I miss the place that some people playfully refer to as “The Junk.”
I miss the place where I would drive in all groggy eyed at about seven AM every morning to always be the first one there. I miss putting on the coffee in the morning for all the smiley and lovely members. I even miss my morning chores and taking time to consciously put a special energetic touch on my duties so that the space would not only feel clean, but loved.
When I slept in my car, I worked out a trade with a club in Los Angeles. I would be there to open the door, give tours to prospective members and clean up in the morning. And in exchange I had a place to rest when I needed it, companionship, a hug if I so desired, a good laugh when I least expected it, a home for my organic veggies when I could afford them and even a big brother (or 2) I never wanted.
I miss my homeless home.
I miss the holiday parties, the happy hours and watching the guys stand around to “perfect” the Christmas Peppermint Martinis. It was very serious business, you know. I miss sampling the Chocolate bunt cake to make sure it was safe for members consumption and carefully inspecting the sugar filled delight for blemishes so our members wouldn’t have to set their eyes upon pieces which were unsightly.
I miss standing around the kitchen most every night discussing the most random topics while sharing the community peanut butter. I miss making green smoothies and sharing big obnoxiously healthy salads with other members.
I miss “Honey Bear,” a talented and wicked funny New Englander who was always happy to share his Bay Cities bread with me. He knew what I was doing and couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that sleeping in my car did not mean I was starving… but I happily gave in and ate the yummy food he routinely offered up.
It was the most lovely way to have the experience I did in Los Angeles and the way this club so easily floated into my awareness and accepted me unconditionally goes to show that I did indeed make the right choice. Had I never chosen to sleep in my car, I never would have met these amazing people…. and I never would have seen the amount of love that can pour from complete strangers so easily and readily.
I even miss the cleaning guy… he was so sweet. And I miss sharing my food with the homeless people who slept outside in the parking lot…
I miss my homeless home.
I mean, I am sure that I’m on the right track to something wonderful… but sometimes at night I wish I was getting ready for bed at “The Junk,” bidding a good night to the regulars and driving to my parking space on Ocean Avenue to wake up and be a part of this AMAZING group of people all over again.
I even miss, “Cupcake- The big brother I never wanted.” Boy did he push me past my limit sometimes…. and truly test my patience… but I know beneath that gruff exterior he had a GINORMOUS heart of gold. Sometimes in a moment of weakness, he would admit that I was a little too Pollyanna for the “Real” world and he was just trying to toughen me up.
The night before I left, he hugged me good-bye a few times and for our last hug in the parking lot he embraced me with a tremendous amount of authentic warmth as he said, ” I think you are a great girl and I wish you luck… ” I laughed because he had only given me a hard time since we met and he said, “No-seriously. I wish you nothing but the best. I really hope you find what you are looking for.”
I really do miss my homeless home.
My last morning there, I did my last cleaning with excitement for what was to come yet sadness for what I was losing. I had lots of hugs good-bye. I was told I would be missed and as I turned in my keys, I found myself washed over with a sense of sadness. It really was like a family and this club really did epitomize everything I wanted to experience during my car camping tour. I had a special little family at “The Junk”… people who understood me… or didn’t, yet unconditionally accepted me. Special little routines with certain members… and a few who tested my patience. A true family.
I miss the girl talk and brownies and watching movies starring beautiful men…. Oh and the abundance of chocolate as a bunch of us watched Glee one night in the “Family Room.”
There’s so much more to say about “The Junk”… perhaps I should write a book about that experience alone.
My heart now aches a little with nostalgia… but I’m glad to talk about something which touched me deeply and truly gave me the exact “home” I needed while in Los Angeles.
I once referred to myself as the Homeless Vagabond Mascot of the group, and the owner replied, “Don’t say that!…. Well….. You’re OUR homeless vagabond and we love you.”
I do miss my “Homeless” Home.