Living In A Fish Bowl…..Thats Cracked In The Head…….Like People Whom Judge……..

All the pictures are of me, at some point in my fifty five years of life. I started a career as an International male model at, seventeen years old. I was in a relationship with a wonderful man, for eighteen years and three months. whom I met in high school, he was a very great doctor. I also was blessed with a beautiful brother, my best friend. I was born in a wealthy extremely Catholic, conservative, white Texas family. Who were the biggest hipacrits, extremely religious, intolerant, unkind, abusive, greedy, extremely self centered, hateful people. Yes these are the people who I grew up with and everyone wonders why I prefer the company of cat’s and other animals over people. Simple, I have only received unconditional love, from one humans! You do the math, I suck at math. I grew up in a large extended, close net family. In a very sheltered box, a very large box, but a sheltered box none the less. I never knew what bigotry, racism or what poverty was. I didn’t know how to fear to walking down the street, just because of the color of my skin or because of the way I looked. I had good looks, made good grades, I also, had a very good close circle of friends, in high school. I had my own room and private bathroom (so did my brother and sisters) we had a game room, large kitchen with an island big enough for four people to set around and still cook on. A formal living room (that we were never able to sit in) two family dens, one for TV and the other to just visit. A breakfast room, that we only ate in once or twice in 20yrs. Three car garage, and a full service bar (it was big enough for six people to sit at, comfortably. The house was ten thousand square feet and sat on a two and a half acker lot, we had a tennis court’s, but the previous owner built a full one bedroom freestanding house on it, for his mother. My grandmother (who I was privileged to have for the first 28yrs of my life, and miss terribly) lived in the house for the last 20yrs of her life. I left home at seventeen years old, to start college and my adult life, in Portland Oregon. I was terrified and excited at the prospect, of being on my own and being able to come out of the closet. I was finally able to be me. I nevertheless had a difficult time, adjusting to being on my own. I never could understand why my, refrigerator was always empty and my parents refrigerator was never empty, for at least the first month. I had never in my life,up until then, gone to a grocery store or cleaned or done anything domestic. Actually, my first experience with a broom, was when, I moved in with Cisco nineteen years ago, he still makes joke’s about my lack of domestic skills. Of course, over the last twenty years I leaned quickly, because of his lack in being a 50/50 life partner, but I’ve regressed.

In 1995 my life, started to crumble. Everything and everyone, I loved began to slip away from me. My brother lost his battle with HIV/AIDS, my mother started a very long and messy divorce. My first husband (Thomas) and I were separated for the first time, since we meet in high school and my beloved cat, Ashland, I had for sixteen years had just passed away. He was my best friend and first baby to leave me for the Rainbow Bridge. The absolute worst part was, everyone knew about all my personal failures and that’s what really bothered me, the most. Why I had no idea, but it was there and it did. I never realized how much, my privacy was compromised, until that summer. I also had no idea just how close I was to the edge and how much I needed someone to rescue and save me. Unfortunately no one else, knew or could have known either.

On July, 3 1995, I walked into my father’s bathroom and took 130, very powerful pain pills, he’d just filled for his back. I remember not feeling anything, no fear, just a peaceful feeling inside and a calmness I hadn’t felt for a long time. I was ready to go, at thirty one. My mom and dad were destroying the family, my brother and my beloved cat were gone, my modeling career was over and my Tommy was about to leave me alone. Hind sight, is 20/20 they say, and I realize now that everything, bad in my life happened after that date. I ingested 80% of the pain medication, and my heart stopped six or seven times, at some point I turned purple and blue. The doctors had my parents call our family priest for last rights, but unfortunately that was the day God, decided to give me a miracle. The absolute main reason for this, was my dad. My father just would not give up on me, he preformed CPR on me for fifty minutes, until the ambulance arrived at there house, forty five minutes from town. He never left my side, but then again, he never left my side, my entire life. After he passed away on May 7 2017, I truly wished with all my heart (and still do) he would have let me go that July third 1995, because I would be with him now. Nothing in this world now, will ever be able to give me the joy, hope, kindness, unconditional love or make me feel as safe as I did then, every day gets worse and I can’t shake off the depression and anxiety. The only reason why I am still here is; I made a promise, to my dad as soon as I awoke, that I would never purposely take my own life again…..but I give up one time before, I was almost killed by three skinheads, and the detective decided an older homosexual man who was a victim of a hate crime, was lesser than the three white gangsters. The police said it was ok to attempt to murder me, and let them go. I had to leave Las Vegas area, for two years, because they were straight and white. I gave up, I learned, that no good deeds go unpunished………..and how was your day?😢😁

