Luckily, I've had somewhat of a support network, otherwise I would have landed in an alley somewhere, with a bottle of screw-top wine in my hand.
Let's see, my day-to-day life consists of coffee shops and cardboard boxes, sometimes couches. I must admit, I look pretty composed for a box dweller in the city. Button down shirt, slacks, jacket, briefcase. I could easily wander in the business district, and not get strange looks.
I learn to change my plans on the fly, depending on the circumstances. The box is always my default, but I prefer to sleep indoors. Closets and couches are good. Sometimes a warm body next to me helps. I've grown accustomed to salvaging what I can, eating when I can, and using public restrooms as my own personal bath. You cannot IMAGINE how quickly I can get in, shit, shave, wash my hair, and make it look as if I was never there. Basically, I follow the good camper policy, leave it as good, or better off than you found it.
But why am I still living on the streets? Is it some sick, perverted challenge that I've given myself? Or am I punishing myself for some wrong I did in the past? Living like this is not fun... but I get some satisfaction knowing that I'm still living as well as the rest of these Seattle citizens, with NO income, and just my laptop as a pillow.
I'm crazy. At least I think I am. But a truly crazy person knows he is perfectly sane. So maybe I'm not truly crazy, just a bit eccentric.
I'm impulsive. THIS is true. I always think out the consequences of every action, but I do it on the fly. I can't allow myself to sit and worry. I must do, do, DO.
I'm depressed. Or, at least I was a few months ago. Now I'm feeling a bit ambivalent about the world. Fuck 'em, I say.
I'm optimistic. I know life won't be this way forever, but it won't change unless I make some sort of effort. I feel like rocking the boat, but the lake is frozen.
I must say, being homeless gives me plenty of time to reflect. Soon, though, I will re-join the human race. I'll get myself an apartment and employment. I'll be working a 9 to 5 job, buying groceries, sleeping in a real bed. And I get to be miserable again, just like the rest of humanity.
Current mood:vexedSo, last night I woke up from one of the shittiest dreams I've had in a while. I wouldn't call it a nightmare... just a dream where I felt an omnipresent feeling of impending doom. It went like this:
........Ron had already killed himself. I knew this had already occurred before the happenings of the dream. For some reason I was living in a cruddy abandoned building, a place with peeling red painted walls and feces on the floor. I was holed up in a room that was well hidden, but had a tiny window that looked outside. I worked as a cashier at a grocery store that was adjacent to the abandoned building. My boss was a tall, bald, black, and very intimidating man, like Samuel L. Jackson, only more imposing. During a transaction, my register screen started freaking out, flashing screens faster than I could press buttons. I accidentally pushed a button which calls the cops in case of a robbery. I tried to find a “cancel” button, but I couldn't. I should've told my boss, but instead I ran to my hidden room in the abandoned building and hid, waiting for the cops to leave. I was chewed out something fierce when I came back to work. I felt shame. My girlfriend, whom also works at the grocery store, came to me and told me she wants to see other people. I'm not interesting enough for her, she tells me. Later, another coworker accused me of stealing their lunch out of the communal fridge. At this point I feel like I'm going to cry. I feel like they are trying to get rid of me. I strut up to my boss with my chin held high and lip quivering, and tell him I quit. I walk down the sidewalk to Bridget's house. Someone takes a picture of me from behind, but I don't know who it was. I break my glasses while trying to adjust them. Bridget gives me a pair of lightly tinted prescription sunglasses, which are somewhat helpful. I feel like I don't have enough money to survive. I'm desperately trying to figure out how to make it, and if I don't, I fear I will die. I decide I need to get out of town, so I plan on taking the crosstown bus to Santa Monica, even though the dream seems to be happening in Seattle. I feel I'll be able to make money in Santa Monica, even if I have to resort to panhandling. I tell Bridget that I'll be gone a long time, so she gives me a photo album with pictures of Ron inside. I feel sadness and anger, and frustration, and hopelessness. I pack my things, and realize my lip ring has fallen out. In my dream I have a dozen or so replacements, so I go to the bathroom and lay them on the sink, but I can't quite grasp them well enough to pick them up. My fingers are like clumsy, chubby sausages. I try to pick them up many times, and finally become frustrated, and get a head mounted flashlight to hopefully see better, because the bathroom keeps getting darker even though the light is on. I don't know if I'm wearing my glasses or not. My eyes won't focus properly. I can't see the tiny details of the jewelry. I keep dropping them down the drain. I feel like time is running out, like the bus is coming, and if I don't hurry, I'll miss it, and my life will be destroyed. I finally give up on the jewelry. Bridget reminds me not to forget the photo album, and I walk out, and wake up from the dream.
