David is 23 years old, and he is NOT a student of mine. We met through one of our mutual couch surfing hosts, Melinda (scroll down to see previous post).
Before I slept on his futon, David invited me on a dumpster dive run. He wanted to show me a little bit of the things he likes to do.
We bundled up, hopped into his car, and went for a ride around Goleta and Santa Barbara. The two of us talked about where we grew up, how we used to live, etc. I learned that David was a former UCSB student and decided to leave the school after having had a rough time. He is now registered at SBCC and is studying to become an EMT.
We met up with a couple of David's friends in a parking lot. Within less than a minute we pulled out some bagels. David told his friends that whatever surplus of food they end up having will be distributed to charity. I thought about this statement of generosity, and later learned that David also shares his found wealth with his other friends. To me, this attests to the idea and feeling of generosity, more so than my coming over with soda and candy.
Dumpstering flew by fast, especially after finding all sorts of edible goods. After diving and salvaging food, books, a torn puppet, and other miscellaneous household items, we headed back to his place.
I can see that David is politically active from the various political posters on his walls and the hand-written lists leftover from the group general assemblies he has been involved.
Hanging from his lamp post, David pulled off an object that I didn't even notice in the first place. It is a gas mask, and he tried it on in front of me.
Right next to David is a container with assorted zines. "You're welcome to go through those," he told me. Some of them are political. David is clearly passionate about demonstration against social injustice, and I found myself in admiration of his heavy involvement and efforts.
As the time got late... to just about 3am, we still listened to the sounds of loud music playing through the walls. Then we heard a few thuds and thumps, the sounds of two muffled voices. I told David that I wasn't sure if his neighbors were play wrestling or fighting. He told me that he's broken up a few fights in the past year at Breakpointe.
We threw in a dvd and both drifted off to sleep... David on his twin mattress and I on his unfolded futon, the two mattresses butted up against each other. I have no problem with proximity and neither does David. At one point in the morning I groggily woke up to a glaring laptop screen and David resting. I pull some of the covers nearby over him.
I got up in a few hours, hearing the sounds of another waste collection truck, and bumbled my way around his studio. As I packed up, folded up my loaned linens and blanket, I noticed the pile of trash in the corner of David's kitchen: