imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Friday, May 19, 2006
IT WAS A DARK & STORMY NIGHT
I used to keep the thermostat set at 64* during winters. DogMan would complain, of course, as that is his nature. Last fall, when it was reported that our heating bills could be as much as 50% higher than the previous winter, I pushed the thermostat back to an unthinkable 60*. Bundle up and keep moving, was my advice. And it was cold.
I can't imagine having to live and sleep in the outdoors, in the cold, shivering 'til you sweat. But that's exactly what Anya Peters has been doing since last August. She lives in her car in the woods somewhere in the UK. Even more amazing is the fact that she has a law degree!
But the job never happened. Though I am still trying. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong — I’m doing something wrong definitely. My background is almost an obstacle now, having a law degree almost a handicap, at least for the kind of jobs you can get without references and while living in a car.
The Wandering Scribe is her blog. It's a long but fascinating read.
Start with her entry Homeless...ness; it's not the very first entry -- I believe it's the second -- but it's the best place to begin.
I have done a lot of thinking over these past months — dark by 4:pm (and now just after 5:00pm) sitting back in the car in the dark waiting to fall asleep there is not a whole lot else to do. But I'm not sure I know all the answers to why I am still here sleeping in my car, and what exactly got me here in the first place. Most of my time goes into trying to conceal my situation from the world — keeping up appearances, keeping up with news etc — using the showers in the toilets of a local hospital to shower and dress, keeping myself neat, eating as healthily as I can (though I am sick to death of car food — of force-feeding myself yet another tin sardine sandwich, or digestive biscuit, which being only 69p a packet are one of the staples of my diet — are breakfast, lunch and dinner often, on the last day (or 2) at the end of a fortnight, before next two weeks money comes). Keeping up appearances has become so important that I cannot admit even to myself even that I am living in a car. Sounds impossibly foolish — dangerous. I suppose I must get some kind of pleasure or satisfaction out of people not guessing what my circumstances are, some sense of triumph, because I am going to greater and greater lengths to try to conceal them.