Friday, September 30, 2011

9-30-11 #3

In my previous postings, I had eluded to my current situation.  I think it’s time to start laying out all of the various items that are contributing factors to my homelessness.   I will not go into all of them in this posting; instead, I will cover one at a time to keep the postings clear and short.

In 2000 I was involved in a car accident.  I will not go into all the facts as to how and why it happened, that is unimportant at this time.  What I will go into is as follows: the old concept of being punished only once for something legally that you did illegally, does not apply anymore.
I did not contest the charge of “intoxicated manslaughter,” not because I was guilty, I actually wasn’t.  I did not contest it because someone died due to my error.  Having suffered when my mom was run over by someone who was intoxicated, I understood what the family of the victim was going through.  To drag it out in court would only add to the family’s misery.  The sooner they could move on with their life, the faster they could heal.

I also wanted to have this behind me as well.  Life does go on for everyone who is involved.

However, no matter how much you are punished by the government and others, it’s never enough, nor over.  This now criminal item on my record, wither an accident or not is keeping me from getting a job.  It doesn’t matter if it’s for Wal-Mart or the Government, both of which are full of criminals…(sorry bad joke).  I cannot even qualify to get a license in over 300 specialty fields now.  In effect, I continue to get punished for the rest of my life for what happened over 10 years ago.  It doesn’t matter if I did all my time in prison, probation, parole, whatever the case was.  Society feels they are better than God and therefore must continue to punish me!

I take a deep breath as…

Life goes on…I go on.

9-30-11 #2

The past week has been interesting to say the least.  One of the key items that I found a bit amazing is how people interpret “homelessness”.  Most people thought that I was forced out of where I was living, but that I had a place to go to.  Friends, family, someone to help out.  Once they got that I actually was sleeping on a park bench, they then got the severity of the situation.  All most all of them offered some help, but sadly it was in another state.  A couple offered limited help with job search.  All of which I am grateful for.  But what they offered didn’t really help, in fact it would have created a lot more obstacles and that I clearly did not need or want.  I must be clear here, that I AM grateful they thought of ways to help.  There are so many people who don’t even have that much assistance.

What I need is very distinct and clear – Money!  Wither it comes in the form of investors or sales does not matter, both would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.

I’ve been needing and wanting an investor for a very long time.  It’s been the lack of money that has kept me from properly growing the business.  However, because I am not a ‘high tech’ company, investors are not interested.  They all are hoping and wanting that next great idea that will make them rich.  I get that, but I also know that supporting the ‘arts’ can also have long term benefits, both financially and emotionally.

I do my best to keep plugging along to dot eh best I can with what I have, knowing in my gut and heart it will pay off for everyone involved!

Life goes on…I go on.

9-30-11 Day 8

Last night a friend of mine helped me move some of my stuff into storage.  Prior to that, I had taken him to dinner for two reasons:  First to at least treat him to dinner for his help in the move; second to explain what was going on.

We had not known each other for very long and while there is a bond of friendship growing, I felt that full disclosure was in order.  My reality was that I felt he lived in a world of safety and security, a bit lacking to real life drama.  And boy, am I the one to shake that world up.  Yes, I know, how arrogant of me to think and do that…hey, I felt right by doing it.

I told hi8m what had been going on not only recently but a little bit of my past which does have an imp0act on my present.  He was shocked to say the least.  I was clearly an eye opening experience for him with lots of red flags waving and I get all of those fear issues.  Most of us live in our own closed off world clueless to what is going on outside our security zone, me included.

After the move I was left to po0nder where to sleep.  I actually was heading off to my park bench at one point.  But while sitting and waiting for the bus, the wind picked up a bit and it was chilly.  It was still in the upper 70’s and would remain that way all night, but the thought of sleeping in my storage unit came to mind.  How would I do it so that no one walking by the unit would know I was in there?

It is against the rules to sleep in there, or to do anything bu7t store things.  I was already going to be violating the rules working out of there as it was.  I have to do something to keep things alive and moving.

I did manage to sleep in it for about six hours.  It was so damn hot and stuffy I had woken up a few times sweating like a pig.  Other than that, a hard floor bed is also no fun.  Thankfully, I had my comforter and two pillows to sleep with.  It make the night bearable.  Once up, I was off to the gym and the start of my day.