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My Babies I’ve Loved and Lost…….

Cat’s have always been a special part of my life, as far back as I can remember I’ve always had a special place in my heart for cat’s. The absolute best relationships, I’ve ever had has been with my cat’s. Cat’s choose you, you don’t choose them, but once they choose you, they give you nothing but unconditional love. I’ve had two long term relationships, in my 55yrs of life, even though I loved my late husband Thomas and my current husband Francisco more then anything in this world, their love, for me, pails in comparison to the unconditional love I’ve received from my cat’s. Of course, by now you probably realize I don’t have any human children and that was by choice. I have never really wanted human children and not because I’m homosexual. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike human kid’s, I just simply never wanted the responsibility.

All the pictures I’ve included, are all the beautiful and special cat’s, that I have been privileged to receive unconditional love from, all of them were in my life for many years, but unfortunately they have all gone to the Rainbow Bridge (my version of heaven) and are no longer here. Since I lost the last one in February 2019, I have not been able to get another one. It just hurts so bad, plus my current husband (Francisco) and his eighty four year old mother (Angie) have developed many terminal illnesses over the last few years and they require my full attention. I am their full time caretaker. I will, at some point have more cat’s, but emotionally, financially and physically it’s just not feasible right now. Of course, cat’s seem to find me, I don’t go looking for them………and how was your day?😢😁

Should I Go or Should I Stay…..

Illness is a crazy thing, especially when the people you love are sick. Yes it’s tough on the individuals who are dealing with the illnesses, but sometimes it’s even tougher on the person taking care of them. Emotionally it’s like being on a really fast and scary rollercoaster, with no end in sight. Two years ago I lost, my dad, I watched my best friend and hero slowly deteriorated into nothing, and unfortunately my other best friend, my husband Cisco, is going down that same slippery slope, health wise, as a twenty nine year surviver of HIV/AIDS. At the same time his mother (Angie), who is like a mother to me, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and congestive heart failure, three years ago. Angie’s, congestive heart failure is controlled and not as much of a problem at this time, but the Alzheimer’s disease is progressing fast. Half the time Angie doesn’t even know where she is, at any given time. Angie’s and Cisco’s family have pretty much abandoned them, except for one of Angie’s daughter’s, unfortunately she’s in a relationship with a crazy abusive tyrant and has to help, her own mother on the down low. Everyone else in their family, just calls when they need money and most of them, say really hateful things about me for some unknown reason. So, I’ve pretty much become my husband’s and his mother’s sol care giver. I have no problem taking care of them at all, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that every once in awhile, I feel like just running away. Of course, I will never do that in a million years, but the thought does run across my mind every few days. The hardest part is watching two once very independent strong people, who I love more than anything else in this world, disintegrate more and more each day and knowing, that they will never really get better. Unfortunately, the absolute worst part is knowing that, at some point with in the next five years, I will lose them, when the Angel’s come to take them to the Rainbow Bridge and be all alone. I’ve seen this so many times in my 55 years on this earth and I know I’ll see it again.😢

