The water running down my body after 7 long days. The water, maybe a little bit too hot, caressing me, making everything fresh and clean again. It is a priceless feeling, a feeling of being a human being with nothing to be ashamed of.
Archive for August, 2010
The small tan, grey and white dog sat inside the Starbucks box. He looked up at his owner and she smiled. The owner petted him and kept on talking to the man seated beside her on the N train going to Manhattan and Queens. The little dog smiled. The train was approaching a tunnel and everything outside was dark. The train stopped on Dekalb Avenue. The owner got up, picked up the box and they were gone.
I don’t want to take it personally, but I do. It is happening to me. People, even small children, are looking at me funny. I walk down the street, bothering no one, or I feed the birds and people make faces. It must be the way I look now. I am dressed in old sneakers, baggy, very baggy, black jeans and a black T-shirt. I have lost a lot of weight. The purse I am carrying about me has a broken zipper and won’t close properly. I can’t get it fixed. When I think of how I was years before, Pre- GA Foreclosure Mess, I can hardly believe that other, more prosperous human being ever existed. I don’t know what I am now. All I know is that I am tired.
There is no peace, no quiet in my mind anywhere. To keep myself alive and well the only thing to do is walk. Walk a few miles each day, maybe 10 miles. To keep myself in movement is to pretend that things will and can get better. Otherwise, reality would rear its ugly little head again.
Home. What is home—what does it mean? For me a home is place where I can stay forever, a place that no one will be able to take from me. I don’t have a home and I am about to lose the roof over my head. I haven’t felt safe in a long time. I haven’t felt that this or that place actually belonged to me.
When I read about the ongoing foreclosure crisis, I cannot help but think back to my own foreclosure in November 2005. I remember how I was out of the country because of personal and financial reasons and how helpless and alone I felt. It was and is a devastating experience and I feel bad for those people going through it now.
Down, down the woman went. At first, she tried to stop the fall, but it was futile. The street was crowded; people were waiting for a bus to take them somewhere, maybe Staten Island or Brooklyn after a hard day’s work. If she had not gotten up, they would have left her there. She wanted to cry, but did not dare. Her knee hurt and she limped to the steps of a building. Opening her purse, she took out a pen and a piece of paper. Where will I go? Where can I go, she asked. Where am I going to move to? She wrote down what she couldn’t say out loud to a human being. She got up and walked slowly on to the soup kitchen.
Leo, It has been almost 3 years since you left my apt. in Argentina. I remember how scared you were when we were downstairs, waiting for your new owner to come and take you away. I prayed that he wouldn’t come, that he would change his mind. You protected Lauchita and me. You slept with us on our small bed. We were a little family, but it was for your own good. I gave you up as if you were my child and not my dog. I will never forget you or stop loving you. Tia
It was a hot afternoon in late August. The street near the small park was empty. Outside a warehouse there were boxes and boxes of bread. Someone walking by looked to see what kind of bread it was. Olive loaves, the person said. I am so hungry and my stomach hurts. A young man came out of the warehouse. The person asked: Are these for sale? No, he said, take some. Thanks, the person replied. She put a couple of loaves inside her plastic bag. My dinner for tonight.
She walked towards the big avenue as quickly as possible.
How did the guy in Les Miserables feel, the one who went to jail for a loaf of bread? I don’t want to be poor anymore, the woman thought.
The Bird had only one leg. He stood in the middle of the subway station. Then slowly, a little stick came out of the empty leg space.