I am getting better. I can write about it now. But, I am still fragile. Today it is raining. Seven days ago was the last time it rained and when it rains it pours… in my house.
Yo! My life is too real. It is too hood. And right now things aren’t good. I am grateful that I have friends that loved me enough to hold Zi down, who held me down, and fed me with food and a warm bed.
Exactly one week ago around midnight I heard a banging on my door. I thought it was my friends who had just left after we had an impromptu workshop around healing the mother wound. Before they came, I had a full day with my daughter and her five year old friend, they were fed, bathed, and sound asleep before my homies came over.
When I heard the bang, I thought maybe it was them. That maybe they had forgotten something. I was so tired and lit that I opened the door to my upstairs neighbor yelling in patois and I didn’t understand nada. She’s frustrated and tells me to come upstairs.
When I got to her front door, I was wide-eyed and I immediately turned around and went back downstairs. She had water pouring from everywhere. Her bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and hallway. I looked in my apartment to see if water was coming down. It was making its way down in drips.
I immediately woke the girls up because I was loud, telling my parents to get dressed because I knew we weren’t staying here. I pulled out extra blankets, towels, sheets, and whatever else I could get my hands on, so I can absorb the water coming from upstairs.
I made my way up to the fourth floor and that apartment was already accumulating two inches of water. I went back downstairs for more linens and laid some out on her floor. Her apartment is the last floor, so her bathroom and kitchen ceilings had fell. After I laid what I could, I dressed the girls, packed our clothes, and gave them each a pillow, a blanket, and a black garbage bag to put their stuff in.
By this time, the fire department, the police, and the city for building enforcement is here. They shut down the power. My step pops is like all your clothes are gonna get soaked. So, I am literally in the dark grabbing bags and pulling everything out of my closet. I am getting “rained on” with brown water, all of my clothes are getting soaked. I am dragging bags of clothes and shoes in my room. I notice that there is water coming into my room, so I lay out some pots and push all my shit on the furthest side of the room from the leak. I bagged all my journals and dip out of there before the ceilings falls on us. A police escorted me at 2am to my homegirls house with two small girls…
I am still at awe that my life changed so drastically in just a few short hours. Our landlord is a slumlord. We always reported leaks and mold, but all he did was patchwork. So, the roof finally caved.
The building has been condemned. It is unfit for human habitation. We are supposed to make arrangements to move all of our stuff by the end of the week. All of us are scattered at friend’s houses. I couldn’t do that anymore, so me and Zi went into a shelter on Monday until something changes.
All of my work and travel arrangements for the summer is in the air. I had to wash all of my clothes, keep going back to Yonkers to pack and get things I need. I am currently further upstate in Westchester. I am exhausted, tired, sad, frustrated, and holding back a well of tears. A lot of you have been asking me what happened, how can you help, and what do I need.
I need help. Lots of it. My priorities right now are as follows:
1. To maintain a normal relationship with my daughter despite the shelter circumstances and the distance from our nuclear family.
2. To buy groceries, since all of it was lost when the power was shut off and is still shut off.
2. To throw and give aways a lot of furniture and stuff and pack what I want to keep and move those belongings to a storage facility.
3. To find a full time job with benefits that pays at least $50,000 a year.
4. To secure a home for me and Zi.
I am thankful for the roof over my head and I have to keep reminding myself of that. I am so broken, y’all. I feel like I am beginning all over again.
I have no other family than the one that I lived with and now they are all scattered trying to figure out the day to day, like me. If you care to help in anyway, I will leave my shelter address, secure donation link through e- commerce, and a secure donation button via Paypal. You can also personally e-mail me if you have any leads on jobs, resources, or just want to spend time with us.
At the very least, please pray for me and share this post. I need to be strong so I can get through this rough patch. I need to feel loved now… more than ever.
Juju & Zi Angeles,
123 East Post Road Rm#622
White Plains, NY 10601
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