Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End Gratitude List

Greetings Everyone;
Its Wednesday, December 31st, 2008!!;
Time to take inventory and give thanks, for the tangible and intangible, for the material and the spiritual, and to and for those who have passed through my life, those who have become new parts of me, and those who have intertwined their lives with mine over the course of time.
Some who do not know me well may wonder what a homeless, jobless, companion less man, with the physical and mental illnesses that I am dealing with, (known to me and unknown as of yet) may have to be grateful for, I used to be able to say, like the old cliche' "at least I still have my health", but that is no longer so, the other cliche' goes "it can always be worse", and this is so true, I am able to function better now than I could a year ago, thanks to the benefits derived from taking what to me is a true wonder drug, Buprenorphine. The ads, and the website, use the tag line, "Feel Normal" { } and I have to agree that I did not 'feel normal', no matter how much, no matter how long, no matter what program, until I started taking 'bupe'. So I am grateful for finally being able to make some forward progress on the road of recovery, and grateful for the drug, and to my dear friend, Monkee, for introducing me to it, and enabling me to acquire it.
I am grateful that I have (as of now) three and a half walls and a roof to keep off the wind and the rain and the worst of the cold, and a sleeping bag that will keep me warm to extreme temps., I am grateful to Yakira for letting me use same, and for letting me bathe and wash at the house even though I cannot stay there, and for allowing me unlimited access to my daughter Rachel at their house.
I am grateful to all the folks at Starbucks who have treated me with such kindness and courtesy, and continually extend the hospitality by refusing payment as often as they do,(if I have the resources I constantly attempt to pay, sometimes they take it sometimes they do not, but I don't expect a free ride, although, common sense says be practical and take the gifts when offered). I am grateful for the many new friends and acquaintances I have met, there and the conversations and advice, and the unexpected and unsolicited gifts they have showered upon me.
I am grateful for those who have showed compassion and care, and have given gifts of food, clothing, and money, and advice, as I stood on the corner with my sign, asking for help. I am also grateful for those who did not chose to donate, but took the time to stop and chat, sometimes on a regular basis, asking after my situation, and to those who smiled, or just nodded, acknowledging my humanity, Hell, I am even grateful in a twisted way to those who pretended not to see me while surreptitiously reading my sign, it stokes my slightly warped sense of humor to watch all of you try so hard not to be caught looking, and I am grateful for the poor slobs who throw things or spit or shout out such highly intelligent insults, maybe not at the time, but later, it helps to keep me from being complacent, and keeps me trying to atain humility.
I am grateful to be able to sit here in the warm library, on a computer.
I am grateful for the food stamps that I receive, that I am able to use for my daughter as needed.
I am grateful for Anna Marie, 34 years of uncoditional love and non judgemental friendship.
I am grateful to Yakira for such an incredible little girl.
I am grateful more than words can say or that anyone can possibly imagine for my beautiful, wonderful daughter, Rachel, that she is healthy and happy, and for the opportunity and the ability to be a part of her life, and for the happiness she brings to me and all she encounters and the loving, giving personality she is imbued with. I am grateful that she loves me and wants me in her life.
I am finally and ultimately grateful for the uncounted chances that I have been allowed to have and the mistakes that I am forgiven for. I am grateful to the power that has watched over me, for being allowed doubts and questions of who, what and why, for faith in me when I lost faith in myself, lost faith in faith, for the renewal of the spirit that I am experiencing, and for Hope. I am grateful to God, for everything..............
I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year.......Dave..

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Addendum: More---- R. A. K.

Hello ;
Yet again, I am amazed by the goodness and generosity of people, A new Friend who has already gifted me incredibly kindly, turns around and does it again, slipping me a Starbucks gift card and wishing me a Happy Hannukah, and this from a teacher at Towson Catholic High School....LOL....many thanks and many blessings upon you and your's, Lynn. Your Beautiful smile and cheerful demeanor make my mornings, and I really do await your appearance with anticipation each's like a shot of vitamin C, D, and B12 to go with my RDA of caffeine.
Closing time.......night all,.......Dave