Life goes on…I go on

Thursday, September 29, 2011

9-29-11 Day 7

The first set of funds that I was expecting came in yesterday afternoon, a few hours later then I had wanted or expected.  I was frustrated, but I got over it.  Once it did come in, I started to take care of issues and help secure things for the Biz and for my reality.

As for my reality there are a lot of “issues” that I have to address for myself.  The biggest one right now is my own issues about the homeless that I see in and around town.

Not all homeless people choose to be homeless that’s a given.   There are the Vets that are suffering from PTSD and until they can get that under control, they can’t contri8bute to society.  Sadly and this really is sad, is that these people have fallen through the cracks and continue on a spiral downfall that there is NO return.

Then you have those people that choose to be homeless.  They are the Anarchist who refuses to live by what society says.  They want to be free to travel the world.  To be able to do what they want, when they want.

The third group I have combined together: Drug Addicts and Mentally Challenged.  I grouped them together for in many respects they are one in the same.  However, how they are treated are two very distinct ways.  Mentally challenged individuals should have constant long term care while Drug Addicts, generally just need shorter health care as they recover from their drug abuse.

Finally, the fourth group, the new modern homeless that continue to grow at an alarming rate.  Those individuals and families that lost their job, then their homes and finally they have lost all hope.  Most of these people don’t have family to help them through their hard times.  I am part of this group, but not completely.  I still have my business whi9ch means some cash flow.  I still have a great deal of hope that I will pull through this and that it IS short term.

However, I do have FEAR!

Fear that I will slowly get sucked into the homeless life style.  I DO NOT want to become one of those smelly, dirty, talking to yourself type of people.  I DO NOT want to know where to go to find free supplies, or every single place for a meal.  Or to wait every single night in line for a possible bed for the night.  And yet, I am doing some of those things now.  For me to kid myself that I am better than any one of THOSE people is clearly i9nsane.  While some people may say that by accepting my situation that I am giving up and becoming one of those people.  God help me, I hope and desire not to be one of those people.  I mean no disrespect to those who are homeless; I just despise the whole homeless concept.  My God, we are still one of the richest countries on this planet and our homeless situation is pathetic and disgraceful!

While I have always seen myself as a survivor and one who can overcome great obstacles, I am fully aware that there comes a point for many people and maybe even myself when you ever so slowly give up and succumb to your situation.  I pray to God, if that happens to me, may my life end quickly.

Thus, for now, it is important to me to enjoy what I can in life; dinner or lunch with a friend; a movie outing; renting a room with a bed and continue to keep my business alive.  It is my business that one of my greatest joys does come from.  Helping others to live their dreams.

So with that…

Life goes on…I go on

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9-28-11 Day 6

Yesterday was a bit frustrating due to the fact that the money I had expected to arrive had not shown up.  There was nothing I could do about it, so I continued on with my day.

By late afternoon a moment of fear hit me as I realized I may not be able to use my free room pass since I didn’t have the ‘membership’ fee.  I was pissed for the simple fact that I was looking forward to sleeping in a bed, no matter how cheap of a bed it was.  Warmth, comfort, simple things we all become use to.  Luckily, that didn’t become an issue; I got to enjoy my nights rest.

While at the library checking emails, I also checked on my bank account.  An extra few bucks were in it due to a company not processing a bill.  I know it will run the charge soon, and thankfully I did have some cash coming in to cover it when they did charge my account.  Thus I had the money for the membership fee and it allowed me to get the storage unit rented.  Yeah!  Some simple things coming together to help make things a lot easier for the month of October.

Gym, storage unit, phone and web site paid for the month of October.  All important items to keep the business alive and my sanity in check.  Now I just need for book sales to keep increasing a lot more…a lot more!  I’m not a fan of being homeless!

Life goes on…I go on

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

9-27-11 Day 5

My friendly park bench and I had enjoyed each other’s company again last night.  As hot has it had gotten during the day, I honestly had expected it to be warmer during the night.  Oh was I chillingly wrong.  I had arrived at the bench by the lake at 9:30 PM.  Slept really well until 3:45 AM until that cool lake breeze once again had made itself known.  By 4:15 AM, I gave up trying to sleep.  Which wasn’t a bad thing overall.

