6:00 a.m. I wake up on the floor of my buddy’s kids playroom. I feel refreshed. I take time to finish up the blog and go over the previous days activity. It’s been a long first week and a lot has happened. I am surprised how fast I adjusted to living outside in the street. Sunday is the day I visit my mother, I owe her that much for giving me life. My plan is to structure my day around that visit.
8:30 a.m. I go upstairs to the living room. My friend is sleeping off his drunk on the couch. He wakes up and we hang out, watch TV, and shoot the shit for a while. My buddies’ young boys are running around, and I’m petting the dog who’s all over the place. I find random scraps of food and drink a few Frescas. We hang out and watch a David Beckham documentary who suffered from depression from a mistake he made playing soccer as a young man. At one point I see a pack of cigarettes on the counter. I’ve smoked two cigarettes in the last week. I look at the cigarettes and I think to myself, “I want one of those, and then I think, is it something that I need or is it something that I want?” I am not powerless over this craving and I realize that I can choose whether or not I smoke a cigarette and I choose not to smoke that cigarette.
9:30 a.m. My friend and I head outside to work on my little blue car. All the coolant had pissed out of the car when I took the cap off on the highway. It was so hot it exploded out like a geyser when my camera guy and I were broken down on the side of the highway. My buddy brings out a gallon of water and we start looking for leaks. While the car is shut off we fill up the reservoir and nothing comes out. My friend has some wooden ramps so we grab the ramps, turn the car on, and drive it up onto the ramps. We fill up the coolant reservoir and we start the car to see if water will start leaking out. Nothing is leaking, so I jump in the driver’s seat. The car is a stick shift. I push in the clutch, I take the car out of gear, and then I go to crank down on the emergency brake just to have a stronghold on the rear wheels so the car won’t roll while I leave it running in neutral. I snap the emergency brake line. Then the car starts rolling and I panic. My buddy is under the car. Like an idiot, instead of putting my foot on the brake and taking my foot off the clutch, I try to put the car in gear hoping it would stop the car, but my foot is still on the clutch. The car starts rolling over the ramps. I yell out to my buddy, “get out of the way!” My friend sees the car moving, hears me yelling, and jumps out of the way. The car rolls right over the wood ramps and rolls into the street. The car drags one of the ramps all the way under the car and then it gets jammed between the ground and the rear frame. The car is stuck and my buddy’s yelling at me because I damn near killed his ass. I tell him I’m sorry, I got scared, I didn’t know how to react, I almost killed my friend and I feel ashamed.
After the near tragedy, we see that there’s no leaks in the car, we’re able to free the wooden ramp from under the frame, and I start driving the car around to see if it overheats. Besides a broken e-brake, thanks to me, and possibly an inactive radiator fan, the car seems okay; it just needs some general maintenance. My buddy and I have a quick laugh, and then we just park the car and I plan on getting it fixed next week.
10:30 a.m. My friend’s wife and I have a discussion about my project. She has spent time to read over the blog and my writings. She is still confused as to my reasoning for Homeless 366, but she says she has more understanding why I am doing this. I’ve known my friend and his wife most of my life, and I let her know that no matter her thoughts or opinions I always respect and care about her. These people mean so much to me. My friends are more valuable than all the gold in the world.
11:00 a.m. I head over to my mother’s house to spend time with her, her dog Charli, and her cat Wheezy. My mom cooks me some pizza and I take the dog for a walk. I call my friend fast Eddie. I asked her if you could help me with the Identify website, he said he’s not busy and agrees to help, so I head over there.
12:30 p.m. I drive over to fast Eddie’s house and we work on the website for about an hour and just chill. We discuss my project and other life things. Eddie and I decide to make some food so we go to the grocery store and get taco making materials. I hang out at Eddie’s house for a while, watch TV, and eat dinner. Eddie helps me film a quick policy point bulletin where I make a quick video discussing certain things I’ve noticed living homeless that could be helpful for homeless populations.
1. Access Small Inflatable mats to sleep on
2. Designated sheltered places in the city near resources where people can sleep outside
3. Have social workers and healthcare workers visit meals for homeless and address everyone and share their info
4. Phone trainings on how to use smart phones
5:15 p.m. I drive back to my mother’s house the cat has a feeding. I take the dog for another walk and then I bike out to the Hamilton train station.
6:15 p.m. I get to the train station early. The train comes at 7:40. I hang around working on videos and just updating the blog planning and thinking of what next week might possibly bring.
7:40 p.m. the train arrives. Once I’m boarded a man asks me about my gear. He says, “are you going on a backpacking trip?” I tell him about my project and give him my card. He says his name is Ben and tells me he is a transportation engineer. I ask what is that? He tells me he works to make the city roads better for bikes and transportation. I ask ben what influenced him to be a transportation engineer. Ben tells me he spent the better part of a year in the Netherlands and there is a great bike riding infastructure there. You can ride a bike anywhere he says, and the people are healthy and happy. Ben and I talk for a while and it’s a great conversation.
8:30 p.m. I arrive in Boston at North Station. There are people everywhere coming from the Celtics game, so many people are in Celtic gear. I am just another face in the crowd. I ride to my sleeping spot. LA is asleep when I get there. I set up my inflatable sleeping mat, roll out my sleeping bag, and get for sleep. I think back and remember my Camera man telling someone the most beautiful place he’s ever seen is the painted desert.