I am now homeless. An urban outdoorsman. I have no roof over my head, no bed to lie down in, no kitchen to cook in. I have my backpack with a few scraps of clothes, a beat up old laptop, and a pair of hiking shoes with a little bit of tread left. I destined to wander aimlessly across the planet until someone finds my bones, rotting away under some bridge. I will try to exist on the scraps from dumpsters and the goodness of strangers. Mine is but a miserable existence with no hope but for a quick, lonely, painless, death….just kidding. It’s pretty cool! I’m free again.
Yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of the Fritter, I made my escape from the trailer trash hilton. I had been digging an escape tunnel for some time, and as the others slept, I crawled out the tunnel, over the barb wire, past the machine guns, and onto freedom. So what finally pushed me over the edge? Why leave now as compared to all the other times? It was just, time to go.
A drunk, a pothead, a crackhead, and a whore walk into a trailer. Basically, it pretty much sums it up. The idiot drunk landlord had not sobered up after 6 weeks. Constantly drinking and as he continued to pound down the beer, he was becoming more belligerent. He would be fine one minute and then lose it over something really minor.
He threw the whore out last week but then this past Sunday, she rose from the dead and returned. At the same time, he invited the old evicted crackhead friend back to the fold. One big happy family. The other tenant quit all pretense of staying straight so the trailer smelled of pot all day and night. As usual, the landlord loved to play music really loud, as did the evicted friend. When awake, the whore never shut up…never.
On Sunday night, the landlord, who actually did find employment at a local eatery, came home, promptly got drunk, and started a fight with evicted friend. Evicted friend went outside and wound up sleeping in the yard. Drunk landlord then informed me he was dropping the rent to $140 a week, but I had to pay the whore who was now in charge of the trailer. By Monday morning he had changed his mind again, raised the rent back to what it was and said he would still be in charge. Then he went back to his room and started playing loud music again.
I had enough. I was looking around at how I was living, looked at the bed bug bites which were becoming an everyday thing, and decided it was time. On Tuesday morning with everyone in a drunken sleep, I packed up the backpack and walked out. No notice, no letter, just walked. Fuck him.
Let me say this one thing before I move on…As much as I talked about this living situation, and it was a miserable 10 months there, let me assure you it was far worse than I let on. The landlord is a felony waiting to happen. He has an extensive rap sheet with the local police. He gets thrown out of every bar he walks into for starting fights. He has threatened neighbors, tow truck people, and the trailer park management. On Monday, some stranger came in the yard. All dressed up, with a phone in hand, looking real official. He looked all around the trailer so I am assuming city code inspector. It means the park is looking for excuses to throw this idiot out. When said idiot found out about the inspector he went apeshit, called the park manager and made more than a few specific threats.
My days of fighting are over. If attacked I won’t fight back, I will fight dirty but I wasn’t about to risk anymore. The place was becoming dangerous and so I made good my escape.
As for what I will do now, I do have a short term plan. I spent the night, my last night in Key West for awhile, at a friend’s apartment. He can only do one night but I got a free dinner out of it too. Today, Wednesday, by 6:00pm I will be on the Greyhound to Daytona Beach. From there I will make my west by the Votran to an old friend’s place where I can stay for 2 or 3 weeks. It’s not ideal but it’s the best I could come up with on short notice.
After I leave, I am unsure. I will probably make a quick overnight run back to Key West to take care of some things, but from there, it’s wide open. Everything will depend on my financial situation but I will not get back into a situation like I just left. Not happening.
While it may seem scary to not have any real place to stay, it’s kind of exciting. I’m not happy to be leaving Key West but the idea of a road trip sounds like fun. The bus has wifi and power so I can do some work. And I will get to see some old friends back in Orlando.
I had always planned on putting the nomad into this digital nomad thingy, but I was going to wait until the end of the year when I was in more better financial shape. So I’m just traveling earlier than planned. I’ll have to get creative with what I can do and be alert to opportunities to do this or that. At least I’m out of the bad shit and all the stress which came with it.
On the upside, the book is almost finished. I hope to publish before the end of the month. Can’t wait to see how it does.
The downside of course, is I’m leaving my home. It’s my island, my home, and it’s going to be tough to leave, but I will be back, in some way, shape, or form.
So, for now, if you happen to be driving down some lonely back road, and spot a forlorn looking figure, beaten down by life, dragging a beat up old bag, typing into the remnants of a laptop, it will be me! Stop and say hello.