August 18, 2011 (Women’s Homeless Shelter)

August 18, 2011

So I think I’ve covered the basic story, up to entry into the women’s homeless shelter in the main city.

[Reference posts: August 17, 2011 (Build-up to the Homeless Shelter, Part 1)
August 18, 2011 (Build-up to the Homeless Shelter, Part 2)]

FIRST NIGHT AT THE WOMEN’S HOMELESS SHELTER

That night, I drove straight from the suburbs into the city. I checked in to the shelter around 9:30 or 10:00PM. I was so nervous that I didn’t eat anything, despite being offered dinner several times.

MEETING DEE

In the lobby area were an Asian woman with gray hair, and a black woman.

I sat next to the black woman (looked like some Native American in her, too) named Dee. I’m not sure how to spell her full name. Her voice was very comforting, soothing, and she had a kind aura/energy. She and I are becoming friends quickly, because we connect on some important beliefs about the truth of our world. She believes in Jesus, but also speaks out against the lies and corruption of religion. She knows about the Illuminati and chem trails, etc.

She felt timid about talking about feeling like she’s not from Earth, or feeling like “home” is now somewhere besides Earth…

…Timid, because in this shelter, there is a fine line between sanity and insanity.

IT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU’D EXPECT

All the stereotypes of homeless people are found here—most residents have some type of mental and physical illnesses. People talk to themselves, etc.

I found one young woman (not Dee) with whom I can have conversations about 2012, Reiki energy, spirits, and chakras. Unfortunately, this is also the same young woman who says she conjures Jedi Knights and Sith Lords in her bedroom, and transforms into a werewolf on the full moon, with all 100% seriousness in her face.

People scream at 1:00AM, people cuss each other out, people get possessive over chairs during meal times, and nearly everyone smokes, here. Many people have asked if I work here. I’m sure I have “suburban, college girl” written all over my chippy, cheerful forehead. But I find that I have a better time blending in with the crowd if I frown, stare at the ground, walk slower and drag my feet.

Lots of folks are “ticking time bombs”—frustrated at life and ready to yell at the next person who approaches. Lots of people blame others for everything that goes wrong.

ARE WE CUSTOMERS OR GUESTS?

The first night I came here, Dee was talking to the Asian woman, encouraging her to speak up for what she needs. I agree with speaking up, but the part I disagreed with was the reason why—Dee said it’s important to ask for what we need/want because we are customers, here. Non-paying customers, but customers none-the-less; the shelter employees are giving us (the residents) a service, and therefore we are customers. And in the eyes of the “Western World of Business,” this means that we have a right to ask for—and receive—whatever the fuck we want.

So I disagree. I believe we are guests in a home run/owned by someone kind enough to let us in without paying. The food, beds, hot showers, toilets, towels and linens are all borrowed gifts. Aka: Bonuses. Not entitlements to be taken for granted.

Maybe I naturally think this way, or maybe it’s simply because I was previously basically living in a forest, with mosquitoes day and night, limited food, not legally welcome, no toilet, a psuedo-shower, and no laundry ability. (Well, I probably could have used the biodegradable shampoo and pond water for laundry, but I tried to hold off as long as possible on that…)

So this shelter, to me, is heaven. It’s all relative. I don’t really care if the peas and green beans are served luke-warm, or if the only breakfast option is a bagel and cereal. It’s free. And it’s legal, according to the “Almighty System.” (sarcasm)

CLEANLINESS

I think my bed has bed bugs. The sheets get washed by an outside company, en masse, weekly. But there are so many people here. Sometimes the corners in the building smell like urine, but not for too long. They do have a cleaning crew, here.

NIGHT TIME SCREAMING

I use ear plugs at night. It’s almost a nightly ritual for this particular section of the shelter to erupt into some loud yelling in the middle of the night. If it’s not yelling/cussing (“Bitch, please! I will knock you out!”) at each other, then it’s yelling on their cell phones at some guy. And how the fuck do they afford a cell phone if they are living here? I don’t have a phone. Wouldn’t they want to get the fuck out, and into their own space, asap? Priorities, ladies! Well, maybe not everyone needs as much privacy and solitude from phone calls as I do.

SHELTER LAYOUT

This place is designed like a dorm room, with bunk beds separated by corners and walls that go up to the ceiling (like a maze).

SIGNING UP FOR ASSISTANCE

People/residents here have “case workers,” but with 170+ residents with people sleeping on gym mats or old karate mats in the basement, it’s a little difficult to get personal attention and help. [The case workers were highly overworked.] So I’ve been asking Dee and other residents for information and I’m trying to take charge of my destiny as much as possible.

The second or third day I was here, I applied for food stamps [the state gives the approved applicant a card that can be used like a credit card, with a set amount of monthly money on it, to buy certain types of food].

A few days later, I searched [using the local library computers] for apartments and found one that works with something called Section 8, which, as I understand it, is governmental financial assistance with housing/rent. I’ve signed up for the “Section 8 Lottery,” which is a drawing held once in a while for people to get random financial assistance. There are rumors that the lottery is fixed and that it goes to friends and family of the people who run the lottery. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the truth, since our presidential elections are also rigged.

So I think I’m making good progress.

I’ve also obtained a “letter of residency,” given to residents of the women’s shelter after the first 5 days of living here. I’ve used it to get food stamps and to get a library card, so I can stop asking for a Guest Pass to check my email on their computers. The food stamp thing is an electronic card. Most likely, I’ll get $200 per month.

