I learned a lot of things about living in the city I had no idea about at that time. The first day there a nice girl walked by me and asked me if I was lonely. I wasn't lonely though I had just moved in and was excited to know more about the area, and with the tight dress she had on, there was no way she was going to be able to keep up with me on my walk. I made it two blocks before I realized what had just happened and why the girl looked so confused.
I think it fair to said I did not see a bunch of people walking around on a normal basis with a few exceptions. People would watch a lot from out of there windows, but in general, everyone walked from there apartments to there cars, drove to there location and then walked in. Even for short trips. The exceptions were mostly a group of girls who hung around the bus stop in very tight dresses and never got on any busses. A couple of people who carried their belongings with them but generally moved around unseen. An occasional straggler. Then there was me.
I wanted to understand the area around me so I walked it. I have always said the best way to see something so that you truly know it is to walk. It gives you time to see what is near you and what you are doing. Given the neighborhood, it wasn't the smartest thing for me to do, but I was young and I had walking in my blood.
The amount of danger I was in was minimalized shortly because I had walked all the blocks and found where I could set off the streets and into woods. The number of hills an streams that are just unseen surprised me. It was clear I was the first person to step in some of those places in 20 years. I learned backstops, streams, old construction dumps, and sewer outlets. Luckily I never saw a sewer outlet a person could fit in. I also started to discover where the people who carried all their worldly possessions went when they were unseen.
Somehow I started fiding places were homeless stayed. Under bridges where you can not see, in abandoned buildings, and makeshift rain shelters. Though I never saw any of the homeless in their camps. I saw one spot under a bridge gather cans a few days, so I decided to leave a can opener one day. The next day the under bridge was cleared out and gone. Had help chased him away or did someone see me try to help and take his stuff? Either way I was sure it was my actions which had caused it to move. My own mistake I thought.
I started walking away from the bridge and back into the world normal people know when I hear a voice back up where the camp was. "Hey Buddy." I spun around. I was not used to seeing people when out and I definitely do not get a lot of people talking to me. I see nothing though. I yell back, "yes?" Nothing. I walk all the way back to the camp slowly looking to see if someone was in trouble or if I was in trouble. I got all the way back to the empty camp and I climb up to the hidden spots to see if I can find the person. Just then a car drives by and I hear the pow pow pow. I think country kids know the sounds of guns far better than city kids. There was a way I could look out and see what was going on from my hobo camp.... but I didn't. I stayed in the safe place until the car was long long gone. I am confident they never saw me but I waited right there for a while until the car was long gone and there were no noises I didn't like.
I looked some more for the voice who called me. I called out "Hey buddy thanks." Nothing. I looked and looked. Nothing.
The next day I bought some canned goods and left them in the old camp. They stayed there for 3 weeks. I never saw anyone else ever set up camp there again.