He is bipolar and suffers from major substance dependence. An instant hit, it chronicled the organization of those underground societies, describing compounds of several thousands where babies were born and regular lives were lived, with elected officials, hot water and even electricity.
And now she could stay with me forever.” They had been at a Masters and Johnson sex therapy clinic in the hopes of mending their intimate relationship, but my mother, donning loose knit ponchos with the entrails of a pot roach in her pouch pocket, already had one foot out the door. We raise our two daughters together, yet under the messy disjointed umbrella of divorce.“Just terrible.” “They were together seventeen years,” I say, “just like you and mom.” After the words leave my lips, I’m unsure where this highlighted similarity will take us. “You know, your mother had her first climax with me, just before she decided to end the marriage,” he says. We were excited and making plans for the future.” He looks up at me.His revelation is circa 1970, but from his somber expression as he scratches at a thread popping out of the seam of the couch cushion, it could have been yesterday. Although forty-four years have transpired, he still doesn’t understand quite what happened. When my kids were two and four I shocked myself and left my husband for a woman, coming out in mid-life.I was unable to reach Toth for comment, but when Adams talked to her, the journalist said she couldn’t remember how to access certain places described in her essay — possibly not to disclose the whereabouts of trespassing squatters.Still, while the essay might have been inflated or romanticized, it was nonetheless true that the homeless begging in the streets of New York were merely the tip of the iceberg. Santa Claus, the Boogeyman, the Mole People, it’s all the same. It’s human nature.” “Just cause you can’t see don’t mean ain’t nothing there,” begins Anthony Horton’s 2008 graphic novel “Pitch Black,” relating the author’s own struggles as a homeless man.Since my mother died from ALS in 2006, I alone carry the torch of defiance for the women in our family who went astray. He has been living here for a while now, in a small space between two support beams that can only be reached with a ladder. There’s no hassle compared to the streets, you know what I’m saying? “You’re the first person to visit this week,” he says. I can get why, it’s a spooky place when you don’t know it. I hear him talk to himself as I go away from the entrance and from the white sky.I may not have an intact nuclear family, but today I got to witness the depths of my father’s pain. A plywood roof protects his hoarded belongings from seeping water. There is an old mattress on the floor, and cookware, blankets and electronics stacked on makeshift shelves. His real story has been buried long ago under thick layers of improvised memories that grew more detailed by the years, the man slowly becoming a collage of himself. “People don’t want to speak to me when they come here. The smell down here is the one of brake dust and mold.And despite the bleak emotional landscape of the experience for both of us, I revel in moments like this, where our memories rise up and remind us who we no longer are. “Jon,” I repeat, and he appears, his head cautiously peaking up from his house, a relieved smile on his face when he sees me. I can see rats scouring for food and drinking from brown puddles in the tracks ballast. The city growls over my head — a distant growl muffled by the concrete, almost a snarl, like something cold and foul spreading over the long stretches of stained walls, like a dark and wild beast curling up around me and breathing on my neck. * * * Stories about underground dwellers were already flourishing when the first New York City subway line opened in 1904.The mouth of the tunnel is wide and dark, swallowing the light and all that breathes. Their eyes have adapted to the constant night that cloaks them from the topside world. “I thought it was the Amtrak police,” he later says while opening a beer, his legs dangling off the edge of the wall. The expansion of extensive sewers and steam pipes systems had brought a newfound fascination with what laid below the streets.We have given up our mortgages and cozy family-of-four cookouts in order to chase something that is elusive and never quite won.When the notion that my daughters will soon leave for college, and the lightness of their beings — sweet-dream kisses goodnight and promises of hot chocolate — will be subdivided evermore, sends me to my knees, I sometimes forget what I ever did it for.