Hangin' out & Hangin' on

Hey All;
It's been a couple of days since I was last here, (although the last post is dated the 26th, I actually did not get it online until Sunday night the 28th), and it has been fairly uneventful. I was out on my corner Sunday and I made a connection with the route owner of the area for the Balto. Sunpaper, through one of his street sales employees, and with luck I will have work for this Sunday, we'll see at about 5:30 am next Sunday morning. Standing on the corner selling the paper is one step up on the ladder, and if it leads to more weekends, that is at minimum, one less day I have to panhandle, (depending on the pay scale--still to be finalized, as are the exact hours), and hopefully, one connection will lead to another. I have to refile appeal my S.S.I., because they claim I did not supply them with the information they requested in the allotted time...Of couse if one looks at the dates of their communications, and the dates allowed to respond one will see that somehow there is a discrepancy....and if phone calls were returned within a reasonable period and NOT just before the phones are put on automatic forwarding to voice mail at closing time before weekends and holidays............hmmmm, sound to me like a built in system for non-compliance....kinda like Vegas, odds are in favor of the house? As I mentioned in a previous post a similar situation exists at D.S.S., where I am headed next. On the positive side, I received a letter from D.O.R.S. inviting me to apply on Jan. 6th at their Balto. City Rehab. facility; we shall see what we shall see. We took Rachel to see 34th Street again this year, she loved it , I am so blessed with this child, what an incredible little person she is, if for no other reason at all in my life, I am truly Grateful. I have been feeling rather rough physically in the past few days, joint pain so severe that the meds dull it but not eliminate it, to the point of actual Inertia, I just could not move for the ache, of course this triggered the clinical depression, which tried to kickstart the old "F**K IT WHY BOTHER" cycle that I so easily fall into, but thankfully I was able to pull my head out of my ass this time, before being overcome with despair. I attribute this to consciously attempting to maintain an "attitude of gratitude" ( as cornball and cliche' as it sounds, it's true), and the effects, both prescribed of and anecdotal to the buprenorphine I have been scrupulously taking. I will be at the doctors/clinic first thing tomorrow, because my blood pressure is also reaching alarming levels, and I have to deal with it before the years end (for my own psychological reasons). There is folk saying that states , "how you spend New Years Eve and New Years Day is how your year will go", in retrospect, I am finding a huge amount of truth in this, so superstition or not, I am being as pro-active as I can, in any way I can, '09 has gotta be a year of change for me too, not just the country. The hardest part for me is to KEEP up this attitude, and to not let the inevitable set backs hold me down, (or ME hold myself down). I also have to overcome my fear of success, those thoughts of others expectations and my own twisted feelings that any succeeding in any way was a fluke, and I will not be able to repeat it, and the idea that if I was successful in something once (whatever it may be), that I-- MUST!!! -- be a success everytime from then on, no matter what. I believe that just recognizing the irrationality of these feelings is an improvement, and broadcasting them, (even if nobody is reading this, {it is for me after all}), is a major step in my recovery and renewal. And I am finally trying to come to grips with my need for both redemption and instant results, Okay psych. majors, explain to me my self contradictory, desires for instant gratification and tendencies toward procrastination....I really oughta rent myself out for study maybe I can make some money off being nuts, and being one of those really twisted and confusing case studies that professors love so much, that are filled with exceptions to all the standard diagnoses, and which drive their interns batty...LOL. Well I cheered myself up at least, and I went places that I had no idea I was going when I started to write today, so even if I don't educate...I entertain.........see you later.........Dave

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gimme Shelter

Hi again;

