Monday, August 30, 2010

Broken, or not so much.

It finally happened. My car’s starter broke. I think it’s the starter anyway. So, here I sit at a gas station waiting for help. It’s really fun watching the working cars pull up, shut off, their owners walk in, walk out, cars start, and drive away. I had to leave my car in the parking lot which threatens to tow anyone who is parked more than 15 minutes and walk four blocks for an interview with a reporter from the school newspaper, “The Reporter”, at Minnesota State UniversityMankato. Lucky for me, this particular “Kwik Trip” is not very strict on their parking rule. I’ve been parked here for about an hour and a half.

At any rate, I guess this is an excellent chance for me to sit and watch the wondrous variety of people in the world. Muscle head college boys, wangsters and wiggers, people complaining about phone calls from friends and the “retarded rules” that the college has, someone literally just threw a pack of cigarettes to his friend and they hit my car, insult to injury I guess.

Oh there’s my help!


As it turns out nothing was quite as broken as I thought, just loose, or stuck, or something. So the car is back up and running and we’re both loving life.

What you don’t know about the X’s is that they represent more than 24 hours. So it’s a day later and I’ve had a whole other set of thoughts going through my mind now that I’m not worrying about my car. It’s been bothering me that some people are having such a hard time with the fact that I’m doing this homeless living adventure with a car and a computer.

First of all, the amount of homeless people with a car is astronomical. No, not all of them do, and no, not the majority of the homeless do, but there are quite a few that do and I am one of them.

Secondly, my whole point of this adventure is to be able to tell people just what it’s like to be homeless, and I can’t do that without a computer.

Thirdly, the reason I want to show as many people as I can what homelessness is about, is because in the ever worsening state of our country, more and more people are loosing there homes and we never see where they end up. It’s seems like our society does it’s best to ignore them. So the new “breed” of homeless people are sitting at stores and restaurants with there computers, searching for jobs and updating facebook accounts.

This is 2010! We’re homeless. We have gadgets. Get over it!

Oh and tell your friends!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two Bicycles, One Destiny, and My Parents

I've discovered that when you spend as much time as I do in a car, you begin to realize that life on the road not only rocks so hard that if anyone looked directly at you their eyes would explode, but that you get to do a whole new kind of people watching. I'm sure this is a topic I will come back to time and time again so I'll hold off for now. However, sense I'm on the topic of other cars and people while you're driving:

I'm not a bad person and, despite popular opinion, I don't usually enjoy seeing bad things happen to people, but the story I'm about to relate really brought that joy of destruction in me.
(Spoiler: No matter how much I kinda wish it would have happened, nothing is destroyed or damaged in this story) I was in my car driving down the highway just like normal. "Just like normal" most likely involves music turned on just loud enough, but not too loud and me singing horribly at the top of my lungs until it starts to hurt. So as you can imagine, Sean has never been more at peace.

The car in front of me had two bicycles standing on top of it. They were standing straight and proud. Whenever I see I bicycle my mind drifts to a time when my primary form of transportation was a bicycle. I was twenty and twenty-one and lived in Albuquerque, NM. I have an unbridled fear of being on two wheels ever again fore my life on a bicycle ended abruptly and tragically. Without getting too involved in another story let me just say, there was an ambulance involved, and I quoted "Tommy Boy".

So when these two bicycles suddenly shifted to the left and appeared to be one gust of wind from the ground, you can imagine how much I wanted them to crash to the highway. I backed off a bit so the bicycles wouldn't again hospitalize me. I followed them another 15 miles until the car left my route and we parted ways forever. Deep inside I'm glad for the people who love those bikes that they didn't fall, but at the same time, it would have been fun to see.

So, that was the bicycles and now for destiny.

I usually believe that people make their own destiny and I guess this quick thought is no different. I've never really talked about this, but when I was a little boy I was watching TV with my family. There was a movie or show that had a character who was a homeless teenage boy. It might have been something else, but to me the boy was crying because he was homeless and there was no help for him. I remember I had an overwhelming feeling as I sat and watched that, that one day I would be homeless. Now, at the time and for years afterwards I never dreamed it would be my choice, but here I am.

