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.
Dry skin—the skin is very dry. The veins are blue, dark blue. They stand out in ways they didn’t before. The fingers are a little dirty on the outside. The nails are not in good shape. They need to be done with a nail file and done quickly. There is not enough hand or body lotion to make the inside and the outside of the hands look younger or better. They look like the hands of someone working hard tilling the land or doing hard lifting. The hands are a poor woman’s hands. They are not glamorous and they are not pretty.
A Place, a place with a capital P. No one knows the importance of Place better than the homeless. Finding a place to live, a roof over one’s head is important, often more than important. It can be a matter of life and death. My heart is in agony, sheer agony. I cannot afford the street, the sidewalk, and I cannot afford a roof. The first is cold and stiff and the other has to have lots and lots of dollars attached to it. I look for answers. I have been looking for answers for years. I have found nothing.
She had them. Her eyes spoke without words. Their expression was deep and powerful. She was known as the woman with the brown eyes. The eyes told of her struggles, her attempts at getting things under control so that no one would guess the truth. She looked at you and it was understood. Her life wasn’t much good. She lived with her animals, her 3 dogs. They were the only family she had. She could count on her animals like she couldn’t count on people. Here they are, she would say. They are the children I never had. I love them and they love me. I can’t say the same for anyone else. Where are those people anyway? I don’t see them.
The Menace Part 2
It was late at night. A cat had slipped out of the woman’s room. The cat was a healthy cat; all she wanted to do was run around the house she thought was hers. The fat man walked into the kitchen just a second after the woman had gentlypushed the cat back inside. I am sorry, little one, she told the cat. The menace is too close to us. I want to protect you from that thing. The fat man stood looking about him; his beady eyes had meaness in them. His legs were wide apart, as if ready for a fight. The woman watched him from behind her closed door. She swallowed hard and sat down in the dark.
You. It is all about you. Your stuff, your life, your thoughts and feelings. The spotlight is on you. It is always on you. I stay on the sidelines. I just watch how other people look at you, respond to you.
No. I am sorry. I am so very sorry. I can’t. I can’t let you. The Thing is there. The horrible thing is in the room next door. It will see you and hear you. You make noise when you run around. It’s natural. You are a cat. You need freedom. There is none here. No freedom for you, no freedom for me.
I can see it. I can feel it. I can taste it. A home—it is a home; it should be my home. The home is a welcoming place. Nothing can ever hurt me inside my home. It wants me and my soul. That is the same soul that hungers for peace and quiet, for a way not to be rejected and unloved. I walk by a building. There is an apt. in the basement. The window is made of clear glass. I see a stove, a table with 4 chairs and a tea kettle. All those things should be mine.
He stood with his legs wide apart. His thick and fat arms had tattoos all over them. The look in his eyes and face resembled the look that a security guard has before he kicks/escorts an unwanted person out of a building. A cat had escaped from one of the boarder’s room. Je told the fat woman with the dyed hair that the cat was not welcome in his living room. Since when was it his living room? The boarder adjusted the belt around her thick robe. Something in the pit of her stomach told her to shut the door of her room. This one is a menace, she told her cat. We want nothing to do with him. How dare he threaten me?
There we were, you and I. My knees were trembling. I made an effort to look at you, at your beautiful brown eyes. I had to do it. The words I wanted to say had to come out of my mouth. We were scared—you didn’t want to hear them and I was not going to let that stop me. My body stood before you. It was stiff. The words, I will never forget the words. They came out slowly, as if I had practiced them for hours. You said nothing; listening was all you could handle. My face was red. I swallowed hard. My patience was done with you. My legs walked me towards the door.
It was hot, so hot that everything seemed to be burning. You were dying. I knew you were dying. You had moved from the living room to the kitchen to get water from your water bowl once; then you gave it up. You went back to sit on the mattress on the floor. Your legs had bedsores. You had been used to walking half an hour 3 times a day at least. Now you didn’t care. Going out and sniffing things meant nothing to you. You were like a king in exile, a king who was tired and spent, but still strong. You didn’t feel like bothering with the basic things of life anymore. It was all behind you.