I’ve got a theory, and this hypothesis has been heavily tested by me, in my homeless aka Roofless state.
Folks without homes sometimes scream/yell out, seemingly at nothing/no one.
When you’re living on the street, whether it be in a car, in a tent, in a car-tent, or on the street proper, there are many problems one has which are unrelatable to the fortunate.
The fortunate have never thought about being homeless, because they’ve got a built-in support system.
Must be NICE to just get money from your parents while you’re struggling, working, failing, falling.
Sometimes people donate to my Venmo: Doug-Culp and sometimes I get work.
Fortunate say “Have you tried to get a job?” as if I hadn’t FUCKING THOUGHT OF THAT already. “What about your parents, can they give you money?” No, motherfucker. What did I JUST say? Must be NICE to be supported financially, outright.
“Have you tried to get government assistance? I bet you’d qualify for THAT.” as if I hadn’t thought of THAT either! I’ve been on unemployment. One time I was working, for a while, got unemployment, then I got a gig that lasted a WEEK AND A HALF. The government thought “Hey, this fucker’s been working. Stop his unemployment NOW.” Come tax time they faulted me for collecting unemployment during that gig. A WEEK AND A HALF. Thanks government! I had to pay them back, what they were helping me with. The MONEY I HAD paid INTO the government, which was set up to HELP me, and they wanted it back cause I worked for a week and a half. Pro Flowers. Fuck that job. Fuck the government…especially RIGHT NOW.
Do I trust our government to look after me? No. FUCK, NO. Food stamps, which I don’t use cause government mistrust, remember…they’re about to make a law enforcing which foods are purchasable with food stamps. It’s gonna be rice & beans or some shit (“some shit” being the royal “whatever”).
I have Lyme Disease. Maybe some of you still don’t know what it’s like. I’ll tell you. Imagine you’re walking through your regular, healthy life when, all of a sudden, you feel this strange sensation. Something is MOVING beneath your skin. It’s deep, too.
I got bit near my crotch, didn’t know what the fuck it was. I didn’t know it was a bite, I just knew there was a weird, circular rash and I wanted it gone. So I waited. I wanted it to “go away” and it did…only it didn’t. See the “rash” was actually bacteria from within the tick that bit me. When the rash “went away”, in actuality, the bacteria began to spread. It fucked in my body. It fucked UP my body, very slowly.
I…shit, I’ve told this before in decent detail. Fuck it. I’ll jump ahead.
After the complete and utter betrayal of Dr. Clem Rodriguez aka Dr. Croc-o-shit, and pre-diagnosis, I was made to do community service.
I’d gotten a FIX-IT ticket from a cop, who said while he was writing it “You know, it says your registration is paid up, too, but the sticker isn’t there.” He basically told me “I’m a fucking piece of shit, and every day I eat human feces, so, here’s your shit ticket. Fuck you.”
I got my registration taken care of. I asked the lady at the DMV if I needed to do a hthing else, pay the $25 to them perhaps. “No you’re all set” she affirmed.
She was dead wrong. The ticket accrued late fees, I wasn’t able to pay them cause work was scarce. I had to go to the BIG BUILDING downtown to plead my case.
Community service was my only option and, on top of it ALL, I still had to pay the motherfucking original $25 fee. I was livid, but happy to be on the right track.
I sought out community service opportunities. I had people sign that I was there, providing contact info, pictures, the whole 9 yards. I did a blood drive. I helped with kids who’d been placed in safe apts with their parents, while their parents took a small break. A few others. I brought my proof to the BIG BUILDING and I was met with the dumbest sentence I’d ever heard in my entire life.
“You can’t just, DO community service.”
I had failed my task. The thing that I’d actually done, which technically YES COUNTS as community service, was thrown in my face as null and void.
I needed to be assigned. At this point I hadn’t needed the cane yet, but my legs were feeling weak af.
“Goodwill” they said. You’ll be assigned to help out there. I was happy with this. Not only had I grown up shopping at the thrift store my entire life, but now I got to work at one! I went in for my first day. It was chill, my legs were hurting BADLY by the end of the shift. Luckily I’d procured my Grandma Beryl’s cane a couple months prior, because at that point I’d felt my weird wobbly legs. I took a Lyft back to the duplex, which was about a mile away. I’d walked to work, had to get a ride home from my DESTROYED legs.
I returned to work at Goodwill again, cane in hand, helping me walk. The manager looked at me, looked at my cane, looked at me again, cane again. She was BAFFLED. “How can you work with that?”
“I dunno, maybe sort stuff in the back, bring things out on racks, put me anywhere.”
They sent me home. Away. As in “Get your LAME-ASS BODY the FUCK up out of HERE!”
Doctor’s note, explicitly saying what I could and couldn’t do. Next day I came back.
SENT HOME AGAIN.
This time, I was made to go to the BIG BUILDING again, only I opted for a less-crowded one in Glendale. I was made to pay a fee TO START my community service cause a deadline was missed and they want people in the system to be pissed.
ALANON/AA building. I was made to water plants and, for the most part it was chill.
