I've covered this topic before, however this time I think I need to step back and admit that I've got it almost too good at this point to really call it homelessness. Fact is I'm now living in a house/ shelter, where I'm actually spoiled
Make no mistake though, I make absolutely no apologies for doing everything right. This past week I got something back that I'd been missing for a while now-- Human Dignity I worked very hard everyday, and beet the odds to land myself into this VERY exclusive shelter This is not just the best shelter in Boston, it is potentially the best in the country. For all intent and purpose, I am now in a "home". Granted I share a large bedroom with 2 other guys, and there are rules to follow, but the difference between this and my last shelter is simply night and day.
There are little differences in my day that have given me back a sense of dignity Little things I never really touched on in this blog yet, but for the last 3 and a half months I've had to use toilets that had no door or partition to give you even a little privacy. I've had to use the toilet while 10 other guys are walking around the bathroom getting ready, shaving, showering. It was awful, and very reminiscent of jail. So when I was able this past week to go into the private bathroom and lock the door behind me, it was a moment that I can barely explain. I felt human again.
I no longer have to leave at 7am, rain or shine, on the weekend. I can come and go as I please Sat and Sun, as well as sleep as late as I like. No more angry men banging on the metal rails at 6am yelling that it's time to get up.
No more bumping into 45 other guys as I make my way into the kitchen hoping on the slight possibility that there's coffee to help wake me up before I'm tossed into the street.
This weekend I was able to sleep till noon on Sat, have breakfast, head out to meet up with my ex for a great day, come back around 8pm to grab some dinner, and then go back out for a walk. Smoke break is no longer a timed event on the hour where 25 guys are standing around a smelly dumpster. In the morning we can go out on the front porch, and evenings we are free to use the yard at our leisure.
My last posting was written while sitting out in the yard, by myself, just listening to the birds. The peace of mind is wildly refreshing
Other little things that people take for granted. Imagine a life with no cushioning. I mean every chair, in every place that you go, is a metal fold out chair, park bench, or ground. The house/ shelter I'm in now has all cushioned chairs in the dining room. Big fat fluffy soft couches in the TV room, and for the first time in months I'm sleeping on real mattress with real pillows.
These seemingly small issues, when combined over time, genuinely harden a person. To the point where I'm still noticeably adjusting. The other guests can see that for the first three days I didn't sleep at all because I could no longer sleep in silence. I had gotten used to the sound of 45 guys snoring, flatulence, and 2 jet engine sized fans fans going all night. The silence here was absolutely deafening, but as my first week comes to an end, I can happily report that I'm adjusting to it ;)
Gary aka John Doe