Sacked by the "downturn", an unemployed architect touring the country in a bus...



I used to live in New York City. I designed homes for the tycoons of Wall Street; Park Avenue, Scarsdale, Greenwich. It was great fun. And, after years of saving up for a down payment, I was just about to buy my own little place in Fleetwood, half an hour north of the city, when the economy fell apart. Architects are like canaries in a coal mine when the economy slows, and true to form, there were massive layoffs in firms all over the country. Devastation of the profession. So, I decided to try to find something else to do for a while. I bought a 23' school bus and I'm on the road to see if I can figure out what that might be.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Am I a homeless person?

Today I built a substantial amount of my folding bed frame.  It's built from two solid core doors hinged together along their length with a piano hinge.  This sucker is heavy, so I wanted to attach it securely to the bus by drilling through the floor to bolt down some angles and so forth.  Drill through the floor... gulp, will I hit a fluid line, or the drive shaft, etc.?  So I carefully planned and measured, and went under the bus with my ruler to see where I'd penetrate, and it looked ok.  I fired up the trusty Honda 2000ai generator (a gem) and went back inside and drilled a hole in the floor.  It was not as hard as I feared, fairly easy in fact.  A few more holes, angle in place, bolts dropped in, and I was back under the bus to install washers, lock washers, and nuts.  Several trips back inside and back under to get vice grips in place below and to tighten well from above, and the installation was done.  A repetition of the procedure completed the second angle installation and I started to clean up.

I had placed a piece of cardboard on the ground to lie on when under the bus, an unfolded large corrugated carton.  As I was cleaning up I realized I should keep this box, it's an asset.  This is my box.  This is when I thought of people who sleep in boxes on the sidewalk and I wondered, "Am I a homeless person?"...


I don't really feel I am.  I have an address in Massachusetts where I receive mail, I have bank accounts there, I have a Massachusetts Drivers License, and I have a Bus, an RV actually, thank you, which is registered and insured in Massachusetts.  I am registered to vote there, too.  And I am traveling.  It's interesting how deep and profound are the feelings associated with having territory.  The question, "Am I a homeless person?" stabbed.  I knew a women in college who was quite short, under 5'.  I remember discussing her height with a friend, in the entirely dismissive way college kids often do, and we wondered if she was technically a midget, as it would be alright to date her if she weren't.

Am I a homeless person?  I think I'll leave that undefined, like division by zero.

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