Years back Streetgirl found a horse-shoe on one of her walkabouts, can’t quite remember which spot, somewhere between here and there. It laid about for awhile and then I decided to hang it by the door. Inside of course. Before doing so, I googled which way was the right way, but found there wasn’t one. Continue reading “Up or Down?”
Looks like an ideal spot for a nap by the lake, doesn’t it? Not! This is a hammock hung by a Canadian Aboriginal homeless man on a steep slope of trees and bushes along the edge of the highway leading to the Allan Road Ramp where he panhandles on a daily basis.
“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam,” Popeye the Sailor Man.
“Do you want a job?” the middle aged man inquires while idling his pickup with a younger co-worker smiling and digging his pocket for change in the passenger seat. Not the first time someone has asked her this, before departing on the green light without a solid lead.
“What kind of job?” the panhandler replies, curious as always. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: It is what it is!”
(Warning: The following contains disturbing details and graphic imagery.)
Defeated, she sits on the edge of the bed belonging to a fragile senior resident whom she has known for years, has harbored her before, and shares some of the same habits. After a three week crack binge, which I doubt is yet over, she is famished and for the privilege of making and eating four grill cheese sandwiches in a flash is massaging that woman’s sore feet and shoulders. Anything to ensure she doesn’t get thrown out again. Far from her home across the city, without money and in no condition to bargain, she knows no-one else will open the door for her tonight. Running amok for days, several violent outbursts against people and property have angered and alienated her peers, so she is lucky to have this temporary sanctuary. Continue reading “Quotes from The Crack Game* – “It was so hard.””
As the traffic idles on the red a man takes the time to place a small paper cup on his dashboard, opens a thermos and pours. Streetgirl watches, thinking it might be espresso. Hasn’t had one of those since Salvatore passed; along-side a shot of ouzo, burning coffee beans on top, accompanied by dessert after dinner in a restaurant of her choice. That was their thing. May he rest in peace. The driver doesn’t seem to notice her standing at the curb. He slides something onto the lid of the cup, a chocolate perhaps. Then, to her surprise, opens his window and offers the drink to her.
“It’s a date!” he declares. Continue reading “It’s a date!”
January 2018: “Stay warm,” the man said to the panhandler in sincerity passing her a bag of stuff.
When she got home after pulling off the many layers and warming up a while, Streetgirl unpacked the contents, crackers, chocolate, and Campbell’s Beef Broth. The can was strangely heavy. Hearing loud rattling when shaken, she put it down quickly; because for a second it flashed that the product could have been sabotaged and might possibly explode in her hands. Panners are sometimes targeted by haters and there are those who will not consume food or drink given them for fear of poisoning. Once, a young man spit in a coffee, passed it to her, and laughed with his friends as he drove away. She has heard far worse stories. Cautious yes, but it’s not like her to be paranoid, so she picks it back up and realizes that while the outside is no longer cold, nor is she, the soup inside is frozen and a shiver runs up her spine. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: “Stay Warm!””
Blustery weather brought her to mind the most and when the heavy downpour and a crash of thunder jolts him awake, followed by a bolt of lightning that brightens the night-sky and plays havoc with his poor eyes, he is immediately aware of her presence on Earth. He claims to be a descendant of the Sun and the Moon, darkness and light consume him; declares himself a deity, grand and immortal like a Roman God. She is alive and travels with the winds, at times soft and breezy, a soothing gentle caress. As the storm increases in intensity, gusts of cold air twisting and encircling, sharp drops stinging his skin, he trembles in the fetal position of post-slumber. A fierce blast rattles the limbs of the trees that are his shelter, snapping branches, showering leaves, warning of her impending approach. He imagines he can feel the woman’s wrath in its wail. Continue reading “Excerpt from ‘Homeless Not Hopeless’”
*previously published on http://www.homelessguide.com/
The morning sun brightens Streetgirl’s long hair and tans her face as she stands at the ramp holding a sign that says, “BROKE + HUNGRY – PLEASE HELP – GOD BLESS – PEACE.” A line from the chorus of a Rag’N’Bone Man’s song is rolling repeatedly through her mind, “Don’t put your blame on me.” The earworm has been wedged for days, but should clear out soon to be replaced by another. Last week it was The Beatles, “Here comes the sun.”
On the red light a female driving a black van and wearing a niqab pulls to a stop. She happens to lock eyes with Streets who beams broadly, because that is the way she is. It’s impossible to tell if the devout Muslim smiles back from beneath the heavy veil, but she is moved by the moment, reaching for her clutch and scooping out a handful of coins to pass to the panhandler without a word.
Soon after, a woman of Asian descent, behind the wheel of a small red car, silver electrical tape holding the side mirror together and rust circling the door; she stretches out her arm with an offering of two sweet clementine in hand. Continue reading “Diversity of Compassion”