homeless for a night

Friday night was a grand adventure. I slept on the Salt Lake City streets like a transient homeless girl for a night.

my two great friends,
Cambria

and Michelle

were my hardcore street sleeping buddies. they even rode Front Runner/Trax and biked around the city. I met them after I got off work at 10pm.. but I drove there.. because I am not quite as hardcore as them. except I came from West Valley, where I spend all my work days, so I guess you be the judge on the level of hardcore.

I met them at the Bayou where we grubbed. I got the Bayou burger and sweet potato fries. it’s a slightly spicy twist on deliciousness.

then Michelle and Cam hit Chevron for some Diet Rockstar, cranberry juice, Diet Coke, peanut M&M’s, and giant Tootsie Rolls. later, we went back for some face cards we never used. we chilled on our area of grass under a giant tree on 900 South between 200 East and 300 East. it was a perfect spot.

people were milling around everywhere.. the streets were packed. there was a general hum of voices and the occasional outbreak of loud reggae or hip hop music. one of the most special of these moments was when a cholo rode by on a bicycle pulling a stereo trailer. one of the members of his posse called out, “follow the funk!”
yes.

the abundance of Polynesians all around made me both happy and sad for reasons I won’t get into.  across the street there was an ice cream and chocolate shop called Mr. Brain Freeze. it was open all night, but we didn’t go in until the morning to get iced chocolate, a cinnamon roll, and a muffin.

we talked about life and dating and kisses. Michelle is a master journaler and she wrote about us in her book of people. we walked the streets scavenging for a bathroom and ended up at giving in to the port-o-potties. a lady went in behind us with no shoes on. insert gag reflex.

we tried to sleep a little
a very little

but around 4am a tow truck and policeman showed up and announced over the loudspeaker that they’d be towing all the vehicles next to where we were if they weren’t moved immediately. my car was one of them. I stumbled out of my sleeping bag and shoved my sandals on to save my Volvo from certain doom. when I got back from parking another block away, I layed down again, and we chatted a little, and I dozed rather unsuccessfully until the rumble of about 30 Harley and Beamer motorcycles filled the air and a gang of cops drove down the road practicing their parade routine.

what the… really, officers? now?

about 6am we hear cheers and open our eyes to see numbered runners making their way through the street. we were surprised to be about a mile and half from the finish line of a race. it was inspiring to see the folks as they came in. Cambria even saw the leaders.. men from Kenya who looked like they were born for floating down the street at lightning speed.

after awhile we gave up on sleep and prepared for the parade.

my mom and youngest brother, Ethan, met us there to see the festivities. so did Cambria’s parents and her brother, Michael.


the parade was lovely. it wasn’t necessarily different from most parades.. but we made it fun. we were quite popular among the paraders and got singled out often. probably mostly because we were loud. and awesome.

I’ll highlight two memborable moments.

#1 when we yelled “we love you!” to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as he rode by with his darling wife, Harriet, and he turned and pointed right at Cambria. she was so delighted. and I happened to catch it on film. I know. call me amazing.

the second was the moment that Tarzan told me he loved me. I didn’t catch the “I love you” sign language he gave me on camera, but here’s him swinging in his jungle habitat.
then his monkey henchman attacked Cambria. it was quite amusing.

I love July. and these people.

oh hey Santa on a scooter. you’re gonna take us out.