Once awake, I pulled myself together and headed off to the gym for my morning workout and shower.  By 6:30 AM I was ready for my day; how to kill time…lol

Waiting for the mail to arrive was my main concern for today.  Waiting for the first chunks of change to arrive so I could order books and keep the business going.

In the mean time, I check emails and went to my second park bench where I had taken my day nap.  I finished reading a book entitled “Just beyond the Curve” by Larry E. Huddleston and had the opportunity to feed a squirrel.

It was a treat to have the squirrel come within six inches of me to get its food of rice and fruit from the healthy fruit bar that I was feeding it.  Though it was cautious and moved away every time I made a move, it was still hungry enough to get close to me.  A simple act of kindness that I performed for it was returned to me by allowing the pleasure of feeding it.

On a side note, I am already looking like one of the crazy homeless people.  As I feed the squirrel I was from time to time talking to it.  Telling it in my most soothing voice I could that it was safe and ok to come close to me as it eat.

Now I know that words by themselves mean nothing to an animal, but I am convinced that the tone used, the almost musical notes used, could make an impact on an animal.  I’ve seen it too many times how it has worked before with horses, dogs and cats.  It’s not what you say as it is your intentions which are clearly displayed by your tone and energy you put out.  Crazy looking or not, I wanted that squirrel to feel safe with me.

Life goes on…I go on.

9-26-11 #2

I began to learn a few things about the homeless life today.  I figured out where use of a computer could be found for free – the public library.  You only get a total of two hours per day and they are as slow as molasses, but it’s free and that is always good.

So I set up my blog, managed to get a few entries posted and checked my email.  Not much mail, but one good piece made my day.  Anoth4er $200 plus was coming my way soon.  This helps a great deal in keeping my business alive.  Very good piece of email!

While at the library, I ran into someone who I had worked with and who I had tried to work with me on the business.  As of that morning his mother had kicked him out of her house.  A mixture of surprise by what had happened, but yet not surprised by it.  No matter how many times I tried to help him earn money working, he always seemed to blow it off.  So was he the main contributor to his homelessness – not wanting to work?

We chatted briefly and he did tell me that someone from our church was going to let him crash on their sofa, so that was good.  He wasn’t totally homeless.

As for myself, I am at a lost for where I will sleep tonight.  Park bench again?  Probably.  No money today, waiting on what is coming to me.  And even if it had come in, I have to spend it on the business.  Keep it alive; keep the flow of money moving, even if it is a very small amount right now.

Life goes on…I go on.

9-26-11 Day 4

The previous night had turned out to be much better in many respects.  I went back to the first bar I had done to on day 1.  I didn’t get lucky by being taken home by someone, but I had a real good time.

First off, I meet someone.  They and their Ex had driven up from San Antonio for the day.  The three of us began to chat and for a four hour period we had fun.  The Ex got jealous of course, but we still had fun.

At one point I was very concerned about them driving home.  We talked about it and about how much we wanted to spend the night together.  But that sure in hell wasn’t going to happen in my town.  What was I going to do, offer them a double size park bench to share!

I did mention that I could drive them home if they paid for my ticket back.  The money came out and between the two of us, we had $30 cash.  Not enough to ensure a trip back.  But oh so tempting…

Well needless to say, they went home and texted me once they were home that they had arrive safely and that they would be back soon to see me, and without the Ex.  I would like that, but I am not counting on it.  If it happens, great; if not, all is good.

So with them gone, I ran into someone else who I had gone out with on a date recently.  They didn’t know of my situation, though I slightly hinted to it.  Instead I asked if I could use their help and their vehicle to move my stuff.  They were eager to help out.  I promised them I would cook dinner in exchange for their help.  We set it up for a Thursday.  Hopefully the money sent to me will be in and I will have arranged for the storage unit.  If not, I’ll figure something out.

