Thursday, December 20, 2012

The street crushes people.

The streets elevate sadness to amazing levels.

The streets of a city offer up a taste of hell.

Today, I sat on the corner in the howling wind.  The wind chill had to be in the 30s.

We drank coffee, ate cookies and talked about life.

I heard some unforgettable things.

"Man, I've picked up 'bout 4 pounds of cans in less than an hour.  I've got to get back to mama. Can I take her some of this coffee and some cookies?  She is crippled and has a hard time gettin' 'round."

"The wind's blowin' and it's so cold." 

"Pray for my brother, George.  He has two more years to do in the TDC" (Texas Department of Corrections).  "Pray for him that he'll be able to handle his trials and temptations and come out okay." 

"Where's the trash?" more than one homeless person asked as they tried to find a place to dispose of cups, cream containers, etc.

"People in those big buildings are under the pressure of billions of dollars.  We're under the pressure, no less difficult, of zero billions!" a wise man said with a laugh.

"How cold is it gonna get tonight?

Several times as folks walked away with hot coffee in hand, "Have a Merry Christmas!"

An old woman with a European accent, "May I have that box?  Do you have coffee for me?"

"I can make it fine so long as its only in the 30s or 40s, after that I have to go to a shelter."

"Things happened that put people out here; we weren't born out here. But once you're out here for a while, things change inside you and things change back there and it's hard to get back; and if you get back, so much has changed that you feel lost and you can't make it." 

A very young man carrying a large, black trash bag asked me, "Do you know where a person could buy a tent?"  

I'm not sure why, but I left the corner filled with sadness today.  Such good people, enjoyable souls, people I love to "hang with," out in the cold trying, as one man said, "to just make it from day to day."

As I left, I waved back to my friend, "Blue."  He returned my wave.  I hope to see him next week.


Anonymous said...

While some of these folks be a little short on formal education, they clearly have a lot of common sense, even wisdom. Too bad they (and we) can't figure out how to put that to use.

Anonymous said...

Oops! ...may be a little short...