........I feel a twinge of guilt every time I think about MySpace. The site is dying. It seems it's barely keeping it's head afloat, only a few holdouts haven't moved their digital lives over to the infamous Facebook. Ugh... what's so great about Facebook? The only reason I ever made a profile is because one single friend refused to create a MySpace profile, and insisted I join Facebook instead. I was perfectly peachy with MySpace. Sure, it could have done with a few improvements, and later on, they added a bunch of features that seemed to copy Facebook, but at least they tried to improve. It seems people can't focus on more than one social networking site at a time, and for some odd reason, they chose the instant gratification of a glitchy Facebook feed over the comforting satisfaction of a MySpace bulletin.I get the same feeling when I think about Guild Wars. Every time I log on, I see less and less people in towns. I miss the good old days when I had friends who played every day. I would open up my friends list and see tons of recognizable names. We would go adventuring, fighting the White Mantle, or dismembering Destroyers, or farming the Underworld, or running from Charr Axe Fiends, or sending Shiro to his grave. I wish I had completed more titles before I became inactive. Even games like Grand Theft Auto, where I didn't interact with real people, make me feel guilty for abandoning them. I was working on missions, or I was exploring, or I was finding hidden packages, then out of the blue, it struck me that I was playing less often. Finally, I stopped playing altogether, but to this day, I still feel pangs of longing for Vice City. I miss driving down the boulevards, looking for gang members to have shootouts with, I miss getting all my warrant stars filled and having the military called on me, I miss running over hookers and stealing their money.Anyone else get these feelings? Anyone else feel pangs of guilt for losing interest in something they once enjoyed?
Current mood:pleased......Gather 'round, young ones. Scootch in closer. I want to tell you a story. This is a story about 3 people I know named Anthony, Beth, and Claire. Of course, these are not their real names, I've changed them to protect their identities. If they read this, though, they will know exactly who they are.I first met Anthony when I was working nights at a medical center. He happened to work on the property next to mine. When things got slow, I'd head over to his desk and we'd shoot the shit.I knew Beth from my building, she was an upstairs neighbor of mine. We had some mutual friends, so I began to invite her down for my movie watching parties.Anthony had a friend named Claire. Anthony wanted to introduce the two of us. He said we had the same style in music and clothing, and thought we'd hit it off. He brought Claire with him one night, and he was right. We ended up dating for a month.Anthony told me that Claire had a problem sticking to one person. She was a “wild child”. I didn't know what he meant at the time, I just figured I'd enjoy the time I could spend with Claire. By the end of the month I spent with her, though, things became awkward. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong, and tried to talk with Claire about it. Because, y'know, that's what you do. Talk. She assured me everything was fine. Then, one evening at work, I walked around the corner of his building and happened upon Anthony and Claire kissing.
I wasn't too thrilled with either of them.
Anthony and Claire tried a relationship for a while, with predictable results. Claire ended up sleeping with someone else, and Anthony was crushed. “I told you so's” were said by all. Anthony apologized for ever betraying my trust, and begged me to go with him to get tested. Reactionary, I thought, but sure. Turns out, he didn't have AIDS. He went on for months about how much of a slut Claire was. How she hurt him so badly. How he'd never be able to forgive himself for betraying me. I forgave him.It was about time I threw another house party. I invited Beth to come down and watch movies with Anthony and I, and a few other select friends. Beth and Anthony hit it off right away, and ended up dating soon after.
Things were good again.
