For the past 6 months, and for the third time in my life, I am homeless.
I’m not the average homeless guy, however. How many homeless travel with a brand new phone, 2 netbook laptops, 45 TB of data, and a Class A drivers licence with all the endorsements like Tanker, Doubles, Triples, and Hazardous Materials? How many can collate an Excel spreadsheet with more than 50 tables, write in 3 different computer languages, while carrying on a game of Minecraft thanks to a borrowed Wireless Fidelity connection?
“I’m NOT stealing my neighbors WiFi! Their WiFi is trespassing into my computer!!”
It takes a different breed of human to do what I’ve done. I would say I’m a victim of circumstances, but the reality is that I’ve caused my own circumstances.
I’ve been a traveler on this big blue watery rock for as long as I’ve gained a hard fought freedom from the parental units. Several times upon this journey, I have given up my freedom for the most undeserving reasons.
I’ve learned so many things by simply being without shelter. I’ve learned some interesting social skills, and tend to notice all the spectrum of human existence.
I’ve made the choice, in July, to sell my home to pursue a dream and adventure. I want to learn more about people, while walking the thinnest line of accepted behavior. I want to see and push the boundaries of what people consider “normal”, while still continuing to exist in the most healthy life possible.
I started by collecting literal ‘low hanging fruit’ in the urban settings, with trees that blocked my path, as well as frequenting larger restaurants to watch the gluttony in action. On average, I noticed that people would throw away one third of the meal which they ordered, which they purchased at an inflated price, using a plastic card, which, most likely, charged them interest and a minimal transaction fee. I’d usually order some coffee (which I’m convinced I’m mostly comprised of by now), and clean off their plates of fries, fruits, and the occasional parts of steak or chicken left behind.
I watched people sit in traffic jams, walking miles past them, even on the interstate, while they sat in air conditioning, texting, smoking, and trying to calm restrained children.
I watched a business update their computers, and simply throw (literally) a dual core Dell outside onto the back of the businesses pavement. A computer that must have cost the company $800 less than 5 years prior.
We live in a ‘throw-away’ generation. We have disposable jobs, disposable electronics, disposable income, and disposable relationships. “The Upgrade Generation.”
“Do you want to Super-Size that?”, “Are you interested in an Extended Warranty?”, “Catch that cheater!”
Fifty years ago, it was very common to find a trade and work it until it killed you. You did nothing else but get up every morning, commute an average of 6 miles to that job, work 10 to 12 hours, and returned home. For twenty-five to thirty years, with the occasional vacation, a pension which generally wasn’t enough to justify the devotion, and maybe a gold pocket watch as a token of appreciation.
In our current generation, we don’t have ‘careers’. We work at ‘jobs’, instead, for an average of 7-10 years, with 2 or 3 major career changes in a persons life. Likewise, I don’t need to give the statistics over divorce rates, because it’s always apparent.
I’ve chosen a lonely life. The life of a nomad is the life for me. I actually prefer to rescue clothing, electronics and food from the garbage. I prefer putting to use the vast amounts of waste our generation would otherwise fill into a ground-condom to protect us from ourselves. “Fucking ourselves” seems to be a little too literal.
Mostly, is see articles in the news and watch it on strangers televisions how we have a homeless crisis. I don’t entirely agree. I think that we have an issue with our systems of mental health, education, infrastructure, our legal system, and the way we govern ourselves into our monetary structure. We are actually nomadic breed of beings, and meant to scavenge, forage, and earn our meals through traveling vast expanses of land, using our intelligence to hunt and gather. I highly doubt our evolution was meant to compound interest rates, pay property tax, or threaten our very survival with nuclear annihilation…. Unless… Maybe that’s actually our purpose?
Our nomadic nature has been long forgotten, spare those we consider the dredges of our society; the undesired, the unwanted, the square pegs which won’t fit into the round holes. We reserve disgust for those who don’t choose to conform to the norms of society. We reduce those hopeless and homeless to resorting to charity, criminal activity, and depravity to justify their existence, ignoring the thousands of thousands of years of evolutionary programming before us, in which we salvage, scavenge, and forage for our existence, and have the gall to call them ‘unrefined’, when they actually have more survival skills than your average Beverly Hills trophy wife.
The point has been made that we’re all the cause and effect of entropy, made to hasten the eventual cooling and atomic energy release into this universe. The slowly building crescendo of madness which we call ‘humanity’.
I know nothing so savage, so gross, so utterly grotesque, brutal and senseless as humans, especially in reference to “Mans inhumanity to man”. I recently watched a video, which I refuse to share, of an owner carelessly letting a beautiful mongrel of a dog chase an explosive firework to have the dogs mouth blown to pieces, and in the comments it simply said: “HOW INHUMANE!” Actually, that’s a VERY human thing to do. Senseless violence without care to their surroundings in the name of adventure and ‘fun’. Columbus Day simply celebrates this fact. A traveler from Spain landed on the coast of a foreign land with 50 men and went on a killing spree for gold and the precursor to slavery, second, only, to Genghis Khan. Were these nomads on boats called ‘homeless’? What about the nomads which they slaughtered, enslaved, or otherwise perverted?
“Homelessness”, much like “Freedom” in my experience, is entirely a state of mind and title given to those who’ve become enslaved, themselves… Trapped by the intricate and elaborate faulty mental threads of stability, security, ownership and communal belonging for the sake of perpetuating and justifying their existence in the most comfortable, yet gross fashion, without the slightest notion of entropy, the eventual death of everything we do, everyone we know, and the energy of life, itself, for those momentary glimpses of an emotion we relate to as ‘happiness’ and ‘meaning’.