How Homeless People Wake Up

Well, really there are a wide variety of homeless experiences.  Lets face it, everyone is different, so everyone will experience different things in life, including homelessness.  But this is what happened to me this morning.

I wake up several times during the night.  Because I am an old man, I have to pee several times during the night – 3 to 5 times.  (There are other reasons I wake up in the middle of the night too, but that’s for another post)  The closest restroom is several city blocks away.  But I’m not walking all that way just to pee.  I’m certainly not going to leave my camp unattended, or break and reset camp that many times during the night.  Instead, I have a couple large size McDonalds cups I keep with me.  I pee into those cups, while still in my tent, until they are full.  When the cups are full, I just pour out the contents in a flower bed or onto the street.

Sometime last night as I slept, I knocked over a full cup of my urine. (I fell back asleep before I could get out and empty the cup.)  Being that tents are rain proof, they are also pee proof.  That is, pee won’t drain out of the tent. I needed something to dry it up with, but the only spare cloth I had was my sleeping bag.  So I used that to dry up the pee as much as I could.  there’s nothing quite like a sleeping bag soaked full of urine.  Still, it was 5 am so I decided to get up anyway. I usually get up closer to 6am.

Then I remembered that I had some foot powder with me.  So, I sprinkled that all around, in side the tent, to absorb as much of the urine as possible.  It did a fairly good job.  And it was also purfumy, so it helped to cover the pee smell.  Also, I accidentally sat half way in the pee before I knew what was going on, so 1/2 my shorts were soaked as well.

I then decided that today would be laundry day, even though I really didn’t have money to spare on laundry.  I was hoping to hold out until next month to do that.  Oh well.

Finally all the pee was dried up.  My soggy sleeping bag and mat were rolled up and in my cart.  The only thing left to do was break down the tent.  I stepped back inside the tent,but decided for some reason to turn around.  My foot was caught in the tent material and I tripped and fell, bloodying up my shin.   My foot was so caught up in the tent so that the tent fell in shambles around me.  This caused me to fall a second time when trying to get back up. I worried that someone would think I was drunk and would call the cops. Yes, there were many people around to witness it all.

Finally I got my tent rolled up and in the cart with the rest of my stuff and I made my way up to McDonalds.

After breakfast, I picked up some other dirty clothes from my storage unit and road the trolley down to Barrio Logan.  There is a really nice laudrymat in a new building near Caesar Chavez pkwy.

It is nice to have freshly laundered clothes and clean sleeping bag.


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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