Lou Gehrig kiss my ass -- because I'm the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.
I know some folks don't like me using the term "homeless" because I have saved a little money and I have a roof over my head, but don't think for a second I take that for granted. I also have a laundry basket killed with shelf-stable food purchased when the pandemic was new. I'm working hard to stretch my savings because who knows how long it will take me to find a job? (As an aside, it's surprising how much pudding is shelf stable.) However, the general term for someone who doesn't have a permanent residence is "homeless."
That stark word doesn't belie my spirit, though.
Each day for the last week, friends old and new have reached out to offer words of kindness. Much of it so nice, I fear having to live up to "best writer," "best editor," "better human." Let's be truthful, friends, I have my moments and limitations. For instance, I cannot play short stop. I cannot do the splits. And most of what I know about ethics and morality comes from a mixture of Andy Griffith and Homer J. Simpson.
First, I have a place to stay. The owners of Motel 6 gave me a free week. The general manager Don and his wife bought me another week. A complete stranger has offered me his guest cottage for the summer for free. Laura Lane is cooking for me. Pot roast braised in wine. She won't tell me if she uses real pot because, as she texted, "every cook must keep secrets." Strangers leave beer at the front desk with sweet notes.
I have old friends helping me out on GoFundMe. Better yet, they're calling and offering me words of encouragement and just basic goddamn human decency. My friend from Uptown, Margaret Thomas called me Wednesday on her birthday and we had a couple of birthday drinks together. I've always though Margo, as she is called, should have a statue built in her honor -- but no such sculpting would do her justice.
Sarah Bahr wrote a nice story about me on Indianapolis Monthly. My friend of three decades wrote a nice story on Poynter.org. Utterly surreal for me as a journalist but beautiful as a human.
I talk to my kid every day, someone who is smarter, funnier and kinder than any other human being I know. And I'm a journalist. I know objective reporting. She amazes me beyond words, which is sad because I like to think myself a writer.
Nationally, complete and absolute strangers have sought me out via social media and some have tracked down my personal email and cell. They offer anything they can give, the best of which is support.
I am technically homeless. But lucky. Beyond words.