HELLO 2023 WELCOME TO EARTH! :D
It does feel like that sometimes. Credit to happyholidayswishes.com
Happy New Year NewGrounders! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays, some individual sent me a bottle of wine, in which I enjoyed a glass before my roommates consumed the rest of it. :/ Otherwise things went ok! I thought I had work today but it appears I didn't, so I unfortunately missed out on the activities. But hey, adults like extra sleep, so slept till noon. Thats a positive!
But with every positive there is a negative. I had a nightmare that I was back in the year 2015/16... and I was still living in my car. I have a bit of a story to tell. So grab some fudge covered cookies and milk (or coffee), and read a boring blog on why I am slightly crazy! :D
The Story of Homeless Yendor
I can't quite remember that exact year, it was either 2015 or 2016 that I spent about a year and some change living out of my car. This was of course, was 100% my doing and it was do to a combination of being burnt out from some shitty job at what I guess was a company that used to be CenturyLink and about 2 to 3 maxed out credit cards and a notice to vacate from my landlords property due to them wanting to move back in that February. In short, ye old bad times were coming for Yendor and they were looking to get him good! D:
I had one month to prepare. I had at the time just quit my job I worked at and was getting ready to start another one next month, I was looking at about 30k in debt spread over 3 cards, a carpayment, and foreseeable travel between Harrisburg and Philadelphia for DJ work. and I could not see myself finding a new apartment or getting another roommate in time with the little money I had. All I had to my name at that moment was the car (a Honda Fit), and a lot a hope that things were going to work out.
I moved out all my belongings, computer, music equipment and worldly possessions into a storage unit. I made sure I was able to visit almost everyday and able to quickly change clothes. pack spares in a back pack, and retrieve my DJ equipment as needed. I also... and this is the saddest part, had to part ways with my cat by having someone adopt him. I miss him terribly, but I had to face the music-- this was punishment and I had to act accordingly to get myself out of it.
Next, I had a to open a PO Box to get my mail. Legally I still lived at the addressed I did so I got my mail issue sorted. Banking was the next problem, (as I used an online one) but I found out that any money that I needed kept safe could be deposited by mobile via a postal money order. Phew. The next thing I had to buy a very thick and dark blanket to hide under at night, and to keep the Pennsylvania winter cold off me. Lastly, in order to stay clean and have somewhere to hang out for awhile was a YMCA membership. Free showers and always clean bathroom facilities at the cost of being forced to look at old people's wienies. <:O
The first few months really sucked. Finding a parking spot was difficult at first because I had to memorize a lot of different parking rules different localities had at night, look for the evil "No Loitering signs" that suddenly jumped out at me alot, and had to look for a new spot the next evening every night to avoid getting picked up by the police for vagrancy. I eventually learned that swapping between a parking garage subscription and a PA Turnpike rest stop was the safest, as the Pike was owned by the state and you could be on it up to 72 hours, and no one without parking garage pass was going to get in and mess with me and my car while I slept.
Winter in PA is friggin' cold. I started being homeless in February and had to get to used to wearing my clothing fully in several layers and insulating myself in the back of my car with the seats down, with a cot bed lay out making sure the blanket covered every inch of me so that I could stay warm, and not be seen. This sucked because I sweat in my clothes and the moisture from that and my breath fogged up the windows, crystalizing on everything. I couldn't turn the car on to get warmed up or I would get detected. I once left the blanket off my face one evening and woke up around 2am at night screaming because a side of my face was exposed and getting frost bitten and was hurting badly. Thus, I learned that some days when the tempurature would drop to a certain level, I really, really needed to rent a motel room for those nights. It did set me back, but if I was dead it would all be for nothing.
Summer in PA is friggin' Humid. With the cold you could regulate your body temperature easily, with humidity... not so much. I had to leave a window cracked to avoid getting broiled alive and again... still couldn't take off my clothes because the risk of someone seeing inside my car and seeing a man without pants was too great. Had to suffer all through that alot, but I was thankful for the days where the heavy rains came and cooled down everything.
As I got through those months, I had plenty of time to get my financial situation in order. I was no longer jobless and making an ok amount of money now through my new job of doing corporate IT work for RiteAid. It wasn't the grueling supervisor work I used to do, but at least no one screamed at me when things went wrong. It wasn't however good money as it was only $13/hr. I was able to get rid of two credit cards via a loan from a credit union, so now instead of getting hit everyweek with a payment, I was able to set some breathing room aside so I could still do things outside of just surviving and be able to pay for a motel room every once in awhile, which I'd often found myself doing when the weather was bad or I was sick, and needed access to a toilet round the clock. With everything combined and with great agression of paying down my debts, I was looking at about two years of payments. And that made me very depressed and very... manic.
Sometime at the end of summer I got a call from my dad stating that my grandmother on my estranged mother's side had died in California, and left me $10k in a trust. Very sad... but at the same time... it was a blessing in disguise and nearly had cut me down to at that point 12k of debt! :D That was more money then I would probably ever see or hold in my entire life! I still had to wait 3 months before I got that money however. But at that point I the light at the dark tunnel of despair had appeared! It felt like I was going to make it!
There was also a moment the police caught on to me.
The State police had a car like this. Imagine it only bearly touching the back bumper of my car and if it wanted to, it could probably transform into a decepticon and murder me as I slept. D:
Anyway, I made a mistake. But thankfully this only happened once. I decided I was too tired one night to find another spot to park in and elected to just park for a second time at a rest stop on highway 81 or 83 (not the pike) and someone attending the facility noticed my car was parked there for the second night and called the police. I was soundly asleep when I was awakened to the state police tapping hard on my rear window and shined a light directly in. I nearly shat myself in terror as I slowly got up to access the driver seat and open the door to have a chat.
So basically, the rest stop facilites people fingered my car for being in the same place twice over the course of two days. I had to explain to the officer I was experiencing trouble at home and I was not welcomed back in (I wasn't completely lying, I had no home to go home to lol). The police understood and according to their computer I not known baddie to them. They did ask me why my fingerprints came up on thier computer, and I had to explain I worked a federal job as a Census Interviewer back in 2010 and had to get fingerprinted to get the job. Nothing nefarious. I was a good boy, and I am sticking to that story. :)
So the end, the police said I could sleep here for the rest of the evening but I had to move immediately tomorrow. I instead waited for them to leave and then I left the rest stop and speant the of the night hopping between gas stations. Shout out to Sheetz and Rutters for that very strange night for letting me park awhile and drink coffee! :)
So yeah. In the end around the next febuary I was able to connect with a someone who recently bought a home in a shitty part of town and I now have been a tenant here for many years. I am quite happy and safe now. But this experience changed me. If the previous recession made me nervous, I am 10x that now. I am always a bit paranoid when i think about things that could go wrong and often always have a plan for it.
But hey, save for that thing I got going on right now. Its just me and my magic piano and drawing tablet and a steady job... assuming said job is still around now that January has begun in this new recession... :/
But yes. The moral of the story is-- credit cards bad. They will turn you into a crazy person! Ooogity boogity boogity booogity! Don't get credit cards, ever! Or you'll be like me! :D
Stay positive out there!
Your Pal, YendorNG