I wanted to comment on the subject of Homeless Shelters to those who have not actually had the experience of staying in one, and yet keep referring me to, and promoting them. In most, (but not all, particularly the very small, private, shelters with limited bed space), homeless shelters, the atmosphere can only be described as miserable; the majority of the clientele are either professional "shelterhoppers" who can tell you the 'best' facilities on any day of the week based on the culinary excellence of the gourmet dining, from 'Hobo Stew' (don't even ask) to baked beans to 'Pasta Surprise' (I repeat, don't ask), and when and where church and volunteer groups drop off bag lunches while one is waiting in line for the doors to open, or alcoholics and addicts in active addiction, at some times high or at other times detoxing, or ill. {I AM NOT JUDGING THEM, how can I, having been there myself...I just choose not to sleep in that toxic environment, both for my health and sanity, my sobriety, and my personal taste in companions and lifestyle.....compassion, yes...cohabitation, no}. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there in shelters for other reasons, men, women, kids, whole family units, who are in the same boat I am in and most are good people, but being a single male, the options open to me are defined by the intake qualifications the shelter's exercise in their screening, and I tend to get lumped in with the majority. Those who have not spent any amount of time in shelters are not fully acquainted with all the rules, some of which can be extremely frustrating. For example,....1) in the City of Baltimore owned/run facilities, any food you have on you..must be dumped!!!, now, if one chooses not to eat at soup kitchens, OR, if one does not eat all the food items given out as "carry out" for later meals, or the food donated by restaurants or earned as payment for helping a store owner,etc., you can't keep it?!??! All pens and pencils and markers are confiscated. Of course any weapons are conficated, including eating utensils, I have been told to go outside and hide my knife and fork in the bushes or an empty house if I wanted to keep it...BY THE POLICE ON SECURITY DETAIL!!!!!!!!, but I could not keep sealed pkgs. of granola bars. Another happy experience,..... 2) I was carrying my posessions in a plastic trash bag and a yellow gym/duffel bag with the popular decorations and logo of the
B. U. M. Equipment Co. emlazoned on it, and standing under a posted sign, stating: "You have the RIGHT to be treated with dignity and respect" ,{ one of MANY such sentiments scattered throughout the Code Blue shelter}, were a group of Baltimore City Police officers, male and female, as I was finished with the (mostly indifferent, but decent) people at the check-in and security tables (NOT cops) and was walking down the hallway, one Cop calls out, to the hilarity, of the rest,.. "HEY, I see you got your name on your bag, is that in case you forget who you are?" . Now it is not so much the comment that bothered me, in fact it is quite clever, [especially for a city cop], (BAD DAVE,...sorry), but the attitude which inspired it. To many officers, TOO many, we the homeless are, if not criminals, not ordinary civilians either, at some times ignored as nonentities, at others harassed and herded as non-sentients. Another pet peeve;.....3) being in the city of Baltimore, the volunteers/workers (just like the Correctional Officers in and around B-Mo) are quite often related and or friends of the clients and there is a lot of favoritism and let's call it' reverse racism' in effect, as regards to who gets the cots and who gets the floor pads, and things like blankets, or portions and choices in food items if there is a limited amount, instead of 'first come first served' as is policy, and again being B-MO, the culture of "hollerin", is rampant...across the room, at the top of the lungs, no matter what time of night, or whether people are sleeping or not, and this is shelter personnel. More;......4) the general air of stupidity and the perceptive feeling of violence that is always about to erupt, (and sometimes does), over the most idiotic things, I ACTUALLY SAW TWO ' GROWN ASS MEN' ( as they later described themselves, DON'T get me started on that term ) GET INTO A FIST FIGHT OVER WHO WOULD WIN A BATTLE----SPIDERMAN OR IRONMAN!!!...the movie characters!!, I found out later that these two were arrested for stabbing one another at a later date over something as equally deep and relevant to reality. A final annoyance, TIME.....5) this is a two parter, I) Standing outside in line, sometimes for hours, to get bed space...and then sitting through a sermon or lecture before being allowed to eat, bathe, change or sleep, (this is more at the religous shelters and missions), and my complaint is not the brainwashing or the questions one is forced to answer before being allowed to move to the next room, or even the demeaning treatment meted out when checking in, all this is fair exchange for getting out of the cold, if one so chooses to submit to it, what frosts my balls as the saying goes, is the people who wander throughout the chapel during the sermon, eyeballing a group of cold, tired, hungry men, in an overheated room, being preached at by a hell and brimstone type, and if by some chance your eyes begin to flutter or worse you actually fall asleep due to exhaustion etc., YOU ARE THROWN OUT AND NOT ALLOWED BACK IN FOR X NUMBER OF NIGHTS!!!!....This is compassion????? Part Two....At many places one is awoken between 4:30 and 5:30 A.M. and told to fold the cots or roll the mats, and pack up their possessions, and either leave, or if breakfast is available sit through a sermon before being allowed to eat, (usually leftovers from the night before, and lots of bread....just a point of reference for anyone who cares....also, the reason many homeless people look as if they are not, at least body wise, is the amount of carbohydrates in the average street persons diet). In those places where it is permitted to remain inside until 6:00 or 7:00 A.M. everyone is herded into an overcrowded dayroom chapel or old gymnasium, etc., until social workers and/or case workers arrive for the day,(if facility has such services), the 'Homeless Shuttle' arrives, ( it is a free bus to D.S.S., soup kitchens, HealthCare for the Homeless. etc...),[this is actually one of the better services available in the city, another being the easily acquired reduced fare disability transit I.D. from MTA,] , at times, after not being able to get to sleep until 2:00 A.M. or later, particularly on weekend nights, holidays, or the beginning of the month (check days), exhaustion is not only possible it is probable. I would rather sleep in my little hidey-hole, alone, quiet, and reasonably safe and secure, and be able to get at least 6 hours sleep, and not have to hit the streets before anything is open, and before sunrise in reality during the winter months, than stay in "shelters", unless environmental conditions are that severe there is survival issues to consider, blizzard, negative temps., or deadly windchill factors. Anyway these are some of the reasons I personally avoid the shelter and mission circuit. This is not to say ALL are always like this at all times, or that I have listed all my rationale for opting out, and I am aware that this is my choice. There are excellent people and places out there, but factors such as time and waiting lists, and travel distance, and accessibility combine to put these places mostly beyond be it......well it is Saturday night , and the library is closing....."Good Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea!"...LOL........I've always wanted to use that line...

