8:00 a.m. I woke up at my girlfriend’s apartment. We both have a lot going on in our lives right now. She needs to find a more affordable apartment. I have a lot going on with Homeless 366. It has been quite a roller coaster ride trying to balance everything. The best part is that we’re doing it together.
9:00 a.m. I drive to the location of Michael’s campsite in hiking to the woods to see if he’s there. The camp seems abandoned so I do a quick video. I drive my truck down the road and sit in the empty parking lot next to an abandoned building that belongs to the council of aging while I write blogs.
11:30 a.m. I stopped at Lifebridge to eat lunch which was cheesesteak egg rolls and corn and beans. I’m always cordial with everybody I sit around. I say hello and how are you doing. Most people I encounter are very polite. I found that I love the company and the people in the street.
12:30 p.m. I walked back to the truck to work on writing blogs. I got sick of sitting in my truck, so I walked to the library to work on uploading blogs and videos.
4:30 p.m. I walked over to Lifebridge for dinner. I see a whole bunch of people hanging out at the flagpoles at downtown Salem. As I approach I recognize Michael. I am elated, I’ve been worried about him for about a week. When I see him I give him a big hug, and I ask him where he’s been. Michael tells me that he had gotten work on a lobster boat from a person he met while flying a sign. He spent 3 days on the boat in Gloucester. He helped a lobsterman set traps. Michael told me that the lobsterman did not pay him but gave him coffee and food. This was very concerning to me and got me wondering if this lobsterman took advantage of Michael. Michael seemed to be in good spirits, and he asked me if I’d be sleeping at his camp in my tent. I told Michael that I would.There was a new character sitting next to me at the flagpoles while I talked to Michael. One of my homeless friends Vicky sat on my other side. This new character kept warning me not to talk to her. I told him that it was fine and I knew her. It is true that Vicky most likely has schizophrenia, and she has a propensity of getting herself in trouble. But I understand the struggles people face in the street very well, and I am very supportive of Vicky. Probably more so, considering many people try to avoid her. I understand this new character is trying to school me, but it’s also obvious that he cannot discern that I have a strong awareness of the situation. This is something that I’ve noticed a lot, is people quick to educate me without trying to understand my level of knowledge. There was also a lot of drama with some of the other people hanging around the flagpoles. There were two guys who had been fighting over a girl. They were yelling and arguing. The vibe was negative and I decided to walk over to Lifebridge to get my dinner.
5:15 p.m. I walked into the Lifebridge Day shelter to get my dinner. The workers directed everybody to go over to the actual shelter to eat. It was pasta tonight. The servings were small, but the shelter was doing seconds. After I ate my second plate a fight broke out between a new character I had met by the flagpoles and an obese African American man I knew from the dinners. The new character had left the impression on me of a person who is a rough and tumble type. The obese African American man has always been a quiet and humble person. I can imagine this rough new character had upset him in some way. One of the workers at Lifebridge broke up the fight. After the commotion I got up to get a piece of cake for dessert from the serving window. The worker pointed at me and commanded me to bring my plates up. I was offended by this, I do not like to be told what to do, I prefer to be asked, especially asked in a polite manner. Understanding the energy in the room I didn’t want to say anything to aggravate the situation further, so I just said, “I’m going to get my dessert” with a look of fire in my eyes. The lifebridge worker nodded in acknowledgment. I ate my dessert, and I thought to myself about pulling the worker aside and talking to him about the way he commanded me to do something, and ask that he not command me in the future. I got my plates and as I got up to leave, I decided it was not worth reprimanding this worker, and on my way out I wished him a good night. In the future if he commands me to do something, at that point I will address it.
5:45 p.m. I walked back over to the library. I worked on the blogs, and charged my phones a bit.
7:45 p.m. I walked back over to Michael’s camp. Last I checked on my tent I noticed that all my food had been eaten and there was a mess in the tent. I’d figured that Michael had eaten my food. I took some time to pull off all the blankets and sheets off my air mattress. I shook everything out and I cleaned up all the mess and what I noticed is that one of the drink bottles had been chewed. That’s when I realized that rodents had gotten in there and eaten up my candies and snacks. I used my phone light to see, and I was trying to figure out how they got in. I thought maybe they squeezed through the zipper opening. Then I noticed toward the ceiling of the tent a big hole had been chewed through. I wondered if it had been rats or if it had been squirrels that had gotten in there. They ate the two ramen noodle soups. And they unwrapped all the Reese’s pieces and ate those too. I checked my backpack for my sewing kit. It wasn’t there. What I did find was a patch kit for the air mattress. I used one of the air mattress patches and glue to cover the hole.
9:00 p.m. I hear Michael talking to himself outside my tent. I yell Michael’s name to let him know that I’m there. Michael says, “who’s that!” I say, “it’s Marshall!” Michael says, “the adventurer?” And I say yes. Michael calls me the adventurer. It’s a warm night I cover myself in blankets and it’s not long before I am asleep.