Obviously, I created that destiny for myself. I just find it to be kind of odd.

I can assure you, Mom, that this is not my final destiny, there is much more after I've done what I've set out to do here and now. And if things go my way, this will be the first of many things that I do that make you worry about my sanity. I don't try to make you and Dad worry about my safety; I'm just trying to catch up with my dreams. Love you!

Thanks for reading, and please keep doing it.

Oh and tell your friends!

Friday, August 13, 2010

An Open Letter to My Car and then some

Dear Verruca, The Scoot-About, Shuttle, SandBlast:

I just wanted to say thanks for all the great things you do for me. Remember when the semi wanted me dead? Thanks for being there to take the hit. Remember when I needed to buy a car, but had very little money? Thanks for being so cheap! Remember when I decided that I didn't need a home and I was going to hit the road and take pictures and write a lot? Thanks for saying, "Yes! Let's do it!" Remember last night when it was raining really hard, and there was all that lightening and thunder and it was scary for you? Thanks for being a champ and keeping me warm.

It will be so fun when we finally get to drive into the sunset and wonder what's next.

Love Sean...
... I do

P.S. Please don't break on me. That's really all I ask of you.

I made it through my first big storm without a home last night. It worked well. I was blissfully sent to dream land by the sound of the pitter patter of rain violently crashing on my car, and flashes of lightening follow shortly by claps of thunder that sounded like bombs exploding all around.

I think that might have had something to do with my dream last night in which I was a photojournalist poking about in Afghanistan. I ran across this guy who definitely didn't like Americans, and spoke English very well. Luckily I saw him first and was able to subdue him and convince him that we should make a gentleman's agreement not to kill each other. After I explained what that meant and made him realize that I could kill him right then and there he agreed and we went our separate ways. However, I didn't quite trust him, and therefore ran as fast as I could.

The moral of the story? Diplomacy might work, but we'll never know because we can't really trust each other.

Oh yeah, so sleeping in my car. It works out pretty well. I just lay down across the front or back seat depending on how I'm feeling at the time. Or if I'm just taking a little nap I'll just sit in the front seat and rest for a few minutes. I truly couldn't be happier with how it works out.

So on and on I go. The date of departure becoming steadily closer, and my excitement increasing always.

I love you all for reading and please keep doing it, and like always, tell your friends, I'm trying to make a name for myself here!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Three Weeks Notice

This morning I put in my three weeks notice at work. There is literally no turning back now. Well, probably not.

I felt kind of dirty today, so I went swimming. I floated on my back to the middle of a lake and there I stayed. It was really nice. I got away from all the people there and it was just me, the water and the sky. There's nothing so calming as being able to lay back, take deep controlled breaths while feeling like you're weightless on the water. It's truly a magical experience.

I don't want you to think that I'm going to let that be my only means of bathing today. I still have a job and therefore need to worry more than that about hygiene. In a few hours I'll go get a shower with soap and stuff, but I do hope to make swimming a form of bath time once I hit the road. I feel very clean now anyway.

So now over the next few weeks, I have only to wait. It's going to be hard; I'm already getting antsy, and I feel like this time is going to drag by. I guess it's what I have to do whether I want to leave now or not. I don't get to and I'll have to suck it up.

So, the count down is officially on. I'm looking at hitting the pavement hard on or around September 8th. That's when this homeless life gets real.

Thanks for reading and like always, tell your friends.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sean Donner and the Case of the Exploding Tire.

So I was driving on Highway Fourteen today, and out of nowhere, you guessed it, my tire exploded. Honestly, exploded isn't quite the best word to use, although at the time that's exactly what I thought happened. When I had my self safely pulled to the side of the road, it became apparent that what had actually happened was that all of the tread on the front, passenger side tire on my car flew off, and by so doing I also lost a mud flap. I'm very upset about the mud flap.

I opened my trunk and realized that there was a whole ton of coats, an oil pan, a tent and countless other things there. So I walked over to the tire and crouched beside the tire and said, "Can you get me another ten miles?"

To this the tire did not reply.

I looked down the highway, and turning back to the tire said, "Can you at least get me off the highway?"

