When I left Kitchener in search for work back in March 2014, I asked a few friends and family members if I could stay with them for a period of time while I hunted for openings and did the odd temp job and short-term gig. I fully understood that each stay was temporary and not meant to be permanent.
The place of one friend of mine, who I’ve known for over 20 years, has been a frequent port of call since I began my couch-surfing, and I believed that I would not have to worry about losing it. That belief was squashed like a bug after I came home last Friday at (August 8th, 2014) at around 11:30 p.m.
My friend told me she plans to move within two to three months and I can’t stay with her, explaining that she is trying to downsize space and costs to make them more manageable. She especially made it clear that she was sorry for her decision and felt bad for having to tell me this news, news I certainly did not want to deal after having a great evening walking around Eglinton Avenue and Yonge Street.
I don’t fault her for that. I’m not angry. It is her home and I was a guest for as long as she permitted me to stay. I made it top priority to make sure I did not give her any reason to reconsider her decision. In fact, I put a lot of effort into being a contributing part of her household. For example, after I completed my job search in the morning, I washed her dishes to ensure she did not have to do them when she came home from work. When she went away on vacation, I fed her lovely pets. Every time I did a temporary assignment or short-term gig, she received part of what I made to pay for the things I used, like hydro, water, and the Internet (especially the Internet!). I also remember one time that I cleaned her shower (volunteered for the task, in fact) because she could not stoop down to clear the tub due to an injury. Let’s be clear: I was certainly no sponger while living there.
While I did those things because she is a wonderful friend, perhaps I also believed it would ensure my stay was stable enough to continue my job search without worry of losing a place to sleep. I admit there is a feeling of betrayal, irrational as that might sound.
All I know is that I have to drop whatever plans I have in continuing my job search, working temporary assignments and short term gigs, and bettering my chances as a hire-able employable person so I can find new temporary accommodations to stay. For the next two months, I’ll be like a politician at election time, glad-handing friends and family members I haven’t talked to before asking that rather awkward question: “Uhm, could I, you know, stay with you for a bit?”. This may seem like a joke, but it’s a serious situation. If I don’t find a replacement place to stay, there will be some days where I will have no place to go and have to stay in a shelter or sleep outside. Not a pleasant thought considering summer will soon be coming to an end.
Thanks for reading, and wish me luck!