Learning how to live

Day 2 — The next morning I woke up to brightly-lit, fogged-out windows, and a homeless couple sleeping on the sidewalk just outside my car. I learned three things from night one: don’t park in party areas, crack the windows to avoid the breath fog (a sure sign that I am in the car), and park up on hills where most homeless people decide not to venture.

That day I texted Kelly and drug her to IKEA with me to get curtains and various things I still needed for my interior. She was the first person in San Francisco that I told. She was incredibly supportive and surprisingly curious about all the ins and outs of my plan to live in my car. We had a good time figuring out things like where I would poop on the weekends, and that I could never bring a girl back to my place. After IKEA, we visited James at work, and I broke the news to him. Later on that evening, Ryan invited me to this art crawl in the Haight, and I let him and Jen in on the secret. They were completely in disbelief for a good half hour, before they realized I really wasn’t joking, and showed them the inside of my new crib. They offered to let me stay in their guest bedroom, which I declined about 5 times before agreeing. After the art crawl (tons of fun, by the way) we went back to Ryan and Jen’s house to have some drinks. James stopped by to hang out and we all talked ourselves nearly to sleep, everyone cracking the occasional joke about my new apartment. Notable: “You live all over the city” and “When you go to bed, you have to check 5 doors, not just a front and back one” and referring to my arrangement as a “studio apartment with great views of the city … privacy windows … a skylight … small stove (cigarette lighter)”.

Luckily James cabbed it to Ryan’s house so I had an excuse to take him home and dodged the temptation of sleeping in a real house on a real bed. I’m committed, and I want to really force myself to do this! James and Kelly live in the highest part of the Castro, so I applied my learning about hills and homeless people, and searched for a good spot in their neighborhood. The thing about hilly neighborhoods is that there are many hills and not so many plateaus for sleeping. So I parked on a fairly steep hill, making sure that my feet would be facing downhill, and jumped in bed. At 3 AM I realized I never wanted to sleep on an hill ever again. My body felt all squished and disoriented. I climbed out the back window in the dark, got into the driver’s seat, and began driving aimlessly looking for a flat place to park in this neighborhood. At last I found some place not too far from James and Kelly, and parked, ready to get some real Z’s. This was much better. The best spot so far. The most awkward part about it  was climbing out of the back of the car at 9:30AM alongside power-walking moms in spandex and dog-pooping dads in pajamas. I drove away quickly to avoid any more elongated stares from these average passersby.