While converting one of my computers to Linux, I found I could get into hard drives and files I haven't seen in years. Some of the things I wrote and thought long gone have resurfaced through the cyber murk and make me smile. I wonder what prompted some of the pieces and clearly remember what gave birth to others. There is even a goodly bit of erotica that I need to find somewhere to post and might even create another LJ just for that. If you're interested, let me know. Otherwise I'll keep it to myself and you'll miss some really hot and spicy vignettes.
For right now, here is a tongue firmly stuck in cheek piece called --
No responsibility. No time clocks to punch. No ruts to faithfully pace day after day after day. It’s a dream come true. It’s what we all wished for every year as we blew out the candles on our birthday cakes, and now it’s ours to live day after day after day. Bums do it. Winos do it. Even the mentally ill do it since the state facilities set them free to get their piece of America’s dream. Now middle class women and children can do it, too.
Ah, America, land of opportunity, freedom and, if the Bill of Rights is nonfiction, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all have the right to choose – even if the choice is being homeless.
Being homeless can be a lot of fun if you handle it in just the right way. It’s all a matter of choice. Try to make sure you do it in the right city, though. Some cities offer no real opportunities or enough choices to make an informed decision.
Charitable organizations in some cities offer you free food, of a rather bland and predictable nature, or you can choose dumpster diving as a change of fare du jour. Let your palate be your guide.
If you’re prone to ulcers, the blander menu would be better for you. Your children can always dive for snacks before bed to satisfy their preference for fast food. There’s nothing faster. It’s a matter of taste.
They can wallow in food and have all their condiments right at their fingertips, nose, mouth and many other places that food hasn’t had a chance to get near since they were babies learning to eat with forks and spoons.
Forks, knives and spoons are optional unless you still have a family heirloom of white plastic laying loose somewhere. If you’re watchful and lucky you might even find a few in among your food. What a bonus! No restaurant ever offered you more for your money.
You can join your children and enjoy a little quality time together. But if you were really honest with yourself you’d admit that you like a little junk food now and again. Where else can you go for real junk food?
Dumpster diving doesn’t have to be your sole option, nor does the bland, tasteless fare from missions or free hostels. Keep in mind that even the most unpalatable stodge is far superior to the cramping complaints of a stomach on a strict no-food, no frills diet. You could take time from your open schedule to earn a bit of pocket change to buy a few inexpensive tidbits to supplement your tightly varied meals, like a pack of gum or day old donuts or bread. The green stuff is good for you –where do you think penicillin comes from. And just think of the benefits of having a natural antibiotic in your system when you get cut on the rusty bits on dumpsters or get bitten by rats.
Earning money need not put too big a crimp in your idle style if you’re intelligent about it. All you need do is cultivate the ability to appear needy, heart rending and just a little obnoxious if the situation warrants when charity is not uppermost in the minds of your would-be benefactors hurrying down the streets on their way to those boring, time consuming ruts you’ve been clever enough to avoid.
Work smart not hard – teach your kids the business. Send them onto the streets you never allowed them to play near when you were tied down to a mortgage or rent. They can stroll along the curb and look for loose change. After all, they are closer to the ground and all that bending does tend to get to be a bit tiresome after a while when you’re having trouble just standing up straight.
Pennies add up just like the old cliche says. If you watch for pennies they’ll soon turn into dollars. There’s very little for the price of a penny these days though. Thank you lucky stars for that. Penny candy would just rot your children’s teeth and spoil their dumpster dinner. Save your pennies for those cold days ahead when your options are fewer and wanderlust beckons.
My favorite way to support the nasty habit of eating – a monkey on my back I’ll never be able to get rid of – was to sell blood plasma to the local donor center three or four times a week. That $15 or $20 every other day or so adds up to a tidy sum when you sit down and think about it. Since plasma centers don’t take children you’ll have to keep this source of income all to yourself. Can’t let the kids have all the fun.
My favorite time when donating was afterwards. The first beer after your tour of duty on the comfortable plastic lounge in the donor center just hits the spot. It numbs your stomach and your brain and replenishes the fluids you’ve sacrificed to your addiction for food. It also costs less than a square meal.