LIMITED FOOD OPTIONS

I wish I could have a kitchen to cook something, instead of always eating raw food [from the local grocery stores] or depending on the shelter’s food. They serve meat with every meal.

Tonight, my dinner was a “big ol’ plate of peas,” as the cook/server described it [the only other food on the plate would have been some kind of gross-looking meat], because I’m still trying to remain a vegetarian, although I did recently eat lasagna noodles surrounded with meat and meat sauce.

The $60 from the cop is already long-gone. I spent every penny of it on gas, to get back and forth to work in the suburbs and sleeping at the shelter in the city.

I found a place yesterday that serves breakfast to needy at 8:00AM, right after the 7:30AM women’s shelter breakfast. It’s bagels and Rice Krispies, but at least it’s something. The meals at the shelter feel like they don’t fill me up properly, and I often feel ill and malnourished. And the constant coughing from some of the women here doesn’t exactly help my health.

August 18, 2011 (Build-up to the Homeless Shelter, Part 2)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

DREAM

I applied for a part-time design job in the city and once I showed up, I realized it was the design firm of my favorite teacher/mentor from college. Over time, he’d added other people’s initials to the firm’s title, and it had grown to employ 15 or so people—many working part-time.

The woman interviewing me was friendly and asked if I’d mind starting on the flower press. I didn’t mind starting from the bottom and working my way up.

Online, later, I looked up the firm’s website, and I saw that my teacher/mentor had just announced (a week earlier) that he and his wife were retiring. I wondered if they were burnt out from design. I was open to trying it again, but still feared another bad experience. [“Bad experience” reference posts: The Dysfunctional Work Family, and Fired.] Plus, I considered design as “part of The Game.”

On his notice online, I saw a photo, great quality, of his home. It was a forest area, with some small clearings, deer, small stream/river, during early Spring, when snow was melting. I considered asking him if I could be his full-time gardener, to organize a food forest on his property, in exchange for housing and possibly food (or at least enough money to buy food). [Reference: There is a place in Seattle, WA, that is creating a public food forest.]

Also, my cat ran into a forest (day time) and I chased after her. She ran fast every time I approached. I eventually caught her, though. INTERPRETATION: I’m chasing a dream? Eventually will come true?

BUILD-UP TO HOMELESS SHELTER, PART 2

[Continued from this post: August 17, 2011 (Build-up to the Homeless Shelter, Part 1)]

I left the Town Hall, after talking to the woman. I didn’t even return to the police station. I wanted to go and try to move my car. I didn’t feel safe there, anymore—and certainly not welcome, at least not by humans (I felt welcomes by the trees and forest, though).

When I turned the corner and glanced up, I saw the neighbor’s car parked between our driveways, with a police car, too. A second cop car drove quickly past me. I didn’t feel like dealing with that, so I calmly, at my normal walking pace, walked up a different neighbor’s driveway. Something in my intuition told me: Not yet. Don’t talk to them, yet.

It annoys me to recount this story, but I want to record it. Plus, writing helps let go of feelings associated with these past events.

Once again, I considered abandoning my car and my poor cat (who was probably sleeping under a tree right then), but I at least needed to get my new work shirt (with their logo on it) and jeans, toothbrush… well, hell. I kinda needed just about everything. Shit. What to do?

I continued walking. Maybe I could come up from behind, in the old farmland. But, no, wait, the cops will probably be expecting that. I’m sure they know the territory better than I do. If not, they’re a bunch of noobs.

Luckily, someone gave me a box of yesterday’s donuts this morning, and the lady in Town Hall happened to give me an old map of the area. I was carrying these around in my bag, along with water bottles So I had food (and forest berries and mushrooms) and water. After an hour or so of walking around, I found the farm land and a couple of abandoned barns. Clumsily walking; I’m definitely no “super soldier!”

TALKING TO MYSELF, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO

Shit—a cop car is parked right next to mine, at the end of the driveway. I could see it in the distance, now. Ok, well, where does this other, overgrown farm driveway go? To the main road? Ok. If only I could sneak my car across this grass, across the old farm path and back up to the main road… I’ll hang out in this abandoned shack for a while, hang up my sweaty red shirt to dry on this wall hook, lay down to rest. Shit. >.< Leave me alone, you Matrix clones! Inner door [to this abandoned shack/house] is locked. No escape. Fuck!

CAUGHT!

Ok, ok, ok… Remember the bumper sticker on my car: “I am the one who is responsible for myself.” Just go out there, be friendly, and maybe another miracle will happen. He called for back-up and talked to me to stall me while the 2nd cop came over. They technically arrested me for “trespassing”—both on this little house and on the forest-house property where my car was parked.

The one guy hand-cuffed me. I thought it was cute and humorous that he used the “thumb hold” during the cuffing process. ‘Awww, how cute—he’s using his training, just like a good little robot,’ I thought to myself.

I acted ditzy and excited to be trying something new [and actually, in a strange way, it was exciting and fascinating to experience something new. I’m kind of a “collector of experiences,” in some ways.]

They took me back to their base [haha… the Police Station] and uncuffed me.

I sat in a room and shared my story.

[Note: When the guy asked, “Ok, so what’s your story?” I made an annoyed, groaning noise and said, “Every time someone asks me this, I never know how to wrap it up in a nut-shell. It’s such an obnoxiously long and complex story.” So I waited a few moments, to try and organize the story line of my life in my head, and then proceeded, starting with where I’m from and trying hard to leave out the boring parts so he didn’t get bored, yet still trying to explain why things ended up the way they did. It’s like… In order to explain Z, first I need to explain Y. And in order to explain Y, first I need to explain X, and it goes all the way back to “A.” Like, how do you sum that up?]

