Yesterday, it happened. I moved out of my apartment and into my van.
I slept in a residential area near the beach. I fell asleep almost instantly and slept soundly until my alarms woke me this morning. This morning (I’m still counting today as Monday, even though it’s 12:30 AM on Tuesday- so, anyway, Monday morning:), I woke up, went and jogged, and even lifted a bit, at the gym, showered, shaved, and went to work. When I left, I grabbed dinner from an organic salad bar type place with a friend, drove downtown, walked along the river for a while while talking to an old friend/ex, and am currently doing laundry at a very cool music venue/bar/laundromat called The Soapbox. The Soapbox, to ice the cake, even has wifi. Without this place, my experiment would be significantly less fun. Tonight, I’ll sleep near downtown, a place secluded enough that I hope not to bother or be bothered by anyone, but populous enough that I don’t fear harm. And, it is a place close enough to the Cape Fear that, for tonight, yes, I can say it- God knows I’ve heard it referenced enough these past few weeks. I live in a van down by the river.
So. The technical aspects work thus far. Sweet.
The initial emotional aspect was a bit unexpected. I mean, I knew it’d be different, to get off of work and have nowhere defined as home. Nowhere to go. But, much like love and boobies, actually feeling it is a good bit different than you imagined before you’d felt it.
When you don’t have anything to do when you get off work, or get done with classes, where do you go? Home. Why?
The pause you may have before you can put the answer(s) to that into words is sort of like the pause I felt when I left work today. I mean, I was hungry, so I knew I was going to get food, but then what? What fills the time between food and sleep, the free time? I very much felt the weight of that question mark.
But that’s part of the point. The question has become “What do I do?” instead of “Where do I go?”, because the answer to where I go depends entirely on what I want to do. And because there’s no longer a place where I can sit and watch tv half-naked for three hours, the what-I-do should begin to improve. What I do in my free time has been brought sharply into focus. If I want to waste my life away, I must literally point my van towards that wastehood and drive myself there. And that, I hope, will be a deterrent. I hope.
I hope that the small drama of finding my sleeping spot, of dealing with life without the comfort of a electricity and running water behind lock and key, does not instead become my excuse. ‘Sure, all I did was watch Hulu at the coffee shop all day- I mean, c’mon, I live in a van, what am I gonna do?’ To hell with that. If that becomes my routine, someone please come slap me in the face.
Anyway, enough disciplined thought for now, I suppose. I’m going to have a beer and watch an episode of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” (seriously? yes) and get some sleep. By the way, if you’d like to watch a sorta blaire-witch-ish video of my face talking to you from the van during my first night, ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out: http://youtu.be/Q8rtE72m-9k . But I legit won’t be offended if you wouldn’t. I’d actually almost rather you didn’t. Love.