Trenches


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I’d like to talk a little more about my homeless history if you don’t mind.

If you do, it’s too late.

 I have you under my control now and you are helpless to thwart my power.

Anywho….

It was, of course, a very tough time in my life. I did not have a permanent roof over my head, but I was eating regularly, I was working, going to school and basically living a normal life.

Except for the passing out in dumpsters and falling into the street, it wasn’t all that terrible for me.

When I wasn’t sitting in the library, I was at a homeless shelter.

This homeless shelter is located in Ogden, Utah. It is, from my experience and travels, a cut above the rest as far as shelters go.

There was good management. There were many donations of all types.

There is a large, professional looking kitchen with a walk-in freezer and large pantry.

There was a small office for a doctor and dentist that were there 3 days a week after they were done with their “paying” customers.

I think they saw more exotic cases amongst the straggling homeless than they ever saw in regulars.

The shelter was clean, orderly and most of all, did not look intimidating or squalid.

Hell, it had a stucco façade and tiled roof!

There was a small court yard besides the main building tucked behind a high wall that blocked views of the street.

Didn’t want people coming by and staring at the homeless people I guess.

“Mommy look at that naked man!”

“He can’t help it honey, he’s a homeless blogger”

I’m not talking about me….

I was never…..well……

I can tell you honestly that most of the homeless people I came into contact with were 95% men between the ages of 30-60 years of age.

Every one of them was either an alcoholic or an addict.

All of them….myself included.

There were very few I met that were bat-shit crazy, but they usually stayed by themselves and talked with imaginary friends, walls or bus stop signs.

You may be surprised when I tell you that the majority of these guys NEVER thought this could happen to them.

I have told you a few stories of some guys I ran into at the library.

There are lots more stories that I won’t get into now.

There were some intelligent, well spoken, well read and generally good people staying at our humble abode.

We talked frequently, had heated debates and jocular discussions.

You’d have thought we were regular people….

These men knew they were in a tailspin and would grow quiet all of a sudden, ashamed of laughing or being human.

They were homeless scum….and should act accordingly.

The guilt that alcoholics/addicts carry around with them is truly a dread chain.

They are ashamed of falling from their life.

All of them would tell you that not one of them knew how it had all fallen apart.

Believe it or not, most falls from grace were the result of a SINGLE occurrence.

Not a stretched out series of events like you’d think.

Of course some were, but on the majority none of these guys ever saw it coming.

In my case, as y’all may know, I had a rough childhood, but I don’t blame my fall on that.

Mine stemmed from a broken heart.

I don’t wanna talk about that right now. My heart is close to my sleeve today for some reason.

There were lots of sad stories. The natural man is truly a fragile creature.

We had to stay outside of the shelter until 6 pm every day.

We would line up outside the doors until they opened and proceed to the night desk to be given a breathalyzer test.

If alcohol was detected, you were turned away.

There was a lot of gum chewing, and penny sucking before 6 pm.

Penny sucking is an alcoholic trick to fool the test.

We would all be herded into the downstairs chapel where we would listen to guest speakers of all types of religions.

You had to if you wanted to eat.

One time there was a 14 year old “EVANGELICAL” pastor that spoke to us. I remember this kid because when I walked out after that meeting I was glad that I wasn’t a ‘fag’, a ‘Mormon’, a Catholic or a Jew.

I was gonna burn in hell if I had been.

I didn’t tell him I was a Mormon.

We got preached to about divinity in all its shapes and forms.

And I thought I was crazy!

As I said earlier, most of these guys didn’t like being homeless. But there were a few that wanted it no other way.

They didn’t want responsibility; they didn’t want to worry about rent, taxes or the rat race.

There were a few that I met that had one job.

They would go to California or South Texas a few times a year where they would stuff a back-pack full of dope, jump on a train and ‘mule’ it to different cities and towns.

I shit you not.   Try and stop that D.E.A!

There is lots more to tell you about the homeless, and my experiences.

And I will…it’s a very important subject that must be addressed the world over.

I’ve lived in the trenches. I’ve slept in a ditch.

I’ve met lost souls…..

They sleep in a pine box now….under a paupers cross.

I want my tombstone to bear my name, not AKA.

I have to go to work now and participate in the rat race.

And I’m grateful for that…..

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