How to Live As A Vagabond
In many ways, I am a useless person.
When I was single, I often went without basic amenities. Not because I couldn’t afford them, but because the prospect of acquiring them either puzzled or bored me into negligence.
For example, one year, I moved into an apartment that had a gas stove. But I didn’t know how to call the gas company to set up my gas, and the idea of paying a separate bill outside my rent intimidated me so I just didn’t get my gas set up and I didn’t have a stove for two years. Which wasn’t that big of a deal because I also did not cook.
In another apartment, I got bed bugs. I threw out all of my furniture, including my bed. From that time onwards, I never owned any furniture. I never owned a bed. For seven years I slept on some sort of mattress-on-the-ground-type situation. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford a bed, but I was perplexed by all the steps facing me to get one. I’d have to go to a furniture store. Ok but how do I get the bed to my place? I don’t have a car. Ok if it’s delivered, do they set up the bed for me? I don’t know how to build a bed. I don’t own a wrench. It was all so intimidating. Easier to just sleep on the ground and develop a back problem.
When I met my husband, I was living in an apartment with no heat, but for six hundred dollars a month it was a steal. Only problem was it didn’t have a shower or kitchen amenities. My roommate got a guy to put in a shower, but we still only had a mini fridge and one hotplate. I was like, wow, this is… Amazing. A hotplate? Why didn’t I think of that when I didn’t have a stove ! Genius!
It turns out, my living situation was pretty shocking to an outside observer.
When Dusty came to my place for the first time he thought I catfished him. He’s standing in my ramshackle apartment: I thought you're on television in Canada? Yeah, I am. Can’t you afford a lock on your door? Oh yeah. I mean, I have money, but why spend it, you know? No. I don’t know. You should get a lock on your door. Yeah you're right. Sometimes homeless people break in at night looking for drugs. And I just kept looking at him wide eyed and he realized I was not joking. So while he was visiting me, we went to a hardware store, and Dusty installed a lock on my door. We’re married now. Needless to say, when Dusty does his taxes, he writes me as a dependent. Wow there is no truer statement.
The one creature comfort I did have in my twenties, before I met Dusty, was a TV. This TV, however, was given to me by my ex boyfriend.
This boyfriend is probably my favorite boyfriend, next to Dusty. We dated for nine months, but it felt like forever. And I mean that in the best way. We packed in a lot of laughs and drama in nine months.
It was the type of relationship where I unofficially moved into his place. It was a pretty sweet situation. He lived with his parents, but his parents were wealthy and lived in a very nice home in Toronto, and he lived in the basement. It was his layer. And he was hooked up. He had a full entertainment situation. He had the internet. This was 2012/13, so he had a big TV connected to Youtube, which a lot of people have now, but back then it was a revelation to me. So we’d hang out with our friends, smoke weed, and watch conspiracy videos on youtube. Netflix had been around for a minute, but I was a vagabond, so I’d never watched it before. He showed me Breaking Bad. I was like wow TV is great. I missed it! Last time I watched Tv I was like 9 years old!
So of course, I just stayed at his place all the time. His parents gave him a credit card to burn, he had a car so we drove around the city, and because he was wealthy he was really into going to the cool new hip restaurants. I think being a foodie is sort of a wealthy thing. I never had any knowledge of good restaurants in Toronto, because I ate mostly baked goods at coffee shops, cause you know, I was only functioning at like 75% capacity. So with this boyfriend we’re going to fancy spots, with well presented food, and rustic ashethics. And I’m just like wow why have I not been trying to date rich dudes before now? I mean I knew I was pretty, but I did not put these two things together. This is amazing.
Except there were problems. If you haven gathered by what I’ve already told you in this story, I was at a place in my life where I was psychologically unwell. I didn’t have anything going on as an actress or comedian, and I felt like everyone in the comedy scene hated me. My boyfriend was younger than me, and he was basically an open mic comedian with a bad attitude. So both of us spent our time smoking weed, talking smack about other comedians and complaining how no one appreciates us.
Eventually I realize I have to get out of the relationship.
And then the winter comes. My birthday is in December. So, my boyfriend, sensing me pulling away from him, decides to throw me a surprise birthday party. It was a disaster.
I walk in the room, and everyone yells surprise! And that’s when you’re usually surrounded by all your friends and family. But my pot head boyfriend didn't know my family, so they weren't there. And I only had two friends at the time, and none of them couldn’t make it.
So who was at my surprise birthday party? A bunch of loser open mic comedians. All dudes. None of them were my friends. It was literally the whos who of whos not going to make it in comedy. One of the guys had harassed me the month before. When I opened my eyes and saw him I was traumatized, like what’s he doing here? Am I being kidnapped?
Mortified, I couldn’t disguise my disgust. All these doppy comedians shuffled away and my boyfriend explains he convinced them to come by promising to smoke them all up. I was like, why would you throw me such an embarrassing birthday party? This doesn't make me feel good. This just reminds me that I’m getting older, have no friends and the only people wishing me happy birthday are incels. And he said, I know, I’m sorry. But I have a gift for you. I was like what, a shot gun? Just kill me now!
He takes me into the other room, and I see my present. It’s a big flat screen TV. He said, I know you want to spend more time apart, but I don’t like thinking of you alone with nothing to do in your apartment so I got you this TV.
And it was very sweet. But I’m still so pissed about my bleak birthday party, that I don’t want to say thankyou. I just sulk into the next room, smoke a joint by myself and wait for all the n’er do wells to leave so I can’t yell and guilt my boyfriend more.
Which is what happens. I yell at him, he sets up my TV, and about a week later we break up. I still have the TV. It’s my bedroom here in Nashville. I watch it with my husband, Dusty. HOnestly, it’s holding up pretty good.
I don’t really know what the point of this story is.
It’s very dumb. .Maybe that’s the point. It’s ridiculous.
I have to admit, when I think about my life, especially on this podcast, I’m usually very serious about it. The memories I chose to ponder often fill me with maudlin emotions. But that’s just it, the way I chose, the things I chose to reflect on, is why my story always seems so dramatic. It’s not that my life is so tragic, I just only tell the sad stuff, when in reality, there is a lot to laugh about. I do a lot dumb stuff. Because I’m so serious my life is ridiculous. I am a ridiculous human.
By God’s Grace Go I forth.