Four Days In Forks

This is Day 4 of my new life in Forks,WA. It, unfortunately, hasn’t been the peaches and cream I was hoping it’d be. I know – what was I expecting? A red welcome mat? Whoo-hee! Robin’s in town! I can’t help it, but so far, I feel like I’m trespassing since I’m the only black person around. I was actually wondering if I may be the only black person in this town of 3,500. I haven’t actually asked anyone here about that, but maybe I will today. That seems like such a sensitive subject these days that I should just leave it alone.

My phone isn’t working. I have to buy a new sim card from Walmart and have Safelink Wireless activate it from their end. The problem, of course, is finding a phone to contact Safelink in the first place. Maybe I’ll just get a TracPhone from Walmart or Amazon or something. No rush. I have no one to talk to, anyway. It’s just for businesses who always request your phone number.

I also wasn’t expecting to pay out of pocket for so many things I took for granted in the big city, like waste disposal, a P.O. Box, propane, internet and electricity. I’m so fearful my bills will be high that I limit the amount of heat I use in the trailer. This can make for uncomfortable sleeping and general living, so I’ll look on Amazon later for an efficient space heater. A very, very efficient one.

Another jarring change for me, of course, is trailer living. The small road I’m on consists of four or five trailers and one or two houses.  Like a lot of roads in town, mine is in dire need of repair. I suppose since it rains and floods very often, fixing the roads is the least of the problems in a city where 21% of the population live below the poverty level.

Trailers are relatively small by nature. I have to get used to bending in the living room and bedroom, and sidling past the bathroom to get to the bedroom. Trailers are fairly narrow, too. That will definitely encourage me to keep my weight in check. I’m not really complaining about this trailer since it only costs $550/month. I just wish it wasn’t so, how should I say this, unprepared when I moved in. The washer & dryer room the last tenant annexed to the trailer leaks like a mofro when it rains; that is to say, every day. The electricity on one side of the trailer no longer works. I’ve tried fixing it, even bought and installed a new 20 amp GFCI outlet but that doesn’t help. I’m just receiving a massive surge of power which an electrician will have to look at; definitely out of my league.

Did I say it rained all four days I was here? The natives told me this is normal; in fact, it’s been light. Really? It’s been heavy by Seattle’s standards. Well, I do like constant rain – I’d better. The road I live on is called Raindrop Place, but I hope it doesn’t trigger my depression to extremely low levels. Next week I’ll look into getting a counselor and psychiatrist in town as well as look into getting my prescriptions filled.

I was thinking about getting rid of my car and opting for a scooter/moped. Thus far, I have seen none in town. This place seems like it’d be a good place for one, considering if you’re driving around town you’re only doing four or five miles at a time. Maybe it rains too much here and riding a moped would be counterproductive or dangerous. At least my insurance went down. I now only have to pay $350/year. That’s better than the $476 I was paying in Seattle.

I think, all told, my average expenses should be around $900/month – $550/rent, $200/utilities, $100/food, $50/gas. I haven’t budgeted for medical insurance yet, though. That’ll be another hit. I may end up spending around $1000/month just to live. Once my bills start coming in I’ll head on over to the human resources center to see if they can help with food, heating, etc. I’m glad I don’t spend money on washing clothes since all I own I wear. The sheets and blankets can be washed once every two or three months. I’m not that dirty a person, I hope!

Right now, I’m using the internet in the library. So far, this has been the biggest plus in this town. The hours aren’t bad, either. Mon – Thurs 10am – 7pm. Fri & Sat 10am – 6pm. Closed on Sunday. That’s pretty close to how it was in Seattle. The internet has some restrictions on it, though. I’m sure I can circumvent them, but I’ll do that some other time. I’m just glad to at least be able to reach out to the world some kind of way.

I was surprised to find that the crime rate is fairly high  here in town because of drug abuse, the crimes mainly limited to car and house break-ins. No wonder there are two shelves of Guns & Ammo magazines in the local supermarket. I notice that the graduating class (avg, 55 kids) don’t go on to college that much, just 10%. Maybe the mjority go on to work in their family farms. Hopefully, it isn’t because they’re dropping out of higher education to join the drug statistics.

So, did I make the right move by moving to Forks? My intention was moving into subsidized housing here. My rent would be $405/month with all utilities included. Right now, I’m No. 35 on the list. I’ll have to wait until 35 people drop dead before I get a room. Oy! They promised live would be easy. didn’t they?

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