7:00 a.m. I woke up. I always plan the night before to work on stuff in the tent. I always end up just scrolling around on social media. It was cold last night, probably about 25°. My hands are cold when they’re not under the covers. I text my new friend the tall man and we make plans to meet up around 9:30 for breakfast.
9:00 a.m. I packed everything up for the day. And while I’m outside the tent I hear women’s voices. It’s a couple of hikers, and I listen and wait as they pass by. I hike out of the woods and I drive over to the apartment complex where my new friend, the tall man, lives.
9:45 a.m. The tall man and I walk over to a local breakfast place. We both get eggs benedict. The staff is really friendly, and the tall man knows them personally. The tall man tells me about the political work he has done for the LGBTQ community, he is very civically involved. We talk about charities and corruption and ideas around helping homeless people. The tall man is very sharp. I am happy to have connected to this new friend.
11:30 a.m. The tall man and myself walk back to his apartment complex. We say our goodbyes and I head over to the library in Salem. I spend the whole late morning and afternoon working on posting blogs, uploading social media videos, and getting organized. The plan is to keep up with my work everyday.
4:30 p.m. I walked over to the Life bridge shelter for dinner. They usually don’t open the doors until about 5:15 so I’m there a little bit early, it’s only about an 8 minute walk. I take a walk over to the tent City. I see a few of my friends hanging about in their tents. One of my friends tells me that they’re sick from detoxing off of alcohol. I go into Wendy’s and I buy her a large Sprite so she has some fluids. I had suggested something more hydrating as a drink, but she wants Sprite. A few people stop by to talk and I meet a new friend named Marty. At one point one gentleman begins yelling about someone stealing something from their tent. Marty and myself decide to walk over to the shelter for dinner. I have a discussion with Marty on the walk and he tells me that he has schizophrenia. He was in the hospital and his parents wanted him to stay there, and he decided to leave. Now he is homeless in the street. Marty told me that he sleeps in the mall at night.
5:20 p.m. When we get to the shelter I sit with my friend Sean for dinner. We have a pork and vegetable stir fry which is pretty good. We make small talk at the table. At one point one of the volunteer workers who had cooked dinner comes out and is talking to the people eating. One of the women I’m sitting with says, “Don’t touch me,” and then she says softer to myself and the other people sitting at the table, “that guy is pretty handsy.” I wouldn’t have realized if she didn’t say something, but she was right. The volunteer was going around touching people that were eating and talking to them. I could definitely see the creep factor in that.
6:00 p.m. After dinner I walk back to the library. I hang out charging my phones for a bit and scrolling on social media.
8:00 p.m. I pack up my stuff and I leave the library. I drive over and park my car near the woods where my camp is. I hike out into the woods, the light is really good. I can see pretty far into the forest. I don’t understand how some nights I can barely see the path, and on a night like this I can see in the forest clearly as if it is dusk. When I get back to my tent I settle in. I do a video just talking about stuff on my mind. It’s not too cold and after texting with some people and scrolling around on social media I turn in for the night.