Gratitude and Depression-Holiday Letdown

I hope everyone had a nice XMAS and Hannukah, (and Kwaanza?).
I want to take a minute to thank everyone who has helped me over the past week or so, whether with cash, food, offers of clothing and blankets, advice and information, and especially those wonderful people who stopped and said that they had nothing or apologized for the amount they donated, but who took the time and the effort to speak to
me, who told me they would pray for me and wished me better things in the future. And to the people who stopped and said they had nothing now, where would i be at a certain time, and then actually came back and gave me a gift, GOD BLESS YOU. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the feelings of gratitude that I am experiencing right now, the ordinary folks in this town who give, expecting nothing in return, counterbalance the whole dysfunctional bureaucratic system that is supposed to be in place to assist but only exists to perpetuate itself. { [another] Specific example that has inspired this belief : On Dec. 18th I was requested and required to present myself for an interview for recertification and redetermination of eligibility for benefits for Food Stamps, WHICH I DID!! ,on time, and with the proper information asked for, I was told that the procedures had changed and that since I had a working phone I need not wait around, I would be contacted by a case worker for a phone interview, all well and good....When I went to where I get my mail, there is a letter from D.S.S. stating that I had not appeared for my appt. and that my benefits are in jeopardy, and that I much come in A.S.A.P., of course I did not receive this notice until XMAS eve afternoon, and with the mandatory furloughs enforced on the non-essential state and city workers this holiday I am not going to be able to deal with this until Monday at the earliest..and of course I am supposed to go the clinic Monday a.m.......and the shit is just rolling down hill from there....( as the proverb says " Man plans --- GOD laughs " )}. RED TAPE and INERTIA are as much killers as are the hypothermia, malnutrition, and physical and mental illnesses that plague the homeless. Right now I am also fighting against the DEPRESSION that haunts me. Strange as it may seem, combined with the gratitude and thankfulness, my joy at spending time with Rachel (more on that subject later today), and the unconditional love from her and from my best and oldest friend AnnaMarie and her family, I am feeling really unworthy and filled with a certain amount of loathing at myself, thoughts of checking out (EUPHEMISM ALERT) are surfacing, [ ideations only, no plans, plots or proposals ], and, since I am trying to use this journal as therapy, to be brutally honest, with you as well as with my self, I REALLY want to shoot up some dope right now, some GOOD DOPE, and escape into numbness and the domains of Lethe and the Lotus Eaters. I am so grateful (there's that word again) for Buprenorphine right now, because I know that if I attempt to use I will feel nothing, and that while I have an emotionally driven desire, there are no physical symptoms, and no CRAVINGS pushing me over the edge into the abyss. So, I'll deal with it, and thank you, faithful reader for indulging me...I JUST DID! Any way the computer is timing out and I am going now, I feel much better for telling someone how I am feeling and the true feelings of gratitude are back, you know, those warm fuzzies, we hard cases don.t liketo admit to.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another cold day

It's another cold, cold day, and luckily I've been inside for the most part of it,
I went over the ex's house showered, washed clothes, and played with my daughter. I hit the corner anout 3:00 pm and only lasted about an hour and 15 minutes until my feet and hands hurt so bad I was forced to go ride the train to get warm, if it had not been so windy I could have stayed out longer, and made a fair amount of money. As it is I have enough for food, meds, and to put $10.00 on my phone, which is not a luxury but has become a lifeline. ( I only use it to make appts. or arrange to make contact on a pay phone, and for incoming calls in the same manner.) Tomorrow being XMAS eve I am hoping to hit the street early as I can stand the cold, (hoping it reaches at least freezing temp.) and get enough for a bus pass for January, Hannukah gifts for Rachel, and to get ahead in my med budget, if I get some spending money it would be a real treat, but I would rather find someone to work out a rent/barter deal with. Library is closing now..and closed for the next two days..........Goodnight all and Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to everyone who stops by to read this exercise in exorcism.

Monday, December 22, 2008

just checking in

Hi guys and gals;
It is cold as the spermatocyte producing organs on a copper/tin based metallic simian in Balto. right now, it's closing time at the library and I am just checking in, I'll be back with more of my ramblings on Tuesday(??).
Sent an e-mail to Dan Rodricks of the Sun, I'll tell you why and if I get a reply tomorrow..............Dave

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The rollercoaster that I call my life is back in operation again.
When I signed off yesterday, I was on my way to an interview regarding a place to live, it was scheduled for 4:00 pm. on a Friday, right in the middle of the most productive time to acquire some cash, especially being the last weekend before XMAS. So I was not only trying to stave off an anxiety attack due to the stress of this meeting, I was worried about not being able to have enough cash on hand to ensure that I would not run out of my medication over the holidays. But, it was pouring down rain all day, so I did not get soaked standing out on the side of the road. After the initial feelings of discomfort stabilized and we ( the homeowner ) both began to relax a bit the interview seemed to go well and a trial period was agreed on, where I would cat/house-sit for about 6 weeks in Jan.-Feb.. This was the situation as I left there at 7:00 pm..
This morning I awoke to feelings of nausea and extreme discomfort, and severe pain in my back and my joints, on the physical level, and non-specific feelings of anxiety, depression and paranoia on the mental level,
{If I was still using I'd say I was ILL, ""BUT I AM NOT!!!"" ,}
{I really don't need this shit.}
But... I had a place to stay lined up for most of the middle of the winter, with the possible option of an extended habitation,
SO...about 11:00 am. my phone rings, it's Louise and she has changed her mind about the cat sitting gig...........great, I wasted 4 hours yesterday that could have been financially productive, and 3 hours this morning getting all my references in order, tracking down addresses and filling out the application form she gave me.
I' m not mad about being turned down in and of itself...but if you had second thoughts in the beginning as you said...WHY DID YOU WASTE MY TIME???!! At the same time I am relieved, because I was advised by someone with more knowledge, wisdom, and experience that some of the information that was requested was too personal and confidential, and was not legally required nor prudent to disseminate in these times of identity theft, (not that I felt it would be used in such a way...BUT?) and I did not have to tell her that I refused to reveal said data. ( I hate confrontation of any sort and perhaps that is what was causing the above symptoms...HMMM gotta ask the head doc.) { I think that I must explore the possible relationship of the anticipation/anxiety/depression combination vis a vis the very real and very scary, debilitating condition they leave me in, there are occasions I am truly NON-functional, even at times with suicidal ideations, because of a fear of confrontation or even interpersonal contact with the possibility (and in my mind that always translates to PROBABILITY ) of rejection. Whoa......where did this shit sneak in here from?
Went off on a bit of a tangent, didn't I?
In any case I am gone for now,
gotta make some bucks somehow!
I'll work or beg, won't borrow or steal,
Whatta ya got? let's make a deal!
donations accepted!...I'l write you some real poetry,
for a larger donation, I WON"T send it to you!
( that was a joke folks)
OK, I feel a bit better by venting some, and that is one of the purposes of this journal. I'm heading out now to attempt to get some cash or whatever assistance is offered, I am neither too proud nor too picky to refuse help.
Thanks for listening...if you are still here,.......................DAVE

