Today I leave lorian’s house after keeping an eye on the dogs, the house, and keeping a watchful eye on the three now grown men that reside there. Lorianne and her family are like a second family to me. Lori Ann reached out to me almost 4 years ago and asked me to help her with her boy’s, which I did. I’ve been there through some tough times with those guys. I’ve seen them learn, grow, and develop. There’s nothing better in life when you have good people in your life like Loiann and her family.
I dealt with some car trouble. But besides that, the time spent sitting with the dogs was pretty boring. I felt guilty staying in a big house, and living lavishly. Usually I’d reach out to friends, or other people and seek out company. I just wanted to be left alone. I felt guilty.
What I was able to do was work on various things for this project, and think about how I was going to format things. S***’s about to get real rough. The winter is encroaching. I don’t like the shelters. A lot of them shake you down when you go in. It reminds me of prison. I really enjoy sleeping outside, and I’m geared up for it.
I don’t like being called homeless. When I tell people I’m homeless they always ask me if I need help or look at me funny. If I needed f****** help I would ask for it. People feel bad for you, if you don’t have the luxury of stable housing. In this journey already, I’ve met many people that are comfortable being homeless. There are many people in this state who live outside and cycle through the shelter systems when it gets cold. I find people that are chronically homeless and are comfortable living that lifestyle as admirable people. All the prejudices, and all the stigmas in this world make me sick. There needs to be more work done around understanding. That is what I’m doing, and I want to do it in a way that benefits society.
I packed up early around 6:30 a.m. I left the house at 7:10. I go to gentle dental in Peabody to get my teeth cleaned. My insurance is messed up, so I had to pay cash. It’s worth it because my front teeth are impacted and plaque gets in there no matter what I do. I also stop at the smoke shop and grab some more tobacco. I picked up a vape in Gloucester as well. Nicotine has been a simple joy for me. I take vitamin c everyday, but I noticed I was getting a sore throat. One valuable lesson I learned is that orange juice seems to dispel my sore throat and alleviate soreness in my lungs from smoking. I’ve taken to drinking much more orange juice. Until my insurance is straightened out I can’t afford to get sick.
After my cleaning I went to a good friend’s house in Danvers. I always check in to see how he’s doing. He is one of my favorite people in the world. A devoted friend who I consider my asexual life partner. For those who don’t know, asexual means we share a tight bond but there is no, absolutely no, romantic connection. This is kind of a joke, because I’m anything but asexual. But this friend of mine has been there for me through thick and thin and I appreciate that wholeheartedly.
I began biking to the Train station in Salem to go to North Station, which is arriving around noon. Luckily I left a little early, because as I was riding my bike I realized I didn’t have my helmet. I rode back to where I parked my truck, and my helmet wasn’t in there. Crap! I realize I must have left my helmet in my little car. I jumped in my truck and I drove over to the mechanic shop in Danvers where I had my car. When I got there they told me they fixed the clutch switch, and after they did that the alternator went. I said, just throw one in there. I drove back to park my truck and then I rode my bike to the train station.
12:00 p.m. I took the train from Salem to North Station. Then I rode my bike to South Station, and was able to get on the Worcester train just in time. When I arrived in Worcester I decided to choose a gym that seemed to have some woods nearby. That way I could sleep in the woods and go to a gym in the morning to drop off the bulk of my gear, and take my little backpack on the road with me. Riding the bike with all my gear I weigh about 290 lbs. This puts one hell of a strain on my knees, and I’ve definitely felt it. One guy said that I’d f*** my back up. My back is strong and this hasn’t happened. It’s just my knees that get the pain. That’s no worry, I’m no stranger to working through pain.
When I get to the gym I check in and I lock my bag up. One thing I do is I comb an area for resources. Worcester is full of hills, which sucks. Worcester is a big city that is sprawled out over a large area. Everything seems to be a bit of a ride from the gyms that I use as my primary resource to lock my gear during the day. The bulk of the homeless resources are in the heart of the city. It takes me about 20 minutes to ride the bike from the gym to the city. I like libraries, coffee shops with sitting areas where I can charge my devices, I love Market Basket and Whole Foods for the sitting area, recovery centers, day centers, and any other homeless services like places that have meals, or provide some type of shelter. I take some time to find a camping spot before I head out to dinner.
4:30 p.m. I go to the dinner at Mustard Seeds, a place that serves dinners for the homeless and impoverished Monday through Friday. There’s about 50 or 60 people at this dinner. It’s an eclectic mix of people, and I feel as if addiction plays a big role in poverty here in Worcester. I keep to myself. Outside of mustard seeds, right after I lock my bike up, a man says to me, “You got that,” I say, “what,” he says again, “You got that,” I think, then I say, “no.” The scene at mustard seeds has somewhat of a menacing feel to it. The whole of Worcester has a menacing feel. The streets of Worcester are not set up for bike traffic. I ride mostly on the sidewalks. This is dangerous. I don’t see many bicycles on the street. It seems that either you drive in Worcester, or you take public transportation, or you walk. Below is wall art I saw on my bike ride
I meet a nice man named David at the dinner. I meet another woman named Sophia who tells me about some of the places that serve food. At the table I’m sitting at there is a large transgender woman. She is very loud and obnoxious. There’s a plaque on the wall that has the Bible verse that says when you were hungry I fed you, when you were cold I clothed you, when you are in prison I visited you…. I like that. People at Mustard seeds were really kind and attentive. They brought meals out for us. David gave me his chicken and his brownie. I didn’t eat all my chicken. A woman came by and asked me if I was going to eat the chicken. I said no, she asked if she could have it. I said absolutely.
After the dinner, David and I went for a walk so David could show me some of the other places that serve food. David also showed me the shelter. We walked right around back where they were letting people into the shelter. Like the other shelter I went to, when people went in you immediately had to strip all your stuff off and then they shook you down. A woman came out and asked if I was staying at the shelter. I said not tonight. I don’t like the prison feel of shelters.
I rode my bike back to the area where the gym was. It was starting to get dark. I stopped at the store and picked up some orange juice. I rolled me a cigarette. I took some time to think while I smoked my cigarette. My website guy and good friend called me, and convinced me that it’s best to call my business Identify Society, since it is the name of the website domain. It also makes a lot of sense because Identify infiltrates social cultures.
After the phone call I went to the gym and do a little workout. After that I grabbed my stuff out of the locker, and I headed over to my campsite. I set up camp in the dark. Once I’m in my tent I feel at home. I hit my vape, I relaxed, and I wrote this blog. With these last words, I drift off into sleep, hoping nothing happens to me while I’m unconscious.
10:42 p.m. I was sleeping, then I woke up to rustling leaves, something was running around my camp. It must be a Coyote. I am reminded how important fear is as a human emotion. It woke me, and alerted me to an intruder. I grabbed my weapon. Eventually the sound went away. The animals know I am here, they can smell me. It’s a question of whether they want to attack my tent or not. I hope they leave me be in the darkness.