8:00 a.m. I wake up in my tent. It’s about 23° and I’m slow to get up. I ate a couple Reese’s peanut butter cups. I take my caffeine, my vitamin C, and my doxycycline which I’m still on for the possible Lyme disease. I have all these big plans to upload the content that I’ve been working on but I end up just scrolling and I hang out in the tent talking to a few friends and not really getting anything done. It’s really comfortable, and the cold doesn’t really bother me besides my hands getting numb at some points. What I do is I pull the three comforters over me and I breathe under the blankets which conserves the warmth from my breath and keeps my hands warm. I did have to go outside to take a dump, and also empty my urine bottle.
11:00 a.m. I make a short video and I get my stuff together and get ready to head down to a little lunch at the Lifebridge homeless day shelter.
11:40 a.m. I hike out of the woods. It’s a beautiful day. It’s still cold, probably around 34°. I make my way to my truck which I drive and park at a location between life bridge and the library. While I’m walking on the side street next to the Lifebridge building I see a tall man arguing with one of the life bridge workers who speeds off in a truck giving the man the finger. I stop and say to the tall man, “that guy was giving you the finger.” The tall man explains to me that life bridge has a brand new shower van they have not even used, and that they mismanage funds. I end up having a long conversation with this tall man about the mismanagement of homeless funds in Massachusetts and all the corruption within the non-profit sector. I give him my card and tell him to hit me up.
I walk over to the day shelter. There’s only a few people there. Another homeless person tells me that they’re serving in the shelter again and I don’t have to wear a face mask. I chow down one of the meals in the refrigerator that was left from the day before, and then I head over to the Life bridge shelter for the meal that they just cooked. They have steak and cheese egg rolls with a cucumber salad and soup. I eat the egg rolls and all the soup and some of the cucumber salad.
12:30 p.m. I walk out of life bridge and then I across the street where I see Cryin Mike, and red-haired Mike are hanging out at the flag memorial. I walk over and say what’s up and give some hugs. Sean also shows up and he seems to be doing a lot better. Sean tells me what happened and why he was in the hospital. Someone had given Sean a Suboxone he said because he had a headache. Sean had never taken Suboxone before and when he took it he overdosed and the paramedics crushed his ribs when they were trying to revive him. That is why he went to the hospital, he said. While we’re all standing around, there’s a few of us, a woman named Lisa, I’ll say, came up and began belligerently yelling at people for stealing her tobacco. She was obviously distraught. Eventually she calmed down, sat down, and became very emotional and began crying hysterically. It seem that she was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. She kept asking why her friend had to die. Eventually a young woman came who was her case manager with Elliot. By this point she was laying down shivering. When the woman came by, she began asking Lisa questions and working with Lisa to help get her into a detox. Lisa became very emotional and myself and both the Mikes began to console her. Cryin Mike gave Lisa his blankets and jackets. I too eventually gave her my jacket to warm her, and red-haired Mike also gave her his jacket to cover her and keep her warm. The police showed up and an ambulance was called. I finally met officer Green, who’s a really kind-hearted soul, who looks out for the homeless people in Salem. While the Elliot case manager was there, I had Cryin Mike give her his information, so she might be able to help him with services. Once the ambulance came and they whisked Lisa away, Mike and I walked to my truck, and I drove to his campsite where I gave him a couple jackets some tarps and a backpack which he needed. I spent some time exploring the woods where Mike is camped. I see that there’s a lot of potential for campsites there. Mike seems to be pretty stable for now and I think to myself maybe I’ll set up another camp near Mike.
1:30 p.m. My friend Derek had called me, he works for Lifebridge. He was actually driving by during the whole fiasco with Lisa, and we were talking on the phone while looking at each other as he was parked at a red light. He told me to stop by the life bridge thrift shop. So as soon as I left Mike’s camp I took a quick ride over there. When I went in the thrift shop I didn’t see Derek, so I walked around and looked at some of the clothes and items. I found a Nautica jacket that was only 26 bucks and it was brand new so I bought it. When I looked into the warehouse I saw my friend Pete I said hi and he came out and we talked for a little bit.
2:45 p.m. I leave the life bridge thrift shop and I drive my truck back over to the library. I sit in the car and dictate the blogs that will be going up soon.
4:50 p.m. I walk over to the lifebridge shelter dinner. They’ve been serving meals in the shelter instead of the day center, and we don’t have to wear COVID mask anymore. I sit with a few people and I quietly eat my dinner. I see a few people I know and have a little bit of conversation. When I’m outside I listen to a conversation where a man is talking about enjoying the life of living in a tent. He has a truck, which means he’s mobile. I think to myself it would be good to get to know this man. I would love to see his setup.
6:00 p.m. I walk back to the library and continue to work on a few social media things.
8:00 p.m. I’m getting tired already so I pack up my stuff and I drive my truck over to the woods where my camp is. When I walk in the woods it’s dark. I don’t use lights traveling through the forest. This is one of the darkest nights I’ve had to walk to the camp in the woods. There’s enough natural light for me to barely follow the path. When it’s this dark I sometimes envision the potential of predators sneak attacking me. I understand this isn’t realistic, but I must say the darkness holds a special kind of fear in my mind. I am comfortable with this because it’s a natural fear, human beings are day walkers. At one point I pass a small thicket of trees and frighten a mourning dove. I don’t know who is more scared, the Dove or me. I get to my camp and I settle in for the night. The tall man I’d met before lunch had been texting me. Tomorrow I will meet with my new friend for breakfast.