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Monday, May 02, 2011

Street Stuff

My friend Roger once told me that his life on the street was like one, long, unending parade from morning until night.  I'll always remember how he described the "parade route." 

If in a night shelter, awakened at about 5-5:30 a.m. and rousted out of the facility. 

On the sidewalk now the day's journey begins. 

You walk in circles often.  Your mission simple:  find a place to eat, find something to eat, find the money needed to do both of those activities. 

Find a place to stop and rest--try walking all day long he told me.  Find a place to rest where you won't be targeted as a nuisance by the police or business owners.

Find a place to take care of the necessities of the day--toilet, sink, mirror, etc.  Find such a place where you won't get into trouble with anyone. Find even a moment or two of privacy, a scarce commodity on the street.

Keep walking and time the parade so that you find lunch and dinner before retreating into a shelter at an appointed time, The Bridge or an alley, often the night lodging of choice by homeless persons really weary of being told what to do about everything.

Through it all, keep up with your possessions.  Stolen possessions is a major problem on the street before, during and after the parade. 

"Larry, people just don't know," he told me as he concluded a much more graphic description of his daily "parade." 

Of course, he's right. 

We don't know.

Good reason to listen, I'd say.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Good reason indeed! Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of the old Joe South song: "Before you do/criticize and abuse/walk a mile in my shoes." We would all be better off if we tried to place ourselves in the walk of life of others.