Quotation of the Day

Friday, February 27, 2009

Location...Location...Location

Good afternoon all;
It is Friday, and an early close day and I am here just in time to write a few short thoughts.
We went to the farm again today to milk the goats and feed the alpacas, less than 3 miles from the city line, in the middle of suburbia, no less...now there are 3 chickens added to the menagerie. We took the neighbor's kid with us, she is 5 1/2 and just got home from Shepard Pratt...it is heart rending to see a child who does not know the term "suicide" express thought about not wanting to be alive and of self loathing. The doctors cannot pinpoint the specific problem/disease/disorder yet and cannot seem to find a stabilizing dosage and/or medication. The episodes or "meltdowns" as they are being referred to seem to come on with no early warning symptoms, as if a switch was flipped on, and it is extremely difficult to differentiate between medical/emotional/psychological/and straight behavioral issues. she is such a sweet kid and Rachel loves to play with her and her twin sister ( who has a completely separate set of issues ). She was fine at the farm but back at the house it was as if she became 'possessed', now I am not a believer in exorcisms, in the religious sense...but I can now understand how someone of a different religious mindset could, Rachel was scared and confused, and I cannot (well actually I think I can, in all seriousness) imagine how ***** felt.........In reference to last nights post..again the concepts of perspective and gratitude appear.
The restaurant business is known to be one of "here today....gone tomorrow" openings and closings. Economics, changing tastes in cuisine, and quality and service all contribute to this factor. But the buzzword has always been location, in terms of traffic, availability, accessibility, and visibility.
Now in the world of the Garbage Gourmet and the Dumpster Diner, it is becoming harder and harder to find High Quality Take-out Trash, the same restaurants and groceries that will not donate because of corporate crapola, are now sometimes making sure that the homeless cannot STEAL their discarded food. One fast food place where I could get the leftover fried chicken stopped allowing that last year, SO...they bagged or boxed it in a clean manner then threw it in the dumpster, it does not sound like it but it was very reasonably sanitary when I got to it as soon as I saw the employee leave the walled enclosure where the dumpster resides. And on the occasions when I felt unsure or it was obviously contaminated..I left it!..Well NOW as soon as it is dumped..the compacter is turned on and the 30 to 40 pounds of chicken that is discarded on a regular basis is ruined. The second example is a major food store chain that recently changed to a "closed container system" with no access. Another food store moved a dumpster to a location where anyone trying to get to it could be charged with trespassing. Yet another store deliberately pours certain inedible/non edible substances over any possibly edible foods, packaged (which frequently are pierced or ripped open) or produce. ( 99% Ninety-Nine Percent of all poultry, meat, seafood and dairy items are excluded from this accounting ). Many places have locks on their dumpsters to prevent foraging/scavenging. I can appreciate the need in a situation where people have messed up and trashed an area, making it a draw for rats, roaches and the like, and/or created an eyesore or an unsanitary parking lot, and I fully agree with the tactic.
But in locations where there has been no trace of any problem, it is just mean spirited, unjustified, and unnecessary............I'm out time ...back Saturday....Dave
P.S........I did find a new donut supply by accident last night though...let's see how long this lasts.. I am keeping both very clean...and...a secret!!.........dbc

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Still Crazy..After All These Years...."

Hello one and all;
Well I beat the bookies again for another year, the smart money had me kicking the bucket at 36!, and this was first calculated back in 1974!! Shot at; Stabbed; Sliced and diced,(sometimes by my own hand); 2 near fatal car accidents, One where I was actually pronounced "dead"!!; Brain trauma, and it's temporary and permanent, related after effects and deterioration; Clinical Depression and Anxiety and other assorted diagnosed Mental and emotional illness; Pneumonia and empyeama that required emergency surgery due to fact that I was about one hour away from heart failure; a congenital heart defect; Three progressive, terminal, and fatal diseases,( 2 of the liver, which is always a load of fun) which can be treated and halted but not reversed,..one currently in remission, one being addressed and treated, that is not progressing at this time, and one that is not being medically attended to right now; Hypertension to the max!; Salmonella; Broken neck and back; assorted lacerations, breaks, bruises, trauma, minor diseases and illnesses; Osteoarthritis; and now I am being told of possible Pancreatic "issues", and Fibromyalgia; and of course there was the attempted "Suicide By Cop" that turned into a Keystone Kops farce....plus some stuff that I'd rather not put into cyberspace...you can figure it out...; add to that de-toxing on the floor of Central Booking...cold turkey, and an all expense paid "state vacation", two failed marriages and a family history that makes the word 'estranged' into a positive adjective.!!!!

