The Humboldt Edge

Homelessness Is

~by Wave

Wearing layers and a coat (when cold) 24/7 so that it takes longer to undress and redress than to take an actual shower.
Where a friendly town is one with public restrooms.
Being too hot or too cold or being bitten up by bugs.
When forgetting a raincoat could be a big problem.
Often skipping breakfast except coffee, eating a large lunch and skipping dinner
Wondering whether to have less clothes and less dirty laundry yet washing more often, or more clothes and more dirty clothes, taking more space.
Packing like barges with shipping containers with the last things needed packed deepest and what is needed first in reach; hoping for a home to actually unpack and use deepest packed items.
Long spells of darkness huddled during winter months.
To be up early, to move to look for warm place mid day to nap outside of vehicle and to organize errands in economical manner.
Having anxiety when dog stirs, shows signs of life other than sleep and needs wants to get out of vehicle but its cold or unsafe.
Knowing where public plugs are to keep cell phone charged.
Learning that fast food chains have easy access to toilets but barely a trickle in the faucet and to never forget your soap because theirs is too gross to use on your face.
Having a tight military-like precision routine, promising your dog they will get a walk but instead being on the phone 24/7, breaking your promise
When your pet finally doesn’t even try to get out of truck anymore, used to being there with no space to move and where she constantly wants to go in someone’s house.
Aging faster than peers then assumed to be on drugs
Having nights of fear and terror.
Being up while others sleep for security as one is so obviously vulnerable and easy target.
Like a returning war vet: one’s experience and language, skills and trauma are invisible, unknown to “civilians”.
Learning that campgrounds are pricey and have late check ins and early check outs, leaving no time to do a thing but set up and tear down.
To be on an eight-year low income housing list.
Being fair game for those baiting you with supposed housing ventures – tyrant landowners, mean simple minded lying ones.
To find that “non-profits” taking in monies to help women in crisis do not call back nor help, except for a few hand picked clients.
Finding out roomshare offers want people in
their 20’s & 30’s.
Having no time or space to grieve losses, including father and having to deal with this alone in a storage unit and not have caring folks visit, bring food and ease your sadness.
Learning to distinguish noises, especially in relation to motors and their signature sounds, assessing risk/danger.
Seeing self storage facilities and wondering why one cannot store themselves, live there, since it says”self storage!”
Knowing where your headlamp is, having a dedicated hook for it, and always having extra batteries, and quickly turning it off when people or cars approach: on off on off
Having your gifts and talents, destiny, hopes and dreams forever on hold.
Knowing the never-been-homeless have no reference point nor respect for the skills it takes to be homeless.

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