Monthly Archives: December 2016

14:32

Friday, October 6.

I arrived at the shelter where I stay at 14:32.  There was no line of people waiting admission.  They nominally open the gate at 14:30, but in fact sometimes do at 14:15, 14:00 or even 13:00.  When I later asked what time they’d opened today, I was told 14:30.  That can’t be factual, though: given current intake procedures, they can’t possibly have processed 30+ persons in two minutes.

Marvin arrived at the same time.  I stayed outside to finish a cigarette, and he slipped in in front of me.  He got assigned #41, “my” bunk, a bottom bunk.  I got assigned the only available remaining bunk, #40, a top bunk and thus much less desirable.

If I had arrived only 30 seconds earlier, I would have been assigned “my” bunk, a bottom bunk, the one much more desirable.  I found myself scouring my memory as to anything I could have done to have left church even 30 seconds earlier.  I would recognize the mistake of looking only at my last activities before leaving; whereas 30 seconds at any point during the day would have made the difference.

I would recognize that I was “bargaining.”

Continue reading 14:32

Giving it all away

(Originally published 05/09/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/30/13.)

At work on Tuesday 05/08/12, the radio station they had on the PA played Genesis’ “Giving it all away.”

People see things different ways given their personal circumstances.

I know nothing about Phil Collins personally. But in all likelihood, were he to “give it all away” as he understands it, he would probably have a lot left.

Not I.

All I own is the contents of two heavy bags. Giving it all away would be a simple gesture. And afterwards, I would have nothing.

———— ♦ ————

That afternoon, as usual, as soon as I got to my bunk I sat down and got out my medications for the evening. The guy assigned to the bunk above me was a newcomer, real clean-cut, a Jake Pavelka lookalike.

“Got any goodies in those pill bottles?” he asked.

“No,” I answered.

“It’d been cooler if you’d said yes,” he said.

As usual, I put my meds back in my zipper bag when I finished, and, as usual, I locked it.

Because of guys like him.
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

“Forgiving the cosmos” – Additional tags

If you have arrived at this post, you most likely have done so by searching on one of the below tags.  All pertain to today’s first post:

Forgiving the cosmos

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Forgiving the cosmos

For years, I’ve had a special sensitivity to reports of child abuse.

This one may give you nightmares for the rest of your life.

victoria-martensVictoria Martens

According to the police report, on her 10th birthday, the mother’s boyfriend and his female cousin injected this little girl with drugs “to calm her down.”  They proceeded to strangle, torture, rape and dismember her.

While her mother looked on.

Where is God, or what is God, when such an event can occur?

Continue reading Forgiving the cosmos

I really have nothing better to do

(Originally posted 10/12/13.)

(Transcribed from a letter to my mother dated 25 September 2007.)

This conversation yesterday with a co-worker astonished me.

“Peaches” is a 42-year old, very short woman, certainly a grandmother and very likely great-grandmother, who has about half her teeth.  She works principally as a cashier, and is a really good worker and co-worker.  She constantly teases me by pretending to flirt with me.

I was stocking the trash bags shelves, and became aware that she was in quite a pickle.  Her shift was over, and she had appointments she had to keep at a certain time across town; but she also had assembled this bag full of items she needed to buy at once and before leaving the store.  And the line at the cash register was quite long.  (Long lines at cash register are a constant, intractable problem at this store.)

I told her facetiously, “Just go down there and push ’em all out.”  She said, “No, that would be unmannerly, and that’s not like me.”  (Conduct that can be called “unmannerly” is a big, big issue in this community, and a big issue for me personally since I see so much of it and find it offensive.)  She went on: “Now, I like your manners.  You speak to the customers …”
Continue reading I really have nothing better to do