You could say I sleep around or you could call me a hobo, but to me this is normal. This weekend I slept at the sixth and seventh places since I arrived in America three weeks ago.
Back in college I had my little room at my mom’s house to come home to. All of my things were always set up and waiting for me to come home from school. My bed and belongings even waited for me to get back from my travels to Europe after I graduated. Oh, but not anymore! Christmas 2010: we packed up my rooms into grey and blue totes and stowed them in my grandmother’s basement.
Now I’m not only homeless but I’m roomless, too. I do have a bed, actually three mattresses but those are in a storage building in Dover, not quite a cozy as a blue painted room. The only thing I own and put any faith in is my car. It has been very good to me and perfect for my gypsy life. My ’99 black Nissan takes me around the state and barely complains. Two summers ago I even slept in the backseat (I use the term ‘slept’ very, very lightly, I am WAY too big for those sleeping arrangements).
My family jokes that they should put some drawers in my back seat but I’m serious when I tell you that a closet in my trunk would be the most perfectly practical gift I’ve ever received. I think the Nissan would like it, too.
I never stay in one place for more than three or four nights and once summer rolls around I’ll be laying my head in different dorms around the state as I work the yearly basketball camps. Of course I’m not begging on the street nor will I be curling up under a bridge anytime soon, I could rent or sublet for the four or five months that I’m home but that just doesn’t make sense.
Luckily I have some pretty awesome friends and family who agree with me and have an extra couch. One of my best friends even lets me call her spare bedroom my home base. But my clothes are still stacked up in my opened suitcases on the floor… ready to go.
A lot of people tell me they couldn’t do the shuffling around and sleeping on different couches (and sometimes my back tells me the same thing), it’s totally not normal, but not much of my life ever has been. These nights are actually pretty predictable and so are the four different jobs I hold throughout the year.
My life is exciting but I do dream about a life that’s much more constant. I want a big house of my own and a Burmese Mountain dog sleeping on my living room floor. I want a career; something I wake up excited to do every morning. I want someone to fall asleep with every night. Someday I will have those things.
Aside from my sleeping arrangements, most people tell me to keep doing what I’m doing, seeing all the places I’ve been able to see and I’m more than thrilled to claim my experiences, too, but I am really looking forward to the next phase of my life. It might not begin for another year or two but when it comes I’ll be ready for it. In the meantime, I wonder if I will surpass the 17 different bedsteads that I fell asleep on two summers ago. Are there any ways of sleeping that I haven’t tried?
Check: bed, couch, car, tent, camper, floor, hotel, hostel…
Who wants to lend me a boat for a night?