It sounds like I shall soon be sleeping in the streets. My tenure on Marcia and Isabelle’s couch has come to an end as Marcia’s mother is coming to visit and is taking over the couch. So, what to do? Well, I went on Couchsurfing.org and put up a request for a couch. There are a couple of different ways to find couches on the site; you can send out requests individually or put up a request for everyone to see. I did the latter, though probably the best way would be a mixture of both. Instead of trying to find a couches for one night at a time I set my duration for one week from November 1 to November 8. How many responses did I get? One. And it was only for one night.
But not to worry, my friends! I’ve been somewhat looking forward to living out on the streets, living outside and communing with the environment and generally doing whatever I want with my days. But begging, that’s not something I plan to do. There are plenty of places to find food: dumpsters behind restaurants (especially sandwich shops where they throw out sandwiches they screw up), you can walk into a restaurant and ask to wash dishes for a plate of food, you can walk into a restaurant and sit down at an empty table and help yourself to left-overs, or once in the restaurant you can scrape all the left-overs from the all plates you can and scrape them into a box and sit outside and feast, and continental breakfasts at hotels. Or you can steal. Fortunately, I have a job interview at Walgreen’s tomorrow so fingers-crossed that goes well and then I can just eat their food!
Where am I going to sleep? I’ve gone on Craigslist and tracked down lots of cheap housing where I would share a room or sleep on the couch and chip in with rent. That’s an option, but first I’m going to need that job. Another option is sleeping in a camper. Walking around Venice, and especially on Venice Blvd, I’ve seen a number of campers with For Sale signs. I’m hoping once I get a paycheck I can convince one of these people to let me pay to sleep in their camper. We’ll see how that goes. Other than that, I’m glad I’m in Venice Beach and not Downtown Los Angeles. There are a lot more places to sleep outside here and I’ve been mentally noting places this past week.
Here’s what I’ve come up with: under the pier, on the beach, in the grass by the beach, in the back of a pick-up truck at a car dealership (I thought this one would be particularly fun), in the bird sanctuary on Washington Ave, off to the side of the bike path that runs around the bird sanctuary, or in any patch of grass that I see. I know the code to get into Marcia’s apartment building and there’s roof access there, so I could always curl up on the top of a roof behind some air-conditioning units. I have a tarp rolled up with my sleeping bag and tarp tents are always very warm and cozy. Also, curiously, I’ve noticed that many of the homeless around here sleep beneath lights, whether streetlights or the lights over the front doors of shuttered businesses. I’m not positive but I think they do this to ward off trouble — sleep in a dark, isolated place and you’re an easy target for theft, or a quick butt-fuck. I’m going to try and find fenced-in places to sleep. There are a number of large gardens around that are fenced-in. One of those would be perfect.
This site has a lot of great information and tips about vagabonding the streets.
So if you’re wondering how the hell it goes living outdoors in the City of Angels, check back in the next couple of weeks!