7 October 2017

Living Homeless On Purpose

by Andrew

If you can sleep outside, it gives you a certain freedom. You can say no. Always you have the option, to just get outside.

It's the life of a dog however, sleeping outside. You're free, sure, but only within a certain range—whatever little you can usually afford. You're not staying at the Hilton or somewhere. And showers are rare, baths. Money is low. Cops will be persecuting. People will be pointing.

The weather will be harsh. When you're sleeping outside, you recognize, that it's Nature you should fear most—snow, cold, rain, wind. What are people, the little ants? We walk round pretending we have power, we humans. But we are nothing. Get outside, and see can you withstand Nature. Do that, and what's man?

Look, I had no other options. By 22 years old, I was sick of work—a job—completely. If sleeping outside is the life of a dog, going to work is the life of a slave. And trinkets never much blinded me—all this shit on which to spend your money, to keep you working your job. So I went back to school, junior college then university. Eventhough I had decided already, even in high school, that college is a joke—a scam. I decided to return anyway, to try to escape that minimum-wage drudgery, to graduate to higher paying jobs.

But naturally, my thoughts on college proved correct. I couldn't do it in the end. Maybe it was that I was older at university—25 years old by then. I saw clearly. College is a joke indeed, so juvenile. I was working, paying—going into debt even—for the college-experience only. In which I wasn't even participating,—and wouldn't participate—too old by then. I'd been done with bars and parties and drinking and such, all that, before I even turned 21 years old,—when legal to drink here in the States—long before. I went instead to university for the education, I believed. But I discovered, that I wasn't receiving one. In fact, it was school that was prohibiting my study.

So I left. I had debt. But without a degree, the only jobs available to me payed shit. So I'd sleep outside, I decided. In order to save what little money I was making at a job more quickly, in order to pay off as quickly as possible the debt I'd accumulated. But first, I'd finish paying the lease on my apartment.

The job I'd got then after I left university was shit, naturally. Minimum wage it payed, like $8 or so an hour—so desperate I was still for money to finish paying the lease on my apartment, not yet quite free of attachment. And it wanted me to work 7 days a week, this job, 5 hours or so a day. So that I'd be there every day, working, an able body, and nowhere else. But I'd never get overtime, a chance to make any kind of some somewhat decent cash. So I left after I'd saved a bit of money. I lost the apartment. And then I began living outside.

Next job I got, it was almost the same story, a little more pay. Really, it's almost always the same story everywhere—the 40 or so jobs I've probably had. They will try to squeeze from you your life if they can, for a penny or 2. And then trinkets are waved all in front of you too, buy this and this and this, in order to get from you that money you just spent all week working to make. So again, I left. I always do. I'm already sleeping outside anyway. What fear do I have of leaving a job if treated improperly now? What, I won't have money? And then I'll be homeless? Look, I already am. But all the while, I'm accumulating a little stash of cash, spending whatever money I do make only on food.

Till I eventually have enough to pay rent some place for the entire length of a lease that they always make me sign, I sleep outside. Then I pay to stay inside. And then I really get to work,—my own work, writing, programming—no furniture, no bed, only a sleeping bag and what I need to cook, some pens and notebooks, and my computers. Till I go broke again. And I get back outside and stash some cash again, quicker and quicker I learn. And eventually, constantly applying this pressure, finger on the bump, working uninterrupted by a job, I'll get money on my own without a job, in order to stay inside. Or that's the plan anyway. And till then, I can always get outside.

I'm crazy, you say, sleeping outside like that. And perhaps I am. But you're crazy too, I say, deciding to stay comfortable like that—your plastic homes and cars and food, your job—in chains.

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