I spent the night in a storefront building. I ate homemade chicken soup out of a paper bowl. I didn't get a shower. My possessions were divided and stored. And I slept on a thick, vinyl mat on the floor...but I did get a blanket and a pillow.
This morning I awoke to orders from a woman who was all about "Do this, do that." But not about the crucial cup of coffee that I so very much needed...before I dealt with anything else.
After I gathered everything together, I walked out into the morning cold. It was 7a.m. and the sun wasn't even up, yet.
I walked down to the library, which was far from being open yet and sat down on a cold, stone bench. Then I undid the new FEMA disaster blanket that I had been given and wrapped it all around me. It was just so cold.
I thought about the hassle that I have been having while trying to get my State ID renewed.
As I watched my breath drop in a frozen cloud from my mouth, I decided that I deserved an even break. If I could shiver in the cold for hours, I should have an easier time acquiring updated identification. The chilly lady has bought the rights to proof of citizenship! Definitely.
After all, I am not a terrorist, plotting to destroy what is left of the warm feelings in this Country. I am 57-year-old United States citizen, who spent several hours, this morning, freezing my fanny off on a bench.
Then I asked myself: "What's the point of having a name if I have to officially prove that it's really mine?"
That was when I decided, as I trembled on that bench and dreamed of all kinds of hot things, that if I end up rejected in the line at the DMV...I'm going to throw my current name away and use another one.
And when someone asks me if I am Ruth Rader, I'm going to shake my head and say, "Nope."
If I don't get over the "necessary" hurdles tomorrow, at the DMV, I'm going to begin using a new name and start my life all over again.
As Blondie Stargaze.