Since I put my blog on hiatus last winter, I’ve received a number of inquiries from my readers asking if I am all right, if not dead. It became necessary, though with great difficulty (to be explained later), to write this post. I’ll try to keep writing regular status reports like this but it is going to be difficult due to my situation.
As of right now, I experience bouts of homeless, and on occasion these bouts can be three weeks long before I get a few days respite, a shower, and a bed to lie down in. I am currently located in the region of Waterloo, Ontario and haunt Kitchener and Waterloo. You’ll find me on the buses or at Charles Street Terminal keeping out of the elements.
My sleeping habits consist of many naps on the buses and in the park and malls. I average a total of 3 to 4 hours of sleep per day (not at night, since everything is shut down — the tri city area is not 24-7 like Toronto is), though not deep enough to induce a REM cycle. As a result, I do hallucinate a bit — nothing serious, I just hear someone call my name that’s not really there or knock on a window behind me when there is no window behind me. I also have a great deal of trouble writing and performing mathematical calculations (it galls me that I can’t remember my tables as well as I used to). This blog post, a task normally done in an hour, consisted of three days of notetaking in a LibreOffice document.
As for my health? Because I no longer sleep on my back, my legs have started to swell up and my shins break out in blisters from the water that breaks the skin surface. I have a YouTube video chronicling this (note, it’s a little gross so please put your dinner aside before you view). My lower back muscles have started to atrophy so lying down and getting up is a painful exercise. Vision and teeth are fine, but I’m not sure how well my eyes and teeth really are because I cannot afford to go to a dentist or an eye doctor. These two things are not covered by OHIP, our government health plan here in Ontario. I can say I see clearly like I usually do and I can chew food properly and brush without bleeding.
I do the odd temp job to pay for food and laundry and transit, but when you are homeless the cost of food goes up. You no longer can buy in bulk — you have no house and no fridge, so you buy per portion. A litre of milk for example is wasteful when you can buy the three bag deal. I have no microwave, no stove, so it’s either McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, Subways, 7-11 (they do have delicious and affordable meatballs and chicken on a stick), or some other fast food place.
Relationships with friends and family are understandably strained and without blame towards anyone because of my situation. Some people worry, some people wonder if I’ve just become lazy and a loafer, and most fear for my future. I know I certainly do, as I once said I may not make it to my retirement years. On the subject of retirement, using those funds to extend my finances is becoming closer and closer to a reality, against the wishes of those who feel I should not use the fund, which causes the stresses I noted earlier.
That’s my update and it was very tiring to write. As I stated many times, if you are in the Waterloo Region area and can lend a hand, you know how to reach me.
As always, thanks for reading.