Streetgirl was out looking for Jeff today, since she hadn’t seen him for weeks and was starting to worry. Whilst walking she took fall photos with her new camera. A gift from a friend and much appreciated! Such a beautiful day, but once again her homeless buddy was not on his spot at The Ramp. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to set off towards his humble abode, a tent tucked deep in The Hills. She feared to find him dead inside. One more of her crew biting the dust in 2020. Hoping not!
Instead she took out her sign, unused for months now, and tried her panhandling skills once again. Money is difficult to come by these days as are blessings from strangers with everyone isolating themselves. Half an hour later and all she’d garnered in her cup was a toonie and a chocolate bar. Then she spotted Kid walking across traffic towards her, hand stretched out for a shake despite the hazardous times.
“No hands man. Just give me a hug,” she says in advance and he did!
“I missed you so much. I gotta tell you something,” Kid says with a smile, “I got Me and Frankie off the heroin. Cold turkey!”
The young man’s bright blue eyes are clear and his skin is clean, no runny nose, deep scratches, or pimples. She is so proud of him. It must have been a hard feat considering the demons he has battled from childhood. Just shows what the spirit can do when the mind puts it to the test.
“Hey, I made up a poem,” Jeff tells me, “put in on your blog.”
Open up your hearts, open up your wallets, and give this poor fellow a hundred dollars.
“Keep following that vortex of Hope!” Encouragement from a concerned stranger.
“I am in the same shoes as you,” he says “struggling too.”
“Life is hard,” the panhandler responds.
The man with greying hair wants to talk and Streetgirl is empathetic. One should not righteously receive so much from others without taking the time to return the favor in kind.
“I’ve worked in real estate for 26 years and I haven’t sold one property this past year. I may lose it all,” his eyes begin to well as he holds back tears. They reach out and grasp hands for a second, blessing one another as the light changes and he must move on.
“I know you are going to sell a house real soon,” Streets assures him waving goodbye and hopes that is the case.
Seeking solace and a blessed place to say her prayers, Streetgirl flew her sign yesterday, straddling the curb and strolling up and down the island. Those same paths that her panning peer, so-tagged The Veteran, had ambled thousands of times. It was chilly, but they’d been out in far worse weather and enjoyed it too; a freedom of sorts. If it was Joe he would be wearing a toque, thin shirt under a jacket year-round day and night, and sandals without socks; even though someone had given him a pair of boots two months before his passing. Thrilled to tell the tale, how he’d been snoozing in the sun behind the gas station when a guy came by and offered to take him to Canadian Tire to buy a winter coat and footwear. One of so many kind gestures afforded him by strangers. That night they dumped his dirty smelly old one down the garbage shoot in our building as a ceremonial gesture and he donned the gift until the day he died. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: Farewell Friend”
A five dollar bill visible in one hand the woman pokes her head partway out the window and says, “Quick question. Who is the composer?”
Never been strong on trivia, perhaps due to perceived trauma Christmas 1980, 20 years old and playing the brand new board game sensation “Trivial Pursuit” with the family, led by an intellectual and dominating father and two older smarty-pants brothers; she was bound to lose. However, today the unmistakable ominous first four notes of “Symphony No. 5” coming from inside the car jogged Streetgirl’s mind to emit an immediate unwavering response.
And the music lover passes the money with a smile, “You win.”
By the way, of course I realize that I spelled heal incorrectly in the title of this tail. The moral of the following story is to pay attention to your instincts and slow down People! Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View – Time does Heel!”
“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!”
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!””