Park ‘n Ride


The park and ride was my new home. I had been monitoring it for weeks beforehand. A few other motorhomes would come and go, stay a few days and move on. Mostly though, it seemed like a vehicular free for all. Motorcycles, vans, cars and even a few abandoned vehicles resided here. How did I know they were abandoned? Maybe the flat tires or massive damage gave it away. A few had been there for weeks. My plan was to move my rolling palace to different space daily and at least once a week park somewhere else. If I backed it in a spot on the far side the back end would go over the curb and the motorhome would fit nicely in a single spot.

 I loved my new spot. I could walk to walgreens, whole foods, portland diner, coffee by design, trader joes and more. There were a dozen start up breweries and distilleries behind me. Compared to Scarborough, I was right in the middle of a booming metropolis. I parked my motorcycle near my motorhome so I was completely mobile. At first I was nervous to leave the rolling palace for fear of being towed or booted but gradually I came to see that I would be fine here. I was getting away with it. The only problem were the others getting away with it. I was not the only one trying to live in the park and ride. No, there was a motley crew of broken dreams, missed mortgage payments and junkies living here. A sorry lot indeed(pun intended). Walking Mr. Munch ensured that I would meet and interact with these lifeforms. The first one I met was Irish Bill. Irish Bill would sit in his car all day. No shirt. Windows open, smoking butts. Irish Bill asked me for a jump. he explained that he had used his laptop for a few too many hours the night before and run down the battery. I told him I didnt have cables. I asked why he was living in his car. From what little I could understand through his Irish accent and rapidfire delivery, Irish Bills wife had kicked him out and taken all of his money. He seemed like an ok guy so I let him use my compressor/jumpstarter and got his car started. Bill asked me if I had heard the ruckus the night before. Yes, yes I had. Hard to miss it. Every night for my first 2 weeks I has been privy to a springer show of junkie drama. A couple, Tyler and Mary, lived in a beat up motorhome in the lot. Every night around 3 in the morning, Mary would wake up and start screaming that Tyler had stole ” her shit”. “Get the fuck out you piece of shit!” I want my shit! I need my shit! This would go on for hours, crying and hysterical screaming, until she finally would make Tyler leave. Tyler himself was quite a spectacle. I had met him when he asked me for a cigarette, to use my phone and some money. All in one sentence. He was scrawny, around 25 and had a neck and face full of bad prison tattoos. At 9 in the morning he stunk of booze and smoke. The nightly fights were the source of entertainment for the other residents of the park and ride. We talked about them the next day and wondered when Mary would finally stab Tyler. I did worry about the security of the rolling palace when I was gone. I made sure to parade Mr. Munch around plenty. He was probably the only thing that kept my home safe. I kept a knife in my sleeping loft and I had a gun in a locked briefcase for piece of mind. I tried to have as little interaction with the junkies as possible. Near the end of the summer, Tyler did try to break into a van on the lot. I don’t think he realized that someone was living in it. Tyler ended up punching the occupant and the person called the police. Tyler was arrested. The next day he was back. The van occupant was pretty pissed about being punched though and decided to invest in an aluminum baseball bat. All night long, he was calling for Tyler to come out of his motorhome while tapping the bat on the pavement. “Are you going to try and suckerpunch me now?” “Come on Tyler, batter up!” Tyler never came out.
By the end of the summer, the DOT had become aware of the growing number of motorhomes populating the lot. I got a $25 ticket on mine and was told I could only park overnight a single night per week in the city. I started to rotate around marginal way, the walmarts and the elks lodge before finally finding my currrent spot on munjoy hill. Last I checked, Tyler and Mary are still down on marginal way, surviving.

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