many people say I will comply because not complying makes me look guilty. Fuck that! If you aren’t guilty, you aren’t guilty. Not complying does not make you MORE guilty!
Today the bank I chose here to start new accounts called me to tell me their “compliance department” claims my social security number has too many names on it. The “compliance department” in charge of making sure terrorists don’t open bank accounts. Guess what, fuckers? Timothy McVeigh had a social security card. Being a US citizen does not keep one from becoming a terrorist. Want to know why my social security number has more than one name? It is because some minimum wage flunky fuck at the credit reporting agency imput the information incorrectly. It is also because I was married in a patriarchal culture and changed my name then because I was too ignorant at the time to know better. It doesn’t mean I forged my social security card, driver’s license, and passport. It certainly does not mean I’m a terrorist.
I told the bank I did not appreciate being called a liar. I said that being told I need to prove further who I am, that telling me my proof was not good enough was akin to saying my proof was a lie. I told them that if my proof of identity was not good enough, I would take my money elsewhere. I explained that I was not going to comply to prove my innocence, that they needed to prove my guilt. I told her I knew most people would go along with this charade as evidence of their good faith, but that I needed no such evidence. I said I was not going to waste my time proving further I am who I am, that they could spend the time disproving I am who I am. The kind lady who had to put up with me told me she would do some research and get back to me.
The irony in this is that I was told this was somehow for my own good, proving someone else wasn’t using my number. How many people stop and believe that bullshit? I’m trying to put money in their bank, I say I am Lara Gardner, I give documents I am Lara Gardner, their computer says my social security number has other names on it, so now I’m not safe? What a load of fucking crap. This has nothing to do with anything for my own good and everything to do with control.
There are fourteen characteristics common to fascism. One of these is an obsession with national security, using fear as a motivational tool to control the masses. I will not be a pawn in the government’s tool chest of fear in order to create the illusion of control. If we are truly free, we should be free to open a bank account with money from another US bank without being accused of being a terrorist.
I don’t fit. I just don’t. I feel like I spend my time in groups of people who fit in whatever they are in, but I’m not of them, I am just there. I wonder if this is a manifestation of mine or if I’m meant simply to be always alone. Surrounded by people and always alone. I am certainly not a part of Hawaii. I knew that coming here though, so it was not a surprise. I suppose I had harbored some hope, albeit small, that I would not feel my aloneness as acutely here as I had in Portland. But such thinking was naive.
The first few days here were a struggle, primarily because any move is a struggle. We were worn out and travel weary. Upon arrival we had originally intended to look for an apartment. We started out renting a room in the house of a friend of a friend. It was supposed to be the bigger of two rooms the homeowner had for rent. Upon seeing it, I knew we would have to find our own place because it was simply not big enough for the two of us. However, after settling in, spending time with the homeowners, and looking at what we could get for similar money on our own, I determined that we would have plenty of space if we rented both rooms. So here we will stay. The house is expansive and comfortable, in a good neighborhood, and our housemates could not be better. The apartments we looked at for a similar price were ratholes in neighborhoods I would not want to live in. This house is also quite close to Milla’s school and near nice shops and restaurants. It will be a good place to live.
I also had to buy a car. This would not on the surface appear to be a daunting task, but for some reason every person I called about cars was a complete freak. The two cars we ended up actually getting to see were trashed beyond belief and there was no way I would purchase them. And looking at them and apartments was a day long ordeal and a huge pain in the ass, simply because getting around Honolulu can be a huge ordeal and a pain in the ass. This is because the main interstate through the city has off ramps with no coordinating on ramps and vice versa. In addition, directions to exits are not well marked, or at least marked to coincide with the directions provided by Google maps. I suppose this could be considered an error on the part of Google maps. There also seem to be several roads with more than one name. One sign will have the first name but not the second. The second sign will have the second name but not the first. The final sign might have both or simply a number. By the time I figured out that all were one and the same it was too late to take the exit thereby necessitating taking a further exit. However, on return the previous exit was not accessible so I would have to go on to the next exit to try and head back. Only then there would not be an on ramp, so I would have to drive down further through town and attempt to locate one. This happened to me four times. Each occurrence took over a half an hour. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Luckily at the end of the day one person who had placed an ad for a car on craiglist without a phone number responded to my email inquiry. She was female and sounded like a normal human, unlike any of the other sellers to whom I had spoken. I made arrangements to see the car the next day and bought it after a drive. It’s a good car. I like it better than our clunky rental. It is a 1992 Toyota Camry.
Milla also started school yesterday. This was the big reason for our arrival at the beginning of August. Milla’s school experience has been the most satisfying part of this trip. I have had many moments of homesickness for a place that does not exist, moments where I long for a place that is mine, knowing it is not Hawaii or Portland. It has been lonely and painful. But finding a school that seems so good for Milla is a blessing. Her teacher met with her for a half an hour. Within that half hour, he knew Milla better than most people who have known her for some time. He was able to identify parts of her personality and character and discuss these traits with me. He seemed genuinely delighted to have her in his class. I am so pleased Milla may finally have found a place where she is welcome. Finding a place where Milla could thrive was one of my primary reasons in choosing to come here; in this at least we are blessed.
Non sequitur…but not really because I’m listening to him, but Chet Baker’s voice turns me inside out. He puts me in tune with the universe. Him and Nina Simone. Milla has become a Nina Simone convert. I can’t play Nina enough to satisfy my daughter. She has good taste.
I saw a ghost last night. I told it to leave. It did not belong in our room. It did not belong here. It needed to leave and it left. I was not afraid. For a moment, I felt a strength I only occasionally know I possess and wondered if my being lonely all the time is so I can someday use this strength. I do not know. There are so many times I do not know if I will make it to that point. Perhaps I can use it if I ever get over this blinding loneliness.
So I don’t write a couple of days and they change everything again. Well, at least they moved things around somewhat. It’s not as drastic a change as before. I know a lot of people did not like the other changes, but I did, so I think I can get used to a little column switch.
I don’t have much to write. Ironic considering most of the day my brain was bursting with words, but I’m so tired now the words all went to sleep. Running around settling into our new home is exhausting. And I have insomnia again because I don’t have my man. Love kills insomnia, that’s all I can say. Sleeping with him every night took it away. I felt safe with him. I love him.
I’m going to bed. I will be a better writer again from now on.