If you’re averse to the benefits of hops, water, sugar and the fermentation process there’s always a free fountain full of icy water in every big office building’s lobby. What more could you want? It’ll also help fill your stomach to stop it’s everlasting complaining. That rumbling noise can be so nerve wracking, especially when it’s coming from your stomach.
Balancing all your creature comforts won’t be too difficult if your children have done their parts. You can live like a king in the spring, summer and early fall and profit from the healthful atmosphere of the wide open spaces when it’s warm and dry. But don’ sell rainy days short because they help create the pitiful appearance you’ve tried so hard to maintain. Thunderstorms, and the occasional downpour, also save you the expense of wasting your hard-earned money on a facility with a shower. Nature does provide well for its itinerant offspring.
Save your money for those lean times in the winter when nature’s accommodations become a bit too drafty and cold for comfort. Don’t rule out the open shelters and missions in those times of wintery bluster so close to the giving season of Christmas. A red-cheeked face, shivering body and waif-like children come in so handy to remind the workday slaves of charity and generosity in that most holy of seasons dedicated to the birth of Christ and the open-handed largesse of Santa Claus.
Make the most of every advantage to stockpile your acquisitions. At the very least newspapers, catalogs and advertisements for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales will go far toward feathering your cardboard nest if you’re less than happy about parting with your vacation cash.
Remember the lesson of the birds that migrate south at the first sign of cold weather. By the time the weather turns nippy you could use the exercise from all the indolence and ease of those bright summery days not to mention how much you’ll save by not having to buy winter clothes and coats.
Traveling is a great education for the children, too. They won’t have to worry about proper clothing, shoes or peer pressure either. Homelessness is so much healthier for their budding psyches.
Without telephones, television, radio or movies they won’t succumb to the flash of colorful clothes, warm-up jackets or expensive shoes. Sandals are much more suitable to wear with summery clothes. They will be somewhat in fashion with the holes and tears in their clothes. Some things are just unavoidable.
Drugs won’t be a problem for you or your children. They’re expensive and unnecessary. They don’t offer you and yours the luxury of getting away from it all when you already have. The numbness and euphoria working people find so addictive are already yours from cold and lack of food. Why waste your savings paying for what you can get for free?
Outside of a little petty thievery to help with those lean begging times to keep the kids’ eye-hand coordination sharp as a tack, their quick thinking on the beam and their reflexes honed to perfection from those quick getaways. Crime is not a problem either.
Who’d want to steal from you and where could you hide the loot if you stole anything more than you could easily hide or eat? Of course, store owners do have a prejudicial tendency to want to keep you out of their establishments, but you don’t want their overpriced, defective, middle class goods anyway. That’s what you’ve been trying to avoid. The decor would clash w the manila color of your cardboard abode anyway.
Schooling for your children isn’t really necessary if they choose to take over the family business. If they wish for the rutted rat race you can teach them yourself. What better education that learning on the job?
Reading, writing and arithmetic will be the easiest because they are a part of your daily life. They’ll learn to read by the signs and papers they use to line their clothes and bedding. Writing is just as easy with all the litter around to use for paper. Pens and pencils are usually found lying in the street. You could invest a few cents in one from a store if push comes to shove – consider it a business expense and take it off your taxes when the IRS gets around to demanding their share of your earnings.
Math will come easiest of all from the practical side of their days counting change and dividing the spoils from dumpster foraging trips.
Current events and geography are easily learned, once again, from newspapers and litter. Science will practically teach itself from observing their own bodies, and yours, as you all physically change by making do with less. Comparisons are easily made between you and the wage slaves who hurry by as they pretend not to notice you.
The state will eventually have to be petitioned for financial aid if they choose to go to college. They might decide to stay with the family business after all. Nothing is impossible. You’ve learned this as you survive from one day to the next.
One song says, “Life’s a ball if only you know it. And it’s all just waiting for you...”
Living is easy when you pay attention and take advantage of the edge you have over everyone else. Homelessness isn’t so bad once you get used to a standard of living so far above the animals that comprise your biggest competition.
After all, animals can’t appreciate the benefits they take for granted every day – time, freedom and the open road whenever they wish to walk it. What more could any astute mammal wish for?