I’m gettin’ tired, y’all, not gonna lie. Not sure if the six and a half weeks of homelessness is catching up to me in general, or the jarringness of trying to maintain my limbo headspace in a place as intense as New York City, or the rising jitters as my intended Boston endpoint begins looming big and close and real. Or a combination, most likely.
I’ve never in my adult life had any living space that really felt like home, despite the fact that I’m approaching my mid-thirties, which is probably why the transition into not actually having a home was pretty painless, emotionally. But home or not, it’s difficult for me to not have my own space, even if it’s just a tiny blip of space where no one can see me.
For the first month of my journey, though the Midwest — as lonely and draining and kind of terrifying as it was — I had almost nothing but my own space, either on my bike in the middle of Ohio or in whatever anonymous Super 8 motel room on the edge of whatever anonymous town. And since I finally rejoined civilization on the East Coast I haven’t had it at all, in about three weeks. Sort of, I suppose, when Jeff lost his mind and allowed me to care for his cats for five days while he was gone, but even in that I was just inserting myself somewhere I don’t belong.
I think that sudden transition from being by myself all the time — either on the road or in a motel — to suddenly being in close quarters with other people all the fucking time fucked with my head a bit more than I realized. I did laundry today — TJ Maxx and laundry, tearin’ up New York like a motherfucker here — and I felt my muscles unlock a little bit because despite being around a lot of people I had no need to interact, I could just set up a nice little room for myself in my head. And then I came back to the hostel and everyone was gone, and I was — am — alone. Only my Lithuanian dormmate is still around, and I think she plans to stay out in the city for most of the night. I’d intended to go out, at least bike around some more, maybe over the Brooklyn Bridge, but the visceral desperate gravitation pull of solitude was irresistible.
I sat cross-legged on the floor with Chinese food and a beer. I probably picked my nose.
Sometimes I wonder how much this plays into my complete disinterest in ever having a family of my own, because of how exhausting it is to just be around people for an extended length of time, even people I adore and care about deeply. Most exceptions to this fall under being “alone together,” like lazing around watching Coraline with Josh while I fucked around on my laptop, and Jeff and I mostly comfortably ignoring each other — is there a word for that? Where you pretty much do your own thing, and occasionally you’re like oh hey hey listen to this, but both “yeah, what’s that, tell me about it” and a vague “uh huh” are equally acceptable responses? — Yeah, probably not an ideal family dynamic, that.
I have already begun not-so-idly looking into spending what will probably be the last of my savings on a plane ticket and Eurail pass in January, particularly if I can get some shit temp job in Florida for a few weeks when I’m there for a month or so for family holiday time, or if I finally figure out a way (read: finally actually do some practical research into figuring out a way) to acquire income traveling (preferably without being naked in an alley somewhere).
In conclusion, here is a visual summary of my life right now.