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HOW TO LIVE IN A CAR~sorrentino style

how to live in a hot car through the blazing southern summer

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this is our wine cellar. a hole with a bag with marks wine in it.

*it’s a bit of a joke me writing this. the day we moved here i started working at my new job. i was at work for 40 hours the first week and the first few days we were living in a motel because we thought we had more options. looking at my bank statement, we moved of out the cheap ass/wild raspberries motel and into the car. the second week i worked 8 shifts in 6 days. i don’t live in the car, i live at work and sleep in the car. mark lives in the car….and also at mcdonalds (free A/C with free WIFI)

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inside wine cellar

FRIDGE: it’s a cooler. not a sweet ass cooler like eli has but a free cooler. a sweet ass cooler has a drain at the bottom so you can drain the water and save the ice and don’t have to take anything out in the process. hot fucking car so we put maybe 15lbs of ice in it everyday. mark doesn’t take anything out to drain it before putting the new ice in but cracks the lid open and tips the cooler over. it drains then 2 new bags of ice go on top. (we buy 5 lbs of local beef, 2 packages of grass fed hot dogs, 4 packages of frozen veggies, yogurt & cheese once a week. plus random snacks)  *off subject: when i was younger i had a wicked progressive mentor who played around with reducing the amount he was dependent on the grid. he talking about the amount of energy a fridge uses and said something like “what, a bag of ice cost like a dollar?” (yeah back then, we’re paying $3.50 for 2 bags) i liked the simpicity he was talking about. a box with ice. sounds simple. we’re spending at most $25 per week in ice. that’s a lot of energy and way inefficent.

COOKING: small little burner camp stove. 2 small pots. we have a fancy cutting board and a nice kitchen knife. stove cost maybe $30 and the fuel is about $5 per canister. we use the burner maybe twice a day. once to french press fresh ground coffee then to make a meal. meals look like this: coffee, a pot with ghee cooking local pastured beef with organic frozen veggies cooked in it. next meal might be some fancy cheese or a ton of yogurt. whether or not my body wants me to eat dairy it’s simple to do living in the car. nows not the time for perfection. when i have a fully functioning kitchen shit will change and get gourmet. with that said a $5 fuel last us up to 2 weeks.

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“pillow”

SLEEPING: upright. our car has like 3 book bags, 2 bags of clothing, a cooler & a blanket. the trunk is FULL of water. we can’t recline the seat all the way so we sleep upright. i use the blanket as a large pillow to support my head. when ever i offer mark the “pillow” he declines with the tone of it being hopeless to be comfortable in the car.  *sleeping was pretty shitty the first few days but it turned out that there were other factors to finding comfort in the car besides how much neck support one has and whether or not you’re upright. I’d also like to note that a co-worker offered me her tent to borrow, twice.

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DARKNESS: we’re living on our land in the woods but we have a large log cabin across from us that has an outdoor light on at night. after a few days of shitty sleep i rigged up 2 shirts in my door frame so i could keep my window open and black out the car. mind blowing what that did for me. i got a full nights sleep and woke up for real in the morning. we are all about blacking out our sleeping quarters because of the quality of sleep. i did what robb wolf said to do, but in a car!!! while sleeping upright!!! shit! everyone, right now, go black out your room. not one tiny light from anything. do it. profound.

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tiny useless fan strung to door

COOLING: the first week or so the mornings have been so cool, almost chilly then when the sun comes out FUCKING HOT. this shit is like texas. we’re half way into our 3rd week and this week there’s been nothing cool about the mornings. the nights do cool down more than dallas but i don’t know if that’s saying much except for any relief is a good thing. the shirt in the window we haven’t taken to the max but we will. blocking out the sun is we’re it’s at. yesterday mark got us reflective visors for the front, back and small little side windows. so now the car is hot like the humid air outside but it’s not a green house that magnifies the suns power through the glass. thank god. day time isn’t comfortable. i’m usually at work and mark hides out in free A/C as much as he can. when i went camping with eli she had a badass portable fan that she got while doing hurricaine katrina relief work. the fan was wicked. last night mark got one. it’s too small to cool us but it helps with air flow. we bought it with the plan to return it within the week. if it were bigger maybe it’d be better.  *it’s hot out but i live in the car so i try to linger in it when i wake up. my ego wants to feel like a bad ass and my brain doesn’t want to kid our self about the situation and feel like it’s always fleeing the moment.