I realize, I am certainly not the only care giver, to people we love, going through this kind of unpleasant experience. My heart and prayers go out to every person who is struggling with this problem. Unfortunately, there is not much in support groups or places to turn when life puts you in this position. It’s a daily struggle to keep your sick loved ones safe and healthy. On top of that, the financial part is even worse. Cisco (my husband) will be getting out of the hospital any day now and we have no money, no place to stay and no way to get any prescriptions he might need, until the 30th of August. I just pray everyday, for God’s blessings and help. We actually live, on a wing and a prayer. Ive always been told God never gives you more than you can handle, but sweet Jesus, I just don’t know how much more I can handle. If it was just me, I’m healthy enough to be ok, on the streets of Las Vegas for a week, but both Angie and Cisco wouldn’t last one hour in 100° weather, on the streets of Las Vegas, especially with no food and no medicine. Our society is really in need of an overhaul, when it comes to attitudes towards the sick and elderly care, but most of all for the emotional, financial and physical care, of the care givers. If you read this, please say a prayer, not only for us, but the millions of families and individuals going through, a tough time with, a family members care. They say one in four families now care for an elderly parent or family member and one in six care for a terminally ill friend or family member. It’s pretty sad that there really isn’t more help out there for the elderly or sick family members and it’s even sadder there is even less care for the care givers…….and how was your day?😢😁

PS) If anyone is going through this or just wants to send me a few dollars, please send me an email, I can always use the financial help but, even more I can use the emotional support.

Andrew Hoelscher, harliquin.dreamer8@gmail.com

Living Homeless……..

The desert is vast, quite, hot, and most of all a lonely place. You might think it’s empty and lifeless, but surprisingly it’s full of life. Many insects, reptiles, birds and mammals call the deserts home. If you are familiar with the Lake Mead recreational areas, you can’t go anywhere with out seeing some sort of life, scurrying, running or flying. It’s actually a very beautiful place especially at night, when you can see a sky full of stairs. My favorite thing is to cuddle up on a blanket with a bottle of good red wine and a variety of delicious finger food snacks with, of course my beautiful husband Cisco and watch all the millions of star’s. You can be out in the desert surrounded by life and beauty, but never be noticed by any other living thing, unless it crawls over you.

This is how I think about the homeless situation in Las Vegas. You are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people and are not noticed by anyone or when you are noticed it’s never a positive thing. There are so many homeless individuals in the Las Vegas NV area, it’s really scary. Unfortunately, we are kinda homeless as well, because of all my husband’s and mother-in-laws medical bills. We are literally living in hospitals. We run out of money usually around the twentieth of the month and have to wing it until the 3rd of the next month. I just pray a lot a leave it in God’s hands. Unfortunately we are not alone, many homeless individuals, are homeless because of limited incomes, rising medical costs and rising living costs. Once you lose your home it’s really hard to bounce back and get on your feet again. People always want to think that most homeless people, are homeless because they are drug attics of having trouble with alcohol, but the truth is, over 80% of homeless individuals, have medical or mental problems or just don’t make enough money, on their fixed incomes to make ends meet. It’s even sadder, because our money hungry society, either ignores or treats homeless individuals with complete indifference or absolute disrespect. In the Las Vegas NV area, the police and elected City officials are horrible to the homeless and treat them like yesterday’s garbage or criminals. Las Vegases way to deal with the homeless is to make extreme trespassing laws and arrest many homeless individuals who are doing nothing but resting their tired bodies and minds. There are very few shelters and no rehabilitation programs to speak of, and unfortunately the only rest and nutrition they receive is in an incarcerated situation. Some even do petty crimes just to get off the street for a minute and out of the hundred degree weather. Many of the homeless individuals die in the summer months due to exposure, malnutrition, lack of good drinking water or from violence on the streets. The really sad part is Las Vegas NV is one of the richest cities in the United States and one of the poorest when it comes to basic human care and respect. I live in a constant state of fear, not necessarily because of my well being and homeless situation, but because I have two very sick family members, who would not and could not make it one day on the streets. Like I said our case is not unusual and unfortunately as it stands now, things won’t be changing anytime soon. The one hope is that tomorrow is another day and you never know what will change. All good and bad situations, will come to an end, you just have to pray and hang in there long enough. My grandmother always said, “God never gives you more than you can handle and what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. Unfortunately things are getting to the point that all three of us, are more and more looking forward to the sweat release of death………and how was your day?😢😁

Special Lonely Places….

