7:00 a.m. It’s a rainy morning so I stay in my tent and work on the blog. The tent keeps me dry, and the phones keep me busy with work.
10:30 a.m. I can hear a lot of bustle coming from the Big tent. I decided to go over to the door and say knock knock. I’m admitted entrance. Old school is still sleeping, but Jamie and Jess are awake. Jess wakes up old school by shaking him and grabbing his arm. Old school wakes up angry and a wrestling match ensues. Now that everybody’s up, we’re all talking, and old school and Jess are telling me about the raccoon attack in the middle of the night. They say the raccoon unzipped the tent door and came in and tried to steal old school’s jacket. I take a picture of everybody, and I want to get a video of them talking about the raccoon attack. Jamie has to pee, and is uncomfortable that I’m there. She makes it quite known that she is uncomfortable with another person in the tent when she pees in the bottle. I apologize and I head back out to my camp area. The rain is minimal so I decide to break down camp and get ready for the day.
11:00 a.m. While I’m getting my stuff together, old school, Jess, and Jamie are arguing about getting Jamie out for the day. The weather is nasty, but they want to go get breakfast and hang out at the library. Jamie prefers to stay in the tent, and eventually they’re able to sway Jamie to join them on the trek to downtown Worcester. I go back into the Big tent, and let everybody know that I’m going just stop at the gym to lock my gear up, and spend some time over at the shopping area, before I head into town. We all walk out down the trails and then we split up and go our separate directions.
12:00 p.m. I go to the active and fit gym, and I lock my stuff up in the locker there. Afterwards I take my little backpack and ride around canvassing the area, looking for a good place to set up my little one-man camp later that night. There’s a big church that has a lot of land and is butted up against a forested area. I look at it on Google maps and decide that that’s the best place for me. Next I stop at Stop & Shop and I get some food. While I was looking at the cheesecakes, a woman says to me, “Can I help you with something?” I don’t know what it was if it was her tone, if it was me, but I responded matter of factly, “no you cannot.”
From Stop & Shop I walk over to dunkin’ donuts and get a coffee so I can sit and eat my sub sandwich, chips, and cheesecake and I think about how I responded to that woman at Stop & shop. Why was I so snippy? Was it merited or am I just becoming curmudgeonly from living outside and feeling like an outcast? While I’m sitting in dunkin’s a couple of guys come in and they look transient. They have a conversation about drug use and one of the individuals says they stopped using fentanyl. They talk about the experience of fentanyl being like a warm hug. I think to myself about how drugs make us feel, in a cold world a warm feeling, and escape is welcome. I do a video call while I’m in dunkin’ donuts with the lawyer for Tiffany’s Recovery Incorporated nonprofit. He has done an amazing job helping us and has gotten our taxes up to speed. I’m really excited about this cuz I had planned on filling out 990 forms on my computer while living in the street. The future of Tiffany’s Recovery Incorporated non-profit is bringing assistance to those in the street who have struggled or struggled with substance use, and helping them find not only the material needs to help them, but help them find the psychological needs to help them grow in their lives.
3:30 p.m. I hang out at the bus stop and wait for the bus that goes to the hub. When the bus gets to the hub I ride my bike over to the library and I meet up with old school, Jess, and Jamie. They’re on their way out to take a bus to the Mustard Seed dinner. I tell them that I’m going to hang out at the library for a little bit and charge my phones, then ride my bike over to the Mustard Seed.
4:50 p.m. I arrive at Mustard Seeds, and I sit down at the table with old school, Jess, and Jamie and there’s a couple other people at the table too so I say hi and introduce myself. They have shepherd’s pie for dinner, with some brownies, and cupcakes. I’m so hungry I just eat the food and a bunch of sweets. The dinner is pretty quiet tonight and it’s getting cold, after the dinner I walk to the bus station with old school, Jess, and Jamie. I tell them that I don’t want to ride my bike from the gym where I lock my stuff up all the way back to the campsite, and that I’m going to camp alone tonight.
7:00 p.m. The bus drops us off near McDonald’s where old school, Jess, and Jamie plan on hanging out for a while. I give them hugs and say my goodbyes, and I ride my bike over to the active and fit gym where my stuff is locked up. It’s about a 10 minute bike ride. When I get to the gym I go into the locker room, unlock my stuff, zip the little bag onto the big rucksack, and I head out into the night.
7:40 p.m. I ride my bike over to the church I plan on sleeping behind. There’s a lot of people at the church there’s cars and people outside. I ride my bike to the left where there is a soccer field. I walk along the trees looking for an entrance to the wooded area. I found a small path through some bamboo. It goes down a small incline into a small wooded area. At first I thought I’m going to camp close to the small path. I locked my bike up and I began to walk around and check out the area in the dark. I decide to camp a little bit farther away from the main entrance, and I find a spot tucked away in some overgrown thicket. The ground is wet so I lay down my camping tarp to put my tent on. It’s extremely foggy tonight, it’s so thick that the fog is causing water to drip down from the trees. The place in the thicket was once a camp that belonged to someone else. It looks like a woman because there’s a brush and some women’s clothes, but it could’ve been a couple people. There’s a pallet and what looks like an old wooden table area that has no top. I set my camp up in the darkness and the mud. When I get myself settled in the tent I realize I might have made a mistake. I can smell the mud and it’s moist and wet and the sound of dripping keeps me on high alert. I feel uncomfortable for a while and it takes me till about 11:30 to drift off into sleep