October 15, 2009

One of the key things which strikes you about being homeless is the tedium. My room in the B&B is roughly on the same scale as a prison cell but lacks even a toilet.

I do have a television which can receive the five over-the-air channels though. And that is a very irrelevant though. I don’t watch broadcast television and I haven’t for quite some time. I’m used to being able to torrent or youtube or use the BBC’s iPlayer to watch whatever I want to watch (although as a slight coincidence, Channel 4 were showing True Blood and Generation Kill when I put the telly on because I needed the background noise and these happen to be two shows I torrented regularly when they first aired). Additionally, I would use my lovefilm subscription to whore my way through DVDs – three at a time and as many in a month as I could post and receive whilst also ripping them as ISOs for a more ahem permanent solution.

I’d play videogames. Sometimes obsessively. My 360, my Wii and my PC were essential parts of my entertainment philosophy. When I boxed everything up the resultant boxes hosting the videogames were amongst the heaviest of my possessions.

I miss being able to surf the net whenever I desire. Previously if I had a thought about something then I could instantaneously google it or browse the relevant site if I already knew the URL. Now I’m restricted to only being able to do this when I can find a net connection. B&Bs do not do wi-fi.

I don’t have my books to read. Any of them. My library was vast enough that when I was putting everything into storage one of the individuals who assisted me in moving the boxes commented that I obviously liked to read. This struck me as a somewhat curious comment. After all, who doesn’t like to read? It turns out the answer is most people. For most, as soon as they finish the highest level of education they achieve then they never or rarely read a book again. As someone who would oft have three books on the go at the same time this strikes me as a disturbing scenario – how can you be so lacking in imagination that you do not want to delve into the worlds that others have sought to conjure?

I miss having my background noise in the form of the always-on radio. I can at least use my phone for that function to a limited extent. Yet I miss the discussion-based shows that are my bread and butter.

You are truly left with nothing to do.

The tedium could drive you stir crazy trying to fill your days with some little thing which could give you purpose. Except, after a fashion, it is far worse than being in prison. In a gaol you know that you will (with certain exceptions) eventually get out; that life can eventually assume some form of normality. Being homeless you lack this definity. You suffer until you do not suffer anymore, but you know not when that suffering ends.