The Following Night Etc

Last night was Friday night and I expecting it to be a rowdy night and prepared for not getting much sleep.  I headed on down to my sleeping spot at 9pm – the earliest that cops will let us set up tents.  This is an hour earlier than usual.

It was a cooler night than before, thank goodness.  My tent retains heat well, which I’m sure will come in handy in the cooler months, but in these summer nights I have to sweat it out for a while.  San Diego weather is odd in that respect.  Most local weather forecasts give 4 different sets of temperatures depending on how far away one lives from the coast.  Although the relative temp is mild, a person will either burn up or catch a chill depending on whether or not there is a breeze.  The never talk about “wind chill” here.  I didn’t learn about that little reality until I had moved to Tennessee.  But it’s true how different the same temp can feel depending on the consistency of the wind.   My tent blocks out all wind, as well as keeps a lot of my body heat in.   Given, there is a flap that I can open or close to let in the breeze, but this flap also lets people walking by see into the tent.  I would rather sweat and remain unseen.

I fell asleep soon after getting the tent up, and awoke about 1:30am, when the first revelers ventured by my tent – after leaving the downtown clubs and on their way to their parked cars.  There was a steady stream of noisy drunken people, and it seemed to go on longer than usual.  Again came the yelling and shouting matches, the verbal fights, threatening to make it physical.  Guys trying to be macho in front of their friends, girls getting mad at their girlfriends for not dumping their idiot boyfriends, guys yelling at girls for dumping them, etc.  At about a quarter to 3 it calmed down enough that I could get back to sleep.  When I awoke after that, I saw that the sky was lightened, which means that it was after 6am.  I never want to sleep in that late because of the attention it would attract from the police.  But then I remembered that it was now Saturday.  The cops are usually less harassing on the weekends.

I quickly packed up my things and headed to the McDonalds.  I bought breakfast, not certain if my debit card would work, but it did.  I ate and opened up my laptop.  It only had 20% battery power left.  Instead of looking for a place where I could plug in (usually at a nearby cafe) I decided to head down to the beach.  I was overdue for a shower.   Considering how long it had been, I assumed I was in a state of nose blindness.  I was feeling that funky stickiness all over.   Well, there is a cure for that, even if it’s not the best – just jump in the ocean.  It knocks off a lot of the crusties, enough to make it though the day without offending others.   This morning, though, I had a bar of soap with me.   I actually thought of soaping up in the ocean, but there were already too many people around to do that.  So, I spent a some time in the waves – the waves were awesome by the way, I wish I had access to a board – then after getting out of the water I made my way to the restroom facilities, where, outside, they had showers for washing off the sand and ocean water.  Ocean water really isn’t “clean” water.  It’s a bit slimy – there is a lot of kelp in the area.    Though one doesn’t usually see people in those beach showers with a bar of soap, I broke out my Irish Spring and started lathering myself up – twice.  It had been several days since I’d last showered.  

Clean – it’s an awesome feeling when you’ve been away from it for a while.  Another benefit of having my tent is that I can set it up at the beach, put all my belongings in it, and then lock it up so that it’s all relatively safe, no one will bother it.  I can also close myself into the tent and change my clothes in privacy.  After showering, I went back to my tent.  By this time a lot of other people were at the beach and had crowded around my tent.  Still no one was aware that I had stripped down to change and put on all clean clothes – a major convenience, although it’s somewhat of an inconvenience to set it up.   But eventually I was done, cleaned up and feeling fresh.  I need to do laundry soon, though.  I have a bag full of wet clothes starting to get that moldy smell.

Did I mention that the waves were perfect this morning?  Usually the water is kind of choppy at this beach and the waves are irregular.  Perfectly parallel to the shore and evenly spaced, each wave crested in uniform fashion and of decent size.  I need a boogie board, or something.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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