For the next little while, Saturday posts may be sporadic.
Jeanette is a pleasant, demented homeless woman who frequents St. Paul Plaza and the library.
She’s always immaculately dressed. I don’t know how she manages that.
One day, I think in May, walking through St. Paul Plaza, on impulse I approached her and asked if she’d sell me a cigarette. (At that time, I was buying “loose ones.”) Instead, she gave me three Newports.
And she’s done the same thing again almost every day since.
She’ll cross the street in the rain to bring me three Newports.
On the one hand, I’ve pondered whether I’m taking advantage of her. It seems instead that it’s a blessing to her to be able to do this for me.
On the other hand, you don’t want to have a conversation with her. She has a long, long list of public figures whose scandals and deaths she says have been blamed on her.
I am tempted to wish I knew the karmic basis of schizophrenia, that I might pray for her more effectively. But I need to use the tools I have.
God bless Jeanette, and heal her; in this life, or the next.
(Originally posted 2014-11-08.)
I was very nearly turned away tonight.
I arrived at 15:45, and the gate was closed. I’ll explain why that did not disturb me. As I’m a “regular,” they’re supposed to hold my bunk for me until 16:00. Leo, another “regular,” arrived minutes later.
A closed gate at this hour as often as not means they’re doing a “count,” a comparison of the checkin logs (plural) to pin down exactly how many beds are left. Depending on who’s at the desk, this can take ten minutes — or 45.
Continue reading Injustice at the shelter
APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED IN OCTOBER ’14:
Secretary II — The Salvation Army
Litigation Secretary — Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann
• They want a typing speed of 90-100 wpm.
• This would be a case of wanting the job for the paycheck.
Data Entry — Randstad
Administrative Coordinator — JHU Div. of General Internal Medicine
Legal Records Clerk — Wilson Elser
Administrative Assistant (Float) — Kennedy Krieger Institute
Data and Content Night – Supervisor — OrderUp
From my diary for 2014-10-17: I noted in latest search engine results “many listings for interesting positions outside-the-box. Night/Weekend Content Supervisor for OrderUp: OrderUp is an online site where people can order from any of a jillion local restaurants and have it delivered. This person manages updates to their online menus. Sounds right up my alley. Located 3500 Boston Street.”
Full-Time Center Associate — The UPS Store
Another “outside-the-box” position.
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Tom works at Royal Farms. He wears his work shirt all the time. I used to resent this. I realized Thursday night 2014-10-30 that I resented it because I assumed that if he had a job, he ought not be staying at the shelter. He’s got a real job, all right. But he still can’t afford his own place.
He works full time and is homeless.
(Originally posted 2014-11-03.)
I don’t hold with those who want to blame global warming wholly on American industry and American cars. The slashing-burning of hundreds of square miles of Amazon rain forest each day, and the air pollution in Mexico City and Beijing, show the need for a global response.
There are two principal ways human beings can reduce greenhouse gases: (1) covering more land with green plants that will consume carbon dioxide from the air; and (2) reducing our carbon dioxide emissions.
Some simple considerations of architecture address both concerns.
On Friday, July 25, I emerged from my devotional time exceptionally centered, and I stayed that way for hours. Nothing like this has happened to me before. It raised a number of new questions and resurrected many old ones.
UPDATES APPEAR IN THE COMMENTS.
Blogging experts tell us to give our posts dramatic titles. I might not tell the story at all, but on the one hand there is an expectation that (though I seldom do) a homeless blogger will tell about the difficulties homeless people face. On the other hand, it provides occasion for me to set forth William Tell’s current approach to injustice.
It will also let me model the principles of Free Speech Handbook.
This concerns an incident of October 7, 2014.
Continue reading Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?
The appointed Gospel text for Sunday was Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.
I was struck by verses 11-14 —
11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”
— in that, last Tuesday at McDonald’s, I’m the one who got thrown into the outer darkness.
Continue reading Life in the outer darkness