The city runs itself, there’s a worker for every cubic inch. A hive with human bees. A concrete sail tightened by a Million strand cinch.
Scraps tumble down a cascade of social indulgence. The heart of the caring feeds the despair of the indigent.
Without them where would they go. Why do some care and some don’t?
So it’s bookmarked in my mind. Remembered information gets deluded over time. Crystallize the love and sell it at a rate subprime.
Never! I say, but that’s a lie. None of us want to be homeless forever. The question is, is there rest before we die?
6:30 a.m. I woke up at the church. This is late for me. I began getting my stuff ready. It’s starting to get light. There’s a lot of people in the streets. I feel a little awkward when I’m packing up my stuff early in the morning and there’s people around. They can tell that I’m homeless. I wonder what they think. The woman who also sleeps at the church tells me that she’s going to miss having me around. I told her the night before that I’ll be heading to framingham.
7:00 a.m. Once everything’s all packed up I began to ride over to planet fitness. As I’m riding down Commonwealth Ave I can feel my pedal is really loose. I stopped the bike to check the pedal and it came right off. I’ve snapped the bolt. I need a new bike. I began to walk the bike towards planet fitness. My mind is spinning. I have to figure out a plan. As I’m walking I see a nice young woman riding a blue bike, I can’t help to think that at some point she might stop at a store and the blue bike could be mine. Don’t worry I’m not going to steal a blue bike, but I can understand why so many homeless people end up with blue bikes. Desperation causes us to do things that we normally wouldn’t do. As I’m heading down Winter Street, I see a rat that has been run over, it’s completely smushed. Ideas of life and death and existence versus non-existence flash in my mind.
7:30 a.m. I lock the bike up outside planet fitness and then I head inside. I lock my big bag up in the locker room and I sit in my little office at planet fitness. I reached out to some of the folks that had said they would be willing to donate a bike for my cameraman LA. A woman named Mary said she would be willing to donate it to me, but they were leaving at 10:00 a.m. this morning. I reached out to some of my friends in Lynn, my friend Rob, my other friend Mike, and also my friend Mark. To see if someone would grab the bike. My friend Rob agreed to grab it. I was grateful for this huge favor. Rob left it at Mike’s house in Lynn for me to get later.
8:30 a.m. I reached out to my friend JP who works on the green line right next to The Commons on Tremont Street. I asked him if he could give me a ride back to Danvers when he leaves work; he agreed. He wasn’t leaving until 1:30 so I had some time to kill.
9:15 a.m. I headed over to Emmanuel church to see some of my homeless friends. I wanted to see if I could get an interview with my friend Eric who is a skilled meditator. I also wanted to interview a couple named Cassie and Danielle, two people I’m really interested in, two beautiful spirits that I want to learn more about. On the way to the church, I see the Wendell Phillips statue in the Boston garden, I also see some construction workers sitting down. I asked the construction workers if I could take a picture. I tell them about my project and this turns into a big conversation about addiction and homelessness.
9:30 a.m. when I arrive at Emmanuel Church Eric and Cassie and Danielle are there. I asked them about interviews, but Eric is on the phone with social services, and Cassie and Danielle are tired. I hang out and talk to some people and I ate tune casserole for lunch. I talked to my friend Donald, who I’d interviewed before. I met another man named Patrick. He says he has been homeless for 7 years. Before he was with his girlfriend who had gotten pregnant and they ended up separating so she could get housing for herself and the baby. Patrick is working on a plan to get himself housing and get some work, so he can get on his feet. I tell Donald that my bike is broken and the pedal snapped off. I tell him that my plan is to just leave it unlocked and let somebody scavenge it. Donald says, “no don’t do that, give it to me.” I say, “sure, but you have to come with me when I leave here.”
12:30 p.m. Donald and I leave to walk up to planet fitness on Winter Street. As we walk Donald shares with me some of his experiences of long time homelessness. Donald traces his current state back to the abuse and severe trauma caused to him when he was a child by his father. I think to myself there should be more trauma specialists assigned to all these people that are homeless in the street. Not only are they traumatized in their childhoods, but they’ve been traumatized by living in the streets.
12:50 p.m. We get to planet fitness, I hand my broken bike over to Donald, he is grateful. From there I go into planet fitness and I grab my gear. It’s time to leave town. I text my friend JP and he meets me at the entrance of the green line. We go down and hang out in his office for a minute and then we take the green line to his car. He drives me to where my truck is being stored in Danvers. On the way he and I had some great conversations. As always it’s very fascinating how many friends I’ve seen along my way on my homeless trip.
2:30 p.m. When I get to my truck the battery is dead. I got to figure out a way to jump it. I walk down the street to my friend Erin’s apartment. Erin and I have been friends since we were really young, about 15 years old. We’ve had our ups and downs and we both have been through a lot. Regardless, when I love somebody and they’re my friend it seems to be a lifelong thing. I visit Erin and we talk about some of our recent troubles and our friendship, but we squash all that and we’re back on good terms. Erin gives me a jumper pack to jump my truck. When I get to my truck to jump it with the jumper pack, the pack is almost dead. Luckily a man that I know that runs a pizza shop nearby stops, he has cables, and helps me jump my truck. The battery is dying because I’m leaving the truck to sit for weeks at a time.
3:30 p.m. I drove to Lynn to pick up my bike. My friends Mike and Rob, who I play handball with, have left the bike stash at Mike’s house. Since I’m in town I stopped to check out the new handball courts that just got redone on the Nahant Rotary. We have a crew and we’ve been playing handball in Lynn and at LA fitness in Malden for almost 4 years now. From the handball court I pop in to the recovery exchange recovery center on 35 exchange Street in Lynn and visit my friends there. I’m really happy to see everyone. One thing I always do in Lynn when I’m there is get a burrito from the best burrito joint around; tacos lupitas.
4:45 p.m. I leave my truck at the recovery exchange and go over to Tacos Lupita’s and I have my favorite Chorizo con Huevo burrito. After I eat my burrito I walk back over to the recovery center and grab my new bike, which I left stashed in the recovery center, so it didn’t get stolen, and throw it in the back of my truck.
5:30 p.m. I head back to Danvers to drop my bike off at my friend’s house. Once I drop my bike off I head over to Walmart to buy a new battery for my truck, a special light for my phone so I can shoot video at night, some jumper cables, and a bottle of caffeine pills for my ADHD, which only cost four bucks. That’s right, as severe as my ADHD is, I couldn’t even explain what a constant battle it is, with varying symptoms of anxiety, depression, racing thoughts, etc…. All I spend on medication for 2 months is four bucks.
6:30 p.m. Now that I have the things that I need for my truck and filming, and I have a new bike, I head back to my friend’s house. He’s agreed to let me stay there since it is raining out. I go through my gear and get rid of any unnecessary items like my clunky camera stand. I have ordered a new camera stand that’s smaller and lighter off Amazon, and I ordered some small microphones. I’m working towards getting better at filming and recording this project. It’s an evolving creation.
7:30 p.m. I spent the rest of my night finishing up the day 19 blog. Once that’s done, I take a shower. I have not had a shower in 4 days.
9:30 p.m. I go to sleep in my friend’s spare bed. This is the second time I have slept in a bed in 20 days.