There are places that are full of memories, for everyone. For me many of the places that hold special memories, are now what I call lonely places. Places that either the people I shared these places with have passed away or a bad tragic moment in my life happened. One of those places is Lake Tahoe/Reno NV area, my first husband of eighteen years (Thomas) was doing his residency at a hospital in Reno NV. in 1998/1999. We loved the area, we loved the hiking, we loved the nude beach at Lake Tahoe, we loved camping and we loved the fact that San Francisco CA was just a three hour drive away. We had lived all over the world, and he had just completed ten years of college and medical school. We bought a house in Sparks NV, and our financial situation was greatly improved after he was signed as chief surgical doctor, at Saint Mary’s Hospital Reno NV. At that time, in South Lake Tahoe, there were no permanent doctors associated with the HIV/AIDS clinic, many of the doctors in the area would volunteer one day each week to be an in house physician. Of course my late generous husband was one of the first to volunteer. It was a one hour and twenty minute drive from Reno to south Lake Tahoe, and if you have ever driven the road from Carson City NV to Lake Tahoe NV, you would know what twisted up hill ride it can be and in winter much of the road has a tremendous amount of snow and ice. A few days after Christmas 1998, my husband went to do an extra day since many of the other doctors were out of town for the holidays. I remember wondering why he was so late getting home, it was 10:00p.m. and the clinic closed at 4:00p.m. I had all sorts of thoughts, including the dreaded he’s having an affair, but in a million years, I could not have imagined what was about to happen. At 10:35pm there was a knock on the door, it was two Nevada State troopers, all I remember is one of them telling me that, there was a car accident and Dr. Thomas had been air lifted to Saint Mary’s Hospital and I needed to come with them immediately. I was in a complete fog, completely in shock. Looking back on it, it was one of those pivotal moments in a person’s life when your entire life and future changes in an instant. Thomas was on life support for ten days, I had full power of attorney, so only I could make the final choice to take him off life support. On January 7, 1999, I signed the papers, after Thomas was given last rights by our parish priest, I found myself sitting alone by his bed side. No family support, no friends to comfort me and no one to help me through the worst time in my life, at that time. Holding his hand, I watched as they unplugged everything. I had never in my life felt so very much alone and lost. He slowly drifted away, but not before squeezing my hand one more time. The hospital room seemed so empty and cold, no sounds just complete silence. After what seemed like eternity, I got up only to fall on the floor, as soon as I did I just started to cry. Not a simple cry, a heavy woeful deep cry. I remember some of his work friends taking me to the doctors lounge and giving me a shot of something. All his co-workers were wonderful and if it wasn’t for the kindness of almost stranger’s, I don’t know how or if I would have gotten through the first month, after my whole world came crashing down and to an end. I felt like giving up, I had no hope and frankly just didn’t care if I woke up tomorrow.

As he was leaving this world, to go wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge, I remembered the last time, in August 1998, we spent a week in the sun, at Lake Tahoe. We stayed in a four star South Lake Tahoe hotel casino, but spent much of our time sunning and playing at the gay nude beach or the one gay bar there. I vividly remember the last day when we were packing up our convertible Volkswagen rabbit as the sun was setting on that last day of our vacation. I remembered thinking it was our last day in the sun together. At the time I just brushed it off thinking how ridiculous my thoughts were, but how could I have known then, it truly was our last happy day, in the sun, on this earth together.

