Tag Archives: arthur frank

the homeless agoraphobic

the ex-husband and i edge closer to a house sale.  we have come to an agreement with the buyers on price and they’re doing an inspection with their contractor on monday.  tentatively, we’re closing on june 28.  that’s when i become homeless, but in a very nice way.   it’s not like i’m going to be roaming the streets asking people for spare change and telling them i’m an injured war veteran with six kids to support.

nope, we’re going to rename this blog THE HOMELESS AGORAPHOBIC and figure out what to do with the rest of this life.

nonetheless, it’s difficult as someone who has regarded this as my safe place to know it’s not my safe place anymore.

until i was three years old, i lived with my parents justin and aleta. they put up for adoption and the patrick family of western springs took me in. they immediately had me baptized in the methodist faith. this picture was from that happy sunday. my older sister sandra had also adopted by the patrick family. justin and aleta divorced about a year afterwards. i wasn't reunited with them until i was twenty five.

it’s impossible to hide from a three year old that they have been adopted and that they’re sporting new parents.  my name was changed to lynn melody patrick.  i wasn’t allowed to keep anything justin and aleta may have sent with me.  i was in a new place.  and i had new people to call mom and dad.

sometimes i think agoraphobia is the outsized desire to have the world be safe, manageable and unchanging.  weirdly, the world never is.

mrs. jewell patrick was a beautiful woman who was unable to bear children because of a hysterectomy when she was seventeen. she was quite a disciplinarian, sometimes locking me up in the basement or in a closet for misdeeds. then there was the belt. . . .but i started to be cool with being locked up if i could read a book. i think this is why i'm literate, not the public school system.

 

i ran away from home when i was in my early teens.  i was very proud that i could pack everything i owned in a single hefty garbage back.  i still have some of the books that i took with me.  later, i was placed in different foster homes.  again, it was a good skill to be able to keep all of one’s possessions in a tight space and be able to pack at a moment’s notice.

denise was one of my foster sisters. we exchanged class pictures and i keep hers--well, all of my foster sisters and one brother who is now a sister--in my safety deposit box. denise later became a police officer!

maybe last year was a blessing:  i spent so much time in airplanes, trains, hotels, automobiles, on the road, in the air, at the terminal, standing in line at customs, standing in line at security, that i’m going to be okay about this dislocation.

holly was the most beautiful foster sister i had. when i was in the same home as she was, peter frampton had just come out with his first album. holly would sit in a rocking chair, smoking cigarettes and listening to that album over and over and over again. . . if i ever see mr. frampton, i will implore him to not sing in my presence. it was just too much frampton, too much "do you feel like i do?" oh, shoot, now i'm not going to get that song out of my head. thanks a lot, holly!

 

my biological mother aleta did not appreciate having me find her when i was twenty five.  this was before facebook, before the internet,  jeez, i had to hire a private detective.  she didn’t want me in her life.  not when i was three years old.  not when i was twenty five years old.  and frankly. . . not now either.

i found out several months ago that aleta has a facebook account. i sent her a friendship request and a message telling her that she has two grandsons--joseph and eastman. ixnay.

 

in the meantime, i hope you’re looking up 572 lincoln avenue winnetka illinois on mapquest and thinking about a new or gently used children’s book you want to bring to the face 2 facebook party on saturday night.  starts at five o’clock, courtesy of arthur frank the owner, and concludes at eight.  i’ll be unveiling the new i-book “face 2 facebook”. . . .the first three chapters are free to you!  and if you’re a blogger or a writer–this is the future of how books can be constructed — can’t wait to see you there!