That's just the 'short list"....LOL; Maybe some of you wonder why I am always going on about gratitude, and why I may get overwhelmed on occassion but generally, for someone with no place to live, have a good attitude, and don't really 'sweat the small stuff'....well let me tell you my secret...First..ya gotta have a naturally twisted sense of humor, an appreciation for irony, a "black" wit....and an actively overdeveloped feeling for PERCEPTION!!
Also being an incurable romantic, and an un-repentant chauvinist (in a good way) with little or no expectations of reciprocation, enables me to have A LOT of female friends who feel non-threatened alone and/or in a semi-intimate situation with me.( Though it can be tough at times to put a gag on my mouth and my heart......luckily I'm a poet, we are SUPPOSED to suffer from unrequited love!!....LOL..[or not]..)

An appreciation for "TANSTAAFL" (literary reference--Robert A. Heinlein...look it up) is a plus too.

So..."Today I am A man"....oops that was 40 years ago!! Oy Vey..now it's my "oldtimers" disease kickin' in!!!..
Yeah..53 years old today..with a 4 1/2 year old kid...wow!
I got to see Rachel yesterday and shower and do laundry at her mother's. We made birthday cards for the ex..(WE are 1 day and 14 years apart). Today they picked me up and we went to a friend's farm in Randallstown to milk the goats and Rachel introduced me to to alpacas, she is a part of their herd. There were 3 new members today (for a total of 6), who checked her out and when she fed them, also accepted her...it was pretty cool to watch her with them. We then went back to her house where we played and had lunch. It has actually been the best birthday in about 20 years...the majority of which were NOT on the streets. The weather has helped my mood today also. I want to thank all who have prayed and thought of me, and those of you who have sent greetings. I am very grateful..(there's that word again)....bye all ..Dave
P.S...Maybe I have been too sublte in my hints.....
SEND LAWYERS GUNS AND MONEY.....ASAP!!!
...............LOL>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dave
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LOVE YOU ALL....REALLY =!!!....DAVE

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"..another year older and deeper in debt"

Halleujah;
by the time you read this I will have beaten the odds again for another year.......back tomorrow;
53 years young (more or less);
gifts accepted and encouraged...LOL...(??)
,,........,,........Dave

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Too Close to Home(less)

Hello all;
I actually spent the night indoors yesterday! On a bed! ( alone...sigh; and it was almost as comfortable as some of the cardboard pallets I've constructed), but it was in a house with heat, lights and a bathroom. I stopped by to pick up some medication from my friend, Monkee and we had not talked for a while so we ended up catching up on things, next thing we knew it was almost 11:00 pm. I have stayed at Monkee's on occassion, but it is an emergency or deadly weather situation only option, by mutual agreement, so I was more than pleasantly surprised when she said to just sleep there in the bed in the basement for the night, out of the blue. Prayer, clean living, a good atttitude, being properly grateful despite it all??? who knows, something paid off!!
Just a few thoughts on how the economic meltdown and the shameful foreclosure procedures are affecting people who I never expected to see on the streets, those folks more like you than me. I was speaking to a woman on the subway last night who had become homeless due to being conned in the mortgage debacle, she was working at a good job, had been keeping up on her payments until her mother got sick and passed away, she tried to renegotiate, make arrangements to get caught up on arrears, and other reasonable options, but because there was a balloon payment due and it was an ARM, the mortgage holder refused to work with her. So she is in a women's and childrens shelter until she accrues enough for an apartment, (first-last-security). Somehow the mortgage holder ( I don't know if it is a bank or insurance co. or what..), has frozen her assets while she appeals the foreclosure. And these are the companies that are being bailed out????
I was talking to a man in the coffee shop today who I have been on nodding acquaintance with for some time, he stopped and talked to me today and we passed the usual pleasantries and exchanged a bit about one another. When I told him about my being on the streets, he stated that he was almost there himself. He owns his own business, and has been in operation for 30 (thirty) years, successfully, is married with six kids at home, and between BG&E, food, and gas prices, is close to losing his home, having one of the kinds of business that people stop patronizing first in a recession.( I am being vague at his requst for anonymity).
I just wanted to show that more folks than one would think are really only 3 or 4 months, in some cases PAYCHECKS away from the streets.
I gotta go............Dave