I was honest about everything, except I withheld the info about my car’s plates being expired (which they were able to find out through their computers, anyway).

Somewhere in the process, I think they felt an emotion (pity? compassion?) and decided not to take me to jail—although, at first, I kinda wanted to go (I said, “Ok, this might sound bad but, jail has food, water, a place to sleep, a toilet, and no mosquitoes… and you’re trying to get me not to go?”). But they were trying to persuade me not to go. Really, they just wanted me to leave their town/suburb and not come back unless under legal circumstances. I actually didn’t know much about the process, so it was easy to act naive.

OUTSIDE HELP

One of the cops called in a friend of his, from a bordering suburb. This was a woman named Jane, an ex-cop who also helps run some sort of ministry that helps people in need. (“People in need”… isn’t that the entire planet, really?) She listened to my story and ended up giving me $60 bucks (for enough gas to make it to the closest homeless shelter, and then some extra, since my first job paycheck wouldn’t arrive for at least a week or two). By the time that happened, the guys were pretty relaxed around me. One had even changed into civilian clothes, then.

I figured that it would be in my best interest to be nice and kind. And actually, that was/is my natural nature, anyway. It would run counter to the energy of my soul to be unkind.

The cops searched online for shelters and let me use their phone. I called the shelter in the main city and found out that they do not allow pets (at this moment, my cat was still by the big house in the woods, by the pond).

After I hung up the phone, I looked slyly at Jane, with a grin, and wondered aloud if I could simply keep my cat in the car, in the shelter’s parking lot, while I sleep inside. She grinned. She was older and more experienced than the two younger cops (who were 30 or younger, I guessed). Jane was able to tell that I was smarter than I let on. She didn’t say this; I could just tell, or that is what my intuition said. Years of experience told her what the other two cops had missed—I saw it in her eyes. I liked her. Under friendlier circumstances, she might have made a good mother-figure friend, to me. Perhaps, equally, she viewed me as a daughter whom she wished to help care for? I’m not sure. As a cop, she is conditioned to be guarded, objective, factual, logical. Not emotional, by a long shot.

LEAVING TOWN

So with the $60, I (surprisingly) made it the several miles to the nearest gas station in the nearby suburb. I filled my gas tank all the way, around 8 or 8:30 at night. Oh, and I’d gathered up my cat and all my stuff. It was raining and the sky was an odd, light-brown color. A giant rainbow arch filled the sky when I left the police station. [“Lemmie see!” I yelled, excitedly and happily, as I ran out to look. I wasn’t even hand-cuffed or anything. I briefly wondered if they thought I was trying to run away, but they weren’t making any aggressive moves at me. I also remember wondering if they were thinking that I wasn’t taking them seriously. And really, I didn’t take them too seriously—I mainly saw them as human beings, not as cops.]

I excitedly said it was a sign of good luck! I’d been rambling on and on about spiritual meaning in everything that happens. I figured that’s why they called in the “ministry woman.” I’m sure the two younger cops disregarded me (or “wrote me off”) as a “silly person who needs to be educated in the law.” Truth is, I know the law (kind of). Maybe I don’t know details, but I’m very quick to catch on. I’m not stupid. It’s just that I don’t agree with the laws and I’m done—fucking done—playing the Game of Earth. I want to move on. Not “move on in the game.” Not “move up/on in the System.” I mean: Move on, from this Earth reality. I feel “beyond it.” Like a potted plant that’s long outgrown the pot.

[Continued here…]

August 17, 2011 (Build-up to the Homeless Shelter, Part 1)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

OBSERVING THE WILD RIDE

So much has happened recently. I feel a great desire to record my experiences. I enjoy writing and I use journals to record. A big part of who I am is somewhat of a recorder—or a witness… A witness to the events around me. Perhaps I really am recording and observing not only for myself, but for my group (my kind? my home world?)… as Pat suggested, in the [southwest U.S.] meditation group.

I’ve been living at the [women’s homeless shelter] for a week. It is located at [large city in the mid-west U.S.]. There is a small parking lot in the back, where I’ve parked my car, in the shade. My cat lives in the car. Her litter box, food and water, and a blanket sleeping area are all set up for her. I condense it into the passenger side when I need to travel for work. I work part-time at a deli in a grocery store. I’ve been there for a week. First paycheck comes on the 19th.

Ok.

So let’s back up, here.

MOVING OUT OF THE HOUSE RENTAL

July, last day of the month, I moved out of the house I was previously renting. Even though it was probably a good set-up, I still felt angry at the lack of privacy there. [Note: privacy boundaries were repeatedly violated in childhood.] I felt that I had to go.

I don’t remember where exactly I parked my car to sleep, that night. Maybe it was at the meditation house that I attended last Spring. Actually, I think it was. I asked if I could park my car there and sleep in it. As always, my primary concern is to find a place where cops won’t be attracted to me, since I refuse to pay the license renewal, registration, update driver’s license, etc. It’s all part of The Game, and I want to stop participating in a system that violates my values and morals, and violates the essence of humanity. The System seems to push human beings in the opposite direction of what is good, right peaceful, and natural.

~sigh~

Anyway…

…meditation house.