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SHOWER: i shower as much as ever, about once a week give or take. i have a fancy job and a few days into the week i start getting paranoid about how clean i look.  *when i was in 5th grade my teacher pulled me aside with an uncomfortble look on her face and sweetly told me that i NEEDED to bath more. awkward. which instead of taking the energy to shower i used it to be paranoid and tell myself BS justifications for why my 10 year old self couldn’t in case she ever followed up on my laziness. we’ve been going to the cheap ass motel ($41/night) to shower (and A/C action) about once a week. i found a sweet ass blog about being homeless and showering. the post was good but it had a million awesome comments. one of the comments was a suggestion to go to a gas station, hook up a hose to the sink and shower using the floor drain THEN tell the guy you broke the toilet and want a mop to clean it your self. i figured you could bring a squeegy. that shit made us laugh for days. there’s a $8 truck stop shower that would work the best but it’s in fayetteville about an hour drive through the county away. so maybe $11 gas round trip. i called some of the RV/camping places in town and they’d let us shower $4/person, she laughed at my question. that’d be the best but i’m not sure if they have somewhere for me to straighten my hair once it dries, which i prefer to do for work. so motel for now.

BEST PARTS: falling asleep to owls hooting and waking up to trees swaying is amazing. wildlife is amazing.

WORSE PART: hobos can be treated like dirt. this is kind of a joke. not funny, though. i’m young and “white” (jewish?), there’s a million things i could do or say to assert my entitlement to be treated like a worthy (working class) person. we live on a dirt road that has maybe 4 other homes on it and only 1 home is lived in full time. the home owners are cool. the cabin retreat people are different. before the excavation we’d been sleeping in the car pulled on the side of the road. one day i awoke to a mom and her 3 high school aged kids walking our way. what i actually woke up to was hearing her begging her young adult kids to walk closer to her (as they pass us). they could see us sleeping through the front window but i had 2 black shirts fully covering my window which was closest to them. about an hour later we hear this car pull up and stop (same way we met our other neighbors). i wait a second pull back a shirt from the window and this blonde woman sternly asks “what are doing?”. it was like revenge of the nerds-hobo style to get to shut her down. you’d figure “we own this land” would be a victory for us but she was pretty pissed and let us know that we (lay sleeping) scared her guest. i wanted to fight back because this on the surface was all class warfare but the fact that the lady was “scared” made me feel super bad. my smart ass tone softened and i told her that we’re just waiting on an excavaton and i don’t want to scare any one, plus she was the one walking up on us….she cut me off, she didn’t want to hear it, said “okay” and drove away. 😦

who hasn’t dreamed of being a hobo with a fancy job? go to work, make all this money, seem normal and functioning but go home at night to your cardboard box or the highway bridge or your tent/car….has anyone not dreamt that? now we’re doing it but not for that much longer. it was harder at first. learning to do this better has been slow. and living in the car was not the original plan. we had a bunch of many saved up to build our house. we bought an RV (about $2K) to live in while we build. i worked the last 3 months of my job about 65 hours/week to be sure we had enough $. when plans changed it was all good, don’t build a house but get a job. easy, i had a job lined up. the RV kinda fucked us. we spent an extra month living on my moms couch, spending money, not making money. my dads car died and we didn’t need to use the $ for house building yet so i let him borrow $4,500. waiting on the RV, waiting, waiting, waiting…then my job called and asked me to start the following day so we had to leave TX without the RV. no home and little money, we moved into a cheap ass hotel but that wasn’t going to move us forward but leave us in a perpetual working-to-pay-rent conundrum. so into the car we go. we tried to get a refund for the RV because we can’t sell it and we can’t live in it but being poor is just where we’re at. i’ve learned fast at my job and have worked A LOT. money is coming in but we have a plan of action that will unfold in a blog post in the future.

i love you guys and stay cool.

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