Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm Homeless

A few weeks ago I found my self officially homeless. How you ask? Up until then I lived in a secret room hidden in the back of an old 1926 Baptist church designed by Julia Morgan smack in the middle of Oakland. One day a student group comes by and tells me they were promised rooms for the summer, that a contract was signed which proved it. I believed them except no one told me, all the people in charge had gone off on a pilgrimage to Israel and maybe forget to mention this minor detail. So I shoved all my things to the hallway and went over to a friends place and crashed on the couch. And that is how I became homeless. Was I put out? Nope, I've been meaning to leave the convenience of the church, in terms of cheap rent, location and emotional attachement, for a while now but never could find the motivation to do it. Being "forced" out in a this sort of way was the perfect catalyst.

What does it mean to be homeless? I think homeless is defined by a lack of resources either by choice or circumstance. Looking at and interacting with the "homeless" on the streets, most seem like they made the choice (with a lot circumstances thrown in often times unbeknownest to them) to reject the resources in their lives. I on the other hand still have my resources: savings, but most importantly a community of people and in the end I could always take advantage of the resources the government provides (if it ever came to that). With a community, you will always have a couch or a floor to crash on, it's amazing how many people offered their homes to me when they heard I was currently nomadic (which is the term I prefer), even strangers, friends of friends I met for the first time that day, offered me a room. What the hell? Amazing, people are rad. And if the friends fall through there's always family who would never let me be truly homeless. I couldn't be homeless if I wanted to. And if I really did I would need to blow my savings and disconnect myself from everyone I know which I don't think I'm capable of doing.

For now I have housesitting gigs lined up for the next month which I enjoy. I'm responsible for feeding the respective pets, being a warm, living body, and making sure the house doesn't burn down usually in exchange for a couch and food. After this month I'll find a couch or sleep in my car, there's always the studio. I'm not concerned, there's this sense of adventure, and the thing is it's not very different from the life I'm currently living anyways - striving to do art full time is a full time adventure, you never know what lies around the corner, every creative idea is literally the next step. A time of austerity as I try to figure out ways to bring in income. For now I have to sacrifice all the fine things in life: the limo, private yacht, personal bodyguard, masseuse, fine wines, gourmet meals, Whole foods groceries, and Krav Maga. 

Sometimes you get breakfast made for you.

Sometimes they leave notes so you can find their place when all the numbers are taken off because the doors are being repainted.


Velvet Elvis changed my life, Blue Like Jazz a very dope read.

The cat from hell. No really, she's a misunderstood one year old kitty who's really afraid and doesn't know how to interact except by hissing and scratching - like all the kids in Oakland who feel cornered and don't know anything but violence when all they want to do is play. I have scars already from little miss Sam PoppySeed, I have to wear shoes until I get into bed so I could keep my toes, and getting good sleep is iffy because I'm scared of being attacked, this paranoia stays with me when I go to other houses with cats, I flinch when they try to rub against me. But I have to remember she's just misunderstood and needs to be loved even as I dab the blood on my hands. Rawaaghr!!

I'm a nomad
I'm a roamer
I'm romad
I'm a ronin

1 comment:

justinhong said...

I'm still upset that you let me go from my bodyguard position.