Homeless life : conventional society and a homeless existence: : living on the fringe of society
A book excerpt from the spiritandflesh.com religion and spirituality online library.
It was to the homeless streets I returned. There were many times when benevolent friends had given me the key to their apartment or sailboat, to house-sit while they were away on a trip- which happened often enough amongst the group of outdoor fanatics I was enmeshed with- but if that option had run dry, I would sometimes head down to the beach to find a place to crash.
As such, one evening I was out late and wandered down to a beach where I had slept before, expecting to lay down behind a log and drift off into dream, but there was unfortunately a party full of young degenerates going on, and they looked as if they were going to be there for a while, so I cleared out and went to find another spot. That night the hidden powers must have been toying with me though, because everywhere I went somebody showed up to disturb me, or the lights were too blaringly bright, or the traffic was still too loud, until finally I found a small parkette tucked away from the night crowd and noises, and lay down ready for slumber. As I was about to doze off, however, I heard an odd hissing noise and the sound of rain, but the sky was clear and I was wondering what was up, and then I realized that the park's sprinkler system had just come on- a sprinkler system in a rainforest, what a joke; I knew instantly that it was there simply to chase away any would-be idlers and layabouts like myself, a thought which irked me and made me want to see Sodom sink to hell- but I had no time for such justice as I had to quickly gather up my sleeping bag and backpack and dart away just as the shower came down right where I had been laying. The nitwits. The insolent jerks who hide away in their overpriced sepulchres and plot continually on how to wreck life for those who are still living.
Anyways, now it was about four o'clock in the morning and I hadn't slept yet and I had to work early, so I decided, in a bewildered state of desperation, that the roof of the building in which I was employed was the best option for me to catch a few precious winks without hassle, for then I could just wake up and be where I needed to be anyway.
So I got up on the roof, and was slowly losing the need to be comfortable on my new cement bed, and I had just caught the first little glimpse of the welcoming netherworld, when a flashlight was suddenly beaming in my face, and the security guard for the Co-op, my Co-op, was all a fluster and he'd already called the cops to come and carry off the threatening drifter. So I had to come fully awake and explain to the plastic policeman that I was an employee, and explain why I was up there, show him my company card, and finally he radioed the comptroller and called off the flatfeet. Then he left me alone to watch the sun come up and then I trundled downstairs to work without a second of sleep that night. But that's life on the streets.
You've got to live it to understand it. You learn quickly what it's like to exist in the feral domain of one who owns nothing in a world where everything is owned; where fences and rules exist without limit, and you end up walking around in an inhospitable labyrinth in which you must keep moving, because to stop is against the rules, and so you keep going, past the shops and buildings and houses, through the corridors of the maze of private ownership and the well-policed commons, around and around you go, with nowhere to lie down, or sleep, only the chronic goad of signs, laws, walls, and roads. A dog's life indeed; a third world, haunted, homeless, beaten and kicked mongrel's life.
Urban society is designed solely around making it so uncomfortable to be poor that one is driven to succumb to the pointless and soul destroying activity of passionless work in order for each individual to simply have enough roubles in their pocket to rent a little cage and hide away from everyone else who is hiding away in their own little cages.
(excerpted from In and Of: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas)