After moving into my apartment in the Bronx I didn't have any money, not one dime. Zero dollars and zero cents. I'd paid the deposit and the first month's rent to move in. It was everything I had left. I wasn't happy, but I was relieved because now I didn't have to live in the roach infested place I'd lived in for the first month I'd been in New York. Joy helped me move my meager belongings (my clothes, music collection and a few other knick-knacks), she'd known me maybe all of two weeks at the time. Crystal, who had only met me once via Joi (the only friend I had in New York when I moved there) gave me information for a temp agency. The phone number to that temp agency was my only glimmer of hope. I wasn't concerned about my empty apartment, sleeping on the floor, or the 4 or 5 $0.25 bags of chips being my only food until someone gave me a check. I just needed a job.
On Monday I made it to the temp agency, but I was late, and covered in sweat because I'd gotten lost taking the train for the first time alone. I ended up walking from the West side of Manhattan to the East, which I thought would be a short distance. It sounded short, so rather then continuing to get turned around on the train I thought I could walk it a bit quicker. Don't ever let anyone tell you that is a short walk, especially not in business attire in the middle of August. I just knew the woman would look at me, and the mess I was, and walk me right back outside. She gave me a bit of a side eye, but when I told her about being new to NY she seemed to understand. She found a data entry job that I could start the next day. Finally, things were looking up.
I pushed through to the next week, although not before passing out on the train due to not eating. A stranger picked me up and gave me a few sticks of gum. That gum tasted like steak. All I heard was "Whoa, we almost lost you there" and all I felt was an overwhelming cloud of pity surrounding me, but those strangers who picked me up and shook me awake....well let's just say New Yorkers are not as cold as you may think.
That first check was everything to me. I bought groceries, a pillow, a $5 blanket (which is inside the ottoman in my living room right now, I'll never get rid of it) and a $20 boombox. That night I laid on the floor with a full belly and I played almost every CD I owned. The music revived my spirit and I felt like God really loved me.