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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Difficult Conversations

Today was a day of difficult conversations.  I don't know that anyone enjoys having these conversations.  I frankly dread them.  I'm not very good at talking to people who I feel like I am about to let down.  I'm not afraid of it.  I just hope that all of the hints that I drop are enough to give someone a clue before I have to actually talk about it.

I've had a friend living with me since I got here in March.  He lost his apartment after being without work for quite a few months.  He said he just needed a place to stay for a few weeks while he figured out where he was going and what work he would do.  He had been working part time at a restaurant, but they went out of business.  Fast forward almost 8 months, and he is still sleeping on my sofa every night while I'm providing groceries and necessities.  I live in a small one bedroom apartment.  Lately, it's been getting on my nerves more and more to not be able to enjoy my space.  I have to tip toe around to cook breakfast in the morning and on weekends can't lay around and watch movies or tv or cook up a storm unless he happens to go out with friends.  On top of that, he likes to sleep with the tv on so my television has been running 24/7 for 8 months sometimes at high volumes and I have to ask him to turn it down so I can sleep.

He has been working with social services to get housing, but the housing crisis here is real.  The waiting list for most apartments that accept social service money is hundreds of names long.  Although he is qualified, he can't seem to get into something quickly (or slowly given how many months its been).

Today, I finally asked him if he could find another friend to stay with.  I'm hoping he finds one.  He said before that his only option is a shelter.  Is that something I can do with my conscience?  I'm not sure.  I care about him as a friend, but his extended stay here has ruined most of our friendship.

In talking with new friends in and around Brooklyn, I get the impression that this is not uncommon to have someone stay with you for months or years at a time.  I wasn't prepared for it financially or emotionally.


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