Un-fuc*ing my mind 3
The last time I was isolated, I lived in a potato field and my dog was electrocuted to death
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic I am sheltered in place in my travel trailer right now. I had planned to live in it for at least a year and travel. Travel has come to a halt for now. I am keeping myself busy enough. It could be worse for me. It has been worse for me.
Chuck and I found a place to rent down a mile-long dirt road in the same town our parents lived in. There was nothing down this dirt road but an old farm home a couple miles up the road one way, and a fish hatchery a couple miles down the road the other way. Surrounded by potato fields and foothills. I had just got asked to quit my job at Del Taco. I was four months along with our second daughter Melissa. My boss was worried that I spent more time throwing up at work then I did doing my job. Chuck had picked up a few under the table jobs here and there, but nothing permanent. The mobile home we were living in used propane for the heat and hot water. Of which we had neither since we could not afford to buy propane. I could warm water on the electric stove for dishes and baths for Dainelle. I applied for public assistance but the process was long. We spent three months with little to no income and I learned how to cook potatoes in the microwave.
I would wake up some mornings so cold that I could see my breath while I was still in bed. Poor little Dainelle would be so snugged up to me I was practically laying on top of her at times. We had no car. We walked everywhere. When we did have money from some odd job or illegal act I’m sure that Chuck came home from. We would walk a mile to catch the bus and go shopping. Walking a mile back with groceries. Most of the time I just shopped at the produce stand on the corner of the dirt road and main highway. I did laundry in the bathtub by hand. I remember my hands cracking and bleeding. It was rough, I always reminded myself that people lived like this and survived and so would we. Welfare finally came through and that helped so much. I was so damn sick of potatoes and grateful for them growing in the ground across the street at the same time. We had company from time to time, but it was I felt like I was so far away from civilization. No neighbors to wave to. No car to go anywhere. I had blown a head gasket in my 1971 Mercury Marquis four-door beast of a car. I loved that car.
Chuck picked up a part-time job, and that left me home alone with Dainelle. No phone to call anyone, and my hormones from pregnancy were starting to shift. I went through a period of feeling scared and depressed. I can’t blame it all on my hormones. The thought of bringing another child into the world when we were only 19 and could hardly take care of the daughter we had, or ourselves. It was rough living, but we had fun times too. We went on walks all the time just to get out of the house. There was no grass in the yard, everything was dirt. Weeds didn’t even grow in the yard. We had big bonfires and sat outside under the stars at night and told stories. My dad loaned us a car as my due date approached. Melissa was born in February a beautiful healthy little girl.
May came around and things were what they were. We were doing our best for a while and then that turned to shit when Chuck started using drugs again. I’m not so sure he ever stopped. I think it was just less and I looked the other way a lot because I had other things to worry about. So he and I were not exactly getting along very well. I would usually just be busy with the baby, Chuck spent a lot of time playing with Dainelle or tweaking on something outside. This was just another day, until it wasn’t. Dainelle came inside to get a drink of water and a sandwich. She was all muddy from sitting and making mud patties on the side of the house. Our dog Jet just laid there beside her while she played, always keeping a close watch of her. The mobile shook and I heard a loud bang. Then I heard Chuck yelling “NO !! NO!!!” I ran outside to see if he was ok.. “fuck! Jet is dead! my dog is dead!” he was carrying our dog in his arms and crying. Southern California Edison had been out spraying the transformers on the power lines on our road. Something happened that sent a surge of electricity straight to the mobile home. Because Jet was laying in the water and close enough to the mobile. Our Dog was dead. She died sitting in the same spot where my precious three-year-old baby girl Dainelle was just playing.