Worked up the courage.
Yesterday Friday January 9, I went out after work cruising. Hit up some of regular spots but didn’t have any luck, then I headed to go see if Manual was around his shack. I have not seen him in person since around Christmas but there is movement around his place.
I left him some food and then bucked up the rest of my courage that I had been trying to build throughout the day to go to the tent. The tent is by the way the one I have written about before that I have been leaving food by which had been disappearing but where I have never meet anyone near. And a bike should up some time back but has not moved for a few weeks and some food I had left out was still there the other day so I am fearful that well….someone is in the tent that may not ever come out…if ya get me drift.
Since I figured it snowed the night before and there was new snow on the ground this seemed like a good day to work up the courage to near the tent as I would be able to see if there were tracks. And since there was a big snow storm coming I felt I had to do this before it hit.
I pulled my jeep up and could immediately see that the bike was gone. I followed the path in toward the tent and could see the food I had left was also gone. Good sign? I don’t know anyone could have taken them right?
When I approached the tent I could see the brick was still on the flap outside, which made me think before that it had been arranged that way from the outside to protect the opening. As I got closer I heard a big ‘bang’ in the abandoned building not to far away, the noise rattled my cage I have to say as I have never heard a noise come from there before. I moved closer knowing full well I am not exactly liking any bit of what I am about to do and now I feel like a thief who may be being watched. I hear the noise again, damn it..i look toward my jeep but erased the fear to bolt for it and get the fuck out there.
Earlier in the afternoon I had called a police officer from the city of Detroit that I have as a contact at work. I told him what I am up too, well sort of! He was surprised by what I do and said it was nice but didn’t give me a hard time..which makes me think that no other cops will so that was good!! I asked him if there were any divisions that are compassionate to the homeless in case I came across anything that needed handling. He told me to call 911 if I was in danger, of course, then gave me a number to contact one of the precincts.
I always keep my cell phone on my body and my keys in my pocket, well like 98.47% of time anyways. But I didn’t want to tell him this wasn’t about my safety or about what I was planning to do, I just don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to this area. I thanked him for the information.
Now I know some people are concerned about what I am doing and my safety while I do, and I am grateful. But, there is always a but, to be honest I don’t feel that I am in harms way. Yes this may be me being naïve but I just don’t. Sure this could also be me bring Brave or Stupid too or a little bit of both! But I just cant be fearful doing this or these men will know. I am very fortunate that I have not had any issues and that I have only had good encounters on the street with men who are polite and gracious and thankful.
Maybe I do have a guardian angel, and if that is the case I think I have two..and they know who they are!! (wink) who knows..i told someone yesterday or the day before that its quite possible that I may be gaining back some of the Faith I had glimpsed at a year ago but had feared I had lost forever…who knows right. In any case I do not put myself in situations that are unsafe..well any more than normal, I trust my intuition but this does not give me a false sense of protection. I am not stupid I know some of the places I go are not safe and that the potential for harm is there, but its everywhere not just in these places, (read the paper). So for me its just that I can not and will not operate from the place of fear..i just cant do it. I feel if that were the case my experience would not be as positive as it has been.
And up until this very second my experiences have been good and I have gained more than a little humility from doing this. I’m not even sure if someone is in mixed company allowed to say something like that but I have, if anything this is teaching me even more about how to become a graceful passenger. Which is something I have been really thinking about since summer, mind you I have not been completely successful but goals are good to have and that one is my biggest one.
Back at the tent I start to pull the brick off of the tent as it is frozen to the material and I hear the noise again, damn it I think to myself again! I am really getting my nerve tested by that noise and there are a few cars that have passed by the area, part of me is comforted by that for some reason.
I finally get the brick away from the fabric and am able to lift the fly up a bit in order to find the zipper to the door. I scan the area to see if anyone is around because I am totally about to do some B&E and I feel really bad about this ..mixed with a good amount of fucking fear about what I may find inside of this tent.
Ok …deep breathe..i unzip the tent but the fly Is not all the way off,,just enough for what will be a space big enough to stick my head under and look into the unzipped zipper. I know I could have moved the other two bricks and got the fly all the way off so I didn’t have to place my face in a situation that was kind of scary but that would have taken more time and by this time I am kneeling in the snow and my boots are soaked and my gloves are off and I am freezing and totally freaked out by that damn noise and just want this whole thing to be over with. I take a deeper breathe and I stick my head under the tent fly and look in…its messy and I can see blankets in the middle and they are lumpy and stuff is strewn all over the sides, kinda my tent at burning man, but I cant really see the whole lump to know what it is. I unzip the zipper a bit more and I figure that the lump is just the way the blankets are laying and that there is in fact no one in the tent. I extract my head and exhale with relief. I try to zip the tent back up but I cant get it all the way. Not sure if its frozen or because I can not feel the fingers on my right hand and they are not operating in any manner that I am trying to get them to. I cover up the tent with the fly and put the brick back in place and leave more food.
I scurry back through the ankle deep snow back to the jeep and pray it will heat up soon and am so thankful that I am it to do just that. I leave the area and head toward the highway ramps wondering if I will run into any other men.
And I did …