We bade our new friends farewell with an obligatory exchanging of contact information and the promise of hospitality if they ever were to visit Murfreesboro. It’s really the least we could do after the generosity they’d shown us. The guys even invited us to sleep on their floor that evening, but we didn’t feel comfortable imposing on them any more than we already had. It was a beautiful night for park sleeping and we were up for anything. This was no exception.
We said our goodbyes, Dave, Pete, and I, and headed over a few blocks into the large park where the evening began. It must stand at around ten acres covered in trees, miscellaneous odd buildings and a fountain?a replica of one built in France centuries ago?built to scale. On a group of benches, we began to settle down for the evening.
Dave and I were used to this sort of thing. We’d both had drug habits in the past that landed us in gutters and on benches. It was like revisiting a childhood home, taking in all the familiar sensations. The slats felt natural digging uncomfortably into my skin at their edges, bowing slightly with my shifting weight. I curled up in the familiar fetal position that had kept me warm and comfortable on my side so many times. It was not an ideal situation, but it was comfortable enough for a few hours of cheap rest.
Dave and I would always sleep close to one another for safety. We’d gotten out of some tough spots individually with the other watching guard. It’s never pleasant to be woken up in the middle of the night by an angry homeless man or a snooping police officer, but both happened from time to time and it was nice to have someone looking out for you when it did. It happened like this a couple of times before and we watched out for one another. We were like brothers.
We welcomed Pete into our fold and the results were not like we’d hoped, but just as we’d anticipated.