They proceeded to leave a little drunk and not catching on to my situation.  When I was ready to leave, I closed out my bar tab and was given a nice gift.  The bartender who had opened my tab had only listed one drink on it.  The other four had not been posted.  A very cheap bill, and yet I didn’t feel comfortable with it.  I told the replacement bartender what had happen and what I had drank.  He couldn’t for some reason add it on to the bill. So I told him I would write out a large tip so they could adjust the bill.  Regardless, my bill was still half of what I should have been charged, so I was thankful.

Off to my cheap room where I got another gift.  The person who checked me in gave me a lower rate which saved me an extra five dollars.  Plus, I got a coupon for a free room for the following Tuesday night, YEAH!  A place to sleep for one night.

I did sleep for six hours that night without getting up once.  I was very pleased with that.  Plus it shows you how tired I was.  Even Mother Nature couldn’t wake me up to go piss in the middle of the night.
Life goes on…I go on.

9-25-11 #2

My second night homeless was a big disappointment.  I began the disappointment by going to a bar way to early.  It was dead and after two hours I was so bored I felt closterphobic.  I had to leave.

While at the first bar, I had heard about a party, a TOGA party at another bar.  It sounded fun and this other bar was known for hook-ups, so I felt good about my chances.

I got to the second bar and it was deader than the first.  I got a drink and went out onto the patio thinking I would rest a bit before the crowd arrived.  The mosquitoes decided against that idea.  Five bites later and I gave up.  Clearly the mosquito repellant burning was not working.

I texted a friend to see if he was coming out.  He was…holiluya, someone to talk to.  It helped, but the crowd never really appeared.  Five hours of pure boredom and only three attractive people in the whole group.  I was dying here.  No one approached me and two of the three I liked were already spoken for.  Finally in the last ten minutes of the bar night, person #3 made a move and I responded quickly.  But all for nothing, they just ended up being a cock tease.  SHIT!

Reality was now setting in; I would have to find a place to sleep in the great outdoors of a city.  Could I be any happier…NOT!

And yet, I was not scared.  I wasn’t happy by no means.  But, I was not in fear.  I just wanted to find a dark and as comfortable of a place as possible to sleep.  Park bench, here I come.

Life goes on…I go on.

9-25-11 Day 3

What an interesting nigh5t I had.  It was my first night of sleeping on a park bench.  Considering it still feels like summer here with 100 degree weather during the day, last night was downright chilly.  I woke up a few times freezing from the cool breeze off the small lake.  Between that and having to piss every hour, I didn’t get much sleep.  I believe a total of three hours for the night.

I wanted very much to keep sleeping as much as I could before the sun rose that was not going to happen.  Joggers were up and running by me at 6 A.M. and I could hear them has they ran on the track nearby.  Luckily, it was dark enough that I don’t believe any of them could see me.  I didn’t want them startled with me sleeping nearby.

Once I got up, I began what may become a routine.  I walked over to the gym about three miles away.  I did a small workout, showered and continued my day; finding a place to get more sleep.

I did manage to find a park that was quiet and a nice park bench under a tree hidden by the sun.  Another two hours of sleep came my way.

Now it’s a matter of killing time once again.  I would love to go see a movie, any movie, but can’t justify spending the money.  Need it for the possibility of getting a super cheap room for the night.  Can’t take the chance of rejection again at a bar and being left to a park bench tonight.  I need my sleep for my state of mind and my health.

A short work out another shower and a beer bust lies ahead of me.  Tomorrow I’ll be able to check in on what shelters are available and if they worth the effort right now.

Life ones on…I go on.

9-24-11 #2

I continued to receive messages from clients and friends as they found out about my situation.  It’s interesting to see and hear their reaction; shock, dismay and most importantly – confusion.  They can’t quiet clasp how this could happen.

For some who are going through their own hell, they do get it and they do want to help in some way and yet because they are going through their own hell, they can’t help.  But you can tell by what they write their heart goes out to you.

Strangely enough for me, the last thing I want is for them to help, I on the other hand want to offer them words of encouragement and hope so that they can get through their own hell.

Now as for the ones that are financially secure and floating through this economic crisis, they don’t get it.  I don’t blame them and I do understand how they are seeing things.  To them there is no reason why I can’t get a job.  Oh sure, they understand hard times for the business, but in their minds, I am a healthy intelligent make, this I should be able to get a job.  Oh, how I wish it were so easy.