CAN’T PARK ON THE STREET AT NIGHT

So the next night, I still didn’t know where to go. I spent time in the state-run parks—washed up there, refilled water bottles, walked my cat on a harness and leash (actually she led and I followed). I didn’t want to keep asking the meditation house to sleep in their driveway, so I parked my car on the street.

Half way through the night, I was awakened by a cop knocking on my window. I was sleeping in the passenger side. He said I wasn’t allowed to park on the street at night. He asked for my social security number and I gave it to him.

On the radio, the dispatch woman said nothing came back on the number. He asked if I had I.D., and I said I did not have anything with me, using an apologetic facial expression. I basically faked being a naive, ditzy, stupid person. I began sentences without finishing them: “Ohh! You know where my I.D. might be is… Oh, wait, but that box was in the basement… And the other folder was mailed to Las Vegas…” etc. It was a “planted” stream of audible thought that made it seem like I accidentally packed away my documents or something.

Finally, I paused and said, “Can I get back to you?” He laughed, knowing the answer to be “No” (as did I, but I didn’t show it). He then said, “You know what? Just go,” cutting me off in my “rambling” of talking about my cat.

He advised me to go to the inn/hotel up the street and park there. I guessed that if he ever found out my social security number or realized that my plates were expired, he’d go to the inn/hotel and try to talk to me there. So I drove around to the end of the street, past his car where he was sitting looking at his computer with a confused look, and immediately went in the opposite direction and away from that suburb (aka: out of his patrol area).

I drove emotionally… upset from being woken from my sleep, but also upset from not having a home, a bed, a place to call home, a place for me to belong.

I cried as I drove.

REST STOP MIRACLE FOR A HIGHER PURPOSE?

But before I continue, I need to back up to the daytime: I’d bought a pizza with my last $5.00 and sat at the rest stop by the freeway. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a police car drive up and stop by my car, which was some distance away from me. [Note: my car had all my belongings in it, so it probably looked like a stolen car or something.] I looked away, at the forest, not looking back, pretending not to see.

I finished the pizza and cookies someone had given me (I couldn’t afford anything because my money is incredibly limited, and someone took pity on me and gave me some food; a few days before this, I was eating berries and mushrooms from the nearby forest).

I laid down on the bench where I was sitting and allowed tears to flow down my cheeks. I thought for sure I was done. A “goner.” Going to jail for my refusal to “Play the Game.” A million thoughts raced through my mind, along with a thousand possible excuses. I thought about simply abandoning the car, leaving my beloved cat [she was in the car, at this moment]. I considered walking into the forest and never returning to the modern world; or going into the women’s restroom for a few hours to “hide out.”

Finally, I remembered the bumper sticker on my car: “I am the one who is responsible for myself.” I decided that I needed to accept responsibility for my actions and decisions. No excuses. Be responsible.

Ok. My mind is made up. Time to face the consequences, whatever they may be. Could I please have a miracle, though?…

I stood up at the picnic table and collected my trash. A casual glance at my car revealed the shocking reality that the cop car was no longer there. I looked around for a trash bin large enough for a pizza box. I saw a brown dumpster towards the exit ramp to get back on the freeway. I walked towards it and saw the cop car parked (car turned on) there, behind the bin.

I thought that it would just be best to walk up and confess or something, since I assumed he was waiting for me.

On my way over, I had the thought, ‘Well, maybe he’ll suddenly get a call to go somewhere.” And not two seconds later, he suddenly sped away, out onto the freeway. I put the pizza box in the dumpster and had the strong intuitive message in my mind: “Go now. Get off at the nearest exit. Take non-freeway roads.” And I did. I drove back up to the state-run parks in the same suburb as the meditation house without seeing any more cops along the way.

So after the second cop didn’t take my car, I began to see a pattern: I am not meant to go to jail. There is something else I need to do—some purpose.

LED BY INTUITION

Fast forward again to driving emotionally, in the middle of the night. Where is my home? What is my purpose? Why am I trapped in [this mid-western state]? Why am I meant to be here now?

Intuition: Turn here. Turn there. Where the fuck am I? Is this the eastern suburb? The northern suburb? Farmland over there. This street looks quiet and safe… lots of forests here… wow, these homes are huge! Turn onto this dead-end street. The end is dark and private. I’ll park here. Finally… sleep… exhausted. Zzzzz.

BIG HOUSE IN THE WOODS

I woke up as the dawn was bringing gentle light to the sky. Maybe 5 or 5:30 AM? I saw that I was on a street that had a beautiful view over a forest-filled valley to the south. I also found a “For Sale” sign in the property where my car was parked next to. The driveway had a stone path, with a ton of weeds. The growth was at least 2-3 years old. No one had been here for a long time.

My curiosity took over and I walked/explored the area. The house was large, with three garage spots, a back deck, and a pond that looked man-made but trying to look as natural as possible. The stone driveway turned into pavement and turned the corner, ending in a closed barn/shed that was big enough to fit two cars and storage.

The house was locked up, with a baby crib, rug and a few other random items that made it look as though the previous owners were forced out, instead of moving because they wanted to go. And that is happening all over America. The Corporation of America. It’s all bullshit. No one actually owns their home or their land.

Anyway, I parked my car beside the barn. The house was surrounded by forest and the barn was surrounded by half forest, half old, unused/abandoned farm land, with a few crab apple trees and blackberry bushes. Closer to the house, there was a tiny cherry type of tree. I also ate those clover weeds that I like.