Lake Tahoe, Reno, Carson City and Virginia City Nevada, to me, are a very loney place. I left that area, for many reasons on March 1, 2000 and have never been able to go back, and I probably never will, because it was and is a, truly heart breaking lonely place, to me……and how was your day? 😢😁

Hospitals……

Hospitals are a norm today, we are born in hospitals, we go to hospitals thru out our lives, when we are sick or hurt and for many of us, we will die in a hospital. Hospitals are full of emotions from one end of the spectrum to the other end. From extreme joy, to extreme sadness and every human emotion in between.

I took this picture, New Year’s Eve 2016/2017, just over two years ago. It’s a picture of my husband ( of twenty years) Cisco & my mother-in-law Angie. A month after we took this picture, my husband was fighting three viral and one fungal pneumonia. Three months after this picture was taken Angie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and congestive heart failure. For the last two years, we’ve spent at least half of that time in various hospitals in three different states. Hospitals are like any other place you pay to stay, except they are way more expensive and usually no amenities. The absolute two worst hospitals in the country are Tulane Hospital in New Orleans La. and University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas NV. Both Hospitals have incompetent, unprofessional, and hateful nursing staff. Both Hospitals have really bad food, that I’m sure is out dated garbage that was rejected by the prisons and homeless shelters. Both Hospitals only care about the money, not the patients wellbeing. Just recently my 84year old mother-in-law was wheeled outside in 107° weather, in front of UMC hospital, Las Vegas because my husband’s doctors appointment made us one hour late. She was put on a metal bench, in the direct sunlight with no water and no supervision. The bench was next to the smoking area, where homeless people are frequent visitors. When I asked why this happened, the very rude and condescending Asian nurse said “we need room, momma crazy” yes, not kidding. The absolute best hospital is Valley Hospital in Las Vegas NV! Best food, best nursing staff, best doctor’s and the very best comfortable patients room’s!

Cisco & Angie are both in valley hospital today, both with very different, but deadly disease. As I walked from room to room sitting with each of them, I am experiencing all those human emotions, that you can experience in a hospital. I also wonder, as I pass each hospital room just how many personal stories echo inside………..and how was your day?😢😁

Sunsets

Sunsets are a double edge sword, they are so beautiful, but they are so sad as well. I took this at the end of a perfect day, my husband, mother-in-law and I enjoyed at Lake Mead Nevada. Both of them are getting older and have multiple terminal illnesses. It’s a glaring beautiful reminder, that the life my husband and I have built over the last twenty years, is about to come to an end, the sun is about to set for good. I’m not afraid of being alone, I’m afraid of being left alone, I’m afraid of the day I come home and no one is there to hear about my day. I’m afraid, I will not have the emotional strength to rebuild a new life. I’m afraid, I won’t be able to get close to anyone again……..I’m afraid that, I will be seeing these beautiful sunsets alone and without love and friendships, for the rest of my life.

Lake Mead is one of those places where I have twenty years of memories. I fell in love with Cisco (my husband) there. We had been together only three months, all we did was fight over everything, we decided one afternoon after work (we both were limousine drivers) we didn’t even change out of our tuxedos, in a car that was always breaking down, to go to Lake Mead. As always we argued for hours, and as the sun was setting we decided to just agree to disagree and go home, but fate had other plans. The car, as usual, would not start, and we were stranded at the Lake. Instead of working together to try and get home, we started arguing again, mostly over stupid stuff, I don’t even remember anything we even argued about…but I regress. We spent most of the night at each other’s throats, I honestly thought we were going to break up. I don’t even remember falling asleep, but the next morning I woke up with my head on Cisco’s chest (over his heart) and he had his hand over my head, protecting me. It was at that moment, I knew we were in love with each other and would be together forever. That was twenty years ago and my first of many beautiful memories and sunsets to come. Like any relationship we have had our good day’s and our bad, many ups and downs, but we survived everything life has thrown at us. Now I’m sitting by his bed side at a hospital in Las Vegas NV. Our time together is almost up and I know that, the beautiful sunsets, will be setting for the last time. I’m not ready for this, but who ever is ready to watch the last sunset with there best friend and love of thier life…….and how was your day?😁😢!!!!

A.Hoelscher