The perils of living in your car

My car was my second home. As a freelancer, I’m often on the move and I’ve always got to be prepared. Thankfully, my gym memberships solved the problem of daily showers as I could go to any of the multi-locations in the city, and did not have to return home every night.

I found myself moving things into my car and not bothering to return them home, as the car became a convenient storage space. As a side note, I have an unhealthy living arrangement and though I live in two places, not considering either to be home. The situation with one of my roommates is very icy and tense, and because I’m often reluctant to go to the other place where I stay, I chose the convenient route of sleeping in my car.

When I first started living in my car, I realized it was an insane solution, but it seemed to be working out as I had everything I needed with me at all times including some of my most precious items. I had a change of clothes to go on that job interview, a change for the movies, one for a romantic evening on the town, a golf outing, an evening at the gym … well, you get the picture.

I had been living this way for a couple of months so I guess I got careless and confident. My trunk was full of stuff. Somehow, things just got added on, and, as it grew, it overflowed into the body of the car. Well I tried to hide things, but when you’ve got a carload of stuff, there’s only so much hiding you could do. I pushed and shoved things underneath the seats, but no matter what I did, there still seemed to be lots of visible items.

One afternoon I was visiting my friend in Union City. The last time I saw my car was about 4 p.m. on Wednesday when I parked it on the street by a park. Since I parked it in broad daylight, someone must have scouted it during the day, noticed my precious belongings, and returned at night vowing to leave me behind without transportation or residency.

Although I’ll miss the car, I wish they could have left my personal items behind. But, in truth, I think that’s what enticed them in the first place. I can see them dancing around in celebration of the killing they made. Aside from the car, they had also come into lots and lots of goodies – some items, like boots and shoes, still were in the original boxes and bags. Some of them were in the same conditions when they left the store.

I’ve learned a hard lesson and it’s a mistake I won’t be making again. Anyway, I no longer possess a car so I’ll no longer possess a mobile personal storage unit. It is a difficult situation. The only thing I could do to resolve it, however, is pen a tribute to that dear, dear car.

Ode to my car

Oh baby blue brick

We hitched up in Miami

Went fishing in Key West

Then spent good year in Stuart

Fashion we chased

To windy Chicago

Which drove us all the way

To sunny New York

Cops welcomed us with numerous tickets

When once they tried to steal

You remained faithful to me

Sorry I locked you up in storage

Insurance got too high

But I did hear your cry

I got you out and we took the long road up to Boston

Of course we had to call on

The beautiful Adirondack Mountains

I kept you fed

You took in the miles

On cranky mornings

In the cold of winter you reluctantly took me to the gym

On hot summer days

With no air conditioner

We sweltered profusely with smiles

While Manhattan was a breeze

Union City would not respect you

My shelter, my refuge, my true companion

At last they have taken you

We’ll see no more

Great 10 years

So long…Blue

Orume Hays

(The author is a Jersey City resident and can be reached at


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