And I head east....

Trip Start Mar 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
St Vincent de Paul Me's Shelter

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I am staying at a homeless shelter in San Diego, California.
Awaken by process of full bladder in the dim half light of five in the morning. Fall out of my bunk, sheet messed and army blanket that itches, air stagnant and putrid of halitosis from three hundred junkies. The air system rattles. But, it don't work. Slip sore feet into plastic shower shoes and shuffle bleary eyed across third floor balcony through puffs of hacking smokers. Why the fuck are they up so early? Ah, yes...junkies don't sleep. Mouth is foul and evil tasting. Parched, I pass the water fountain that hasn't worked in two months. The pink tiled floor of the men's room is glistening with slime and littered with wadded papers of shit but it's the stench of a thousand farts that knocks you on your ass first. The stalls are full of early morning shitters and they use it loudly and abundantly. Up to the urinal, six are here, four are covered in green trash bags and protoplasm. Dried mucus is splattered on the wall. Take a piss that is from down deep, I tell you! Ah, what a relief. Fat hairy old fag sidles up to the next urinal to check out my dry goods. Ignore that ugly queer and turn to the row of sinks. Using rough brown paper towels from the dispenser, wipe down the water and whatever from the area you plan to use. Hair, snot, and other particles clog the drain as the image in the mirror of a red eyed slack jawed phantom stares back at you. This is going to take some work. Thirty minutes later, looking like a movie star, I walk back to my bunk and get dressed in my suit for work. Snoring and whispered murmuring permeates the still dark air about me. Bunkee rasps something from his hole, but I don't make it out. Clang down three flights of steel green stairs and meet a fellow fag of residence outside in the dawn for Victory Coffee. It is Tim, the flamboyant drunk. We socialize and twitter and make pat jokes to lighten the mood. Other early risers stop and comment with silliness. Time to cut. Walk out and along the side of the building; prostate forms wrapped in rags and lying on piles of rubbish sleep and moan at nothing. Hipsters huddle behind an over-stuffed dumpster and toke weed, suspicious as I stomp by. Smell of fresh delicious coffee from the little Indian Cafe. Tramp sits under the window rolling cigarettes forever.  The day flies by like a sped up film.
Is everyone here queer? It's cool, though, no bitter, vomit spouting faggots. All seem on the level. I lunch on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with milk and talk with two nice Mexican ladies that take care of the hotel's cafe. Three-thirty rolls around and I take the trolley to the public library, but of coarse don't have the book I want. The Gentleman Junky: A Biography of William S. Burroughs. Computer says they do...but they don't. I was planning to steal it anyway, someone else just jumped the gun. Walk into the Hustler Store and purchase some silver Elvis Presley-style sunglasses. I wear them out feeling it. The trolley is packed with smiling chatty crowds attending "The Game" at Petco park, one old bum, dust in the creases of his skin, eyes me with contempt when I catch him sipping a beer.
Depart and return to Vinnies for dinner. The phantoms that were lying in the piles of rags are out in force; bloated women covered in hickeys and pimples screech at greasy blacks that swoon over them. A radio blares the latest rap tunes. Old Mexican masturbates wildly under torn blanket as several kids blink in the sun selling junk to squealing buyers. The pungent smell of urine surrounds you. Up to the impenetrable like fortress of St. Vincent de Paul. Vinnies to his friends. Huge fat black dyke of a security guard stands at the entrance to the cafeteria with guard dog at her side to sniff out the cocaine. She looks like a black Uncle Fester, shaven head and all, and stares silently into nothing. The cafeteria is a noisy den of real ugly. I stand in the back of the cue behind slack eyed hag and study the nameless glop on the trays of those already eating. They have pudding cups, though. The cue jerks forward, people yell at each other, pissing testosterone, that same stench fills the air. Unwashed bodies and soiled linens. A man three in front of me goes into a coughing fit and blood soaks the napkin wad pressed against his mouth. The cue jerks forward. I decide to dine with Tim and a black kid named Tony sporting a mass of rotted green teeth. Tim, being a socialite, keeps the mood up. The table smells of ammonia and is smeared with grease in little eddies. Red sauce gets on my shirt from the table rim. I eat the limp salad and pudding, washing it down with fruit punch. Don't dare to touch The Black Meat.
I climb upstairs and find out that the showers are closed until further notice. Of course they are. Why not? Much grumbling from the natives. Will have to go to work tomorrow unbathed, one supposes. The balcony is packed with social patter and choked in cigarette smoke. It's a fucking London fog of carcinogens. I light a Lucky Strike and think. Gotta get out. This is taking too long. I hit my cot. The springs dig into my back. Look over and see a little Filipino smoking crack at his bunk. A ver. Bed check, stay at your bunk until you are counted. Lots of yelling, lots of farting. Cell phones ring and a hundred junkies begin hacking into the garbage can by my bunk. Someone far off starts a yelling match over some socks. Old man cackles and pisses himself, smell of urine is strong.
The little Filipino takes another hit. Wouldn't you?
After bed check, I start my mandatory chore. Cleaning the men's room and I tell you that is the highlight of the day. Nothing like returning home from work and cleaning up after three hundred worthless shits. The other seven sorry asses are of no help and the job is half assed. Return to my cot, put in my ear plugs, and plunge back into a fitful sleep. "Got any rollies?" Echoes forever from a million tramps on the hustle.  I can not stand much more of this.
Finally attaining all necessary documents - and believe me that was an Orwellian experience - I purchase a ticket on-board the Greyhound eastward to El Paso......
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