I finished off the emergency camping food supply, which was only, like, 4 bags of berry-oatmeal milk stuff. I used the black bag solar-heated shower camping thing for a “shower.” It worked well on sunny days and the warm water felt nice. I used the biodegradable soap. So I guess this camping stuff did come in handy, after all!

[Note: I had bought these things when I was living in the southwest U.S., after I read, heard, and saw multiple “insider/whistle-blower” interviews on how the U.S. Dollar is going to crash soon, and we will be screwed if we don’t have supplies of extra food and basic necessities like toilet paper. I ended up getting rid of much of this stuff when I made the move back to the mid-west. I put everything I could fit into my car, and sold the rest. But I did keep some of the emergency supplies.]

I stayed there for 5-6 days. During that time, I wasn’t sure how long the Universe would allow me to stay there, so I planted some seeds to try and grow food for myself. [I had seeds leftover from past years I’d tried gardening: squash, radish, spinach, wheatgrass, etc]

I wasn’t able to get the money I wanted from the possible sale of my computer (which I haven’t sold, yet), in order to get back to [southwest state]. Another crazy story, there, for later!

HERE TO STAY, MIGHT AS WELL GET A JOB

So I accepted that I was meant to be in Ohio. I began looking for a job. The people were very friendly and the town center reminded me of the town center where I grew up. No one was hiring. I needed food and the forest food was not really filling me up. I hadn’t taken a shit (sorry) in several days and I guessed that I was becoming malnourished, quickly.

Hunger motivated me to walk a billion miles to the nearest grocery store. There, I begged for food (I know I shouldn’t but I didn’t see any other immediate option).

I also saw the sign that they were hiring for the deli, part-time. The store manager, liked me enough to hire me on the spot (as he later told me) but I scared him, I guess, when I mentioned I was homeless [I just wanted to be honest]. I think he just worried that I’d be a bum and not show up to work or something. But I think he is a person who follows his intuition—or at least he said he got a good feeling about me. He hired me the next Monday, with barely an interview (I just mentioned that I worked in fast food before).

I’ve tried to hitch-hike to the store, but no one picked me up. But at least I passed by a few apple trees, with yummy apples to eat! ❤

[Note: I later found out it was illegal in this particular area, to pick up hitchhikers. No wonder no one was picking me up! Also, there was no public transportation, like buses or trains, in this area.]

ANOTHER CRAZY STORY

Prior to looking for a job, I was trying to sell my computer for gas and food to get back to the southwest. I was 100% sure I’d be able to do it.

A friend, from the meditation group from last Spring, put the ad on craigslist for me, since a phone number was needed in order to post the ad [I did not have a phone]. I kept getting $200-$300 offers on it, from people who just wanted the computer and didn’t care about the Adobe designer programs installed on it. I still feel that the computer is worth $800, but I was willing to sell it for $480—any less would not get me comfortably to the southwest, and I really didn’t want to run out of gas half way through the desert.

One guy posted an ad in the Ride Share section of craigslist, expressing interest in going out west… Las Vegas or somewhere close. His ad sounded desperate and emotion (1st red flag) and I was curious as to what his story was, so I emailed him.

He vented in the email and told his story in a nutshell. I replied saying I was heading to [a particular southwestern area], but didn’t have the money, yet. He offered to pay for gas and food completely. This sounded an alarm (2nd red flag) in my mind and I thought it was probably “too good to be true.” So I proceeded with caution.

A few days passed between each email at first, but then we agreed to meet in person—I wanted to feel his energy/aura, first-hand, to get a solid impression of him.

Through checking my email at local libraries (remember, I had no phone), we agreed to meet in the parking lot of a restaurant. Somehow, we ended up going to different restaurants (I didn’t realize it was a chain; I thought there was only one because he never specified a location and my internet search only turned up one restaurant. He was in a restaurant that was waaaay far away from me!). A couple of emails later, we agreed to meet at the library (my current location); he would drive to me.

I was starting to feel exhausted. I knew that my last tank of gas was running low. I was personally fueled by my eagerness to leave the mid-west behind.

When we first met in the library’s entrance area, immediately he kept telling me over and over that he was a nice person, and eventually I had the thought: ‘Nice people—I mean truly nice people—don’t have to constantly tell others that they are “nice.” They know that their vibes/auras speak for themselves as well as their actions.’ I silently reasoned that he was probably not someone I wanted to hang out with for long, especially after he kept saying he’s got problems, over and over again.

MOOCHING MONEY

The next 6 or 7 hours with him gave me wonderful opportunities to observe him and gather opinions, from people he knew, about him.

He begs for money. That’s his “thing.” He hasn’t paid for gas in 4-5 years because he asks people at the gas station for money. I remember silently wondering if the local people have begun to recognize him, after a while—wouldn’t they eventually stop giving him money, after the first couple of times? I certainly would stop supporting someone who wasn’t showing signs of improvement.

I met a couple of his friends. It sounds like he owes his friends a few hundred dollars each. One of his “best friends” loaned him the car we were now riding in, and he returned the car to him with the gas almost empty, which I thought was rude. And the gentleman seemed really nice, too. He was older—50s or 60s. The guy from craigslist (CL) was 31. The older guy expressed concern that the younger guy was “always running.” The CL guy is bipolar, by the way. He spoke constantly, not really giving me a chance to talk much at all, and that bugged me, especially when I was trying to say something important. I could tell his thoughts were going at a million miles an hour. Sometimes I wished he’d just shut the fuck up and listen. Actually, I almost felt like smacking the shit out of him to get him to listen, which is a rare urge for me to have, since I’m a relatively peaceful and gentle soul.