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Shot At Shelter

So, I'm Back.....
I've got another meeting tomorrow to see about a place to live ....this one sounds a lot saner than the last situation...we'll see after 4:00 tomorrow, I should be lettting you know results on Saturday.
This is the time of year that I am going to try to take advantage of the overwhwelmingly pervasive feelings of guilt brought on by the holidays.......Hey I'm being honest here, I'm gonna do what I can to make as much as I can while the opportunity exists....I figure that I am as deserving as any other homeless person and I do pass on a portion of what I take in, WTF!....I may not be " all that I can be" right now, but I am clean and doing my best to do the right thing by others and be a good father. Anyway if I can find some place and some part time work under the table I'll do that too.................closing time....bye ............DAVE

Pleasant Surprise

Hey there,
I'm back after a short 2 day hiatus (always wanted to be able to use that word), I got to spend a couple days (days NOT nights...the ex can be a real "head trip" sometimes) with Rachel doing the daddy thing, we had a blast, and I feel spiritually rejuvenated. This morning I had an appt. at D.S.S. for a redetermination/recertification, usuall this involves a minimum of a 3 hour wait, and then 5 minutes of questions to confirm answers already given (on a form duplicating information already in the computer), then 20 minutes of waiting while the case worker disappears to 'make copies'. But TODAY! 5 minutes of waiting, while I filled out a form reconfirming that my statistics are the same, 2 minutes while the receptionist checked over the form and told me I am eligible for a phone review and eould be getting a call from the case worker and out the door!!!!!! Very Cool! if only I could get calls returned from D.E.A.P. and Md. D.H.M.H.......yeah right.........I've got a better chance of having Santa deliver World Peace for Xmas! ...HA! Anyhow, I've another reply to my Craig's List ad for a housing4work barter, THIS one sounds a bit saner, and also more accessible to public trans. that runs on a more frequent schedule...wish me luck. Even though this is only a short term (4 to 6 weeks) gig, it's Jan. into Feb.! I HATE COLD WEATHER!!!!!, if it was not for Rachel I would be about 1000 miles south of Baltimore, and if I had a guaranteed income/living situation awaiting me down in sunny FLA., I'd be seriously thinking of a way for her to live with me down there! (Even though the ex can be a jerk and a hypocrite, I wouldn't hurt her by taking Rachel that far away, and I would NEVER hurt Rachel by separating her from her mother, NOW you know why I am stuck here in this damn city.) In a few years though......when she is old enough....spending the summer at the beach with her old dad is gonna be a real nice treat! I'm outta here for now, if anything exciting happens between now and 9:00 pm...."I'LL BE BACK".......Dave

Monday, December 15, 2008


To: ashwedn7.........especially when it arrives unexpectedly, unsolicited, and unconditionally... Hell, even though I try to be a cynic, I'm a sucker for an "Oprah Moment" in my "Jerry Springer" life!
I Admit to being an incurable, unrepentant Romantic and a constantly relapsing, recovering Idealist. Every time reality kicks me in the face and leaves me lying in the gutter, swearing NEVER to believe in anything or anyone or any altruistic motives at comes the FAITH FAIRY, sprinkling me with her magic "HOPE DUST" and restoring my belief in the general goodness of humanity, (or at least in the basic premise that most of the population this city are driven to their acts of random stupidity by apathy and ignorance, rather than evil). {Hey...I said Idealist and Romantic..NOT...Idiot and Retard} So the 25% of those who are truly cruel and selfish and the 25% of those who are truly kind and selfless are balanced by the 50% who are just clueless. There's that cynicism raising it's ugly head again...LOL. ( I'm playing with the palette today...can you tell...Ha!) Anyway, I borrowed a portable battery operated DVD player and some discs from my ex and my daughter this weekend, 'JUNO', '27 DRESSES',
Monty Python's 'THE HOLY GRAIL', and a collection of cartoons from the 1930's 'TOONERVILLE TROLLEY'. (Teen Romantic mush, Romantic mush, Brit Wit, and CLASSIC!!!! Animation) Plus the Raven's and the Steeler's game on the radio...I Laughed, I cried, I damn near had a Heart Attack and Soiled My Shorts!...All Things Considered [to steal a phrase from NPR] 'twas an interesting week... Kindness,Insanity,Drama,Comedy,Generosity,Nail Biting Anxiety, and a lot of "caffeine induced introspective philosophical analytical sleep deprivation therapy"....aka...."productive insomnia"..HA! I'm going now...maybe more ramblings this evening...........Dave