But as these things go, they never stay good for long. Beth listened to Anthony go on and on about how much he hated Claire. Then one day, Anthony made an about-face. He decided to try and be “just friends” with Claire again. He felt enough time had passed, and that Claire had changed her ways. After hearing so many bad things about Claire, Beth wasn't too happy about this, but put on a brave face and tried to go along with it. Anthony and Claire began hanging out pretty frequently again. “Good for you”, I thought. You were able to forgive her for putting you through such an ordeal. So I gave Claire a chance too. I kept her at arms distance, emotionally, though. Couldn't let myself get too attached, for fear of what happened last time. Finally, Beth had enough of it. Anthony and Claire were spending too much time together, and Beth felt that Anthony wasn't spending enough time with her. Whether this is the case is a matter of opinion, I can not objectify the value of time spent during a relationship. Beth felt that Anthony was spending too much time with Claire. Anthony felt that Beth was being controlling and jealous. I sat down with Anthony, and we talked. Anthony promised me he would NEVER have feelings for Claire again, and that they were just friends. He told me they had a good friendship before the unholy fiasco that started this mess. He was completely innocent, and Beth just couldn't understand having friends. I sat down with Beth, and talked with her. Beth felt uncomfortable with how close Anthony had become with Claire, and had caught him in a series of lies. I told her to give him the benefit of the doubt. I told her that people COULD change, and they COULD be friends with their ex's. I went back to Anthony and spoke with him about Beth's concerns. (What am I? A friend? Or a relationship counselor? Ugh.) He told me that he HAD to lie, to protect Beth. Beth became angry and jealous every time she found out that Anthony had hung out with Claire, so he was just lying to protect her.The lying and the paranoia went on for a while, but the relationship maintained. Somehow, they were able to stay together, rocky as it was. Beth was lulled into a false sense of security, while Anthony came to me and complained about her.“She's always trying to snoop in my business!”, he said.“She tries to control every aspect of my life!”, he said.“Anthony, if it's so bad, why don't you just break up with her?” I asked.“It's not the right time.”, was always his response. Either it was school, or work, or things were just too rocky to deal with the emotional fallout of a breakup. He maintained what he said was a bad relationship, all in the name of convenience.This went on for FOUR years. He complained. She nagged. He lied. She worried. But somehow, they were able to make it work. She thought he loved her. I assured her that he did, though I wasn't too sure myself. 'It doesn't matter.' I thought to myself. It's not really my business. If they insist on sticking together, let them deal with the consequences.I moved to Chicago. Wait... let me backtrack a little bit here. I ANNOUNCED I was moving to Chicago. And by doing that, Claire and I became close again. Maybe four years had changed her. Maybe she had grown. I can't say why, but the moment I was leaving town, all the things that weren't working in my life, suddenly were. 'Too late', I thought. I'm heading out, damn the torpedoes. She's probably only getting close now BECAUSE I'm leaving. Sigh.Chicago was nice. I made an effort to call Claire when I could. She filled me in on the relationship status of Anthony and Beth. Anthony was telling Claire everything, anyway, since they were such good friends. As I said, Chicago was nice. Then Ron killed himself. I was devastated. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't even take care of myself. I was slowly destroying my life. The only thing I could do was go back to Seattle, and hope my friends there could help me through this. I made the trip back to Seattle. Claire offered to let me sleep in her bed again, though no nookie this time. Things hadn't changed much between Anthony and Beth, they were still in that relationship limbo. Anthony would come over and complain about Beth to both me and Claire. Claire suggested he break up with Beth. Claire said that Beth MUST know that the relationship isn't as good as she convinced herself it was.Anthony had a friend, let's call her Susan. Susan was battling depression and bi-polar disorder. Susan was loud, abrasive, and generally unliked by anyone who met her. But Anthony was a sucker for the hard ones. He looked beneath the bitchiness, and found something to be friends with. Susan was going through a particularly hard bout of depression, and Anthony talked with her. She killed herself within hours of their conversation.Anthony went through the motions of grief. He cried. He went to counseling, then he was over it. I was still not able to cope with the death of my friend, but Anthony had zoomed through the grief process like it was a race. He even bragged that his therapist told Anthony that he didn't even need counseling, that he was coping very well.During that time, Beth was becoming very scared for her relationship with Anthony. She felt that Claire was pulling