Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Final Time We Spoke

The man lacked proper boundaries. I would later learn that. He lived in a small beat up RV. The year was 2007. I arrived on the island via big old box truck. I knew absolutely nobody. Not a soul aside from my own. He was parked on White Street with his door wide open. I glanced in as I passed on the sidewalk. In response to accidental eye contact, I gave him a little wave.

He was up in a flash, and greeted me at the door. We immediately had lots to discuss. I asked about parking on the island. I wanted to know what would fly and what would not. My 22 foot former U-Haul box truck was parked behind him. I showed him my setup, and he showed me his.

He had lots of good technical advice about parking. We both got on our bicycles, and he showed me around. He pointed out areas that would work well for a box truck - some for the daytime, and some good for night. It was valuable advice. Nine years later, I still share it with newcomers who ask.

The next time I saw him, he was cooking some steak. He waved me over with enthusiasm, and added a steak to the pan. I joined him in his RV that smelled of a warm summer armpit, and ate steak and instant potatoes off a flimsy paper plate. I was relieved for the food, because I wasn't eating very well, and frankly I wasn't working with much of a brain.

We talked about parking, and he revealed that he had special privileges. The police all leave him alone. He was woken up, accosted, and ticketed, and he took the matter to court. He prepared an argument, plead his case, and then somehow he won. The judge ruled that he should have the right to sleep in his vehicle. News of the court case made it into the newspaper. He kept a clipping of the story on hand. The paper had yellowed like the whites of his eyes. He had hepatitis C, it turns out.

He didn't seem to have many friends. He was nice enough generally, but some of his commentary led me to believe that he lacked certain people skills. The third time I saw him, he rushed toward me and trapped me in a hug. He lifted me up from the sidewalk, and I was in the air with my arms pinned to my sides. "Oh, Chris! You have such a big dick!" he exclaimed. That was the final time we spoke.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh man! that's hilarious. what'd he do, feel you up while hugging? I'm glad you posted about parking I read and see so many YouTube vlogs about being hassled while trying to Van dwell. But apparently you have it figured out. This is good to know that with some Street smarts you can still find safe parking
annap. md.

Chris Harne said...

Hey Bud!

I'm sure it was only his idea of a joke. I was young and somewhat wild, but this had me highly alarmed.

I don't know where people are parking when they get hassled... but I saw one guy's YouTube video where he said he parked at a dentist's office. To me that doesn't seem like a solid plan. He also got towed... so don't park there. I think he needed a little more practice.

I hope my luck stays good. I don't push my chances much.

Best,
Chris

tim joe comstock said...

I always had great luck with areas where there were night fishermen. But I always counted first and foremost on a solid blackout system. They can't hassle what they can't see.