[Note: I was also sensitive to this at the time, because my sister would also often talk constantly, babbling, while I wasn’t able to politely speak about anything I considered to be important, and eventually I gave up trying to communicate with her. It’s funny because when we reconnected that past winter, she described herself as having “diarrhea of the mouth,” so she is aware, at least, of the issue.]

He said his ex-girlfriend (with whom he had two babies) used to physically and mentally abuse him. Well, I can understand the urge to get physical, because he clearly does not listen. It’s like the words of others just float past his head, without him really hearing. And he fills in his mind with his own fictional ideas about who others are.

Once again, here was another new person in my life who told me his story in a nutshell and he was so excited that someone was actually listening to him and showing him kindness, and now he thinks we’re gonna be the best of friends—even possibly boyfriend and girlfriend now (I know that crossed his mind because he was asking for my height and weight on the phone before we met at all! This was only supposed to be a quick road trip). [Note: He was reminding me of Maddie. See posts here.]

But others have clearly been kind to him—at least financially. He left his ex when she told him she was pregnant the second time. He pays $200 child support, from his $1,000 monthly disability check (from being bi-polar). He got us “lunch” for free—bread sticks from a crappy pizza shop.

AM I BEING TOO RIGID?

Driving around with him from place to place reminded me of hanging out with a group of skaters in the first university that I went to, when I was 18. It has an air of excitement but it’s chaotic and unpredictable, when I’d really just like to sleep and eat in a reliable and calm place.

He talked on his cell phone, excitedly telling people—everyone he knew—that he was leaving for the southwest. No one believed him (another red flag) because he’d been talking about going out west, for years. His story kept changing with each new person he talked to—one, he told we were leaving at 6AM the next morning; next, we were leaving at 8AM; then suddenly it changed to 12:00 noon to the next person he spoke with. In fact, we had not really set up a specific time, yet (indeed, I could barely get a word in!).

Begging for money went against my morals and values, but I reasoned that perhaps I was too rigid—maybe I wasn’t the “free spirit” I thought I was? Maybe all we needed was the dream, and then life would fill in the gaps for us? Perhaps I needed to open my mind to accepting money and assistance from others, instead of constantly trying to do everything for myself? Plus, aren’t people born the Year of the Monkey supposed to be good at “hitching a ride” on the backs of others?

DRUNK FRIEND IN MOTEL ROOM

I’d parked my car at his motel room, where he said he was staying. He introduced me to his [other] “best friend”—a totally drunk guy getting ready to drive a customer’s car from a local body shop. I mean, this guy was completely trashed. Totally hammered. He could barely focus on, or comprehend, who I was (who was being introduced to him, now). He couldn’t even speak. It’s amazing he’s still alive, because according to the CL guy, this is a daily/nightly occurrence.

The CL guy’s clothes were piled on the floor and the room was very unclean and untidy. There was no hand soap by the sink. CL guy (I forget his name—sorry!) said it was his room, but it was clearly the older guy’s room. CL guy was only there for a day, so far.

ATTEMPTING TO SELL LAPTOP AND MY COMPUTER

My cat stayed inside for a few hours while we drove around [she hid under the king-sized bed] in his friend’s car. CL guy and I drove around for a long time, trying to find someone who’d be willing to buy his laptop. He’d bought it for over $300, but it was really apparently only worth $80 at most.

CL guy would constantly make plans without really bothering to listen to my input. He’d constantly change the plan. First, we were going to sell my computer for money, then we didn’t need to, then we did, then we didn’t, etc.

I finally confronted him on it: “You keep changing what we’re gonna do, here. One minute you say I can keep it [the computer], and the next, we have to sell it. Which one is it?” He backed down and said we didn’t need to sell it and we’ll “find another way.” (What happened to his “wonderful ability” to mooch gas $?)

FRIEND BY THE LAKE

We drove to a place by a large lake to his friend’s house to try and sell his laptop computer. The two guys went inside to talk. I stayed in the car. The deal didn’t happen—CL guy wanted too much, but it wasn’t worth that much (perhaps that is my problem, with my own computer, as well). The friend also didn’t believe that the CL guy was going to the southwest, but I could tell he was surprised by me—perhaps surprised that “someone like me” (my energy?) would be hanging around with someone like the CL guy.

MORE CHANGES IN THE PLAN

Driving away from that house, he called someone else and asked if that guy would be interested/willing to fly out to Las Vegas, and then drive back with him, together, to the mid-west. Apparently, now his trip out west was turning into a short-term vacation, instead of a permanent stay (not that what he does out there is my business—it’s just another “red flag” warning sign that this guy is not reliable and trustworthy and dependable, due to him changing constantly).

CL guy asked that question on the cell phone maybe at least 5 times, over and over. Was the other guy saying Yes? No? I couldn’t tell. I noticed he’d do this over and over—repeating a question, to make sure the other person was really going to follow-through. Ironically, it was CL guy who had trouble following-through.

He’d consistently say one thing and do another. He talked about how easy it was to get gas money, and offer to fill up my tank. I sat at the gas pump and waited patiently for him to “work his magic.” He returned with a gallon plastic jug filled with gas for his own car, and none for mine.

