Of Dreams, Desires and Destiny

Timeglass Journal

10:30 a.m. CT Monday 27 April 2015

Of Dreams, Desires and Destiny

Jim Lantern

Many months before I found out in mid-November 2014 that the apartments complex – where I’ve lived for 7 years in Norman Oklahoma – has been sold and is to be razed – bulldozed – for a new apartment building, causing me and over 200 other tenants to be displaced…

…I had a series of reoccurring vivid dreams, which until now appeared to be unrelated.

  • Dreams of traveling, mainly via highways, headed west.
  • Dreams of sitting at a patio table of a small cafe or restaurant, a corner street location, which sells hamburgers. I’m there during an early afternoon on a sunny day, having a late lunch, while watching people walk by on the sidewalk and drive by in their cars. My thoughts, as I sit there, in the dream, are known. I’m thinking about the fact that I actually got there and am still alive to sit there, and to enjoy the meal and the view. A kind of miracle, for what I had to survive – what I had to go through – to get there.

Now, as I was using Google Earth to take a look around at street level the neighborhood I’m likely to be living in or near after moving to Reno, Nevada, I happened to find it – a little corner restaurant with a patio – exactly like the one in the dream, with the exact same view. I might be sitting there, just like in the dream, during an afternoon next week – perhaps as soon as Monday afternoon May 4.

I depart for Reno at 1:15 p.m. CT Saturday May 2. I’ll be traveling down highways via Greyhound Bus. Although not a direct route west, I will be headed west – far west to the Pacific Time Zone – arriving 7:50 a.m. PT Monday May 4. The view of traveling down the highways is likely to be similar to the view in the series of dreams. I’ve done some highway traveling in the past, when I was a young adult, and with family during childhood, for summer vacations – especially to Colorado Springs.

I’ve always had a desire to travel. It’s not as much about destinations as it is about the pleasure of the journey – to have the freedom to be out “there” – as far away from “here” as possible (wherever “here” might be at any given time).

I’ve never had a desire to own property – such as a house. A car has been the main expensive property I’ve owned, but it was mobile property. I prefer to own only what I can carry with me. No doubt, an RV would be ideal, but certainly not in my limited budget – so far as I’ve been able to determine. Even so, travel via RV and staying at RV parks across the country, would be ideal. I’d like to be able to do that. As is, I no longer have a car or any other vehicle.

For many years, I’ve had that underlying desire to spend the remainder of my life traveling. To only take with me what I can physically carry by myself – mainly on foot – such as a backpack and/or a shoulder-strap travel bag. The invention of those small suitcases with the two little wheels and telescoping handle makes one additional means possible now at my age of 59.

No car or other vehicle of my own, or rented. I’d love to travel via motorcycle, but that’s no longer possible for me in my present condition and situation. I had a Suzuki 400 street-legal motorcycle for trail riding from age 14 to 21, and I miss those Sunday afternoon rides very much. No travel now via passenger jet. The last time I did that was age 14 in 1970, when the jet I was on left part of its tail section on the runway during takeoff. I’ll be traveling via Greyhound Bus, even though I’d like to give today’s passenger train system a try. I’ve not traveled on a passenger train since age 9 in 1965, but I remember that trip from Wichita (Kansas) to Chicago and back. I remember . . . part of the journey was during night . . . the train at a small town stop along the way . . . a man standing near the tracks, signaling the train conductor with a green light lantern he swung from side-to-side. The image of that lantern became permanently engraved into my long-term memory. The following image is different, but now you know the source.

Joe lantern color

I would not consider myself to be out-on-the-street homeless, even though I’d be without a traditional home – a house, or apartment, or other kind of place for long-term living. The road would become my home, kind of like Mad Max (Beyond Thunderdome) but without the bizarre Australian car. Shelter would be low-rate motels along the way, if not an RV. I know now that most legal and safe campsites like KOA are as expensive as low-rate motel rooms, so it is a matter of season and a question of how close I want to be to nature. I do have a dome tent and a tent cot, but no easy and free means to carry them anywhere with me now.

I get Social Security Disability benefits – money I paid into Social Security from about 30 years of employment for retirement but get sooner for disability. Not much. Only $851 per month now via direct deposit into my bank account. Easy access to my money anywhere I can use an ATM. Here, the ATM is free. Out there, traveling, the bank charges $2 per transaction. Probably an additional fee for who owns the ATM being used.

A greater disadvantage of not having a permanent street address in a state is no Medicaid coverage, which pays the Medicare premium of $104.90 now in 2015. Probably an additional deduction for Part D coverage. As is, I no longer have a doctor (MD) willing to accept Medicare. Also at the state level is the loss off food stamps, which I detest anyway. I believe the monthly disability benefits should include everything – and should include any housing aid and the freedom to use it wherever I want to spend a night or week or month. Anyway, if I become “homeless” then I lose all state aid, and money will be deducted from disability benefits to pay for what I don’t have, which would likely reduce my benefits to about $700 per month. Not bad if I don’t have a big chunk of rent to pay out of it, but do have shelter for nights and bad weather days. I’ll still get my disability benefits by keeping a bank account for direct deposit of benefits, plus a debit card and ATM access for cash.

As is, the plan is for travel via Greyhound Bus – I’ve already bought the ticket in advance for the affordable discount. I hope to live in a furnished kitchenette $575 per month – rent includes all utilities, cable TV with HBO, and free Wi-Fi. I very much like the deal of one monthly payment covers everything. There in Reno I’ll get back on Medicaid mainly for paying the Medicare premiums, and then try to find a doctor (MD) who is still accepting new patients covered by Medicare. If necessary, I’ll also apply to get back on food stamps. I’ll try to avoid HUD’s housing programs, to pay part of my rent, which would result in me living at high crime locations.

With such desires I dreamed of a future, and now destiny is upon me as those dreams might come true.

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