For years this patio on the Berkeley campus has been one of my favorite late-night hangout spots. It’s really secluded, the building is usually vacant, and almost nobody ever comes back here. So I mostly have the place all to myself. It even has an outdoor outlet to charge my cellphone. And an awning for when it rains. Plus there’s a creek that runs by it. And that’s nice.
The only downside is, for the last 6 months this crazy homeless person has been camping every night under the patio. He’s got loads of stuff stashed under there, too. As far as I know, I’m the only one that’s noticed him there all this time. I’m amazed he’s lasted that long. Because if there’s one thing the University has always drawn the line at over the years its: NO camping on the campus. But the guy is smart enough to pack up first thing in the morning before any people show up. And like I said, this is a pretty secluded spot.
The problem is, after awhile the guy started to seriously resent my invasion of “his” privacy. And he’d often start doing this angry, incoherent rant that was definitely directed in my direction.
Generally I’ll get pretty defiant about stuff like that. Like: “Fuck you, dude! Since when did this become YOUR spot. I’ve been hanging out here for YEARS before you showed up! And PS: Fuck you!!”
But campsites are so hard to come by these days. And a little privacy is also hard to find. So I generally ceded the space to him when he showed up, and moved to one of my many other late-night hangout spots.
But just now I noticed that all of his stuff is gone. My hunch is, the groundskeepers — getting the campus prepared for the first day of classes next week — spotted his stuff and notified the cops.
Oh well. I feel bad for him as a fellow street person. It’s like being evicted from your home.
But I can’t say I miss him.