Another time, he asked if I wanted anything from inside the gas station. I initially said no, but since he insisted, I requested a banana and a bottle of water. Several minutes later, he returned with nothing and didn’t mention anything. He was talking and babbling about something else. I let it go; I can survive a while longer without food, at that time. But I silently filed away the experience in my mind, and along with the other experiences, it began to paint a picture of something I didn’t really want to be around.

Going back to the guy who he was talking to about flying out to Las Vegas and drive back to the mid-west with him (with my car that he wants to buy for $2,000?! Was he going to discuss this with me before telling his friend about this plan??)… I thought it was inconsiderate to expect the other guy to randomly drop what he’s doing, just to fly out to Las Vegas like that. What about work obligations? A few minutes later, CL guy called the same guy again on the cell phone and asked him to start looking up flights to Nevada. I thought this was ridiculous and very rude, since it was the CL guy’s idea in the first place—he offered to fly the other guy to Nevada. That means it should be the CL guy’s responsibility to handle the fight and organize it. It was just very strange—the whole evening.

THE “RED FLAGS” CONTINUE

Remember the older guy whose car the CL guy had borrowed and then returned on an almost empty gas tank? He went out with us to fill it up. When we briefly stopped at a gas station (he was dropping us off back at the hotel room), the older guy could sense my kindness and gentleness, I think. He warned CL guy to be nice to me and treat me well. I took that as another warning: if he felt the need to say that, then this means CL guy hasn’t treated women (or people in general?) very well in the past; which, in turn, means that he probably won’t treat me well.

I was already doubting, but I reminded myself that the trip was really only 4-5 days. He wanted to drive the car non-stop, which means he’ll drive my car at night; I refused—I secretly loathed his driving style… no turn signals, no seat belt, texting and talking and driving, causing massive swerving almost into the next lanes and also speeding well over the limit (not just the “safe” speeding of 5-10 mph above the speed limit). He also tail-gated other drivers—to me, that is a symbol/sign of disrespecting other people. No. Fucking. Way.

When we got back to the motel room, CL guy asked me a few times if I wanted to go out and get dinner. It was already after 10:00 PM and I just wanted to sleep, so I said, “No,” each time. I increasingly began to feel like I was talking to an 8-year-old child with the I.Q. of a bucket filled with horse shit. Did this guy seriously never learn the meaning of the word, “No?”

WANTS TO REMIND ME THAT HE’S STILL A NICE GUY

On the bed, his drunk, older “best friend” was passed out. I offered to sleep on the floor. CL guy jacked off in the bathroom. My cat hid under the bed, coming out briefly when I called to her. Maybe around 11:00 or so, CL guy woke me up—actually, I was just pretending to sleep, trying to sleep, but he repeatedly called my name like a child until I eventually said in an unpleasant voice, “WHAT?!” [Kind of like Stewie and Lois, in this Family Guy clip.] Apparently he brought in a friend to try and—once again—convince me, using a 3rd party, that CL guy was a “good person” and a “nice guy.”

I politely met the friend and laid back down on the floor to sleep.

GETTING SCARED

Maybe around midnight or so, the drunk friend got up to pee and pissed the toilet by a foot or so. CL guy tried to inform him of this vital error. The drunk friend cussed and said to get away from him. On his way out of the bathroom, he paused at my feet and said, loudly and drunkenly, “What the hell is this?” meaning: what is this person doing on his floor? (aka: me!). That is when I knew for sure that this room was not CL guy’s room at all. They weren’t sharing it as equals—CL guy was a temporary guest.

I completely didn’t feel welcome there at all. Plus, the drunk friend’s angry energy scared the shit out of me. I started to reconsider how badly I wanted to go back to the southwest U.S., as the two guys exchanged words. I became more and more nervous.

The drunk friend passed out on the bed again. I got up and began to cry because the energy in the room was so horrible.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

At some point, I decided that I’d had enough. I could no longer be in this situation. I had to leave.

This decision initially started out as me simply wanting to get some sleep in my quiet car. I needed peace. Quiet. Calmness. I needed to be alone, to sleep, to have solitude for a small time.

I expressed this need multiple times to CL guy as I moved my cat and her stuff back into my car. CL guy kept following me, talking and talking, insisting he was really a nice guy. The sound of his voice… I just needed him to shut the fuck up and the fact that he was not respecting my needs even after I expressed them, was something I didn’t want to be around.

I decided to gather the rest of my stuff—towel, toothbrush, etc—into my car.

He went through all the phases: Anger, Blame, Insulting, Bargaining, Guilt trips, etc.

Gradually, I realized that I could not make the trip with this guy. It isn’t worth it. But really, I wasn’t sure of how we’d be able to make it in the first place. This guy was filled with lies—maybe he doesn’t realize it and maybe he means well, but just forgets to follow up. But trusting him could mean being stuck in the middle of nowhere without gas, and I just don’t want to be in that situation.

KNOWING A HIGHER PURPOSE WOULD HELP ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT THIS

So I left. I silently thanked him for being in my life—I believe all things happen for a reason and a purpose. Maybe I don’t fully understand, yet, but I trust there is a reason for our encounter. At the very least, it was an opportunity to sharpen my intuition and observation skills, and use the gathered knowledge to make decisions. In a word, it’s practice, I suppose.

But that leads to the next question: Practice for what?

Practice for protecting my safety and my self while in the city, which is where the women’s homeless shelter is located.

CL guy sent 3 emails after that. I only responded to the first, with: “Goodbye. You will not hear from me again after this email.”

And then it was over.

