Writing Exercise: Some days you don't need one. I started with: "I wish someone had told me..." and quickly diverged into a list of books I loved when I was young and then this...
We were all waiting. It is what you do when you are homeless person. None of us are homeless in the sense that we stand on the corner with everything we own in a shopping cart. We have Jude to thank for that. We are homeless in the sense that we live at Jude's and Jude's is the best shelter there is. We have a clean room with three small beds, a kitchenette, and a bathroom. We take showers everyday and Mother and Michael and I have moved all of our belongings from their suitcases into the dressers provided.
We saw Jude's billboard as we drove into town. It was a picture of Grandma Ruth wearing her bent smile while Jude knelt before her. She almost looked embarrassed on that larger than life photo, but her expression could easily be mistaken for gratitude. That was our introduction to the place.
We had to get out of town. Mother could no longer hold the stepfather at bay and it was time to leave. So, Patty gave us a ride to the big city and dropped us off right at Jude's doorstep, where the waiting all started. We were newly estranged from the step father and Grandmother and now from Patty and everyone else we know just by pure distance. In the end that is no great loss because they all looked at us strangely, as if we had antlers growing from our heads. In any case, that is how we got to Jude's. And he looks at us a bit differently. Not as if we had a huge rack of antlers, more as if he may devour us. I told Michael that. He rolled his eyes at me.
When we arrived, Jude shook each of our hands. He looked at Michael and I extra long, before moving on and smiling at Mother. "You will have a place with me for as long as you need," he said. Michael pays no attention, but I notice the details and I keep a list in my notebook. I keep referring back to them. In the hopes that some day I will decipher the pattern and from that I will be able to make it all right.