It’s The Little Things…

Being homeless is more than just a feeling of frustration; more than feeling like every break is a bad one; and more than the fear that one more bad break will have you sleeping in your car, next to a dog badly in need of a grooming. There is a whole group, a subset of things you’ve taken for granted which are gone, kaput, adios. I call them “the little things”. For instance, razor blades. My own personal preference is to use one for about a month, then change it out. Blade cartridges are expensive. You don’t realize how expensive until you see a 5-pack and it’s over $20. That $20 is two days of food for me, so I pass until “things get better”. Currently I’ve been using the same blade for three months. Each shave leaves me bleeding like a horny teen from Friday The 13th. The difference is, I didn’t get to squeeze soft 18 year-old titties before my jugular was sliced. I did get to pet a wet dog.  Continue reading “It’s The Little Things…”

On Friendship…

The world doesn’t want to hear about labor pains. It only wants to see the baby. – Ball Four by Jim Bouton.

Nowhere in life is that statement more true than with homelessness. In my situation I don’t assign the designation of “friend” based on whether someone gives me a hand, financially or otherwise. I base it on how often someone follows up on my well-being. I’ve found that people who were regular friends text/call less after finding out about my homelessness. Maybe they’re afraid all I’ll do is lament my “bad luck”, and then ask for money. If so it’s a misjudgment on their part. In a call I might mention briefly what I’m going through on a particular day, but mostly I want a few minutes to be my old self; the guy who can talk about events or reminisce, in a humorous way.  Continue reading “On Friendship…”

Priorities Change

When money was plentiful and easy to make, man did I have the material desires. I wanted an upscale apartment overlooking a crowded pool, featuring maidens in bikinis which would occasionally come undone leading to an awkward/purposeful, “Oops!” from the woman, but only after a slo-mo spin to make sure everyone noticed; almost like a soft porn company made a synchronized swimming video. That was the “dream”. I didn’t want a family life; no birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese. I wanted excitement. Continue reading “Priorities Change”

Playoffs? What Playoffs?

The NFC and AFC Championship Games have been a tradition for me for at least 35 years. I would sit comfortably at a friend’s place, local bar, or just at home, and take in the contests to see who would represent their respective conferences in the Super Bowl. Note: Fuck calling it “The Big Game” or some other such nonsense. To the NFL, I’m promoting YOUR Showcase. But if you’d like to sue me for millions, please direct all paperwork to Motel 6’s corporate office and I’m sure they’ll forward it to whatever location I’m calling “home” this month. I’d always preferred the Conference Championship games to the Super Bowl, mostly because I like watching 2 games during the day, but more importantly because I hate the feeling of not being able to take a leak for 6 hours, fearing I’ll miss a tap dancing iguana telling me about the importance of diversity in my investment portfolio. Yeah lizard guy, I get it. As soon as I finish off the  cold-as-shit pizza from yesterday I’ll turn my attention to whether I should buy a few more shares of GE. Continue reading “Playoffs? What Playoffs?”

Coping And Comedy

One of the things which sustains me, keeps me going through even the most difficult day, is comedy. The most painful memories of my life are not earmarked by the actual event, but the comedy which somehow enabled me to get through the moment. When my father died six years ago I sat in the front row for the service (one of only 2 times in my life I’ve been in the front row for anything; the other being a Village People concert with my girlfriend). I wore his aviator sunglasses. Continue reading “Coping And Comedy”

A Homeless Encounter

I stood outside the Starbucks for a smoke. It was still dark. I made sure I was far enough away from the door so as not to offend anyone entering/exiting, although the customers numbered less than at a free screening of Battlefield Earth (Google it…). Still I’m of the polite homeless ilk. I saw a dude on a rickety bike, wobbling due to possessions barely balanced which weren’t meant for 2-wheeled travel. He was familiar. I’d seen him nearly every day at this same S’bux for forever.  Continue reading “A Homeless Encounter”

Moving Day, AKA My 28 Day Cycle

I’ve never had a girlfriend who didn’t have a complaint every 28 days, and it’s warranted. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to go through what ladies must endure, Tampax Pearl commercials notwithstanding. But I do have my own personal windmill to slay, and like a period, it’s every 28 days, without (for now) exception.

CA law states that if you occupy a hotel/motel room for more than 30 days you have established “residency”. Residency is a more vile word to an innkeeper than motherfucker, whore, and maybe even the n-word, for residency means if someone (translation: transient, homeless person etc.) doesn’t pay a bill, you can’t simply lock them out of the room, clear out their belongings, and rent to someone else. What must be done instead is the eviction process. In CA evictions can be long and costly because it involves serving of legal notices, appearances in court, and other money/time-consuming tasks. CA is very good at protecting the rights of renters. With the homeless? Meh, not so much. Continue reading “Moving Day, AKA My 28 Day Cycle”

Careful What You Wish For…

So Lyft had a rental car deal for people who wished to drive for them but didn’t have a qualifying car (meaning my busted-ass 2001 Camry). A $250 deposit and I would not only be cruising in Hyundai Elantra style, but fully insured for more than the CA minimums as well. Howie Mandel didn’t need to ask me twice…Deal!

I went to the orientation for new drivers and signed a few papers, and was handed the keys with my instructions, “Just walk around the parking lot clicking the alarm. When you hear it go off, that’s your car.” How could I possibly go wrong knowing this Rhodes Scholar finalist had my back? Continue reading “Careful What You Wish For…”

Buddy, Need A Lyft?

So I guess with this new company you can now get your car from a vending machine. Anyone else see problems coming? Guy standing at the bottom looking up, patiently waiting for his Prius and it hangs over the edge, stuck just like a real vending machine. He has to call 2 buddies over to rock the building back and forth to get the car down. Another guy is pissed because he pushed the button for a Range Rover and got a Kia. “Motherfucker! This always happens! Hey Trent, run me to the bank. I’m gonna get $20,000 in quarters and try it again.”

The food delivery had started a downward trend. Where once I could make $120 if I hustled my ass off, it had dwindled to about $80. I couldn’t bother thinking about the horrible hourly rate it came to; I only knew the numbers Continue reading “Buddy, Need A Lyft?”

A “Dashing” Type

When you’ve reached the point I’m at, it seems every path has a crossroad, in that there are no decisions without life-changing ramifications. Ever see one of those videos which closes the local news where 2 or 3 teens have set up seven million dominoes in an attempt to break a world record? Imagine standing right in the middle of that configuration. You want to get to the door but no matter where you step you’ll start a chain reaction. That is what the homeless deal with every day. If you’re trying to change for the better, you choose the step which will disrupt the fewest dominoes. Continue reading “A “Dashing” Type”