This of course makes one wonder then why I can’t get a job.  There are many factors to this answer and being the private individual that I am, I will not go into every aspect at this time.  But, knowing that in this blog, I am sharing a lot about myself, sooner or later I will go into more details that I hope not only answer your questions and curiosity, but at the same time, help you see that things must change in order for people to be given every possible chance that too many take for granted.  How’s that for a teaser?

So in the mean time, I understand the various responses I receive from my friends and associates.  It doesn’t make me mad when they don’t get it, just sad that they don’t.

Life goes on…I go on.

9-24-11 Day 2

I sold my soul for a place to sleep last night.  Well I don’t feel that way, but I know the uptight Christians sure in hell would say that.

I know that I can’t take a bed in one of the few homeless shelters available to me, nor do I feel right about taking space from someone else that’s in worst shape then I am.  Thus, I went to a couple of bars last night to kill time and in the hopes I would get lucky and be taken home.  I got lucky.  And it was a good thing for that it was someone I already knew and wanted to have sex with.  A win-0win for both of us.
Would I get as lucky the following night?  I’m thinking not.  However, one never knows.  I love sex anyways and if I am attractive to them, why not.

Now after saying that, don’t get me wrong.  I know that this type of behavior is not healthy on some levels and I do know my sexual desire is limited.  Hell, I’m a 50 year old, so there are limits.  Plus, the weekends do give you the best opportunities compared to the week days.  So sooner or later finding a safe place to sleep on a regular basis does have to happen.

I was smart for getting a gym membership to a place that’s open 24/7.  At least I have a place where I can shower daily or more if needed, at least for the first month.  Then hopefully I can pay for the next month’s membership and so on.  It is a good thing that I do like to work out and it IS good for my health as well.  Hell, if nothing else, I can work out my stress!

Life goes on…I go on.

9-23-11 #2

The responses from my clients were for the most part supportive.  A few had been there and a few were on the brink of becoming homeless themselves.  Two surprised me by sending me money: One to pay off their bill and one just to help out.

And yes, sadly there was a couple that acted as if nothing had happened and were only worried about their project and nothing else.  I was not too surprised by the actions for these two, but it was still disappointing.

Life goes on…I go on.

9-23-11 Day 1

My morning had been typical waking up, breakfast and showering.  Checking emails, etc.  The difference was me sending out an email to my clients that I was now homeless and had filed for bankruptcy two weeks earlier.

I then proceeded to move the rest of my stuff into the garage to be moved at a later date once I had secured a storage unit to put it in.

Once done, I left the house to go live on the streets.  It didn’t take long to see someone in worst shape then I.  A young lady in her 20’s was on the bus and using a razor blade in a half ass attempt to kill herself.  Based on the conversation on the bus as we watched the paramedics work on her, was that she was high on something.  She felt emotionally lost and exhausted based on the few things I did hear her say to the paramedics.

My day continued on as I took care of business and pondered where I was going to sleep.  What park area would be safe?  How smelly would I become by morning?  Could I arrange a trick to spend the night with?  What in the hell would I do for eight hours killing time till I was sleepy enough to crash somewhere, anywhere.

Up till this day, I had been in other situations where I was close to becoming homeless, but God/Universe always came through with something, someplace to call home until things improved.
So why not this time?  Or am I expecting too much too soon.  Have I lost faith?  Have I lost some sanity?  I mean really, a normal person would be freaking out by now and yet I am calm.  I’m not freaking out or concerned about what is or is not going to happen.

Life goes on…I go on.

What this Blog is about.

Howdy and welcome to my blog about me becoming homeless.  Yep, you read right.  On Sept. 23, 2011, I joined the ranks of thousands who became homeless.  I’m not thrilled or proud about this, but why not write about what I am going through and what I experience.  If nothing else, it may give for some eye opening, though provoking reading and maybe a few laughs along the way.

I will probably share a lot more than most people would want to read, but that’s part of the grit of what I am going through.  A very honest and real situation.

When I can post to the blog I will.  I can’t guarantee it will be every day as I am not sure from day to day what will be happening, especially at first.  I’ve never been homeless before, so I don’t know what to expect.
Feel free to leave your comments, I will try to read and answer when I can.