Showing posts with label concrete surfing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concrete surfing. Show all posts

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Even More Sleep Last Night


The problem I had yesterday, even though I did get some sleep, was that it wasn't enough sleep. All day I had the nods. Wherever I went, McDonalds, Starbucks, riding the Trolley, etc., I couldn't stay awake.   And that's a dangerous thing. Being told my a security guard or manager that "you can't sleep here" can easily lead to "you can't come back here."

But, last night I got even more sleep. Sure, as per usual, I did wake up a couple times during the night, but I laid down to sleep at around 11pm and woke up this morning at a quarter after 6am.

That's actually a little too late.  It is best to be up and away before workers at nearby businesses begin showing up.  There's a guy who is janitor of the building I sleep up against, and he came out of the building as I was packing up. He started griping because someone had defecated near by.  The thing is, I saw who did it.  It was someone else who was just walking by.  It wasn't any of us who slept in the area.  Still he was blaming us for it. The city has two public restrooms that are open 24 hours, but San Diego has a huge downtown area and two just isn't enough.

As with most homeless people, I would never defecate in public, a human body can retain shit for a long time, long enough to find a restroom somewhere. So there's no need to just squat wherever. The guy who took the dumb was drunk. Drunks do stupid shit all the time.

As for having to pee at night, that's a different story. I keep an empty, medium sized, orange juice bottle with me, preferably one with a wide opening so that I don't miss.  I can pee into the bottle while still in my sleeping bag, and no one's the wiser.  With the screw top lid, there's no fear of spillage.  Sometimes, though the bottle will need to be emptied, then I have to get up and deposit its contents on a nearby plant.   Anyone walking by would just think I was giving the plant some vitamin C.

The weather looks good for the foreseeable future. Life goes on.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Morning Update: SLEEP!


I remember the days when I could go 3 days without sleep and thought it was fun.  Now I go one day without sleep and I hurt.  Sure, getting older has its benefits, but wear and tear on the body takes its toll.  It seems more and more evident that I will not be living forever - dammit!

As you may have know from previous posts, I did not get any sleep night before last.  Well, yesterday evening I went to Walmart and bought a cheap sleeping bag (and a new hat) and that made all the difference.  Also, I found a different place to sleep, about 30 feet north of my usual spot - was less breeze there.   I don't do well in the cold, and if I'm too cold, then I cannot sleep.  Being wrapped up in the sleeping bag, and that bag giving me a little protection from the cold concrete as well, the only issue was the hardness of my "bed".  I adjusted the position of my body and the concrete didn't hurt nearly as much. I was able to fall asleep.

I spent the evening at Tom n Toms - a new cafe in San Diego (Korea's version of Starbucks).   After they closed, at 11pm, I walked down to my preferred area for sleeping.  I bedded down and worked to get comfortable. I fell asleep about midnight.   I did wake up a couple times during the night but fell right back to sleep.   It was remarkably quiet last night - there were no shenanigans by my fellow travelers that I was aware of.   I awoke at 5am, the very first hints of light were turning the sky above a dark blue - my favorite color.  The air was cool, but not cold.

I rolled up my sleeping bag, gathered my things, and headed to Starbucks for a well deserved urination.
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This is going to be a difficult month for me financially - if you ever thought about sending a donation my way, now would be the time to do it.  Follow the link above.  Thank you.  Have a good rest of the day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What Really Happened

If you recall my last post, or better yet, read that one first, I had planned out last night's sleep on the street.  But, something else happened.  I caught the trolley about midnight and rode it down to where I was to sleep.  It is in an area where many homeless sleep on the sidewalks.  As crazy as some homeless people are, there is still safety in numbers - even if those numbers are all homeless people.

I found where I wanted t sleep was vacant and the nearest other sleep was about 15 feet away, which is a good thing.  I don't want my usually loud snoring to piss anyone off.  I don't need enemies on the streets. I locked my backpack to the chain link fence and laid down, using the backpack as a pillow.   I immediately noticed a chill in the air. And through the night the air grew colder. There was a slight breeze, but it was constant, preventing me from conserving any body heat.  And it didn't take long for the concrete is begin hurting my bones, from the cold and the hardness.

The chain link fence runs along the border of an empty lot, and up against this fence slept dozens of homeless people.   Some had tents, others had sleeping bags.  Others had cardboard to sleep on.  I think I was the only idiot to be lying directly on the concrete. Although there was commotion through out the night, it was mostly quiet. Pairs of people walked from one camp set up to another.  Occasionally I could hear the anger and heated words between a man and woman, but it came from the other side of the empty lot.  A random holler would break through the cold air.  Since I could not sleep, I just watched and listened to the street sounds.

