Day 27

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       I woke up in Medford OR at 9:30 am. I slept like a baby all night and was well rested when I woke up. I laid there and relaxed listening to music for a little while. Today was 4th of July. 
       I packed up at around 10 and headed to a bathroom in the park to brush my teeth. There were a few other guys near the restroom who seemed to be homeless too and had gear. I heard them talking about me while I brushed my teeth. They said they didn't know how I could feel comfortable sleeping in town. They must have saw me wake up. They had bikes and I figured maybe they stayed in a camp somewhere outside of Medford.
         I headed to a Safeway nearby where they had a Starbucks inside. I sat inside during the heat of the day. I took some notes in my journal of different thoughts from the night before.
         I met a couple there who I talked to for a while. The wife was disabled and she told me how she can still do mostly everything even when doctors told her she couldn't. She told me to never let people bring you down and to follow your heart. She was a proud woman. They gave me words of encouragement and left.
        A little later an old couple walked up with two Safeway employees. They were trying to get his keys to give to his wife. I was confused at first. The old man kept calling his wife a friend. And he would ask what they Safeway guys were looking for? They kept saying they wanted to help get his groceries into his car, but the old man seemed paranoid. I finally realized the man was senile. He didn't know his own wife and it was like he constantly forgot what was going on. The wife called his daughter and gave the phone to the man. He asked who's this? And after a while he finally said "hi sweetie". A little later his daughter showed up and he didn't know who she was. The wife was crying and the whole thing was really sad. The man wouldn't give up his wife's phone and thought everyone was trying to "steal" it. Eventually the cops showed up. One of the cops and the wife and daughter walked away to figure out how to get him out of there. He didn't want to leave. Meanwhile the other cop stayed and talked to him so he wasn't alone. The cop asked if he had ever served the country in the military. The old man said he was in the army. Then the cop said "well we have you to thank for our freedom today. Thank you for your years of service" and the man replied "what do you mean? This is the first time I been to this store! And who are you and what are you looking for anyways?!" I couldn't help but laugh. But it was still sad overall. Eventually they got him out.
         A little later a guy my age sat next to me and ate a sandwich. He talked to me and asked where I was headed. He was pumped and said he hitchhiked for a while when he was 18. He told me some stories about it and he was a street hustler when he did it. He would call pizza places and make fake orders so he could get the pizza when they threw it out. He said he made bunch of money pan handling and asking for change too. A year later he went to prison for 6 years on a bunch of theft charges and had just got out two months ago. He asked me what I needed and he was gonna buy me something. He told me him and his girlfriend got $1000 a month for food stamps and to get whatever I wanted. So I got a box of granola bars. He took off after that.
       I left Safeway and went to a grass area where I found shade and took a nap. It felt really good. I slept a while then woke up at around 7:00. I was watching some people who looked like tweakers walk by. It was a man and lady and they walked to Safeway. They looked like they were on something. They came back out with 4 cases of water in a shopping cart. Then I thought, wow, I was wrong and again can't judge them by their looks. Then about 10 minutes later they walked by again with the shopping cart full of empty water bottles. Now I was confused. They walked to a recycle box next to Safeway and started to throw the bottles in. Then it hit me. They bought the water with a food stamp credit card. Then they emptied all the bottles and returned to recycle them. Then they take the receipt inside of Safeway to receive cash for the recycling. Then they take the cash to go buy whatever dope they were on. Straight junkies. They do all that to turn credit into cash so they can use drugs. Wasted the water and all. That was pretty upsetting. Then about 20 minutes later another tweak did the same exact thing. Poor people are so desperate. Dam tweaks.
        I went to the little ceasars to see if I could catch some throw away food when they closed. They closed at 8pm for the Holliday. The guy came out to throw trash bags out and said they didn't have anything left. I said no worries and started to pick my things up. Then he said to come inside the front in 20 minutes and he would see what he could do. He ended up giving me a deep dish pizza and I think he put it on his own tab then made it. I was exited and he was a good guy. I got a picture with him.
        I went to the park at around 8:30. I got to the park and watched a group of mexicans play soccer while I grubbed out. I ate about half the pizza then was full. I forgot to get a bag and knew the pizza would be full of ants leaving it in the box over night. So I went to the mexicans and gave them the rest. They were so pumped. I talked to them in Spanish a little (spanish I learned as a farmer in  high school). They were funny guys and liked the curse words I knew. I got a picture then left. 
         I made my bed in the grass at the same spot as the night before. I wondered when the sprinklers would come on. I laid there a while and all of a sudden it felt like a Ton of bricks needed to fall out of my a$$. Excuse my language. I hobbled to the bathroom across the park and clinched the whole way. I got inside and let her rip. When I was in there a parks keeper came to lock up the bathrooms for the evening. They were single bathrooms. When I was inside he turned off the light and was going to lock the door. I yelled out for him to wait, and said I was dumping. He said sorry and turned the light back on. Then when I was done I came out laughing and said thank god he didn't lock it because I didn't want to spend the night with the aliens I just hatched. We both cracked up. 
       I went back to my bed and laid down. I laid there around 10 minutes when sure enough, the sprinklers turned on. I grabbed my things and walked toward a playground. The only place I could find was on the playground behind a climbing wall. So I made my bed there to stay out of the grass where the sprinklers were running that night. I laid there and then I saw a few teenagers walk up. It was a boy and two girls. They jumped on the swings. I was really hoping they wouldn't come any closer. Then they went to a jungle gym and started climbing on it. I was next to the jungle gym but in a dark shadow where they didn't see me. But I had a feeling they would climb the wall next so I decided to let them know I was there. I didn't want them walk up on me and be scared to death. So I said "excuse me". I didn't know what to say really. Both the girls screamed and jumped back. I felt terrible. I said I didn't mean to scare you guys but I wanted to let you know I was here. They laughed from being startled so much. They were cool about it and said it was ok. They went back to the swings, and when they eventually left they yelled "happy 4th of July!" to me. 
       I laid there and watched some fireworks go off from the neighborhoods around me. I eventually went to bed around 11.

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