I drove away from his motel, gas getting closer to Empty, driving to the only place I really knew well enough to be comfortable to sleep: the suburb and the street with the meditation house. I parked on the street, father down, towards the end. I was thankful for a silent area in which to sleep.

But, of course, it didn’t last long. A cop knocked on my window. And this is where the story began, way up above, here.

BACK TO THE BIG HOUSE IN THE WOODS

Jump ahead: living (illegally, I guess, by modern laws) in the large forest, by the big house, barn, farmland, and pond.

It was very peaceful.

I realized that it was secluded enough to walk around naked, but I stopped doing that when someone pulled up to check out the house; he was interested in buying a house in the area. I was in my car, almost about to sleep. Each of us thought that the other was the owner, at first. I told him I’m a homeless person and I can leave, if he wants. He said it’s ok and he wouldn’t say anything, and drove away. I was not naked when he stopped by, luckily! [Reminder: this house is For Sale.]

I greatly enjoyed gardening and hugging the trees. Once when it was raining, a skinny raccoon (opossum?) came over to me. I talked to it in a gentle voice and he/she approached and even put a paw on my leg (I was sitting) to get a higher sniff of me! I was very happy and excited to make a friend, but also fearful he’d bite me (rabies?). So I slowly got up. He followed me. I went up onto the back deck. He did not follow, but sniffed for me (was he blind or hard of sight?). I’d hoped to see him again, but never did. I felt bad for leaving him, and guilty for feeling afraid.

The seeds grew quickly. I also trimmed some of the bushes that had overgrown onto the sidewalk areas. I felt like a care-taker… not only of the “property” but of Earth, in general.

My cat liked to walk around and she slept in the shady trees during the day. She slept in the car with me at night.

I attended a local church service on Sunday. The church looked and felt like the one that I used to go to, in my home town. I enjoyed hearing the service and then silently interpreting what the truth might be, based on the knowledge I’ve accumulated online [meaning: conspiracy theory stuff]. I do the same, at the women’s homeless shelter, when anyone talks about Jesus. Wafer and wine for breakfast.

TOWN HALL

Eventually, at the house, the neighbors saw me through the trees and reported me to the police. Simultaneously, I actually went to the police station for help, without knowing about the neighbor.

Here’s what happened: I kinda started to like the town and I reasoned that if I was going to be in this mid-western state without gas, this was a very good place to be—and to be homeless! So I was interested in attending the Summer Festival that was being advertised around town, to get to know people better and make friends.

I went to the Town Hall to ask for directions. I mentioned I was homeless and living in my car. Her reaction suggested that she thought this was an unthinkable situation! And she asked where, and I said it was “parked in a forest” (technically true!), and “near a pond.” I wanted to walk to the nearest library. I had been there once before, but I no longer had enough gas (or money for gas) to drive around like that. [Reminder: I had no phone, no access to internet.] The woman offered to drive me, since she was taking her daughter to practice for some sport, in the area.

But she expressed concern that I might be trying to truck her. In the past, she accidentally/unknowingly gave a ride to a runaway minor. I assured her I wasn’t going to mug her or anything. I could tell she was still scared. This was a wee bit strange to me, because 99% of people are usually very comfortable around me (but her reaction clearly had more to do with her past experience, than me).

While I waited in the next room for her to finish work at the town hall, she called the cops (police and fire departments were both in nearby buildings). She said they sometimes offer gas money to people in need. I thought it was a great idea.

POLICE DEPT.

So I walked over to the police station. The woman behind the counter asked for my info (Ugh! I hate giving personal info to authorities!). I gave her a social security number. She was staring at me with an almost inhuman look (fuck, dude, do you ever blink? or smile? or laugh?). I didn’t want to risk them taking my car away because it was the only place to put my stuff and my cat, and to sleep. Plus, again, I didn’t want to get in trouble for breaking a law that I thought was immoral and inhuman anyway.

For some reason, in the middle of my story, they decided to take the next person in line. I stopped talking (I guess I have a tendency to often drift into fake rambling and fake ditzy behavior around people like this) as the only guy waiting stepped to the window.

I stepped back and waited. The air conditioning was nice, but I really wanted to leave, since I know full well that cops protect The System—not the people. Even after “escaping” the first two police encounters, I didn’t want to press my luck. Escaping seemed to be miracles, and I wasn’t sure if miracles were infinite or limited (How many “Get Out of Jail Free” cards, do I get, anyway?).

I mouthed the words to the woman behind the counter window, “I’ll be back!” as a male officer was talking to the other citizen. I grabbed my bag and jogged over to the Town Hall to thank the woman and subtly find out if she was intending to drive me to the library. She didn’t bring it up, so I assumed that she thought I’d be “helped” by the cops, and that a ride was no longer needed. She offered to give me $20, but could not find the money that used to be in a white envelope. She felt embarrassed, offering me money that somehow disappeared, but I told her it was ok.

Later, the cops asked me if I’d taken it. WTF, assholes??? NO, retards, I didn’t take your money. If she thinks I did, fine. But I know the truth. I didn’t take it. Ironically, I felt incredibly insulted at others thinking I’d steal their money, and yet I’ve seriously considered stealing food recently, without much inner debate! It goes against my values to steal, but at the same time, I felt like I was backed into a corner with no real choice—I can either play The Game, or steal food. Either way goes against what I feel is right, and good.

TAKING A BREAK NOW, TO SLEEP

I need to sleep now (or at least try to, in this noisy shelter). I’ll write more later.