What was she doing here in this hot weather? The day was hot and humid, yet going in and out of the subway would have been too expensive. Her chin hit the sidewalk. It happened almost without her realizing it. One minute she was up and the next down. Her whole body hurt but the chin got the worst of it. he hoped someone in the street full of people would offer to help her up. No one did. he struggled up again as best she could, picking up her purse. She shook her head and on she went. The day was too bright to think about heartlessness.
I want to be held. I want to be held and comforted. I would like for someone to touch my head and caress my hair. I need a hug. I have to know that this horrible displacement experience is not happening again. My body has to be caught before it falls on the harsh pavement. I don’t want any bruises on my body or my face. The pain inside me is bad enough.
It isn’t a home. It isn’t my home. It never was. The things I have in the poisoned apt., the books and belongings that are dear to me try hard but it’s no good. I feel like a prisoner. I feel like an outcast, someone who doesn’t belong there or anywhere else. The two 5 day Quit notices I received have a lot to do with this feeling. I see the bed that my cat and I share. She likes the bed and thinks it is hers and ours. It isn’t. I see us out there on the street in this brutal New York weather. I cringe as if standing in front of someone who is going to push me/us off a cliff or mountain.
A long line. The men and a few women stood by the curb. It was 6 P.M. The man they called the sandwich or muffin man was late.He usually came at 5:30. There had been a snowstorm the previous day and the man lived upstate. Someone in the group said that the man was snowed in. Still, the people waited. One or two walked across the street to the area with seats. After a while, some gave up and left. The sandwiches he handed out once a week were a Godsend and the blueberry/chocolate muffins sweetened what was often a bitter day. Another day, next week. Then, he’d come again.
Outside Grand Central: A tall woman on the young side with a large and expensive, tourist-type camera. Her black boots went all the way up to her hips. A man with sandy hair and another camera. These two persons stood in front of the homeless man with his Beagle dog. The woman crouched in front of them, taking pictures from this angle and that other angle. The man took pictures of the man and the she dog from the other sides. Someone walking by observed the scene. Why is this happening? The man and the dog are not supposed to be on display for the pleasure of tourists. The observer watched the photographers for several minutes. Enraged as she was, she did not dare say anything. When the tourists were done, the observer walked behind them. Try as she might, she could not catch what they were saying. I wish I had the courage to tell them this is not right. I walk by the man and the dog often. Seeing how much he loves her makes me smile.I cannot give them a home, but I care about them. She is a sweet older dog.
The legs were spread out. Half the body took up the other 2 seats. The body was covered with a thick blanket; the happy colors–red, pink and green in the shape of a palm tree were those of a beach blanket. People got on the subway, looked at the body. At one of the stops, the head came out of hiding and read the name of the subway station. The man with the dark eyes and moustache wrapped himself again.
Lots of garbage bags–there were many black garbage bags piled up on top of one another. The old woman stopped to look. There was one small suitcase. It looked new and hardly used. She got close and started to try on the zippers. A man approached her. “This is mine, ” he said. The old woman looked him over. He was tall and thin, not at all respectable looking. “You are wrong. I was here first.” The man took the suitcase from her and tried on the zippers. The woman’s face became red. She leaned on her cane; her right hand holding on tight. “I’ll give you something.” “Yeah, that’s right. Give me something.” He took out a wad of bills from his pockets. “Here, take this.” “You are giving me only 2 dollars! Thanks.” The woman looked to see if anyone, like a cop, was walking towards them. There was no one. “You are a liar and thief,” she told him.
It was a cold windy early Sunday evening. The man walked fast. His head was down and his face hidden by a black hoodie. He clutched part of his short winter coat with his right hand. Outside a closed restaurant someone had left two transparent bags. “Oh, bagels,” the man said, getting close to the bags. He took out a supermarket bag from one of his pockets and counted up to 6. After his food gathering job was finished, the man walked on towards the subway.
He was all zipped up in his jacket. Only the dog’s face was visible. Two young men knelt in front of him. On the sidewalk, the dog was surrounded by broken up pieces of cardboard boxes. I am Homeless. Please Help, was written on one such box. He was brave. While the men did what they could to put a blanket on him, he was motionless. The wind on his face didn’t seem to bother him.
While I rack my brain I try to live. I try to live a little, till tomorrow or the next day after tomorrow. Things might change. I don’t know that but I keep hoping. I fill myself with good stuff, with stuff that will make me feel glad instead of sad.