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26 September 2012

Hiding in plain sight

I feel... derailed is probably too strong a word. Let's say off track Today I needed to stop by the agency (along with the VA) where I applied for transitional housing. The staff there is great, but I always feel a little overdressed, and guilty for being so, when I walk in. Honestly I look pretty rough compared to most students, but to other homeless folks I think I look more like any other student. So I feel out of place.

I needed to sign a release of information form so this agency could look at my VA health records, especially for signs of drug and alcohol abuse. They also wanted to verify contact info and such.

The rest of the day I started looking at my class notes from three semesters ago. I also looked at the class before that in my major, which is an "intro" course. The department equates the difficulty to a 300 level math course. I technically have transfer credit that covers the course, but I'm going to start back with the intro in spring.

On my task list tonight is downloading whatever I have access to on the course website. Notes, programming assignments, labs, etc. I'm going to casually work on the course on my own. By that I mean, try to get through as much as I can-- without the expectation that I'll finish. I've even reserved time three days a week to "be in class".

I expect that it will be a struggle at first. My current schedule outside of work is completely flexible. I can switch tasks at will. In my pseudo-class, I'm on a set schedule.This will be my first "class" experience in quite a while.

Sometimes when I'm sitting in the union or some other study area around other students, I'm reading stuff online. I do learn many things by doing so, but it's not the same as a class where someone else chooses the topics and schedule for me.

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The past few days (or so) I haven't been feeling physically well. Not sick, but not feeling fine. Part of it might be my diet, which sucks right now. Part of it might be sleep. I was up all night Saturday night and all day Sunday.

I hadn't gone without sleep like that in a while. In the recent past I was staying up sometimes for two days at a time. My reason for staying up all night is one of logistics. When football is home, I have to find a new place to park my car the night before the game.

Every other place looks threatening for some reason or another, so I usually drive around for a while before I find someplace that's open all night. I get breakfast at a truck stop hear here at 0600, and that's also a logical place to catch some Zzzzs in the car- for a little while.

Many people, it seems, don't like the idea of people sleeping in cars. I take that to mean that they don't want vagrants and drifters around. I'm neither, but I'm always afraid someone will notice me and have a problem with my presence. There are too many people in the world that don't care *why* a person is homeless- they just that person as someone that needs to "dealt with".

There was a newspaper article here recently where a day shelter was being proposed for a building in the city. Neighbors were concerned that homeless people might have mental issues, and you know, since the neighborhood kids would be passing by the place, and...

That's why I rely on people not noticing me, or if they do, not giving a shit.

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As much as I try to focus on the future and on positive things in the present, this is still a fucked situation.





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