The tire still didn't reply, but I decided that if I drove slow, I'd make it to a place where I could put a spare on.

I was headed to my parent's house to watch over their aged dog and visit my number one pal, Reggie the Python. Their house was ten miles from me, so I set out, driving slowly and hoping that the tire wouldn't actually explode, which it didn't.

So, today I got to rotate my tires and this weekend I get to buy new ones!

I'm going to sleep here tonight. I'm loving hanging out with Reggie, who I haven't seen since I became homeless. I plan to play guitar for a while and fall asleep on the couch with a good movie. I think I'm going with Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's my pet snake Reggie's favorite movie, so that seems fitting.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Update On The Cut Offs

So literally minutes after I wrote about my cut offs being destroyed I went to the grocery store to get some breakfast and while I was looking through the peaches to find one that would make a wonderfully healthy breakfast for me, a little old lady walked up to me and said, "You look like you could use some new overalls."

I've got to admit, I was a lot confused by what she meant for a few seconds. I don't have any overalls to begin with. Then I realized my shorts were a bit torn in back and she could see my drawers.

I smiled and said, "Oh I know. That just happened."

She went on her way and I on mine, but I never stopped thinking about her comment. So here
they are. My new cut offs. You see I figure that the hole in the knee was only going to make me cold if I wore them in the winter. So then old ones will be retired and preserved in a museum, and the new ones will take their place.

So that's that.

Like always, keep reading and tell all your friends!

Sleep and Some Things Break

I've been at it for over a week now, and although I honestly have enjoyed it, I've also realized that it's incredibly difficult to get any sleep during the day.

First, I went to a really shaded, quiet part of a park and laid down in my car, and fell asleep almost instantly. For whatever reason, I woke up about two and a half hours later. I looked at a clock and realized that I hadn't slept long enough. So, like anyone else would do, I laid back down and tried to get some more sleep, but to no avail.

Next, I moved to another shaded place by a river in the park and decided to take a little nap outside on the banks of the river. It was still relatively quiet and the sound of the river seemed like it would go right a head and sing me to sleep. No, actually it wouldn't.

I decided to go under a bridge. That's the place for a homeless young man to sleep... for about an hour. I guess I'll get used to it eventually. I don't have these issues when I sleep at night, but last night I didn't quite have that option.

So that brings me up to where I am now. It's been a while since I have written anything. I guess I felt like I didn't have a lot to say yet, but now that I sit here typing I realize that I have plenty to say, but haven't taken the time to think about it.

After only a week I've broken a few of my things. The first was my phone. Yes, I have a phone. I decided that if I want to survive traveling across the country by myself with nowhere to live, I should have a cell phone. I broke the screen on it this weekend. I was a little aggravated and did something kinda stupid for just a second and now the cell phone's screen is broken. I'm glad it broke now that I still have some form of income, rather than a month from now when I'm actually going to hit the road. This is a classic example of why I'm putting myself through this transition period between having a home and being completely on my own.

So besides my cell phone I've also lost a sizable section of the butt portion of a pair of my shorts. Honestly, I'm not too concerned with this, or really surprised by it. The shorts were pretty worn out before I started this expedition. I am a little saddened by this though. See, for a little over a year my favorite thing to wear has been a white V-neck shirt and cut off shorts. Well, these were my first pair of cut offs.

Take this photograph for example, that's exactly what I'm wearing right now. In fact, those are the torn shorts.

So, there I am. That's "soon to be homeless Sean", who just happens to appear identical to "now actually is homeless Sean". Look how cute!

I have really enjoyed this last week. I have a feeling of accomplishment, if you can believe that. I'm feeling more free and a little bit invigorated.

Like always, I'm optimistic about the future, and hope that what I am doing with the next few months of my life will turn out to help someone, or at least shed some light on "what it's like to live on the other side of the coin." I put that in quotes because I was recently talking to a friend who told me that she was talking about all I'm doing right now to one of her friends and that's a portion of what her friend said about it. It's good to know that some people are excited about this, and that someone is going to read what I experience and what I have to say about it.

I'll keep writing, so please, keep reading and tell your friends to do the same.