Survival Guide to Homelessness

No matter where you go, there you are.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A Typical Morning

Eyes open, the windscreen glowing, sweat's beading over my nose, head pounding. Ugh. I slept late. It must be ten, and the car is an oven. Quick now, into my clothes. Try not to make the car sway too much. Last thing I need is some confused passerby. Listen and look for a quiet moment outside. Open the door and shimmy on out under the cover, and damn, three people saw me. Well, maybe they aren't residents. Better park somewhere else tonight.

Now untie the cover and fold it up. Pack it in the back and I'm on my way. The local supermarket is the next stop and a wholesome meal for under three bucks. A bread roll, a piece of fruit, pint of chocolate milk, and a couple of fried chicken legs. Other times a quarter pound of deli roast beef, sliced thin, and maybe one of those single string cheeses for another thirty five cents. Later in the day I may get a snack at an ethnic store. Which one? It matters little. Every ethnic group serves up a great deal on food most enjoyed by its clientelle. At a Persian store I'll buy sweets or dates, olive oil or pastry. At a Mexican market, in season fruit, beautiful tamales, pan (bread), and maybe chocolates. An Asian store will likely serve up a nice veggie handroll of sweet rice and cucumber and pickled something wrapped in seaweed. There's so much food in Los Angeles you don't need to eat the same thing twice in a month, and you can still live on ten bucks a day.

Drop by the dry cleaner's and pick up a few shirts. Stop at Goodwill to see if there are some dressy shoes for a couple of bucks.

Now over to the fitness club to shave and shower and get presentable. I'll drop by my temp agencies a little later. Always good to glad hand. By noon I am in shirt and tie, and I am making the rounds for some work.

Sound impossible? Or does it sound as simple to you as it seemed to me?


At 8:05 PM, Blogger SurvivalSpad said...

Ive got a COUPLE things to say about this blog.
For one its DEFFIANTLY interesting to me, ive been a WILDERNESS survival enthusist for quite some time now and i always figured it would be easier to live in a city where fire and shelter were preety easily aquired. Your blog doesnt change this idea of mine but it deffiatnly helps me think about it

Another vote for Car Selection, i have an older Jeep Cherokee, the seats fold back perefectly flat and any person 6'1 and under can sleep comfortably in it. Its not the typical homeless mobile people would think of and ive slept in it quite a few times, it also has 4x4 so i can drive down a trail and sleep there, i live out in the country kinda. Talking about which cars would work for what would be of great intrest to me

Also maybe food selection? how best to cook on camping stoves? tips?

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Woolfey said...

Sounds a bit familiar actually. except the part about the dry cleaners. That makes a buncha sense. My uniform tends toward old guy khaki work clothes or farmer overalls depending on the day.But it would be nice to get the dog hair off someplace where they do a good job of it. I like our trailer. But it doesn't make for stealth movements. On a similar note. I don't vote for a pickup for your kinda survival. I have one cause I do have stuff around that has to be moved. Trailers, Scrap to be hauled to get money, odd jobs to be done. But I think a van would even serve me better most times. It would help keep things I don't have in storage safe.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger sam said...

I just stumbled upon your site, and am quite interested because I recently set off on my own homeless experience. That's the first time I've used the word homeless to describe the experience. 'homeless' has such a stigma attached to it. I've recently set up a blog to describe my experiences. feel free to check it out

At 10:42 AM, Blogger ladyblue said...

Michael, I have just discovered your blog and I THANK YOU for it. I probably will be homeless in a year or two...not because I want to be....because I will have to be. Health related. Cancer. It will kill me without your help. I will keep reading your blog..please keep posting!

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

How do I read your archives?
Thanks, Michelle

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

Re: Archives

I suppose I will answer this question many times. I am not keeping archives on this site. I am allowing certain posts to expire intentionally, because I eventually want to sell the work and I don't want the whole thing available all at once and for free on the web. If you are sneaky, and you know some search tricks, you can probably find the posts. If you don't want to play those games, I will make you a deal. Send me an email telling me the post you missed, and I will send it to you, or make a donation of any size and I will send you a list of URL's for all of my posts. I will say that the most useful and important of my posts are the ones I've cherry picked for the table of contents.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger The Lioness said...

Hi Mike, did you see this:

haven't heard it but thought you might like to know.


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