Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My month as a homeless guy



First of all, I should clarify the title of this, lest you get the impression that I was that guy living in my van for 30 days, which is what most people thought when I told them about this. For the entire month of April, there was a lapse between moving out of my previous residence and moving into my new apartment. Incidentally, the two places are about 2 blocks away from each other, so I successfully executed the longest, most expensive 200 yard move in modern history.

So on March 31st, I packed all of my stuff into my 1990 Chevy Van, Hector, who, according to my calculations, had at least another month left in him. Granted, my calculations consisted of basically always hoping Hector will get me to point B before dying, and in this case, point B was May 1st. My basic game plan was to rely on the hospitality of several friends, crashing on the couch of each on a sort of rotation-like fashion. My hope was that by being the first courteous, somewhat invisible couch crasher in the history of the sport, I could defy the stereotype of the guy on the couch, a precedent set by the character of that name in Half Baked.

So that's what I did. The weird thing is, even when I had my own place, I've crashed on friends' couches for the night many times for whatever reason, but in the month of April, there was one main difference in my stay: the morning shower. Merely sleeping on a friend's floor because of a late party and going home the next morning is only half the battle.

And this bring me to my point, if I even had one: Homelessness isn't so much about not having a home; it's about not having a bathroom.

Anyway, I went on with my normal life for the most part. I went to work, hit up a local show at night, ran errands, I even went to a friend's wedding. I ate all my meals off of dollar menus, which really isn't any different than any other month for me. It was like being on tour, except without playing shows, or leaving your town.

At the end of the month, I went on a little road trip with my friend, Jason. The purposes for this road trip were twofold: 1) to crash on the couches of friends who lived out of town so as to give my Provo friends a break (Jason is also an avid couch crasher) and 2) to play some small all-ages shows (Jason also happens to be a drummer).

After our little road trip to Idaho, Logan, and Vernal, Utah, we returned to Provo. Oh yeah, and somewhere on this trip half the exhaust system of my van apparently fell off, which I guess is a big deal. I've never professed to know a lot about cars anyway, but in hindsight, that probably explains why my van is now, like, twice as loud as it was before. I had showered in many showers, big and small, with water pressures high and low, and I was ready for a bathroom to call my own. On May 1st, 2008, I moved into apartment 31 at University Villa apartments in Provo, Utah, and nothing short of my April experience could have produced the emotion I felt that day to be in this low budget student housing: gratitude.

2 comments:

Adam & Tone said...

Chance, I miss you.... And love you... :) Come see my blog!! :)

Neil Hiatt said...

Homelessness is just not having a bathroom? Let the world be your bathroom chance!