Monday, February 23, 2009

Good afternoon;
It's Monday and I am back here at the library, after skipping yesterday, it was so crowded that I could not get on a computer, and I also ended up in a long, interesting, and fun conversation for most of the day with my friend Michelle at the coffee shop. She is a professor at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art for you out of towners) and we talked about everything from homelessness to the movie Coraline, and if it was suitable for our 4 1/2 yearolds, to modelling for Life Drawing classes, to Starbucks giftcards, to the neighborhoods we lived/live in to just Stuff! It was one of those really comfortable conversations that stopped and started as we each drifted in and out of what we were reading and working on separately.
Yesterday morning Mike stopped in Starbucks after seeing me through the window, we chatted and he reached in his pocket and pulled out a couple of bucks and handed it to me, saying that since I took care of him, he'd take care of me when he had money, I told him it was not necessary and offered him a sandwich since I had a bag full of them and he declined, saying "Today it's all about you", well it was a nice boost at a time when my self esteem is at a low ebb, my depression is on an upswing and my finances rival Wall Street or Detroit.
I ran into him again last night as the coffee shop was closing, someone had given me a bit of background on him and it turns out we had lived in the same Jewish recovery house, although a few years apart, and knew some of the same people. As we gossiped about who we knew, a theme began to emerge, almost every person that we knew in common, at one point he had fought with, hit, or ( in his mind ), been persecuted by. I do not like or care for all of our mutual acquaintances, but I have never had cause to hit, or felt it necessary to defend or become physical with any of them, even though there was some cause for animosity at times. Mike is always telling me how the police stop and harass him, and he is constantly staying places where his presence is possibly a 4th degree burglary charge, or even a B & E. I seem to keep being placed in his path, and having to act as a voice of reason to him, case in point...he went into the restroom to wash up, was in there a lengthy but not unreasonable time, and someone came into the coffee shop and proceeded to attempt to use the bathroom, knocking on the door before trying the handle and finding it locked. A minute later, Mike emerged, and began asking me in a state of extreme agitation, if he had been in there too long, and why was the man beating on the door, ( he had not been ), was he trying to spy on Mike...etc. etc.., in a paranoiac rant at times. And I am wondering, should I avoid him at all costs, because, to the cops, because I am homeless, I will be guilty by association if I am around when he is next picked up or stopped ( and without going into details...there is a WHEN, not an IF in the future )? Or, do I continue to walk and talk with him at night, (this seems to be the time he generally looks me up or we cross paths), which is a time I try to avoid any semblance or perception of wrondoing or illegality, when he is most likely to be 'invited' into the back of a patrol car? I don't want to be callous but I've got my own issues, and as much as I feel the need to lend a sympathetic ear or some moral support if he is hurting....I am NOT getting locked up for/with/because of him...maybe if I just meet him at the coffee shop? But the problem with that is multiply confusing, ..he ( and other homeless in the area ) do not purchase any thing, and it is a business; mgmt. really does not wish to have it become a hangout for non-patrons; I come in there to escape/avoid the 'street and streetpeople', it is my sanctuary and island of normalcy. Plus some reasons I choose not to air on such a public forum ad the internet...privacy is non-existent, obviously. Where do I draw a line between being selfish and enlightened self-interest in this case, I wish to be a nice guy...but?
Okay, I debated about this one but...WTF!...as you may recall, Rachel and I came to the library Sunday the 15th of Feb. to see 'Abu The Flutemaker'...turns out there was a photo-journalist from the 'Owings Mills Times' present...and you guessed it, I am in the paper again..(Week of Feb. 19th Issue)...the picture is really, really , really, BAD!!!, of both of us, fuzzy, too dark, and poorly printed. Good thing it's not online HA, if you want to see me you'll have to find a copy of the newspaper...LOL
I'm going to go for now, my time is about up....anymore thoughts may be added tonight.........................Dave....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stayin Alive----oh oh oh oh--Stayin Alive