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Hi again,
It's Sunday afternoon and I'm back here at the library, I really should be outside enjoying the mild weather while I can...but, Oh well. I am truly amazed and deeply grateful at all the acts of random kindness I have experienced recently, as I left you last evening, faithful reader, I was in the middle of recalling my psycho-week. When I left here I went back to the Starbucks, and when I walked in Sean(Shawn?) hands me a gift card and says there is $10.00 credited to it, an he tells me the woman who was sitting next to me when I was in earlier bought it for me and wanted to give it anonymously, WOW!, we exchanged maybe 10 words and I closed the sun shade on the windows for her, I did NOT mention my homelessness at all and I do not remember discussing it with anyone while she was there near me (?!), and AGAIN that same night, about an hour later, another woman with whom I had chatted, only about inconsequential general topics, just making pleasant conversation, turns around and hands me $4.00, saying "I hope this helps, I know what it can be like out there.",(?!).WOW and W.T.F. ?!? These were totally unsolicited donations from total strangers, as I have mentioned I neither hide nor advertise my homelessness there (at the coffee shop), and I do not recollect seeing either of these people before. Thanks to both of you, and thank you GOD, whatever I'm doing right to deserve such kindnesses let me keep doing it. To continue... I felt like walking last night so I headed down Reisterstown Road and stopped at the McDonalds in Pikesvile...(the new upscale decor has got to be seen to be believed, if it was not for the service and the employees, one might think they were in a real restaurant.........MEOW...SORRY>>>LOL), a man I see all the time on the busses, who I thought was homeless, (he is, he has been living in the woods at the cemetary...been there--done that) asked to use my cell phone, as I don't have a lot of minutes I gave him $0.50, and then bought him a meal, on the grounds that if I am blessed with kindnesses I must pass it on....SO...I am sitting in the coffee shop this A.M. and my new friend Lynn comes in and we talk for a minute and mention that I have not been in most of the week, I tell her of my adventures in lala-land, and she says she did not know I was homeless and slips $25.00 in my pocket, I tell her that it is not necessary, but she insists, and my pride took a back seat to my practicality,.........but this is what I am talking about when I say I am Blessed........OOPS gotta go times up....Dave

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Hello loyal readers,

I'm back at the library and back on the streets after an interesting (!), to say the least weeklong interlude that included a room and a bed. The only problem was that it also included tension, stress and PSYCHO-drama too. If you remember from my last post, I was about to meet with someone who knew my sister and had a room to trade for some work around the house. Well this also came with her 2 and 1/2 year old son and her 78 year old father. (She was about 40). The cliche' about "tension being so thick that you could cut it with a knife" is often over used....BUT NOT IN THIS CASE. Damn..the library is closing...cya tomorrow.....Dave

Saturday, December 6, 2008


It's not called tiny town for nothing, just had a response to one of my ads on Craigslist, turns out the woman who is looking to trade space for work went to school with my youngest sister. Who knows this may be one of the last blogs under this title. I think that I will keep up the journaling though, I like it and it is very theraputic and relaxing. I am also going to start back with my poetic efforts, such as they are, I like to write and create the poems and those who have heard and read them seem to appreciate my work, and that is good for the old ego! So I am going to try to meet up with what could turn out to be (HOPEFULLY) my new landlord/roommate...wish me luck....................Dave

Friday, December 5, 2008

Back again

Hi again, it's friday evening about 5:00 and I'm in the Pikesville library again killing time until they close at 5:30, (which sucks because they close up at 9:00 monday-thursday), and then I'll probably go to the coffee shop until they close at 8:00, (which sucks because they used to close at 9:00), and then I'll be able to slip into the garage where I sleep, without notice. I've had a pretty damn good day!! Bathed, washed clothes, spent time with Rachel, who wanted to introduce herself in the previous post, and was able to pick up tickets to Snow White at the Pumpkin Theatre for her and I this sunday, AND bargained for the transportation to get there !! I feel almost normal!!!!!
The options open to a homeless person are limited, in respect to acceptable places to spend the huge blocks of time one has to fill, I never realized how much of my time I spent just 'chasing' the drugs when I was getting high as compared to the actual time 'getting' high, or 'being' high. The breakdown seems to go like this:
chasing-75 %
getting-- 5%
being-- 20%
no wonder there were never enough hours in the day and I never felt "satisfied" , lights are going out.....see ya..Dave

