Thursday, July 28, 2011

I "slept," quote unquote, in my car

I tested sleeping in my car last night. I had a cup of coffee just before bed. I had been thinking that I would need the coffee to stay awake so that I could get the rest of my stuff ready to put in storage or into the car itself to keep there for daily use. But then I decided that I only wanted to sleep, so I set up the car bed in a quick, sloppy way.

I said last night, "My goal tonight is... to sleep." That was the only goal.

I took out some trash bags and a tarp that I had covering the floor of the trunk. They were all contaminated with residues, and I was being careful not to touch them except with the gloves. I also had residues elsewhere in the car and I know I touched them. However, depending on what the residue is, I can sometimes still sleep just a little bit anyway. If it's mostly tobacco instead of ephedra, then there's hope.

I put a ripped-open cardboard box on the floor of the trunk so that I would not be directly touching the residue covered area. Then I very carefully put in a sleeping bag which I had bought many months before. I had gotten it during the winter in case we lost the electricity and I would need something really warm to sleep in.

I wore clothes to bed, which I never do, so I had to find clean clothes that I wouldn't have a reaction to. Then I had to crawl into the sleeping bag without accidentally touching anything. The back seats were in the down position and so I was sleeping with my feet in the trunk area and my head at the top of the back side of the flattened seats.

It was hard and lumpy, but actually, I'm used to sleeping on miserably hard surfaces, because the foam floor mat that I've been sleeping on was actually pretty thin and didn't give a lot of cushioning. So gradually I figured out where the lumps were and how to lie over them and around them.

It was much more comfortable than the time period at my previous apartment when I was sleeping on a futon that was in the "couch" position instead of the "bed" position (I didn't have room there to open it up, and I was too passive, at the time, to rearrange everything) because sleeping on a sideways tilted surface is extremely uncomfortable for me. This trunk was sloping upwards, not sideways. It's hard to explain. So my feet were lower than my head. It actually was not that bad.

I tossed and turned the entire night. I just never fell asleep at all. This was only partly because of the coffee. It was also partly because of touching residues. However, sometime near morning, after the sky started brightening, there was a period of time when I can't remember anything, which means I fell asleep. I woke up a while later and I'm not sure how long I was asleep. It was not very long. It was maybe two hours or less.

This was a test. So I will have to make it more comfortable and also troubleshoot the things I have to touch that have residues on them. I will need to cover some areas up or find ways to get in and out without touching them.

The ice in my icebox lasted about a day and a half. I got it on Tuesday afternoon, and it lasted through that night, then all of Wednesday and overnight last night, and this morning it's a very cold pool of water with a few ice cubes left in it. (In spite of the loud "crack" it made the other day, it's not leaking yet.) It was longer than 24 hours but less than 48 hours. It's still cold and if I had food in there it would still be okay right now. The water stays cold until all the ice is gone. I will probably have a thermometer in there eventually. However, when the icebox gets put in my hot car instead of my slightly less hot apartment where it is now, the ice will melt faster.

The challenge eventually is to learn to eat foods that are kept at room temperature. I'm not just talking about dry crackers though. I'm also thinking of the Weston Price books and websites where they talk about fermenting foods and that kind of thing. The only lacto-fermented food I tried was kimchi, and it made me get the urge to vomit. It tasted good, and it was okay at first, but a few minutes later, as it moved from the stomach into the intestine, that's when it triggered the vomit reflex. For some reason my intestines did not like it, although my stomach was okay with it. So I'm going to assume that, as usual, the Weston Price people are talking about things that I can't do. It needs troubleshooting.

I also haven't found "bath territory" yet. I know which gas stations have the right kind of restrooms, a private single person room with a locking door. But I haven't actually tried doing it to see what it feels like. I'll need a bag with all my clothes and towels in it. Taking a bath from a sink is not as good as a hot shower. The hot shower washes the skin of your entire body. Showering reduces edema, water retention, which I sometimes get mildly. My eyes are less puffy after a shower, but if I only wash my face with a cloth, the eyes are still puffy. I'm not sure how and why the shower reduces my edema. I will probably bathe in a creek for real, too, after I find territory. But I won't do that every day.

It's weird the idea of claiming territory. I won't be owning a home or renting an apartment. So I am squatting on land that other people own. I've read on the net that some places tolerate parked cars overnight, like Wal-Mart. I will find these territories where I am either tolerated or hidden. I'd like to sleep someplace with fresh air from the trees and vegetation and water. My windows will let in the fresh air and it will make me feel good when I wake up. I always feel better waking up with fresh air than I do with moldy indoor air or hot heated dry air without enough negative ions in it, like the air is in the winter. Air without negative ions makes my body hurt all over in the winter. People often think negative ions are the BAD ones, but actually positive ions are bad and negative ions are good. You just have to memorize it.

It's strange, but camping in my car won't be that different from all the other uncomfortable places I've slept the past few years. And I already don't do grooming the way other people do, so I won't even notice if, for instance, I go a day without washing my hair. I already don't use shampoo, just water.

I wonder how most long distance hikers wash their hair? They need shampoo to prevent the formation of dreadlocks. They must use some kind of soap or shampoo that is safe for the environment, as it will be washing into the streams where they bathe. That won't even be a problem for me.

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