Hello all;
And Yeah I love 'Saturday Night Fever'...I'm a closet disco freak.
Thanks to all who wrote with concern, More Later, it is crowded here,
Dave
Back for a few minutes,
I had an encounter last night with a couple of 'shelter-hoppers', who were trying to get me to come with them to one of the missions, turns out that if they got someone to enroll in one of the Christian (Fundamentalist) churches and if that person signed on to certain long term 'treatment' programs, they would get some kind of ...reward...commission...priveleges..?? Just what I was looking for a set of high-pressure, double-team, homeless 'time- share' salesmen............LOL. I politely declined and was almost forcibly escorted off the subway..( I was getting off that stop anyway so I did not resist at this point ).. and when we exited the station, I had to Forcefully! exert my will to be allowed to travel at my own discretion and direction. ( Basically I went into what I call "Crazy White Boy Mode".... v2.1) They decided that I was not a good candidate for recruitment....LOL...lights out here gotta go.Dave..

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cold Hard Truth

Hi;
From the Balto. Sun.-Fri.-2/20/09
"38 yr. old Man, Homeless for 6 Years, Found Feb. 10th in Elkridge, Howard County, Pronounced To Have Died of Hypothermia."
This is the first article that I saw this morning when the paper fell open on the floor, it is sobering and not a little scary. Last night/this morning....I woke up from the cold many times in the course of the night, shivering and shaking.
I rebundled and wrapped, lay back down until the next bout. When I left my little shed this morning, the wind chill was so intense, my hands were numb, and then aching and in pain, in the two (2) minutes (literally) it took to get inside the coffee shop. .....
I gotta go Rachel called me to meet her..now!
I ask all to pray for the poor soul who died, this is too close to home...
.......Dave
Okay, I'm back for a second before closing time........
As cold as I get, there is still civilization within yards of me if needs be, and I hope that I would be in enough pain that I would crawl out of the sleeping bag and go to the gas station that is open 24 hours, or over to the Fire Station, or if push came to shove go to the pay phone and call 911, and even as a last resort do something similar to what the guy in Frederick did the other day, and heave a brick through an alarmed window and wait for the cops and screw the consequences.
But as I understand it, this poor guy's body was found out in a field somewhere.
I did not know him, and I do not know his story, but drunk, stoned, or sober; sane or troubled..........freezing to death,.......alone;....is no way to leave this life.
I'll be back here tomorrow........God willing...........Dave

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Out Of Balance

Hello;
This is a personal post;
I just found out that someone who I admire and respect deeply, mother has recently died, I did not know this woman, but from what little I have garnered she was an amazing, loving, strong, and wise woman. I have always believed that when certain souls leave this Earth, a temporary imbalance occurs, and sometimes this can be felt in inexplicable ways. I started feeling extremely un-well in a multitude of ways on the date I just found out that she also passed away, not just physically but spiritually and emotionally too. I have always believed in a synchronicity and serendipity between unrelated (on the surface ) events. I do not make any hard and fast claims about this case, but.......I just feel some how, because he has been in the forefront of my thoughts for a few weeks.....there is a connection...however vague or tenuous.....anyway..I had to write about it.....Thanks for indulging me.................Dave

