I began writing a different blog about a completely different subject, but decided to put it on the back burner when I pulled into work one morning last week. In our employee parking lot, I saw the shitty blue Ford that’s held together by bungee cord and possibly a blessing from a supreme being since the lower half is so rusted it’s a miracle the bottom hasn’t fallen out. It’s saying something when the nicest thing about the car is the Trump 2020 sticker on the back bumper.
Last summer just before Jess got sick, he appeared out of nowhere, started living at her house, and got a job where I work on overnight shift. I never met him before and initially he seemed like a decent person, but this opinion of him gradually changed. Over the following months, I learned his backstory in bits and pieces. At the time of his arrival, it had been over 30 years since he had seen his sister or anyone in his family that lives around here. Supposedly, there wasn’t any work available back home in Oregon and came here to Small-Ass Town, Wisconsin to find work, which didn’t make much sense to me. I later learned the real reason he was there was that his family kicked him out. Despite this, he was still sending his family most of the money he made and therefore was barely contributing anything to Jess’ household.
I didn’t learn why he was kicked out until a few months ago when I was with Jess’ son/my friend at her grave site. Chuck had essentially based his entire personality around a cult-like devotion of Trump and conservative conspiracy theories and his family couldn’t take it anymore. I was already familiar with his extreme far-right ideologies from the times I went over to the house while Jess was alive and he was awake. If he wasn’t ranting about Biden and liberals (the “EXTREME LEFT LIBTARD SOCIALIST DEMONRATS” as he calls them on his Facebook), then the conservative news he always had playing on in the background was. Between the unhinged nature of the rants and my liberal views he wasn’t aware of, the environment made me so anxious and uncomfortable that I stopped coming over (not that I was going there that often to begin with)—this was before Jess got sick and I’ll regret not stopping over as much as I wanted because of that asshat’s psycho conservative rants.
Even if we took out the Trump worshipping, my opinion of him would remain the same.
When Jess was on her deathbed and in hospice care at her sister’s place, people were telling Chuck that he needed to go see her because she didn’t have long to live. Do you think he saw the sister that kept a roof over his head? Nope.
After she died, there was a bit of uncertainty of what would happen to Jess’ house. While that was being figured out, Chuck was staying in the house–a house he didn’t own or pay for or officially rent. For a time, there was the possibility that the house would go to my friend either through inheriting it or buying it himself and Chuck was pressuring him to still let him live there if he did get the house. My friend said if he got the house he didn’t want Chuck living there just because of how little he contributed to the utilities.
About six or seven months after Jess’ passing, it’s finally decided that it had to go up on the market and my friend didn’t want to buy it. They started getting it ready to put up for sale, which took a couple months because there was so much stuff to go through. Chuck, despite actually living there, did not help at all. My husband helped out a few times and he says Chuck did little more than sit around the kitchen table listening to Fox News gripe about Biden while my friend and my husband did all the work moving and throwing out stuff. The one day I was able to come over to help, Chuck threw a huge hissy fit because we were taking the appliances into storage. He left in a huff only to return with a cooler and ice to save his precious food. My friend had texted him the previous week to inform him they were taking the appliances the following Sunday so it’s not like we had blindsided him. Any sympathy I may have had for the guy went out the door along with the appliances we were taking. At the time, it had been nine months since Jess’ died and I felt he was just being a mooch that was going to squat at his dead sister’s house for as long as possible.
I was more or less right on that assessment. Nobody wanted to take Chuck in for free and he refused to make up with his family and go back home. He squatted in the house right up until the house was sold and the paperwork was signed, which was two months after the keys had been turned into the realtor and two weeks before the one year anniversary of Jess’ passing. Instead of taking this as a sign that he needed to get his own place to stay, he decided to go with the plan he came up when the house was put up for sale: living out of his car on some state forest campground. He went as far as to get a “Home Sweet Home” sign for the inside of his car.
Every time I see his parked car running in the employee lot, a few feelings come flooding towards me, but none of them are pity. The general feeling I have towards him is “fuck this guy!” I don’t even feel a tinge of empathy at the notion that it’s a typically cold Wisconsin winter and he’s likely freezing his ass off in his car. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the freeloading sponge that couldn’t be bothered to see the sister he was exploiting when she was on her death bed and squatted in her house for almost a year after she died because he doesn’t want to pay for a place of his own? Fuck that.