Then I noticed ants, not many of them, but they were on most everything.  They weren't a bother and sort of tickled my skin as they crawled along.  I empathized, thinking they were looking for a place out of the cold too.  A field mouse scurried by, then jumped into a small hole when it noticed that I noticed it.

Then about 1:30am the rattle of a jackhammer started up.  About a block away a construction crew started working on repairs to the trolley track.  Yeah, it had to be 1:30 because that's when the last of the trolleys pass by.  At 2am it was obvious that I wasn't going to get any sleep.  So, I sat up and started reading a book.  Not long after, the urge to urinate came over me.  Not sure where I could go, I just kept reading, remembering that Starbucks would open at 4:30am.  At about 2:30am a couple guys walk by, angry with each other, their banter was a continuous "calling out", threatening each other to fight.  Idle threats, they didn't even get loud. They kept on their way.

At 3am I unlocked my backpack from the fence, threw it on my back and started looking for a place to urinate.  Things were different from when I was outside last time.  I couldn't go where I used to.   Then I remembered a public restroom near the entrance to the Gaslamp District.  It was a few blocks away.  I headed in that direction.

Around the next block I saw that the new 7/11 was open.  I did not know it was a 24hr store.   I went in, but was told that their restrooms were not available until 6am - even if I bought something.  I bought an banana anyway and keep going.  4 blocks West and 3 blocks south and I was at the pubic restroom.  And, thankfully, it was open.  Still I had to wait my turn as there were other homeless people ahead of me.  With the pressure off my bladder, I no longer had a goal for the rest of the night.

This pubic restroom was next to a trolley station and so I checked the schedule.   In just a half hour (4am) the trolleys would start up again, so I thought I'd go for a ride.   I have a monthly public transportation pass.   The thought crossed my mind that maybe I could get some sleep on the trolley, but that didn't work out.

It was as if the trolley was a special service for all the crazy homeless people in the city at that time of the morning - the first trolley out of the gate.  All those people who couldn't sleep had caught a ride.  And they all tried to talk to me.   I'm half asleep, trying to mind my own business and read my book, and they're jabbering at me about something illogical and incoherant.  I think I'll pass on taking the first trolley of the day, next time.

Not having a plan, I decided to get off the trolley at the San Diego State University terminal.  It it located on the campus.  But the campus seemed like it was still asleep - school must be over.  I saw a sign for Jack-in-the-Box and walked that way, hoping instead to find a McDonalds near by.  No such luck.  I then walked back to the campus and waited for the tolled headed back into town.  That was about a 45 minute wait.   I used the time to finish watching "The Misfits" with Clark Gabble and Marilyn Monroe.  It was the last film for the both of them, Gabble died just a few months after the filming completed, Marilyn died a couple years later.

Once in town I went to a cafe for something to eat and wifi.  At noon I went to the Y to shower, then after that to this McDonalds.  It's now 4pm.  I'll have to head out to Walmart soon to get a new sleeping bag.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Where The Ragged People Go

Funny, since I left the tent shelter I have stayed three nights in a row in a cheap hotel.  Talk about procrastination.  Well, I have very little money for this month and so I won't be able to chicken out tonight.  Once I leave this McDonalds I will be heading down to where the ragged people go, for a piece of concrete to sleep on.

Today was another day, also, of spending my day in McDonalds and in cafe's for the wifi and the occasional sandwich.

Starbucks opens at 4:30 in the morning so I'll have that to start the day tomorrow.  I'm sure I won't get much sleep, if any.  Then I'll head on to the Y for a shower to complete the wake up process.  Afterwards I'll need to get a sleeping bag and something to use as a pillow.   I hate having to carry around such stuff, but I think it will be necessary for me, if I am to get any sleep on the streets.  Yep, it's time for making trade-offs - giving up things I like for things I need.  I just hope that whatever I get compacts nicely so that that stuff I'm hauling around doesn't look excessive.   I hate to look like I'm homeless.  I'm still not accepting it as my fate.

You know how it is when you move into a new apartment, but you're not really happy with it, would rather be else where, and so you never unpack your stuff.  That's because you know that unpacking means that you are giving in, accepting the place as yours, and you just don't want to do that. When you do, it's reluctantly. I know what I need, so  to be homeless, but I'm still putting it off.  Maybe I'll win the lottery this week.  Maybe someone will take me in cause they've got a spare room, or a big back yard where they'd let me pitch a tent, or even just a patio where I could bed down during the night.  ... if only.