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Rock Bottom and Gutted[2014WC]

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posted on Sep, 16 2012 @ 08:37 PM
This morning will be day three of living on the street. I lost my job a while back and unemployment has dried up. The story is not a new one or even unique, but it is new to me. We lived our lives modestly and always paid our bills on time. When the money started flowing in the other direction, it ran out quick. We kept up appearances as best we could but when there's not enough work to pay bills we became another statistic. My wife left with the kids to her parent's house, at least there they can live a normal life. She'll have to get the kids up earlier to make the morning trip across the state for their school and her job. She always was so committed to make things work that she'd sacrifice anything to provide for her kids, our kids. I am responsible for my share and failed them. Being unable to get back into my career has been slowly killing my relationship with my family. The guilt changed me over time I suppose. There's only so much a guy can take when his self worth has been hacked to pieces. I'm ashamed that they had to see me at my worst.

There is no room for me where they are right now, so I need to find my way and hope that they will be there at the other end. I was supposed to be staying with a friend, but things got complicated and the offer went bad. So now I live in an old suv with as much stuff as I could take. The bank took pretty much everything else so it wasn't too hard to fit my things. It's demoralizing and depressing, but as long as my family is ok I will be too. So far today I hit two food banks and got a day's worth of food. They say that there are more people getting than giving these days so there's not enough for everyone. I understand and I don't want to take food away from kids so I'll get by. I have some cash for gas but the cards went before the house did. I managed to sell my car privately before they took everything. I split the cash with my wife and here I sit. Tomorrow I am going up to Providence to see about a part time job. I don't get my hopes up anymore but keep looking. Everyone who tried to help get me work failed for some reason or another. The big reason always seems to be a hiring freeze or cutbacks. I fear that soon enough my license will lapse and I wont be eligible for anything in my career. Things do have a way of spiraling out of control don't they. Soon enough that door too will close and I will be a rung lower than now. I think about giving up often. It is the last thing I have control over, but I'm not ready to lie down yet. I have been living my life looking backwards and today seems no different. I wonder if it's even possible to see things differently than the way I am wired.

It's cold today, they say snow soon enough. It'll be dark soon and I still need to find a place to park for the night. From what I've seen, there aren't too many places that allow me to park over night, but i guess I can keep sleeping until the cops wake me again. The secret is not to be in the same place twice. It's been hard to sleep because all I see is my family and how I failed them. They say that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. But what happens when the hole is from the floor constantly breaking under your feet? How does one escape that? I used to think that if things got real bad, I could turn to crime, but even that is hard to do successfully. I mean if you commit them all around your area, you eventually have nowhere to hide. Getting harassed by the cops is bad enough without them find descriptions matching me. Well, I guess I should be concentrating more on the now than anything else. For now I am heading to Providence and looking to mix with the tent city that's there. They too have their problems but maybe I can get some peace for the night.

It looks like the police swept through here earlier. They forced the homeless to move onward but many stayed here. I think that they hope to get arrested for the food and shelter. I am moving further north to the shipyard. It is there that I hope to bed. It's dark and vehicles are in and out all night.

So far I have been ok here. I mangaed to use my little home made can stove and it works great. I used some drier lint and some grain alcohol and it stayed lit long enough for some soup and cocoa. I learned long ago how to survive by reading army manuals and chatting on survival boards. I wish I didn't need to know this stuff, but I'm glad I do. I have my laptop still and use it to look for opportunities. It charges while I drive and I use it until the battery drains. I also use it near open wifi areas to go online. I email my family and tell them that I am ok. They cannot know the truth right now. It's getting late and I have laid out my clothes for tomorrow and set aside some water to wash up with. If I get up early enough I will warm the water with my stove. Lights out. I hope for a decent sleep.

The sun wakes me early and the cold makes my body want to stay put. I fill a can with water and heat it up. Some oatmeal and wash up and I'm on the road again. I head for the restaraunt to work part time as a prep cook. I can do more, but it's all the are looking for. The upside, the guy allows me a meal after my shift. He pays me cash at the shifts end and feeds me. He tells me to return in three days. I am looking now for a kitchen nearby that I can visit. The shelters are all full, but I can at least get another meal. I am survivng, but there is no light at the end for hope. There is no point in expecting things to improve soon, but I keep looking. Right now I need to get to a safe spot again. Before I do this, maybe I'll stop by and see the family. It is only fifteen minutes away and I haven't seen them in days. If I do this, I will need to have a story about where I'm staying. I don't want them worrying and there really is no room for me there. My wife is not so mad at me anymore, but she is also pretty distant. She knows that stress caused much of the problems between us and being apart for a while lessened the tension. Her parents are happy for the kids to see me and for a bit things felt good. It was late and the kids needed to get to bed so I couldn't stay much longer. I tell them all that I worked one shift today and I'm hopeful to get more. I guess if they are going to get a place of their own she's going to have to save up for a while. I reassure her the by the time she's ready, I will be in steady work. If not, then I don't know what.

This is day seven and I worked another shift. He wants me to return again in two days. It snowed last night. I froze a bit, and had to get up and clean the outside off before it froze. The police came by but didn't really bother me. They thought it was an abandoned vehicle. My limbs are so sore from being cold all the time. It makes for a miserable time. I try to keep up hope but there's little to show for it. I'm hoping today will be a better day.

posted on Sep, 16 2012 @ 08:44 PM


There are people living this way right now.

This story is real life for some. Thank you for sharing it.

posted on Sep, 16 2012 @ 08:55 PM
Thanks. This was looming over my head for some time now and used to keep me up at night.
I'm doing better, but always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I figured even though this has been a reality for many for decades, the truth is even those of us who prep and live frugal are at risk of losing everything. We never lived outside our means, never blew money for the sake of blowing money. When the bottom dropped out of my career, all that money we saved went into keeping the roof over our heads. I still make less than unemployment paid me in the past even though I work full time. We've slowed the bleeding but not stopped it. I just want my kids to feel safe and live worry free. Sadly, they are also learning that we cannot buy them everything they think they need. They are learning the meaning of a dollar though, and to decide what is needed versus wanted.

posted on Sep, 16 2012 @ 10:20 PM
Good read. Sorry about your hardships. One question. Where is this tent city in Providence, RI? I haven't seen one in years. The city came down hard.

posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 06:36 AM
Thanks. This scenario almost was my life.
The story takes place in 2014 and the tent city returned in Roger Williams Park. In reality the homeless are spread out and hidden away. Cant have them making people feel uncomfortable.

posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 12:17 AM
Heartfelt, and poignant, as a story. SnF.

Wall of text, not so much. Make more paragraphs. More breaks, and toss in a few adjectives.


The sun wakes me early and the cold makes my body want to stay put. I fill a can with water and heat it up. Some oatmeal and wash up and I'm on the road again.


The rising sun wakes me early, even though the frigid cold bids my weary body stay put. I reluctantly fill a tin can with water from a half full plastic bottle, then I heat my oatmeal from it's packet, eat my meager meal, wash up, and set forth on the road again.

You WANT to draw emotion from your readers. Use every resource at your disposal. Let them feel as you do, and draw them in with words into your realm.

posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 09:13 PM
Yeah, thanks druid.
The paragraphs looked ok in microsoft, guess it didn't carry over as well.
I know I need to work the descriptive angle of writing, it just seems so fake in some books that I read.
Being genuine and simple has always been my default and I tend to worry about compromising that in telling a story.

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