What it was like to be a squatter.
I mentioned some time ago that I would write about my experience squatting. It was a very nerve wracking time. Even though I wasn't ashamed of my
situation, I had to behave as though I was just the same
You see, when you squat in an abandoned place you could end up very unlucky. No electricity no heat. Maybe even dangerous people around. I had it
pretty good though. I was staying in an abandoned condo that had been foreclosed on. In our area the trend of turning crappy apartments into
"condos" for selling to low income families started about seven years ago.
I once lived in a run down place that was converting the buildings one at a time. Ours would be last.
We watched as each condo was completed and the for sale signs would go up. I could not believe that people were buying them for around 250k. I hated
the place and it was full of gang banners and drug dealers. That's not exaggeration. In time we had to move and I was thankful. They gave us first
option to buy the place ad we laughed out loud in front of the realtor. Who would waste money on paying to own a percentage of a building when your
neighbor could burn the place down? Or flood it because they had a leak and didn't know how to fix it?
This place was no different. The last owner was no handy man. Things were in disrepair but they worked. Hot water, a stove, fridge, toilet, there was
even a desk and decent office chair. No bed but I didn't mind the floor. With all of that came solutions that need to be discovered
I made it a habit not to turn on the lights at night. Didn't want a neighbor or grounds person noticing me. I walk around quite as can be as if my
parents were sleeping and I was trying to sneak a cookie. I tried not to cook anything too smelly. I tried to leave during hours when no one was
around. I came back at different times and approached from a different direction as to confuse anyone who may be curious as to which place was mine.
Basically, I was the perfect neighbor.
When you have to hide in plain sight you begin to feel a little ashamed of your place. All the people around me may have made a poor purchasing choice
in my opinion, but at least they had a place. Some of them are loud. Some smell the place up when they cook. Some are rude with their car stereos but
for the most part the place isn't too messed up.
One time in the middle of the day I heard someone yelling at the top of their lungs for help. Knowing I could blow my cover I went to investigate. Two
woman were standing on their deck smoking and I asked them if they heard he screams. They pointed at another deck nearby and said that the kid inside
plays video games and screams like that into his Xbox live headset. Feeling stupid for poking my nose in I turned and went back to the place I was
statying in. Luckily,they paid me no more attention.
Since the day I had to leave I have missed the place but it had somehow become a self feeding loop of solitude and non production. Sneaking, hiding,
evading. These things kept me from being able to be more productive. It was quiet but it was a roof. Whom ever had been paying for the electricity n
the place, I wish them a good couple of days of fortune. They paid for my comfort and I am grateful.
I had another old friend offer up his home office if Teri needs to move out of this one. It is a nice offer but the property is 30 miles from anything
useful. Good thing is that he's a state trooper so I know I'm in a safe place if that happens. He joked that my payment could be to marry his
wife's sister so that she could stay in the states. I asked if she was good looking. He said she could cook. Somehow that's not the same in my book.
So here we are, still jobless but no longer homeless thanks to friends. Of course friends will be there for you but when you can't guarantee how long
until you can be productive, it's hard to accept. Now I am even more determined to get something going. No one wants to be a burden. So I'll make
myself useful for the bed I have.