Thursday, December 20, 2012
Day 167, September 17, 2012
I woke up pretty early. I was between a dumpster and a fence behind a jack in the box. I didn't sleep very well but I felt very rested just knowing I was going to take a day to rest. I had just went through one of the toughest weeks in my life and through the unexpected toughest stretch of my trip. It was a very emotional and spiritual experience. I was ready to have a day to just soak in what I could. Plus rest. I was excited to rest!
I got up and my eyes were heavy. It was a nice day and I felt good! My knees felt a little weak and sore so I wanted to get some ice on them throughout the day. I packed my things up from off the dirt there and packed my cart in. I slipped my shoes on but didn't tie them. It was gonna be a lazy day ahead.
I walked across the parking lot and went in to the jack in the box. I left my cart behind where I sat so that I could keep an eye on it through the window. I went in, ordered a breakfast sandwich, and sat down with a bag of ice on both knees. I ate my food and then checked my emails and other Internet stuff. I hadn't really gone through anything for 6 days and I was very bombarded. Mostly people worried about me when I was "reported missing". I answered what I could but there was so much I honestly didn't have time to reply to everyone.
I sat there relaxing for a while when the guy from the day before (who met me at jack in the box, and helped with a flat tire with his girlfriend) came in. He knew I was taking the day to rest and was cool enough to come keep my company. We just sat there and relaxed while telling funny stories. He was a pretty cool dude.
He left after a while and said he would come back. I went back to catching up on some journals and stuff while I could. I noticed out of the window that the man I met the night before was walking up. He came in holding a cardboard box full of coupons. He sat down and asked how and where I slept. I told him right behind the dumpster there. The night before, he was recommending some spots to sleep and most of them were more than a few blocks away. But I already knew I was literally walking outside and plopping down at the first hidden spot. I did enough walking already.
We sat there as I iced my knees and talked. He had just came back from a therapy session a couple towns over. He took the bus early in the morning. He seemed pretty excited to see me which was cool. I think I provided an ear to listen and an open mind for him, which I imagine some people don't have much of. He opened up to me a little more about his past and I appreciated how he felt comfortable telling me about that. It made me feel like he trusted I wouldn't judge him. And I understood a lot of what he was saying.
A little later he took off and the other guy came back. He brought his lap top and wanted to add some music to my iPod. I was actually excited for that since I was low on music that wasn't engraved in my brain. He put some cool music on there. Then he had some of my favorite TV shows saved on there also. A canadian comedy sitcom called trailer park boys. It's rare that people know about that, so i was pretty pumped he was a fan. We watched a couple episodes and we laughed really hard. I was having an epic day. From time to time I would still have the thought of how alone and challenged I was just a few days ago. Sometimes it's a weird world and you can be in different extreme places in such a short amount of time, both mentally and physically.
He left after a while and needed to get sleep before working the night shift. I was thankful for the company and it made the day much more brighter for me.
The other guy came back again (joe, guy with coupons) and came in just to hangout. I liked that he wanted to just come hangout. I felt lucky to have people around me and supporting me in little ways that they might not even realize.
A little later I had a pretty awesome surprise. I had grown up on a little dead end street in the country as a kid. And all the kids on that street would do the craziest most random stuff. Tons of great memories. Well one of the kids that was there from time to time was a kid name kurtis. He was a family friend of my neighbor and became a family friend to me as well. Well even though we lost touch after growing up, we still have that childhood connection to this day. And I had no idea, but he was stationed on the military base in 29 palms. He was alerted by mutual friends when I went missing and he planned to find me somehow. So all off a sudden he walked into jack in the box! I can't really describe this, but to see a face you know after 6 months of not having hardly any of that, it feels reassuring!
We sat down and caught up. He talked about how people were pretty freaked out and how the desert is dangerous. He knows how it can be as he has lived there for a while now. We told some old stories about growing up. Man, good times. Those are some good memories.
After an hour or so he left and said he might stop by again later. I was sitting there still with Joe now and just happy I had company all day. I didn't expect company all day and it was cool. I kept the ice on my knees off and on all day. It was a good day of rest.
A little later Kurtis came back with his family. His wife and 3 kids. It is very mind blowing to see someone my age with a full family! It's pretty cool. It gets me excited to have a family of my own someday. I really enjoyed hanging out and meeting all of them too. His kids were pretty cool!
So now it was evening and I was thinking I would go down the road a little to find a spot to sleep. Not yet, but that was the plan for when I was ready. I didn't want to go far, and only wanted to go the direction that I was already heading. A little later Jarret (guy who gave me music) and his girlfriend came back. She had just got off work and they wanted to visit again while I was still in town that day. We hungout for a little while and then they took off as he had to get ready for work.
I had another couple visitors just when I was about to leave. It was a girl and her boyfriend. The girl worked at a pizza place and just got off work so she brought me a large pizza. They came in and we talked for about 20 minutes. They were really nice and had some pretty funny questions about my lifestyle. I enjoy that and I'm pretty open about everything. It was closing time for the jack in the box lobby now so we headed out and they took off. As I left from there I was really happy with the day. I rested, iced my knees, had awesome company, and good food! Well good for my standard.
I walked down the road and it was time to switch gears and get into hideout mode. I needed to find a place out of sight. I saw a grass area down the road and when I got close it was a bus station. Had some good hideouts, but it had potential of being far to active with people for me to feel comfortable with. So I kept moving. Just past that there was a fed ex building. There was a storage container down a driveway with a gate and I found a spot I could hide behind it. It was cement and was light up with a light pretty good, but it would have to do. You can't always find a soft grass spot that's hidden we'll enough. And I prefer dark so I'm more hidden, but it was ok.
I made my bed on the concrete there and tucked up in a corner against the wall and right up next to the container. It didn't look like the driveway was used much so I felt confident I wouldn't be spotted.
I closed my eyes around midnight and was tired. I was back on the move tomorrow and wanted to rest up. It was a great day off. One of the best yet with having all the unexpected company. Needed that after the lonely desert road.