I woke up after a decent night’s sleep. I video my camp breakdown and then I do a live on YouTube. I’m still getting used to everything and this is a learning process. I Head over to the gym to lock my stuff up and brush my teeth. I’m always afraid when I go to lock my stuff up in one of the active and fit gyms that somebody’s going to tell me I can’t keep my stuff there. I’m always afraid that I’m going to be judged or criticized for being different. For carrying around a humongous hiking pack. I feel like a weirdo. And I’m thinking on how I would respond to that if it happens. I’m not afraid to argue, and confront people. I’m not afraid to fight. Ultimately, that is the wrong decision. People react to things not expecting what somebody like me is capable of. I rest on the process of taking information from others, and returning a response of compassion.
Being in this current state of Fringe existence has given me more empathy for those who are in a similar situation. The United States stomped out the roaming hippie, and replaced it with the rapacious consumer. One benefit of this is people are too caught up in their own world to even give other people a second glance. I’m sure there are probably some people reading this saying, oh not me…..
We have all these new age holistasticians. They talk about shamanism, God, Buddhism, chakras, eating mushrooms, Veganism, and energy all in one conversation and what it really seems like is they have no idea what the f*** they’re talking about. Then there’s the body image obsessed who post pictures of themselves all over social media, take 30 different supplements, get their face and other body parts augmented, and walk around as if the world is a mirror. It’s so expensive to live. We are now flooded with the hard drivers working and hustling to make ends meet and never considering the meaning or purpose of their lives. In today’s society everyone is running hard towards something or running hard away from something. I find it soothing when I meet the people who just exist, they have found a way to avoid getting stuck in the empty peacock show that is today’s mainstream.
I think what it really is, is people just want to look good for the people that matter to them. We put on a show for the people that matter and everyone else is just background noise. I’m grateful for this, because I’ve been left alone. In the same stance, I’ve been cautious not to bother other people and I allow people to open up to me if they choose. If people want to be recorded I will record them. Otherwise I give them the same space and respect I want afforded to myself.
8:00 a.m. I leave the gym I’ve been using as a storehouse. While I was biking through the shopping center, I got lost in thought and rode my bike right into a pillar. I scratched my hand and wrist pretty badly. I travel across town. It takes me a half hour biking to get to another gym where I see possible camping sites. I really just want a short route with fewer hills. There’s a lot of cool murals in Worcester. I stop and take a picture of a few. I see a car lot with some cheap cars and take a picture.
When I get to my destination the first thing I do is check out the gym to see how big the lockers are. They are humongous. From there I began to do some exploring. I check out the area that would be a potential campsite for me. It’s along the train tracks. As I’m walking I see a lot of evidence that people have been here. I see a stuffed animal. And I look down a ravine and I see a campsite. I go down to investigate to see that it’s been long abandoned. It’s along the water and once again there’s a beautiful swan there. I took a picture. I do a short video, and I hear some people arguing coming down the tracks. I’m leaving anyway so I walk towards the commotion. There’s a guy and a girl walking towards the entrance of this backwoods hideout. I walked to a small wooded area they came from and I found plenty of evidence of more encampments. I take a video and I find active encampments. The whole scene turns me off. I don’t want to camp around people I don’t know.
I spent the rest of my morning searching the area for a good camping site away from others. Everywhere I go I find a tent. While I’m searching, I see some deer which is pretty cool.
A guy I had met the day before outside of a program told me that there is a church lunch down the street at a place called Net of Compassion on Main Street. I decided to head that way and get something to eat.
There’s a yard sale on the way so I stop. The guy has an old painting. I looked it up with Google lenses, and found out that it’s quite valuable. About $500 to possibly a few thousand. I can’t take the painting so I tell him how much it’s worth. He has a whole bunch of junk, so I asked if he had any bikes. He pulls out an old hybrid mountain bike, he wants 20 bucks for it but it’s in pretty bad shape and I don’t have time to mess around with it.
I continue on my way to the lunch. When I get there there’s people everywhere. They set up tables with all kinds of food goods. There’s also people getting ready to serve a hot lunch. They have tables set up to sit at, so I sit down and charge my phone with my portable battery. I observe the people, there’s all different types of people, older people, people of different ethnicities, and then there’s younger people. I would say total around 70 people. There’s one man talking to another man about Jesus. The man talking is very fervent, and I get a video with him. The meal is set to start at 1:00. Before the meal starts the pastor gets up and does about a 20 minute sermon. This is the most preaching I’ve seen at a church held homeless meal.
At the meal there were some people giving away government funded tablets. I did not qualify for the tablet, but they said if I paid 50 bucks I could get a tablet with service for a year. So I bought a tablet. I don’t know if I will need it, but it might come in useful.
After the meal I went to hang out at the library. The Worcester public Library is a beautiful place. They had chess tables there, and I got excited because I like to play chess. There was also a cool art display about Rap in the 80s and 90s. I set up my new tablet, and I charged my phones. The gym is going to close at 5:00 p.m. so I don’t have much time.
I leave the library around 3:45 and bike back to get my stuff. I have breakfast plans with an old coworker in the morning. I realize I’m going to have to get dinner so I stop at the supermarket and buy a sub and the vitamin water. I get to the gym around 4:30 and take a quick shower. I pack all my stuff up and head over to a laundromat where I wash my stinky clothes.
It’s around 6:00 p.m. when my clothes are finished washing. I get changed, I grabbed my bag and my bike and my food and I retreat into the woods. I eat my dinner in the dark. I set up camp. I roll a cigarette and smoke it. I roll into my tent, relax, to finish my day by writing this blog.