At 15, I spent my waking hours chasing one high after another. I wasn't able to adjust as easily to being in a family, as I was in the other dysfunctional situations I lived through. I think a part of me knew that my life of "just trying to survive" was over.... and I just didn't care anymore. My resentments towards my aunt escalated and I did what in the past proved to solve my problems... I ran away again.
Uncle Steve had gotten a small place of his own in a little Hispanic town right outside of the reservation and had set up to have a nurse come daily to help him with his disabilities. I spent a lot of time at his place because I was allowed to smoke pot there. Uncle Steve had always smoked weed and didn't bat an eye when I came over stoned out of my mind looking for munchies in his bare kitchen. He was no hypocrite.
There was an initial awkwardness the first time we lit up together... I think both of us were remembering when I use to read The Box Car Children books to him when I was little. I was 15 now though, and Uncle Steve understood that I had grown up a long time ago. We were close. His little 600 square foot duplex apartment held pictures of me in every room. In his bedroom there was a large shadowed profile of me that was made when I was in kindergarten.
I ran away from the reservation and moved in with Uncle Steve. His little apartment only had one bedroom, but there was a very large (8'x10') storage room. It had two high little windows and we managed to squeeze a little twin bed in there. My uncle did the best he could. He told me that if I lived with him I had to go to school and graduate. So every morning I continued to get on the school bus, and continued to ditch school... only sometimes I wouldn't come home at night. I would party all night long, and have to wait for the following day to get back on the bus to get home again. Uncle Steve would be furious... but I could usually butter him up to forgive me by having a friend come over to smoke him up.
One night, not wanting to have to get into it with my uncle again, I snuck out of the tiny little window in my room. I had to climb up the head board to reach it and it was a tight fit getting out. Once out, I took off with some friends to a party in the city. At the party I met an older guy who was from the same reservation as me, who I had heard of in passing, but never actually met. He spent the night watching out for me and giving me drink after drink and lighting me up. I loved the attention. I loved being "cared" for. When he asked if I would go to the bathroom with him.... I went. I knew what he wanted to do in the bathroom. While we were in there, some woman came banging on the door screaming at us to get out. She called me whore and kicked me out of her house.
The guy let me leave alone. I sat on the stairs out side with no way home and no where to go and cried. That was how I lost my virginity. When I finally made my way back to Uncle Steve's in the early morning hours, I couldn't get back in the high windows. I sat outside and waited for morning and cried some more. I later found out that the guy in the bathroom was my second cousin. "Could anything in my life be more screwed up?"
After the nurse came to get my uncle up, he told me my Uncle Wally, his brother, was coming from Georgia and would be here later tonight. Uncle Wally was the uncle that worked for the airlines, he was the one who set me up on the plane each time I ran away from California. He would be coming to rescue me again, only this time it was from myself. I waited for him excitedly, not knowing the life changing decisions that had been made for me behind my back.