I made buds with another guy in there, and we talked about our time like it was a prison sentence. Community service is like prison-lite. They can slyly take time off, add more time, and we’re being forced to be there.
While I’m doing the community service, remember, I was feeble af. Lyme Disease. Do NOT forget Bout the Lyme Disease.
Time is up, now I’m going though money fights with my then roommate. He’d been paying the rent and I’d been barely able to pay the utilities. This went on for too long, and I owe him money. He’s the type to hold something, anything, over your head for the rest if your life. Note that we don’t hang out anymore cause it was too hard for him. As soon as I pay him back I’ll Sparta kick myself out of his life forever. Conditional friends are weird af.
Back to the unrelatables.
I crashed on my bud’s couch for a month, during which his gf was SUPER pissed I was there at all. He’s not a confrontational guy, so much so, that he placed ALL the blame for me getting out of there in his roommate. How does anyone lie so easily, so blatantly? I escaped his place with most of my belongings in my car and JUST enough room to sleep in the backseat when need be. Oh yeah! The month I was crashing, I’d gotten work! I started working at the Santa photographer gig in the mall, AND was still being kicked out. I’d even resolved to pay some utilities while I was there cause I knew I’d been a bit of a financial burden. Didn’t take. Still had to get the FUCK out.
Car-sleeping in the car-tent. Car cover over, I’ve got some anonymity. JOB TRANSFER! Time to work the same job but moving from the Eagle Rock Plaza to the Canoga Park Mall. A bitter hellscape. A desert of anything. A shit place far from everything and I hated being there every second. 2.5 wks and I was promoted to ASSISTANT MANAGER! I never wanted a promotion. The day I started I knew I didn’t wanna do it much longer.
“Get through this, don’t kill self, sleep in car every night.”
I worked on my birthday, December 22nd! My birthday’s always been overshadowed by THE HOLIDAY SEASON. Doug was born? Who FUCKING CARES?! PRESENTS!!! (boo-fucking-hoo right)
I worked December 24th, to fly out December 25th to see my family in Utah.
“But Doug…” you say “I thought you had NO FINANCIAL HELP!” Firstly, hypothetical voice, fuck you. Secondly, my sister and mom pooled funds together to buy me a flight. I found parking near the airport, and my car remained safe the whole time I was gone.
I played video games in my sister and brother in-law’s basement arcade, using my cane everywhere I went (Lyme Disease, feeble af remember?).
Unrelatable prob 1. When parking on an incline, gravity is always noticeable.
UP 2. You know how when the pen in your headrest falls cause you were reaching for the car charger outlet to plug in your phone, and then the pen FALLS into your BONG which is right below?
UP 3. How about things constantly falling?
UP 4. Car charger port isn’t charging anymore. I’d restart the car real quick, but it’s a stick shift. Takes planning, timing.
UP 5. People talking shit about the car itself.
UP 6. People lightly CRASHING INTO THE FUCKING CAR WITH ME INSIDE IT.
UP 7. People being TOO GENEROUS with food purchased FOR ME and now I can barely BARELY fit in the backseat without cramming things into the trunk cause I don’t have room for all of this, also I asked for 3 things and got like 15! (“Ungrateful jerk”). This is, admittedly, still a very weird one for me.
UP 8. Advice! ALL THE ADVICE, ALL THE TIME! (see above)
UP 9. Being told to NOT TALK ABOUT IT. DON’T TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE HOMELESS. WHAT?!?!
UP 10. Bottles falling from gravity, not being able to shower daily, not being able to STRETCH OUT while getting ready to sleep.
UP 11. Mail? Postal annex aka another BIG BUILDING downtown.
UP 12. Shitting. WHERE?? Gas stations, hotels, anywhere that’ll have me. Most hotels won’t. Sometimes the bathroom is “out of order” EVERYWHERE. Once I walked for like 2 hrs, seeking out a toilet. Finally was able to shit.
UP 13. Pissing in bottles, bottle full of phlegm (from the Lyme Disease breaking my body down DO MUCH that it’s hard for me to digest. Difficult to SWALLOW FOOD).
UP 14. My autonomic functions don’t work so automatically from the Lyme Disease. Ever had to remind yourself to BREATHE?
I could go on, but I’m probably as exhausted writing this shit as you are reading it.
Sorry for the rant. We “street people” aka “homeless” aka “Roofless” are often treated as a single bio-mass. An ever-growing entity of destruction and chaos. A disease on society. A sickness to e snuffed out.
I’m still here. I just finished writing a pilot about a homeless vigilante who gets street justice on bad drivers, who’s also being chased by the government because he has the solution to end all homelessness. It’s called Roofless.
I’ve also been putting out my podcast every week without fail, for 225 episodes now! YAMATAT aka You And Me And Thoughts And Talk with Doug Culp (www.yamatat.com/podcast.html).
I have plenty left to live for, plenty to create, so much still to share with the world.
I love you, for getting through this whole post.
Please share this.
Please donate if you can. They’re gonna Storage Wars my stuff, including several hand-written journals. My car registration is LATE af. Prob gonna be ~$145-200.
P.S. Smoke me out? Can I crash at your place? Shave? Give myself a haircut?
P.P.S. Hire me?