I left off with being stuck in an alternate universe in my last post, and that’s exactly how it was. Stuck. There I was looking in the windows of storefront panes, dirty, scraggly, a caricature of someone vaguely familiar. Sleeping wherever I could find a place I wouldn’t be hasseled by the cops when it was warm enough to sleep out, and fighting for space in a shelter that contained double bunks for maybe a couple hundred men when it wasn’t. When you’re standing in the midst of a sea of men the odds of catching a bunk aren’t very good, and when you’re unlucky, which I was; you don’t catch many. On the rare occasions when I actually got one, it was better than being outside, but not by much. I may have gotten a bunk on occasion, but I was never lucky enough to get the top bunk. Try sleeping underneath someone who weighs a hundred pounds more than the bunk’s capacity, snores with the reverberation of thunder clapping, and tries to use your head as a footstool. It’s like’s trying to sleep underneath an elephant. You wouldn’t think I’d have run into that very much, but you’d be surprised. I told you I was unlucky.:)
If I didn’t get that, I got the guy sleeping across from me that looked like Charles Manson; who’d look at me with insentient eyes, and make chirping noises at me all night. More than once I caught people rifling through the little bit of stuff I may have managed to scrape together, and if you made a problem out of it the shelter would promptly kick you out, and it didn’t matter who started it. I spent the majority of nights outside, and the cold ones were spent cowering anyplace I could find that would break the wind shivering uncontrollably. There’s no such place as comfortable or safe in the alternate universe.
Have you ever been hurt so bad that you couldn’t lay still. I was like that. I couldn’t change the reality I lived in, but I moved around a lot. I didn’t know it at the time but it was moving around in the alternate universe that opened a door within it.