It was nerve-racking leaving my comfortable life to go into homelessness. I’ve been quiet for about a month. But for the last two months the anxiety has asailed me. Once I decide to do something and plan it out, I will most likely do it. So the first day was great! I loved the people I met, organizations I visited, the resources I accessed, and places I traveled to on my bicycle. I am surprised to think of the deplorable conditions the people on Atkinson Street live in. It also is dangerous down there. I wouldn’t be able to stay there with my gear, it would most likely get stolen. What I noticed is a rougher crowd of homeless seem to congregate in South Boston/Dorchester area, and a more Docile crowd of homeless seem to live in North Boston/Boston area. Although one of my bunk mates last night was rowdy, it was just Drunken bravado. I slept on concrete at an undisclosed area for the moment to protect those who stay there. I’m surprised I slept well after taking melatonin. My body feels good upon waking. All and all I am grateful for the first day, and happy to start another.
My sleep was interrupted last night. Thoughts of giving up my comfort and dwelling in uncertainty and potential harm constantly woke me through the night.
5:09 a.m. Danvers. I woke up for good, the last night in my bed. I am worried about where I will keep my stuff in the city I have too much to carry. The cold frightens me.
5:40 a.m. Danvers I started getting my bike ready and I was hit with pulled muscles all around the center of my back. I will not let it deter me but it’s really interesting as if my body’s revolting, some form of psychosomatic response. My backpack is stuffed with about 100lbs of gear.
6:00 a.m. Danvers. I dropped my truck off down the street at my friend Chris’s house. From there I rode my bike to the Beverly train station.
6:20 a.m. Beverly. I arrive at Beverly Depot, it’s warm although there is a cool crisp moist feel to the air.
6:30 a.m. Beverly. While waiting for the train I talk to woman. She said she works in the corners office. I asked how many deaths she was seeing in the street. She said with emphasis, “tons!, mostly drug overdose and suicides.” She took a picture for me.
7:10 a.m. Boston. I arrive at North Station and will not leave Boston for the rest of the day. Hello Boston you are my home. I thought of all the experiences and things I’ve learned throughout my life. May it be from living, reading, thinking, or solving problems. This quote kept coming to mind, “Knowledge isn’t power, it is just potential power. Knowledge in action is power.”
7:30 a.m. Went and checked out the skatepark next to North station. I’ve seen it from a train window so many times. I finally got to see it in person.
8:07 a.m. I go to St. Paul’s on 138 Tremont St. for the 8:30am Manna breakfast. There are other homeless people there. I strike up a few conversations. I notice the crowd is more docile than the Mass and Cass crowd. The Church workers are kind and considerate. I begin to make a few connections. We sit in a large basement room and walk through a line to get oatmeal, Gatorade, fruit cups, and snack bars. I am happy for the food and connection. Once everyone is served one of the church workers initiates a check in. This is a time to talk about how you’re doing or share resources. Some of the folks have a light sense of humor. One fella said he got a black eye falling down drunk. He then shared a poem: I am pretty and I am witty and people like me. Then said unlike others in the group pointing out certain individuals. I found it funny. I shared with the group that I am newly homeless, and a gentleman I’ll call him Frank, invited me to a safe place to sleep for homeless folks. This is the Facade, hints at the fibonacci sequence.
9:26 a.m. I leave St Paul’s and arrive at the Phoenix Boston where I plan on meeting my friend Blake so we can donate Baby wipes from Tiffany’s Recovery Inc. Harm Reduction bags from A New Way Recovery Center, and Hygiene products donated by Heather McLean. A Phoenix worker arrives before Blake gets there and allows me to come in to the Phoenix and leave my gear there. A man named Anthony was having truck issues and asked if I could change a battery. I said yes but needed tools. The Phoenix worker gave us the tools and we were able to change the battery. I promise I am not high in this picture.
11:00 a.m. Blake and myself go and hand out supplies on Atkinson Street. The scene is dire, so many people using hard drugs like Meth, Crack, and fentanyl. There are tents and trash everywhere.
12:00 p.m. I go to visit Victory outreach church on 68 Northampton st. Boston to visit pastor Danny, to see if I can leave some of my gear at the Victory outreach house in Dorchester. I talk to pastor Danny and connect with another friend in the victory outreach program Tommy and we agree to meet at 1:30 at the house, so I can stash some of my gear and lighten my load.
12:45 p.m. I arrive back at the Phoenix Gym and I get my bike tuned up, eat some Pho wraps, and make some new friends.
1:30 p.m. I head to victory outreach house and meet up with Tommy on the front steps. I leave my stuff in the back of the house and we go to get something to eat.
2:14 p.m. Tommy and I eat at Mammas Kitchen a new Korean Restaurant located at 1403 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122. We both go Mommas Special a pork sandwich and I also got a drum stick. We got some sugar Kane juice for drinks mine was regula,. Tommy’s was pineapple flavored. The drum stick was crispy and the chicken was tender. The sandwichs were crunchy, a bit bready, but the meat and veggies were really fresh and flavorful, especially the cilantro.
3:00 p.m. Tommy and I get back to Victory outreach house and I lighten my load by dropping extra gear. .
3:30 p.m. I head over to L Street bath house to find it’s closed. It closes at 3pm Sunday 8pm every other day. I end up hanging out out front and changing my phones Using the solar battery and an electric charger I was lucky enough to find a plug.
5:00 p.m. I leave L Street Bathhouse for Planet fitness on Winter st, and then to go sleep at the place frank told me about.
5:20 check out planet fitness at winter Street. I don’t shower there, because I was worried about my bike getting messed with. The area seemed rife with debauchery.
5:40 went across the street to the Boston Commons, and just chilling for a while, looking over the homeless resource sheets someone gave me at St. Paul’s.
6:00 p.m. I do a Google search for Grocery stores and find a whole foods near by. I ride my bike over to Whole foods and put my gear in the cart and grab some food for Frank and me.
7:20 p.m. I arrive at the place Frank told me about and there’s a feller yellin in the street at cars driving by, “I’m a real Marine! You wanna fuck with a real Marine!” The area to sleep is a covered entrance to a church that provides shelter from the elements. I see why it is a desirable place to sleep. There’s lights there too. There’s a man sitting on a stone bench under the roof. The man continues to yell in the street. I end up having a nice conversation with the man on the bench. He tells me his name is LA, and he is direct in his communication and has an even temper. The man yelling in the street was the friend I’d made earlier Frank. He was shit faced drunk. He began asking if I was a real Marine? I responded no. He asked if I would kill for him? I suggested I might fight for him. He said real Marines kill for each other. He approached LA and began touching his arm. LA said, “don’t touch me. I don’t let anyone touch me.” I shared my food with LA and some with Frank. Eventually Frank left. LA told me he was from California, and had been out here in MA for a while. LA said he doesn’t drink, and only smokes marijuana occasionally. I liked LA. Soon a woman arrives and blows up a mattress and lays down. She is quiet. I set up my bed.work on this blog and get ready for sleep, hopefully it comes.