In celebration of the five year anniversary of my experience in living out of my car, I am posting a series of journal entries never before revealed. The hope of my Walden series is to share both a journey and a story of my attempts to live and find a real and living God. I hope the snippets entertain and inspire you as much as my experience of them has entertained and inspired me.
I can still see my friend Kevin.
He thinks I’m crazy…
I’m sure he does…
I’m sure that he’s concerned for my safety…more concerned for it than I am.
He seems to be the only one too.
I have always thought Kevin could be a Macaulay Culkin look a like…except not the older Macaulay, but when he was a kid in Home Alone. Kevin looks like him. He grew his beard out once to look a little older, but I could still see the narrow face of a favored childhood actor behind the dark wire rimmed glasses and thickening facial hair. We spent several hours that evening, just hanging out…talking about life. There are many awkward things about Kevin, but I don’t care. I never have a dull conversation with him. He is always full of facts and trivia. I can talk to him for hours.
Not many people will join me on my journey. But Kevin does…even if he doesn’t like it. We stay in the Walmart parking lot for a few hours. We have a half gallon of vanilla ice cream and he and I both are killing it as we talk. Kevin got bragging rights for his ability to consume the most ice cream in one sitting and we laughed and told jokes until the sun set and the incandescent, parking lot lights flickered on.
The trunk is open and I show him my makeshift bed and cooler. I explain my bagel sandwiches and cans of spinach and green beans. He’s laughing, but he doesn’t understand.
I don’t need him to understand either. I just needed him to be with me. To let me be crazy or foolish…I needed him to be a friend while I simply was.
And maybe it was foolish for me to try this living out of my car, but maybe the point was being accepted in it. The point maybe was having friends who let me have an adventure, or friends who were willing to have an adventure with me.
It’s been five years and I am still good friends with Kevin. We talk occasionally on the phone. We have moved passed the ice cream eating competition and living out of my car. It isn’t often that we reminisce over those early days. But I remember them fondly. Our friendship was defined by some of those days and I will never forget that night.
Truth is discovered through experiences…through relationships. We live together and discover life in a way that we have never known before. Everyone told me growing up that I would change the world…but after knowing friends like Kevin, I think I would settle for changing the people instead. Good people, changed by relationship, changing me through our relationship. A life that is real, a life with substances, is earned through relationships. Maybe I didn’t see it then, but I do now. Kevin made my life more substantial and it made that night so much more memorable.