In the arm(s) of angels

If you don’t want to be bummed out or don’t believe in spirits and think I’m that crazy if I do. Please, do yourself and me a favour and don’t read on. Just look at this lovely photo of a beautiful church flower garden downtown. My foster father, Ed Palmateer used to say “count your blessings no matter how hard it gets”. To be able to enjoy these gardens is a blessing that I’m grateful for.

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For those who aren’t afraid…

Yesterday was an absolutely miserable day.

I’m totally broke. But that’s okay, as I am supposed to get paid every other Thursday from the paper I write for. I’ve had a lot of stress from them in the last few months. But I’ve managed to put that behind me.

I write up my budget, which includes food, cat food, cat litter and a lunch as I hadn’t eaten for a day. I figure I have just enough energy to make it to the office to get my cheque, deposit it, take out a $20 and buy a hot dog from one of those vendors which would give me enough energy to continue on my day.

I go to the office and am told that the cheques aren’t ready yet. “they’ll be ready tomorrow morning,” I’m told by the secretary. I’ve encountered this scenario in the past and I haven’t always responded with tact or dignity. I promised myself in the morning that no matter how shitty the day was going to be I wasn’t going to go out of my way to be impolite or nasty to anyone. It was a challenge.

I’m stuck downtown on a profoundly empty stomach, no bus fare. I want to scream, cry, strangle something, jump out of the fifth story window… But I don’t.

I muster every bit of self-control I have and meekly say, “Thank you, have a nice day.” I quietly leave the office, composed.

I go out into the hallway wait for the elevator… “I can stay composed until I get into the elevator,” but the second I press the button, all that rage and anguish immediately turns inward. I burst out into tears and attempt to rip the fucking button from its socket. Unsuccessful I bang my head against the door, my face collapses into my hands in a private moment of black misery, as pure as sunshine.

“Hello N man…” I think I hear as I feel an arm on my shoulder. “how goes it?” It’s a friend, fellow reporter. Someone who I have immense love and respect for. Had she said hello to me about a minute before I’d have smiled and engaged in lively conversation. But now I can barely muster the strength to say “Uh… ok, gotta go.” A rather rude, dismissive reply.

I make my way out on to Davie Street. I’m reminded of my youth, wasted working shit jobs in the downtown core. Eight years ago I’d stumble down Davie from one crappy retail job to another, invariably fired for my behaviour and work ethic. I remember how unstable, insecure and fucking vulnerable I was.

All these years of work, school and varying degrees of emancipation would shield me from these old feelings.

I desperately put one foot ahead of the other, just trying to stay on my feet – I no longer have the energy or will to stay composed. I feel like such a fuck up, a failure, a pariah and everyone walking by can see it. I relive all the horrible “walks of shame” I’ve taken down this cruel Vancouver street.

Everything starts to spin… I collapse onto a bench, now oblivious to my surroundings. I’m light-headed, hungry, dehydrated. Physically and spiritually defeated I just rest. Glazing up at the trees I ponder how I’ll get home.

I’m every bit as vulnerable and frail now as I was eight years ago. Same place, similar situation same feelings.

How is it that one person, one office has so much power over me? Why is it that I have absolutely no recourse for justice? It’s bullshit, but it’s a pattern for me. One that I desperately need to change.

I never want to feel that way again. Ever. Although I accept we are all vulnerable as humans, I’d like to improve my defences against all that bullshit.

When I get home at around 5 p.m. I collapse into my bed and fall into a deep sleep. About six hours later I’m woken up by my own piercing cries of inner anguish and torment.

Suddenly I feel a hand on shoulder, gently holding me down.

Two ghostly figures are in my room. One, a female presence, stands at the foot of my bed, the other a male presence is seated on the side of my bed. The guy has long hair and only one arm. He’s holding my shoulder with one arm and the other entity is touching my feet.

They say very little, but have a very comforting and familiar aura. The woman lets me know that they are there to just peacefully watch over me and “help me release the darkness”.

I know I have many angels in the wonderful friends I know and love, but it’s comforting to know that there are some spirit angels in my court as well. Maybe today will be better.

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.

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