Archive for the ‘Homeless’ Category

The Hands

March 3, 2019

The Hands

There wasn’t much left of them. The man clutched a nearly empty can of Cobra beer with the palm of his hand. The fingers, except for the thumbs, had been cut off. He looked up at the people entering the subway car. Don’t get near me. I don’t like you, he’d say. Some of the passengers backed off; others laughed silently and turned away. He looked down at his pants. The smell of urine enveloped the car. From a bag, he took out a pair of pants and placed it on his lap. He laughed, muttering something no one could understand.  The train came to a stop. People went out to another car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Home?

February 15, 2019

Home

It is hard when one becomes homeless for whatever reason not to become homeless ever again. Homelessness wants to keep a person in its dirty grip. It is a mark that a human being has a hard time escaping. Homelessness makes a person feel insecure, unsafe and displaced for life. Homelessness is more than a journey towards a roof over one’s head. It is a search for some sort of an emotional and psychological connection. It is a search for love, for belonging somewhere—somewhere where the rain won’t drench one’s body, where a person can stop shivering and recharge batteries.

 

Threats

January 16, 2019

Threats

How many threats can there be in this world? How many threats of being displaced, of having nowhere to go, of being up in the air? The suitcases, the suitcases to be pushed and dragged from here to there are a total nightmare. How many feelings and emotions to go through, to repress so that one doesn’t start screaming and yelling out of sheer agony? Self -control is the thing. Self -control is what it’s all about. It works in order to go on, to be awake one more day. But the threats do hurt. They’re a constant reminder of not being safe, not being secure no matter what is done.

 

 

 

 

How?

December 18, 2018

How?

How could you? How dare you? What made you think that you could put me in a place where I would feel dressed in rags? That’s how I feel right now. I am a woman wearing a short grey dress with holes in it; the holes are big. It is windy and the wind slaps my face. I am outside in the middle of the sidewalk. I clutch a long black shawl around my shoulders. The shawl is thin and the wind and the cold penetrate my bones. I shudder and I wince. I don’t want to be in the middle of anywhere feeling the weather as if it were my enemy. I don’t want to be here period. I dream of a nice cozy room where I will be drinking a cup of tea. I want comfort; love. I have none of these things.

 

 

Green Bag

December 3, 2018

Green Bag

He was short—he or she was short. The body was stretched out on the floor. A hoodie covered his or her head. He or she wore black pants and a dark jacket. A green bag was next to his or her head. It was Sunday afternoon and the subway station in Midtown Manhattan was busy. People got in and out of the trains. The body slept. It didn’t care about Sunday rush hour.

 

 

 

 

The Stray

October 26, 2018

The Stray

His fur shone; he shivered. The rain had caught him by surprise. Mr. Black came at night to ask for food. He bumped his head against the window. The woman grabbed a can of wet food from her stash. Someone’s hand stopped her. You are not going out. He’s a stray. She looked at the person. The person just doesn’t get it, she thought. Your hands are strong. Nevertheless, I have to feed him. He is not doing you or me or anybody any harm. She ran out to the door, opened the outer gate and put the contents of the can in a small plate. The cat went for it as if he hadn’t eaten in days.

 

Evicted

September 15, 2018

Evicted

Oh, you don’t know. You have no idea what it’s like to be evicted. You have no idea how it makes you feel. It is horrible, similar to being the unwilling protagonist in a horror movie. The emotional pain is beyond belief; it scares and humiliates a person. The part that comes after you are forced to move out is even worse. There you are, with bags of stuff all around you, black bags, white bags and yellow bags. There is nowhere to go. Whether the weather is good or not too good is not important. You still feel crappy, like a desperate person in a 1930s movie, hugging yourself for comfort. Seeing the sidewalk, which is now your home, is enough to make you sick to your stomach. You want to get some sleep, but there is always a security guard somewhere to stop you. You can’t stay here, he says. Go somewhere else. Go where, you want to ask him, but why bother?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can’t

August 29, 2018

You Can’t

There are no safe places.  She sat on the crate outside an empty store. Her cup wasn’t out. She was just there with a cup of Starbucks coffee in her hand. It was her treat to her herself—one of the very few pleasant experiences of her day. The security guard came to her out of nowhere. I am sorry, he said. You can’t sit there. She looked at him. I will be here for just a few minutes, but next time call the cops if you want. I am warning you he told her as he left to walk into the restaurant next door. What is the use? She got up and left. I will deal with this tomorrow. Today I am tired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rain

March 29, 2018

The Rain

It was the rain. The rain was the worst part of it all. When it hit, the face and the body had no chance of escape. There was nowhere to hide from the rain. On hot summer nights the rain resembled a traitor; it was a most unwelcome surprise, the worst possible slap.  The water had to be put up even without thunder. Doorways were no help. The feet got wet and there was nowhere to dry them. There was nowhere to dry the clothes on one’s back. All the thoughts went to a place with a cup of hot tea, somewhere to take away the taste of wet poverty.

 

 

 

Don’t Know

January 10, 2018

Don’t Know

You don’t. You don’t know. It is insecurity—it is more than insecurity, more than looking up in the dark at the lights shining inside an apt. or house. It is being hurt over and over again and not knowing what will happen next. It is expecting the worst from life in spite of all the good wishes of this or that person. Homelessness—homelessness does that to a person. It rips the person apart, makes the person feel devastated and terribly alone in a snowstorm.