6:45 a.m. I wake up. It’s cold outside and it’s cold in my tent. Takes me a while to get motivated. I take my medication, caffeine and vitamin C. The caffeine helps me get through that sluggish paralysis I’m in every morning. Vitamin C is good for my immune system. When the caffeine kicks in I put on my jacket, and get ready to record videos. My personal phone has died. When I turn on the phone the moisture alarm for the charging port is beeping. This Android Note 9 Galaxy phone is very sensitive and does this a lot. Luckily the battery I have has a wireless charger. That’s why it was so important to have two phones to do this project. If one goes out, I have another backup. I Use my other phone to do some recordings.
11:00 a.m. I bike to My Brother’s Table in Lynn. My Brother’s table is an organization that gives meals to those who need them. They are still running on covid protocol which means they offer some drinks and bag lunches and dinners. You take the food and go. There’s an open space out in front of my brother’s table and there’s not really anywhere to sit. I’ve taken to carrying a little portable chair with me everywhere I go. I prefer to sit and sometimes there’s no seats available. I set up for my meal outside. I see people coming and going. My brother’s table is connected to a shelter and there’s also healthy streets harm reduction in the building. The people that work for healthy streets do a lot of great work for the community and the people in the streets.
1:00 p.m. There’s a woman putting some clothes on a bike rack in the front of my brother’s table. Her and I strike up a conversation. She tells me that she was homeless and spent 7 years in a shelter system. She tells me about her experiences learning about the system. At one point she had gotten her children taken away. She tells me that she has housing now, but it was a long road. She tells me that a lot of the stuff she learned she learned from other homeless people. Her and I plan on doing an interview The next day and I will meet her at my brother’s table.
2:00 p.m. My friend Gail has invited me to visit her at the police station where she works as a recovery coach on a response team that goes to calls involving addiction as well as other mental health crises. I feel kind of weird walking into a police station without cuffs on. I asked for Gail at the front desk, and it’s not long before she greets me and takes me to the office where her and her co-workers spend their time. I spend about 2 hours charging phones at her office and having discussions with Will Gail and her amazing coworkers. We talk about various issues like addiction, mental health, homelessness, and other things pertaining to their job in the project that I’m doing. At one point Gail has to go to a call, at this point I just hang out and talk to some of her co-workers.
4:30 p.m. I bike over to the recovery center on 35 exchange Street, called the recovery exchange. I’ve been to the center many times, and it is an amazing place. The people have done a really good job at making it a healthy, accepting, and helpful atmosphere for those who need help with recovery. I hang out in the center and talk to some of my friends there. I plan on staying for the Recovery Dharma meeting that will be happening at 6:00 p.m., and is run by my friend Jeff Timberlake, no relation to Justin. Recovery Dharma is a Buddhist pathway to recovery.
6:00 p.m. Jeff has shown up and is ready to do the Recovery Dharma meeting. Three other people show up. We do a check in and then we do a meditation for about 20 minutes. Next we read from the recovery dharma book about right action. The Recovery Dharma meeting is very therapeutic for me. I have been stressed out a little bit about criticizers attacking me on my social medias, and I’m able to re-center and remind myself that there’s a greater purpose for that which I am doing.
7:10 p.m. I leave the recovery center, and I head over to Tacos lupita’s. My favorite burrito joint in the whole entire world. I’m sure some people will read this and want to tie me to the stake, but I spend $11 on a chorizo con uevo burrito with extra cilantro. I was taken the food heaven, and just writing about it is helping me relive the experience.
7:45 p.m. I leave tacos lupita’s and I head over to my camp. The nights are getting colder and colder and I have to wear more and more gear to get around. Extra layers, gloves, hats, whatever it takes to stay warm. I Lock up my bike, and I walk out to my camp. I settle into my tent and go to sleep.