3 HOTS AND A COT VS. A SHELTER

HOOWWWWWWWDEEEEEE!;
(that's my Minnie Pearl impersonation)[don't ask]..LOL
I hope all are well, ...I feel like the soul sentenced to HELL who is led to a group of others standing knee deep in shit, he starts out by being totally disgusted and horrified at his fate, but when he looks across to the next group standing upto their chests in the deep end, he starts to think, "This is not all that bad, look at those poor schmucks", and begins to become first, resigned to, and then rationalizes himself to become comfortable with, his lot in life, (or afterlife in this story..LOL), just when he reaches the point of acceptance....in walks the Devil, who shouts..."Okay..Breaks over...Everybody back on their HEADS!!!!"
OY VEY....."It never rains..but it pours." I'll rant later.....
I want to comment on a news item I read in today's Baltimore Sunpaper in Peter Hermann's column and online on his blog. Seems there is a man in Frederick, Maryland who was living in a homeless shelter, he had decided that he had had enough of life at shelters and would rather be in jail. I do not have all or enough details to be able to accurately STATE what was going through his mind, but from my experience with shelters, (see posts from..2/13/09-' Judge Not......' and from 12/26/08-' Gimme Shelter ' ) , I can offer empathize and easily imagine WHY he made this choice. In fact, it used to be fairly common in certain cities for homeless men to commit a carefully controlled crime of the proper magnitude that would get him locked up for just the right amount of time to avoid the worst of the weather, especially during the Great Depression, where sometimes it was the only way to guarantee a way to stay alive. Although romanticized, this scheme has been chronicled by books and movies from John Steinbeck to Damon Runyon, to Hollywood via The Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers, and the theme is continued with the "Town Drunk" character with his own cell in Westerns and "Otis", from the "Andy Griffith Show". Of course the reality is often much harsher than the fantasy, but I can relate to choosing jail over a shelter in some situations. Not being familiar with the Frederick city/county lockup..or the shelters in that area ( and having ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in finding out personally, even for research purposes) I cannot 'rate' the facilities in the manner of 'La Guide Michelin', LOL, but I can tell you, the reader, that this situation is not as absurd as it may sound.....and again, I am only offering theory here, the guy may be...crazy as a bedbug...to use medical terminology!!
Im gonna sign off now, there is a crowd, I may be back with more, but if not, I'll see you tomorrow.................Dave
OH YEAH.....(don't you just love it when I remember something at the last minute..lol..........Saw an item in yesterday's N.Y. Times......about people shavivg their heads and renting out their scalps for advertising with temporary tattos. ...I am Officially giving notice...I AM AVAILABLE

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ennui..Depression..and Too Many Others

Hello;
I'll be brief, I have had trouble getting on line the past few days, due to both circumstances beyond my control, and a slide into a period of the "fukkitts", it'll pass, but being cold and tired and slightly sick, have crippled any ambitions I have had recently. The only bright spot was taking Rachel to the library Sunday to see and HEAR!!, Abu the Flutemaker..if you ever get the chance..GO, with or without a kid, he is amazing.. I am out of computer time, if I can get more tonight I will be back..if not...Tomorrow..,................Dave
Well, I got back on;
I really am SO un-motivated at this time for some reason, Bio-rhythms?, approaching birthday (if you're that curious..it's in the profile...LOL), Geez...this is not where I figured I'd be at 53. (although if you consider the fact that Anna Marie and I decided that at 40 you start counting 'backwards'...I am only going on 27...).
I ran into Mike again the other night, he saw me in Starbucks, about 1/2 an hour before closing and 'sidled' in asking if it was okay to use the bathroom, not to the employees, but whispered to me. After he came out I gave him a bag of food and a whole coffee cake that Ashley asked me if I had wanted, being loaded up myself I passed it on to Mike and told him to share out what he could not use, again having to fight to convince him to take it, telling him it was going in the garbage anyway, if he did not.
I have been enlisted by Charlotte ( the woman I wanted to meet, with whom I discussed "The Secret", mentioned in an earlier post) to help her study for Inorganic Chemistry, and to help her prepare her Oral Arguments, and Rebuttal, in a case before The Court Of Special Appeals, we are meeting at 6:00 am at the coffee shop some mornings. Is it just me, or is there an ironic twist here?
One thing about being homeless is that I spend a lot of time looking at the ground as I walk the streets not a matter of not holding ny head up, but of economics...I find some cool stuff, ..money..and most recently I have been finding Gift Cards, from various businesses, at differing locations around the city, in gutters, on busses, in trash cans, etc. If I cannot use them I sell them to whoever, at a discount of the value left on the card, or give them away if it not worth selling due to a low balance. I have also began picking up every lottery ticket I find and running them through the self-checker looking for winners, $112.00 so far, in various denominations, instant and machine generated.
I'll be back tomorrow...Dave
OH...and to M. V.....e-mail address in white on top banner

