Okay, so it was at the Shasta Hotel where I was first molested.
Once Mother’s antics got us kicked out of the Shasta, the next few months were a sort of blur now (it’s 50+ years ago), but we bounced from place to place, usually some guy’s gawd-awful rented room, usually with a bathroom shared with other tenants down the hall.
There was an old guy named Mac; he was 72 and still liked to fuck Mother whenever he could; they shared the full-size bed about 10 feet from the couch where I slept.
Walker was a strange lanky fellow who lived in a basement apartment that totally creeped me out. In what I suppose should have been the living room was the boiler for the whole building, and some sort of sofa. There was a tiny bedroom with a rumpled bed where Mother “paid the rent” with Walker. At one point Mother left for a day or two and it was my job to fry potatoes (no, literally, he wanted fried potatoes) but I had no clue how but I did my best.
Then we were back at Mac’s for another few days.
At some point Mother had met a guy at a hotel bar. I don’t remember the sequence of events, but I was supposed to stay in his car while she and he were in the bar. We ended up a proper hotel room where a proper cot had been brought into the room, so Mother and that guy could share a bed and I had a place to sleep. They made so much noise, I quit trying to sleep and took my pillow into the bathtub and closed the door. What I remember is that he had what I thought was a fairly nice Oldsmobile or Buick or something. And he had a prosthetic left leg. This guy only lasted a day or two before he realized she was just looking for a meal ticket.
Then we ended up in some other guy’s rental room, but she didn’t sleep with him. It was a very large (I thought) room, but again the shared bathroom was down the hall. He let us stay there because he was going to be shacking up with someone else. It was at this place where we had no money or food, and it didn’t look like we ever would. I had my winter parka, but it was wearing thin and the zipper had pulled out on one side, so the outer shell and inner lining were separate. I discovered that this opening formed a convenient ‘pocket’. I found a local little grocery store, sauntered around “not finding anything” and walked out with the lower hem of my jacket loaded all around with glass jars of chicken-and-noodles and probably a few other things for variety. No candy or chips or other stuff that a normal teenager would try to steal. At least I had that to eat.
At one point while staying at this guy’s room, Mother disappeared for a day and then overnight. She still wasn’t back the next day. O’course, since I wasn’t in school, I had to stay inside during what would be normal school hours. So around mid-afternoon, I found a picture of Mother and carried it to the police station to stay she was missing, and gave her height and hair/eye color and what she’d been wearing when she left. I made my way back to that guy’s room, and there she was, absolutely LIVID that I hadn’t just stayed there waiting for her. And even MORE LIVID when I told her I’d been to the police station to report her missing.
So what the fuck else was I supposed to do?? We had had no money, no food, no anything. Oh, but she did manage to show up with a small bottle of vodka and a pack or two of cigarettes. Of course she did.