Spinning My Wheels – Part Six
(My apologies for this site not updating for a few days, everytime I went to post, it was down. Seems Okay at present).
In the flat with the three other guys, things started off pretty good. I was trying to arrange somewhere else to go, but every time it would fall through. It was annoying me. I think it started to annoy them a little too.
Years of abuse had made me paranoid. I was afraid to seek benefits from the Government because my parents were still collecting child support from the Government for me. I thought, if I applied for something from the Government, they might tell my parents where I was. I guess I was too young to realise the system didn't work that way.
I ended up staying for first semester. By this time my hair had grown pretty long. I decided with the help of one of my flatmates I would try to cut it myself. He was going to hep with the back. Alas, I made a schmozzle of it. I ended up sticking a hat on, and going to the barber to get it fixed. He told me he couldn't do anything except shave it off. I was due at University for a lecture, so I had to let him do it. Now, I was bald! I wore my hat to the lecture, but sat right up the back before I took the hat off. It made a bit of an impression.
The lecturer stopped halfway through one of his sentences when he noticed me, and suddenly went, “Hi!” and waved at me.
The entire class turned and looked! A lot of them laughed. One of my friends glared at me. We were pretty good friend, and she was pretty unimpressed. I guess the worst of the embarrassment of that mistake was behind me.
It a bit funny now, because I not only cut my own hair, I also do my youngest brothers hair as well. People tell me it looks professional, but I didn't' learn the secret of cutting hair till I was older.
Another strange thing which happened too, was a girl at Uni kept insisting that I borrow a Science Fiction novel from her. I didn't want it. She just kept insisting till I took it. A week later she started asking for it back, but she insisted that I have read it first so we could talk about it. I took about another week or two to actually read it. By this time she was demanding it back because another guy wanted to read the book. I gave it back to her, and she immediately passed it to the other guy to read. I asked one of my friend to be a witness to the fact that I returned the book. She said Fine.
Next day, the girl asked for her book back again.
“Huh? I gave it back yesterday.”
“No you didn't!”
“Yes, I did.”
I told her to ask my friend who I had ask witness it. She denied remembering me returning the book.
Arrrgghhh! So I reminder the girl she had given the book to “G”(We'll call him that, because that's what his first initial was.) She couldn't remember giving the book to him!
Arrrghhh!. After that, the girl kept asking me everyday for the book. I kept reminding her that I had given it back. She refused to believe. 'G' obviously had denied taking the book from her. What was I to do! I had never wanted to read the book in the first place.
My friend then came and told me that the girl wasn't going to speak to me anymore till her book got returned. I said I was fine with that, because I didn't want to speak to her anymore either.
The girl then started a smear campaign where she claimed I sold her book for food. HUH? It was a pulp science fiction book about one hundred pages long. I doubt anyone could have sold it at all. To add insult to injury, she also told people I had kept asking her for the book! WHAT!
It sank me into a deep depression. I was virtually ostracised by people at Uni for something I didn't do. Being the poor kid though didn't help. Apparently most of these people thought poor people are all thieves.
The funny thing about this, is mean while in the flat, I was actually starving. My money was low, and I was sleeping a few feet from a fridge full or food. My morals wouldn't let me steal though. So I was living off a few slices of toast I was eating every night. I got so thin, that on a warm day, I was wearing a jumper when others were in T-Shirts, and I was still shivering. My friend at Uni was really worried, but it was because I had no fat layer anymore.
To top off my depression, another girl started to use me as a scapegoat. For some reason she started to claim I was being nasty to her all the time. I tried to counteract it by giving her compliments all the time. Somehow, she was always able to twist what I was saying and make it seem like I was insulting her. Eventually, I reduced my self to just saying 'Hello' and 'Goodbye'. Bad mistake. One day she walked into the cafeteria where a group of us were sitting. I said, “Hello” to her. Suddenly she started abusing me, which lead into crying and acting hysterical.
My friend turned and asked what I'd said to upset her. I told her I hadn't said anything other than 'Hello'. The guys next to me confirmed this. My friend kept insisting that I must have done something or said something else. After all, why else would this girl be in hysterics.
“She's a f***ing nut case”, was the thought through my mind. I dare not say it though. Saying it would have really landed me in deep stuff.
Well, from then on, I just avoided her. Never spoke to her, and had nothing to do with her. Then one day, we were on the train home together. It was late, so I went over to where she was sitting and asked her why she'd done what she'd done.
She told me that until I had come along, everyone used to give her sympathy. Now, because I was effectively homeless and starving, everyone was apparently feeling sorry for me. (Which was strange, as I don't think anyone said anything to my face about it.) I asked her why everyone used to feel sorry for her before. She told me her father was ill. I said I was sorry to hear her father was dying.
She told me, “Oh, he's not. He's just sick, and my mother has to look after him. But everyone used to feel sorry for me because of it. Now they all feel sorry for you.”
Well, I still thought she was a complete nutter. I only saw her once more after that, it was about a year or two later, and I ran into her at the train station. We had a very brief conversation and that was it.
In the meantime, one of my flatmates took me around his parents place for dinner one night. It was a bit weird. His mother and him started talking about times they had fights and had always made up afterwards. I think they were trying to influence me to go back to my parents. They had one major problem. It wasn't' as if I had one argument with my parents. I was at constant war with them. They didn't want me at home, they didn't want me working,and they also didn't want me at University. On the streets and starving was the only real alternative. I suspected they'd probably been talking to my parents. My parents had probably given them some bull story about having one little argument with me, and me going off half cocked. My parents were always full of that sort of crap. The little role play of my friend and his mother only convinced me I couldn't return home, because it would only mean more of the same for me.
Came the end of the semester, and I decided to follow the advice of one of my flatmates. He told me to defer for a year, and work in order to get some funds behind myself. So I spoke to my councilor at Uni, and then spoke to the Dean. I got a deferment for a year.