Friday, March 17, 2017

Carol Cleveland Sings. Bathing is Unsanitary.

Being at SXSW is not my primary objective. The real mission is always the same: horsing around and trying to stay warm. However, with music everywhere, and as a person who loves music, it is incumbent upon me to see what's up. I spent some time browsing lists of free shows. On one of those lists, I saw people I know.

Carol Cleveland Sings is from Philadelphia. I know Thomas of that band. I never met Gretchen before, but I listened to one of her albums a bunch of times this year. It was ten minutes by bicycle to their show at a cafe.

Life rules. Another detail about this parking spot I love is that it's close to a fancy library. Four minute bicycle ride. I'm not the only one who uses the restroom like it's mine. I'm not the only one who keeps grease at bay with a wet paper towel.

There is a sign above the sink that seeks to prohibit "bathing" in this bathroom. The sign explains, as though there must be a reason, that whatever they are calling "bathing" is "unsanitary." Hilarious. The sign begins with "Due to," meaning that the reason for this sign, they would have you believe, is that loads of people are getting sick. Interesting. What a perfect example of transparent malarkey. So, washing your hands prevents the spread of germs - but washing anything else... creates them? This is another missed opportunity to be honest. The sign should say something along the lines of "Stop Making A Mess Here, You Homeless Fucks." That's what the poster of this sign really means. "Don't Spread Your Filth Here, You Disgusting Bum."

Personally, I would bathe there every day if I could. Sadly, I do not fit in the sink.

I bought a Carol Cleveland Sings album on cassette. Yes, I confirmed: my van sports a cassette deck. It was novel to see Philadelphia people appear where I'm at. There was time before their flight, so we sat at a picnic table outside the cafe and talked. I was surprised when Thomas became a bad influence. He ordered a daiquiri and it was barely afternoon. He offered me a drink ticket, so I got one too. It was a delicious delight.

I'm feeling so social, I could fall out of my socks. In one version of my future, I will return to Philadelphia one day. In this version of the future, I might need more friends. I wouldn't mind seeing this band and these folks again. I would like to talk more. They are good and friendly and down to earth. They are the type of people I am happy to know.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

easy solution for bathing.2 gallon pressurized bug sprayer.you fill with water,pump the handle & you have a shower.I usually put 2 gallon jugs on dashboard to warm during the day.if privacy is an issue just buy a pair of swim trunks & wear while showering.
Ray
naptown.USA

Chris Harne said...

Yeah, I've been thinking about that same kind of system. I'm pretty set for now - friend nearby with an always-available shower. It'd be nice if the True Homeless had better systems when it gets time to wash up. There's only so much to be gained from a library or fast food sink.

Jonathan said...

Reading this in Australia, a lot of what you're describing sounds a bit alien, at least wrt to publicly available bathrooms etc. Most places in Australia (particularly near the coast) have public bathrooms with hot showers, relatively clean toilets etc. All maintained by local government. There is sometimes some beef with van travelers etc who set up long-term, but generally travelers don't get hassled unless they make a right nuisance of themselves, or if the local cops are particularly uptight.
Another great perk that we have that AFAIK nowhere else (not even New Zealand!) has is free electric hotplates in nearly every park. I'm not kidding, you buy some sausages, some onions, some bread, turn up to the park and cook. Van travelers use these a lot, but it's also great for regular folks having picnics and bbqs.
Dunno why I'm writing all this... Except to suggest that local govt in the US really needs to get its shit together to service the vanning and homeless population.

Chris Harne said...

Amerika. Home of the better-be brave to be free. We push our boundaries slowly - smoothing out the fabric carefully with one hand. Some places in Amerika are better than others. Like all good humans, we tend to exist. Australia seems more laid back. Unless you want to ride a bicycle in Sydney, perhaps.

Jonathan said...

Haha, yeah. I'm in Sydney... And apart from the arseholes in cars and the narrow convict-cart roads it's really not that bad. Sure, the government are a bunch of car-loving fascists, but there's just been a change in who's in charge of the roads so we're all feeling a bit hopeful.