I lived in the town of T. I moved there after I lost everything. I lost my business that I invested all my retirement fund into in a town not far from T. I was hoping to start all over again, but things didn’t work out that way. My “partner” became frightened about the concept of being an entrepreneur and bailed. So there I was in T, alone and wondering what I was going to do. I had found a place in an old apartment. Yes, OLD… older than I was. Way older. It was built in the 1800’s, started off as a hotel, word has it was a brothel at one time, that is just speculation, then it was a convent, then a boarding house, then an apartment building. This is where I came in. The landlord designed the main floor front shop for me, with a small apartment in the back. It had beautiful wood doors and huge windows with 12 food ceilings that were decorative. Where I resided was apparently the mess hall when it was a convent. Two large wooden doors led into the hallway.
I wasn’t sure what to do so I opened a small business shop, offering small business services. Although there was no other business like it, there were enough non-direct competitors to make it a failure. But during the time I was there it was appealing. The little town of T was a walk away from anything you needed. In my case, this also included the liquor store, food store, restaurants, access to cigarettes and if wanted, after hours wine from friends. It was perfect. Just across to the back was a beautiful river to swim in in the summertime. It was like a year around country resort, so to speak. Like renting a place in a reclusive, yet active little environment which was quite different from what I moved from – a two acre piece of land with a house too large for me, myself and I, although I crowded it with animals. The previous place was outside the town limits and other than the customers I saw during the day, I really didn’t see many people on off hours. In the little town of T, I saw people all the time. All the time. Whether it was screaming couples in the apartment running up and down the stairs, outside, inside, with the front door slamming, teenagers lost in a place where there was nothing else to do but to ride their bikes at all hours of the night and stealing the oddest thing from a porch flower pot, the walkers, the lonely corner group looking to hang out, there was always something going on. On quiet nights, not much activity was going on, but there were always trucks driving by heading through the town from one major highway to the other, or buses from one major city to another. It was a main route.
It didn’t take much time before I had people rocking on my rocking chair on my front porch with me, socializing. It was a low income town. It was there that I first learned what it was like to be living with that level of society. Now I’m saying this in the kindest way. They came in all forms, all type of backgrounds, all kinds of experiences. They were real. They didn’t try to be high society, to prove anything. Suddenly I was around people who saw life in a different light. It was relaxing. I didn’t have to prove anything either. It was where I decided I liked to be. Around real people.
During my time in the town of T I was struggling though. Although I was finding myself, I was also still fighting my demons – alcohol and my eating disorder. Although I had more human friends – and real friends – than I had had in a long time, there was still something missing inside of me. That was ME. The little town of T brought me home with a new respect for humans, for real people. But when I moved in with my sister for 8 months, where I stopped all together my eating disorder, it was then the real journey began. But the little town of T to me was where it was beginning. And sometimes I feel it’s where I would like my journey to end.
In the interim, I will continue with this story, because T had some amazing ones. Good ones, not so good ones, but in the one year I lived there I must admit, I sure did live. And on these pages is what the beautiful building of the 1800’s turned out to look like on the outside. But no matter what I called it home for that year. And a piece of me will always remain there.