Anthony away, and trying to convince him to leave her. This was true to a point, but Claire's motives were only known to her.I told Anthony to be honest with Beth. Honesty was the best policy, I said. If you truly don't want to be with her, break up with her. Don't put off the inevitable. Beth and Anthony went on a road trip, and when they returned, Beth felt they had worked things out.I could see Anthony and Claire getting too close. I came back to Claire's apartment one night, and found her sitting in Anthony's lap. I kept saying that I needed to get away. Anthony suggested we go on a road trip. During that trip, he played Pink Floyd over and over. Apparently, Claire introduced Anthony to Pink Floyd, ad it made him feel “deep”. Anthony began probing me with questions about my feelings, and prescribing treatments to get me out of my depression. I actually had to ask him to stop talking to me like a therapist, and start talking like a friend. I guess someone had told Anthony that he'd make a good therapist after his successful talk with Susan. We went to the shore and watched the sunset. On the way back, he found a reason to stop at a casino. Later I was to find out he developed quite a bad gambling addiction, blowing hundreds if not thousands of dollars a night, then lying about it. He would try to hide his losses from Beth, but she would always find out. He would borrow money from Beth because he would waste his substantial paycheck on slot machines.I talked with Anthony about my observations. I asked him if he was getting close to Claire again. He told me that he was. I told him to be honest with Beth. If he didn't want to be with Beth any more, to tell her that. Beth was asking him to be honest with her. Beth asked Anthony to tell her if he was getting close to Claire again. Anthony assured Beth that he was in love with Beth, and only Beth. Everyone just wanted Anthony to be HONEST.After four years, and after ample pressure from both myself and Claire, Anthony broke up with Beth. He told Beth that he needed time to get over the death of his friend, though he was already well recuperated from the loss. That very night he took Claire to his house, and I assume, fucked her brains out.Anthony and Claire had fallen for each other again. To spare Beth's feelings, they decided to keep their relationship a secret. Now, audience, I ask you. In this Age of Information, where instant messages, Twitter, Facebook, and all the other social network sites exist, does anyone expect to keep anything a secret for long? To try would be an exercise in futility, and any reasonable person would know that.
Beth immediately found out about their secret relationship. Obviously, they weren't trying that hard to keep in a secret. I stopped talking with Anthony and Claire. I stopped sleeping in Claire's bed. I stopped communicating with them altogether. Anthony sent me an email and insisted that he had no idea he was falling in love with Claire again. I called bullshit on him.He made himself into a liar, whether he intended to or not. Every time in four years that he said he could never fall for Claire again, was a lie. Every time he insisted he was doing things for the most noble of purposes, was a lie. Every time he accused Beth of being paranoid, every time he assured her of his love for her, every time he denied feelings for Claire, was a lie. Even if he was sincere at the time, by doing this, he put himself in the wrong. What's worse, is he made ME into a liar as well. Every time I defended him to Beth, I was lying whether I knew it or not. But near the end, I knew I was lying. I knew he was pulling strings behind Beth's back, and I knew Beth's paranoia wasn't unfounded.Nobody knows what goes on in another person's head. I can't know with any certainty what Anthony was thinking. But I can suppose that he was still a wee bit attracted to Claire, even after she hurt him. After he forgot the pain she put him through, he felt that attraction again. And if he couldn't date her at that moment, he would be friends with her, and bide his time until he could.Anthony was dishonest with Beth. He wasn't trying to protect Beth, he was trying to stay out of trouble. He and Claire did the MOST INNAPPROPRIATE thing they could do at the time. What's worse, they did it for their own desires.I apologized to Beth for everything. I understand the situation more now that I see her side of the story. Some nights she helps me out with a hot shower and a couch to sleep on. But most nights I sleep in a cardboard box behind a planter box in downtown Seattle.I finally removed Anthony from my Facebook page when he continued to post semi-philisophical bullshit, which I can only assume was a play to impress Claire with his depth. “I look forward to the uncertain future as I consider my past, and I think of how my actions impact those around me, and I wonder about the awesome vastness of the universe and my part in it, and I know I am doing the right thing.” Imagine this sentiment, slightly reworded and modified, for every Facebook post.I'm disappointed in the both of them. I'm surprised Beth didn't hunt Anthony down and murder him to DEATH.Personally, I'd rather be homeless than deal with people like Anthony and Claire, and the drama that follows them.