Shelli DeRobertis 9:19 p.m., May 22
After finally moving out of Colonel Libertad, Mexico which is two blocks across the San Ysidro border crossing. I was homeless with about 50.00 in my pocket and no where to go. I decided to try my hand at sleeping on college campuses and was promptly ran off by campus cops. So I ended up spending my first night on the streets on a bench at a bus stop at SDSU, and was tired the whole next day. So after having a beer or two to take the edge off, I headed for St Vincents where I had placed my name on a list almost a month ago. I was told that I was still in line and could expect a bed any day now. So I said, I'll call every morning to check for a bed but the lady behind the counter assured me that if I was not physically in line at 8:am that I could forget it. So the second night I tried to sleep out on Pacific Beach and was told the cops wouldn,t see me right next to the concrete borders or (what ever you call them) by this other homeless dude. So I sat down right next to one of the borders for about 15 minutes and started thinking about all those horror movies involving ocean creatures like Jaws, Swamp Thing, Cocoon and what very little we actually know about the ocean and all the living stuff in it. So I bailed and headed back downtown on the trolley and looked for a spot where people sleep on the side walks and are actually patrolled all night by the cops. After walking around for a while I finally settled on a spot on the side of the library and fell asleep on some newspaper. At daybreak, I headed to St. Vincents and got a bed. So I guess you could say I was lucky. Well, not really, there is always at least two sides to every story and this side will be the candy coated version which is the truth but just simply not stating all the details. So we will call this ( REALITY LITE) at this specific date and time with a promise to fill in all the gaps at a later date. My first day there was a trip, I met a guy that was either native american or something, that had maybe twenty wrist watches on his arms and of course I had to ask him what time it was. And he replied that none of them worked and started telling me about how he had an apartment and collected all kinds of stuff, especially Oil Lamps, and was evicted about three months ago because his roommate didn't come up with the rent and while we were talking somebody else came up to him and asked him what time it was, so he started the same story all over again with them. I came to the conclusion that he probably spent a whole lot of time not giving the time. Then I noticed some of the long term homeless they stood out kind of like soldiers that had been "In Country" ( Vietnam) too long, they had the look. Usually very defensive and travelling with all there posessions in a grocery cart or wagon, so finally I went into orientation where about seven of the lucky ones including myself would be given plastic bags to put our clothes in and t-shirts and sweat pants to wear for the next 24 hours and then we all went to the showers ( All i could think about was the holocaust). Then we all went to this large walk-in freezer with all our belongings in a large garbage bag to be kept for twenty four hours in order to kill anything that may be alive in our belongings.
This along with monthly pest control keeps the place bug free. I thought this was a good idea and was relieved that we did not have to get sprayed for lice. I got my bed later that evening around seven and was given bunk number "86", and I thought, now isn't that ironic and went to sleep very comfortably on a top bunk that night.