At the Library with RACHEL

Hi, I am at the library with my DAD, my name is RACHEL, we saw the Urban Pirates, it was fun, see you L8r.
Having a good day with my daughter so far, more soon, ....Dave

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Skippped A Day

So I seem to have skipped a day, in my attempt to keep this journal. It is said that "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" but I seem to suffer from both PROCRASTINATION!!, and, a frequent difficulty in motivating myself. I've been informed that these are symptons of my depression AND a contributing factor IN my depression, talk about a self perpetuating cycle of madness. Add into that my male PMS...aka CRS ( can't remember shit ) and it makes for one hell of a mix. Hey at least I've still got my twisted sense of humor.
Wednesday, some one I've been trying to figure out how to meet stoped and made small talk with me, and today (Thursday) stopped to talk again, and offered me a book to read, " The Secret" , and as we were discussing it and I expressed some of my reservations about it, we realized that I had actually been practising one of the main tenets in the philosophy promoted and had experienced a positive result/reaction?!? ........... I gotta tell you GOD, you've really got a sly sense of humor!!!!!
I started this blog with the intention of showing the "up" side of being homeless as manifested by the simple (and in some cases complex and/or expensive) kindnesses and generosities shown me by everyday folks as opposed to organizations or agencies. As I've mentioned I spend a lot of time in one particular Starbucks, enough so that I've become a fixture and at times almost an employee. I do not advertise my homelessness, and because I keep myself clean and reasonably presentable and do NOT come in when I am aware I am having or about to have a "bad" day or serious episode of anxiety or depression, most people do not realize I am on the streets. If someone asks, or guesses, I do not hide the fact but try to address it matter of factly, ( and frequently with a humorous pride in my urban survival skills ). Quite often someone with whom I've connected will offer a suggestion of a place to contact, or mention an article in the paper or a website that may be of relevance. Many times they will inquire as to my daughter, (who quite often comes into the shop), and both the customers and store personel will treat me to coffee, pastries, or sandwiches. I try to pass on any excess or extra to others I see on the street.............gotta go ..Dave

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday Funday

Plans changed Sunday night, I was asked to come over to my ex's house and spend the day with my daughter on Monday, (no pure altruistic motives, she needed a sitter/daycare at the last minute, and knows that I'll do anything for Rachel). So instead of getting to the doctor or going out and making some money, I had a lovely day playing "Disney Princesses and Loves First Kiss!" (Her choice not mine...LOL) and reading books and watching 70 year old Toonerville Trolley cartoons....STILL hilarious, to both of us!, and Barbies "FairyTopia". It beats the hell out of standing out in the cold and panhandling. I'd rather be broke and sleeping on the streets than rich and without her anyday.
I spent the whole day in the Starbucks, until almost 3:30, then went and got my meds. and here I am about to close up the library.
Read about the quadruple shooting in Pimlico on Sundat night...I HEARD THAT...I was laying down in the garage in my sleeping bag and heard a Barrage!! of gunfire, I mean 20 or more shots in rapid succession. Then there was a shooting on N. Washington St., right where I frequently get off the bus to visit my friend Monkee, WHAT A DEADLY CITY TO BE ON THE STREETS OF!!!, gotta go, c'ya Wednesday with more of my babble......Dave

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rainy days and Sundays always get me down.....

It's raining like God's decided to give the world another enema!!
I've spent the morning in Starbucks (Yeah I know it's "corporate", but it's close and they're really laid back and they know me and treat me like a person), there were 11(eleven) people on the waiting list for the computers before i got on, and more now so this will be short today. My Osteo-arthritis is kicking in, I think I have to get to the Jai Medical Center on Monday..Wait...Wait..Wait. is the order of the day there, Oh Well.. I'm going to go over my ex's to see my daughter tonite and shower...times up bye.......Dave

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

Yesterday truly was a "black friday" for me, my cyclical depression kicked in and began a down hill run that looks to be equal to any triple black diamond ski slope.
The combination of all the sales hype and the desire (both retailer manufactured and my own true wishes ) to buy and give gifts, offset by the total lack of funds and with no relief in sight on my personal financial horizon, has given rise to those feelings of worthlessness and despair that are so deadly to those of us here at the bottom. Add to the mix my increasing anxiety at not having any luck finding a place to permanently stay ( one NOT permeated by an atmosphere of addictive behaviors, or mental illness, or just stupidity, ignorance, and lack of basic manners and civility....there are plenty of these types of places to be! ). Also, troubling me is an increasing sense of paranoia, some of it justified by the behavior of the cop previously mentioned, but a lot just baseless yet still debilitating. Being a part of the 4 day weekend, many of the people whom (who?) I regularly see were off work, thus adding to my feeling of isolation.
I did not get a chance to see or be with Rachel,(my daughter), which is another reason for the sense of loneliness.
At the same time, my feelings of gratitude and thankfulness are active, I was treated to a sandwich and coffee, and offered the extra food items by my wonderful, caring friends at Starbucks...THANKS GUYS!, and the one woman who commutes to Balto. from PA., AGAIN gave me a few dollars, even after I told her that it was not necessary to do so each time she sees me, that I deeply appreciated, her generosity at any frequency, and she insisted, SO....... being near broke, practicality won and I accepted..But if my friend (I don't even know her name) you are reading this...I am going to treat you to coffee one morning soon!!
I am also grateful to Monkee and thankful that we met and that I learned of Buprenorphine from you...IT SAVED MY LIFE!!!
times up gotta go bye....Dave

Friday, November 28, 2008

The day after......

