I LOVE not paying rent

 | July 18, 2007 9:21 pm

In the first two weeks of this month I have spent about $350. Of that about $100 was gas and almost the same for food. I was surprised to see I’d spent so much on food, but I did go out a couple times with friends, so I was paying for the company more than the food. But I’m no longer paying rent so I can afford dinner out now days.

This has been such a busy week at work that even if I still had an apartment I wouldn’t be there. It’s nice not to have the first couple hours of work going to paying rent on an apartment I’m never at.

I broke the first rule of living in your van last night. I was at the Bolsa Cica state preserve (I think it’s some sort of state preserve anyway), and was there after 8:00 when they technically close. 8:00 is way too early, by the way, the sun was still up. Anyway, it was 8:45, I had just finished writing in my journal and was sitting in the drivers seat of the van enjoying the birds before I drove away when the police came by. Of course he shone his flashlight in the back of the van and saw the sleeping bag. He asked me where I lived and I explained that I lived in Santa Monica but was working in Long Beach. He asked me if I was living in my van and I said I was for that week. Then he wanted my license and I gave it to him then he took it back to his car to run it and my plates.

I let him do it. And that’s where I should have at least stopped and found out why he wanted to do that. Next time. I’d like to avoid it, but I have no doubt that I’ll run into the police again at many points along this trip. Now I’m just worried there’s some sort of record of this check.

Ahh well. I’ll have to do some poking around and see if it’s possible to find out what comes up with the police run your license. I’ve had the police wake me up plenty of times, so they may have run my plates before, but I think this is the first time they’ve taken my driver’s license back to their car to check. But it’s also the first time I’ve admitted to living in my van. As soon as I said it I knew I was breaking the rules, but I couldn’t see how I could deny it when the sleeping bag is laid out and there’s clothes hangers on the hooks above the doors.

All that being said. I love my little van. I like having as little stuff as possible. I’m looking forward to having the time to get rid of more of it.

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4 Responses to “I LOVE not paying rent”

Carrot wrote a comment on July 22, 2007

He was checking for warrants, and as long as you are in a vehicle he’s allowed to demand to see your drivers liscence. If you aren’t in the van you’re protected by the 4th and 14th ammendments unless you’re suspected of committing or witnessing a violation of the law. There’s a paper record of it that would probably come up if you were ever arrested, and a very small chance that it’s in a computer somewhere.

(that’s just what I’ve gathered, I’m not in any way qualified to give legal advice).

- Tara

Jessica wrote a comment on July 23, 2007

Makes me feel better though. I do wish I had asked though since in general I want to know these things for a documentary about living in vans, and just in general want to ask more questions.

Anonymous wrote a comment on August 17, 2007

there will be no “record” of him running your name/license for a warrant check (at least in Illinois). In the police computer it will show if your name was “run” in the past 10 days but after that there is no record of it. I’m sure somewhere somehow some computer nerd can find it out if your name has every been submitted for a check but for cops checking a name in the computer is nothing to be worried out.

-a cop.

Jessica wrote a comment on August 17, 2007

Excellent. Thanks for the heads-up.

As a cop, what are your feelings towards people sleeping in their cars? Is it really something that you find cause for concern?

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