Saturday, February 14, 2009

EXHAUSTED

Hi All;
I am falling asleep at the keyboard here today, did not rest well last night. I have nothing really worthwhile to write about so I am taking a "mental health day", I'll try to have something interesting to comment on tomorrow when Rachel and I come here to the library to see "Abu the flute maker" and his show..Later....Dave

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Judge Not....Lest Ye Be Judged"--or-- Independence Day, ....ALSO.... 'A Moveable Feast'

Greetings all;
I want to touch on an encounter I had last night that illustrates a common misconception that some people have about homelessness, shelters, and 'choice'.
I was speaking with a 'friend of a friend' last night outside the coffee shop, because they needed to smoke. During the introductions, my 'friend's' friend noticed my sleeping bag and asked if I was homeless, I of course answered, truthfully, yes. He then asked how and why, but not knowing him at all, and really not feeling any connection or need to divulge personal details, I said (politely) that since they were about to leave for their NA meeting, there was not time to fully tell my complete story, he then asked for the 'quick and dirty version' so I relinquished with the 'Cliff Notes outline' - marriage disintegrates, no finances, pending SSI claims, no friends or family in any position to help- and of course came the inevitable question.."what about a shelter/mission"..I explained my disinclination to going to shelters, - their likeness in atmosphere and clientele to jail, the waiting in line (sometime for hours ) outside to get a bed, and the outrageous wake-up and get out hours, and some of the police and personnel discourtesies I have encountered. I also stated my personal desire for some measure or control and/or independent choice in my daily routine. I also said that I was not a fool, and that if there was extended bad weather, or I could not find anywhere to 'camp out' OR--That IF my health or safety were endangered, I would seek out a shelter for the night. He then told me that I was homeless by choice because I did not go to shelters.
First...a shelter is NOT a home..the word shelter is used all the time, without the qualifying preceding terms--"EMERGENCY" and/or "OVERNIGHT", very, very few shelters allow multiple night stays... ( and the ones that do ARE truly 'homelike' --but as you may guess, these are always filled, and with extensive waiting lists for every bed ), for the others, you may line up and sign in again each night on a space available basis, but you cannot leave belongings there or be sure of the same cot or mat, if you get in you are searched again each night, and herded like cattle in the morning. It can be demeaning.
Second...I do not qualify for many of the halfway or transitional houses out there, by way of either not meeting the standards of the facilities, (female, active addict/alcoholic, particular physical/mental disability specified for residence...etc.) or not (yet, if ever??) having required governmental certification.
Third...I sure as hell did not ask--desire--or choose to be forced out of my home by a combination of physical and mental illnesses and old legal baggage (finished and resolved!!!) which were used to manipulate the family court system by, a vindictive ex-spouse {my wife's children's father}, money hungry lawyers, and a (if not corrupt, then a 'biased' and 'partisan') supposedly neutral third party.
"CHOOSE HOMELESSNESS"...I think not!
Now on to 'judgement day', these 'folks' I was talking with, are both members of NA, (thus the anonymity) and the 'friend of a friend' asked if I had drug issues, and feeling I could trust him with this information (as we all know I do not hide it) I told him I was a dope fiend, in recovery. We of course got in a discussion of NA, do I go to meetings, mutual acquaintances..etc. I related my former deep involvement and subsequent disillusion with NA, specifically the people, and the hypocrisy, and my decision to step away. Let's just say that this person will never be a high stakes poker player. As I further explained that I had had 4 years clean, then needed to go to pain management, and the problems finding medications I could take that were effective and usable -to me-, and finally finding buprenorphine, and it's triple barrel efficacy on pain, depression, and addiction, his opinions became easier and easier to read. After I finished, his first staement was that if I needed help he could assist me in getting in a halfway house, if and when I got 'CLEAN', I thanked him and explained again that I was not using drugs, and did not desire to return to the lifestyle of halfway houses and relapse and being around addicts 24/7. He then stated "I'm not judging you....." and proceeded to judge me and pronounce sentence upon me!!! {If anyone questions why I cannot return to NA in good faith and truly expect to be accepted, this is the prime example, the next most infuriating is that so many I have met have betrayed trust, there is more, but that is between my God and me} I thanked them and went on my way to the library.
Oh Yeah.. by the way, this morning, my 'friend' comes in and tells me someone OD'ed at the recovery house last night. I tried to explain that that was EXACTLY the behaviors and lifestyles I was avoiding...that spiritual toxicity that i no longer participated in..... He says " This is what makes you stronger......" (paraphrase)????? WTF??? I'm looking for a place to be able to take a 4 1/2 year old girl, and I am criticized for not moving to a halfway house, which has to paid for also by the way, do not let anyone tell you they are all free. At best they will take over control of any DSS benefits received.
NEXT TOPIC
I was talking with someone about the food situation on the streets, take it from me, if a homeless person, ( qualifier--- single, mobile, reasonably functional ) tell you "I'm haven't eaten......" it is by choice or a lie, there area shitload of options, from soup kitchens, food pantries, friendly restaurants to dumpster diving and gourmet garbage. any one who has seen me knows I am actually overweight, (out of shape too, but that's a different story...LOL)........oops, times up..gotta go
bye..................Dave

