The Rowdy Neighbors

Last night I slept in my car. It was like many nights I’ve spent over the last several months, except that my little slice of “space” was invaded by another family who decided to park in the same area. My husband and I decided to park in a local hospital’s parking lot, considering the 24-hour access to a restroom and emergency services in the event of another crisis in my declining health saga. Anyway, this family had 2 young children who were restless and a mother who was loudly talking in Spanish on her cell phone, just as I was attempting to get comfortable and doze off. She let the kids run around the car in some type of chase game, oblivious to my discomfort and annoyance. The day had been extremely hot, and the cool breeze brought in by the night air was worth more than gold…So I couldn’t roll my windows up to drown them out. I tossed and turned for several hours as the noise grew louder and my nerves grew more frayed. I kept wishing that they would see my dirty looks and start their cars and move on, to no avail. (Her boyfriend or husband had joined them by now in his own car). Our car stopped running two months ago and we actually had it towed to its current location. When we need to travel, we catch the nearby bus line to BART and keep it moving that way. We’re attempting to save for car repair and an apartment, all while having to purchase food on a daily basis because we have nowhere to cook or refrigerate anything. This way of living is prohibitively expensive. Not to mention extremely unhealthy as most convenience store items are riddled with high sodium and sugar. Back to the “neighbors”… They finally settled down around 2 AM!!! My husband is an early riser, so when he woke up at 4 AM after being un-bothered by the ruckus, I was begging for a few more hours of shut-eye. When the sun rose at about 5 AM, it presented a new challenge of bright light and heat to contend with. While I can relate to the folks who may have been just spending their first night on the streets, I hope that they find a different place to rest in tonight, even if it’s on the other side of the parking lot. If you are housed and have walls and not just windows around you to protect you, take a moment to experience gratitude. What you have is high on my goals for my life right now. Don’t take it, your privacy or your safety and peace for granted…