Hi there, it's the day after turkey day and the library has reopened. One of the of the worst things about being on the street is having nowhere to go on holidays, because everything is closed, (bars are an option, but, if I am going to one I would prefer to make it an occasional social, or cuilinary destination, rather than just a place to be). I tend to spend my time in a coffee shop or the library, (when I am not sitting in social svc. agncy. or drs. office waiting rooms), or taking advantage of my monthly bus pass and riding the train or light rail. There are also galleries and museums with no admission charges that I go to when I can find a secure place to leave my things. One of the other really bad things about being on the street is having no where to just leave things safely,( clothes, toiletries, sleeping bag, essential papers ) that might be needed at a moments notice. It is not cool to try to enjoy an exhibit while carrying a duffel and a sleeping bag and being followed by security. I am lucky (blessed) with a place for long term storage and places to bathe and change, and food is rarely in issue. But having nowhere to just be able to "BE" is a major factor in my clinical depression an G.A.D., mental health issues.
Coffee shops
The place I spend the most time is in Coffee shops, I can nurse a cup of coffee and a few refills, buy a pastry and only spend a few dollars, all the while killing 2,3,or even 5 hours in a warm, dry place. Getting to know the staff and regulars is part of my routine and gives me the needed social interaction I crave within the confines of "normal" society. Being naturally gregarious I am looking for "CHEERS" on a lower budget, and without the alcohol(sometimes). OOPS computer time's up and it's crowded today, gotta go.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Bad Apple.........

One member of a group or organization can sometimes perpetuate an image or stereotype, painting others with the same brush. I had an incident with a Baltimore city cop yesterday that really pissed me off. I was standing on the median strip with my sign requesting help.." HOMELESS....PLEASE HELP....NEED A ROOM, WILL WORK FOR RENT!!...
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS " when a cop stops in front of me, blocking traffic, and gets out of the car and starts making comments (to another cop in another car, stopped behind her's) about how I am " Right in her face " and to " get out of here, I don't want to see you again" {direct quotes} and how I am disrespecting her? by aggressive panhandling [which I WAS NOT] and generally being poor and homeless, {paraphrase}. This is the same cop who ignored the old black drunk on the opposite side of the street who was actually going up to vehicles and knocking on the windows!! ( and she could not have not seen him as she sat right next to him as the light changed.) This is the same cop who gave me a criminal citation that was thrown out of court back in July for being an unjustified citation!!. I have been told by other officers to "watch out " for her. I have been given gifts of food and treated to hot coffee on freezing days by other officers on duty and been handed donations of cash by Balto. City, M.T.A., School System, both City and County Sheriffs, State Police and City officials in City cars and Trucks, and their private vehicles. I have been asked to move on occassionaly by other City Police, when traffic or weather warranted, and I have always been treated with dignity abd respect, or at the very least simple but curt politeness. In a city with such a violent crime rate, where there has been a killing/homicide a DAY for the past week(!), why is this woman singling out a peaceful homeless person for harassment? OK, that's enough bitching for today, I am heading out now to try and make enough money for my Meds. for the 4 day holiday weekend. ..Happy Thanksgiving...........Dave

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome; cont'd.

Hi , I'm back, I have been out on the streets just about 2 yrs. now, and fighting with the bureaucracy for 3 yrs. trying to resolve disability isssues, it's been an extreme rollercoaster ride. I hope that with the election and inaugaration of Pres. Obama that things will be made more accessible to those who need them.
I'd like to thank the folks at rhe Pikesville Starbucks, their courtesy and kindnesses have kept me feeling like a member of society, and the little "extras" you all have done have helped to keep me fed and warm.
It's time to go try and increase my net worth by about 200%.... one shiny Quarter and crumpled dollar bill at a time...Back soon........... Dave

First Post

Welcome to my World

My name is Dave C. and I am currently homeless on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland

hence, the cute title to the blog. This is my first experience blogging and is being done at the public library computers, so the entries may be a bit erratic in coming. I just wanted to record my journey through homelessness and my thoughts on life. I have actually found so much more kindness and compassion than I ever would have expected, sometimes in the strangest places and from the least expected sources. I hope anyone who reads this will be entertained and possibly informed as to some of the realities of Life on the Street from my viewpoint. I am out of computer time ...more later....... Dave