Monday, April 17, 2017

The Stigma of the Single Man...

in the White Van.

On April 1st, I unceremoniously passed my Four Year Homeless by Choice Anniversary. (It's not about the $). 

I'm still learning things along my journey. For instance: 

One) Perspective girlfriends have no sense of humor for a senior citizen who's address is a Van's license plate number. As rare as first dates are, second dates take on a Halley's Comet appearance time frame. In other words, not often. It's hard for me to get past the standard question of "where do you live?" I really squirm a lot when that subject comes up. On the "boy meets girl" issue, I could have chosen a more user-friendly lifestyle. 

Two) At times, things can get a bit feral. On stretches of what I call "rough camping" (no showers, no electricity and no flush toilets), I'll Solar Shower on some lonely dirt road. I'll expose myself to the elements while taking my daily ablution. I just hope no other vehicle ambles by. I might make YouTube in an awkward way. Please don't enquire about plumbing.

Three) I draw a lot of stares when I arrive in an RV park where everyone knows each other, but no one knows me. A fine example of this occurred in Lajitas, TX. I was driving a lap around the campground while looking for my designated site. Groups of manly cohorts were engaged in animated conversations. Upon seeing me and Barley the Van-SILENCE! They craned their necks while following me with their prying eyes. I parked, hopped out and gave them my toothiest grin. "Gentlemen! You have no need to worry about me. I will be the quietest neighbor you will ever have. You won't even know I'm here." The bull session resumed and everyone was happy. A few gents came by later on to check out the Barley Van. I gave them beers. I'm on a mission to win hearts and minds. 

Four) Families fear the White Van and probably the single man inside. On more than one occasion, I noticed young Moms and Dads pointing toward Barley while emphatically shaking their heads in the International "NO! NO! NO!" fashion. If the parents aren't getting through to their progeny, they wag their fingers too. Ouch! That hurts my feelings. 

This is why I never park near a school or playground. The local SWAT Unit would surely be dispatched with weapons drawn. 

For the above reasons and a few others, I've become more of an introvert/hermit. It's the price I'm paying for all this mobile freedom. Oh, I'll still say hello to strangers and wave, but I won't go further than that unless provoked. I'm definitely not the kind of guy who would stride up to someone, extend my hand and say, "Hi! I'm Jeff! Damn fine to meet ya." That being said, I'm pretty sure I'd still pass society's minimum standards of acceptable community behavior. 

I still consider myself to be a nice Jewish Boy from the Bronx.

What's to become of me? I haven't a clue. I'm still motivated to travel with and without The White Van. Barley won't fit in an airplane's overhead storage compartment, so I'll be leaving him behind in my future overseas travels.

Keep looking in, things will get interesting.

For further readings, check out these old posts. Maybe you'll see a pattern here.

BTW. I, still running for President in 2020. The First Lady slot is still open too.

Cheers while rolling into Year Five of Homeless by Choice,
Next to last photo: Yes, there are times I am living in my van down the river.

Last photo: Me in the Master Bedroom engrossed in an IPPY award winning book.

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