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Things That Make You Go Hmmmm....." or The 'OMEN'--v6.3

NAMASTE;
You know it's windy out when a plastic shopping bag from the Giant containing a quart of Powerade and a half box of Poptarts flies off of the picnic table and across the parking lot!! Even my sleeping bag in it's stuff sack, (which while it is classed as 'lightweight' still weighs a bit started rolling down the road propelled by the breeze...at least it is fairly warm. I would hate to think what the wind chills would be if we had the frigid temps. of last month.
Okay....Observation...Reflection...Analysis...Conclusion...
#1) Last night it started to rain, heavily, but of a very short duration. At the time I was in my hidey-hole, an unused storage shed, laying out my bedroll and the roof started to leak, about 10 inches beyond the cardboard I have laid out, ( on some shelving so I am around 2 inches off the floor ) and maybe 2 feet past where my feet usually are, ( I tend to sleep on my side, knees bent.....OOKAY..maybe TMI...LOL ). So I was not too concerned about getting soaked, (and it stopped soon anyway), but I took another piece of the steel shelving that is laying around and positioned on an angle to funnel the drips to the tear in the wall, and from there to the ground outside, a quick and dirty job, but effective.
# 2) While concocting above arrangement, I found a homemade crack pipe (plastic miniature bottle..hole in side... foil on neck opening...melted, inside and out).. hidden in the torn insulation in the wall....Grrreattt!!!
# 3) When I left this morning, under the portico that makes up the shed roof and the car port, and next to the wall of the empty building connecting to it, I find a pile of different discount and courtesy cards from various stores, a rain soaked purse, and assorted junk one accumulates. I don't know if it was there when I slipped in last night, it was dark and I was not looking...BUT I have a feeling that it was not, I think I heard some foot traffic outside, but I am not certain. No matter when it appeared, I really don't need that kind of attention brought to the area. ( I gotta be honest and tell you that I picked up the .08 cents in pennies, and looked through the rest of the cards and coupons, luckily I did not find anything that would have caused a moral dilemma, and..as there was no forms of official ID or Credit Cards, I scooped up the mess (with napkins, to avoid fingerprints, hell I may be totally innocent but this is Baltimore, and it is not 'the Butler did it'...it's 'the homeless guy did it'... don't believe me?, hit the streets..listen to the stories of recent guests of the city, county, and state, discounting 50% as typical "It Wasn't Me" lies, and the numbers still overwhelmingly seem to point to 'iffy' case closures.) and dumped it into a trash can. Well... my conscience got to me, and I found a way to 'anonymously' inform a cop...who promptly told me that it would be better if I conveniently 'dreamed' that I found everything, because there were no reports of any kind matching the names on the items, and the paperwork was not worth the effort involved in tracking down whether a crime had occurred or not.........Sh*t..I can take a hint......Grrrreattt....
# 4) My horoscope in the Baltimore Sun,( and I am going from a fuzzy memory here, not a quote.....and I REALLY don't believe in all the pseudo-psycho-pschic vagueness that is usually predicted..BUT every once in a while, there is this leetle, teensy, weensy seed of doubt.....LOL) says to focus on the bigger picture, to try to convince people of a greater purpose, project, proposal to back me on, and to strive for a higher goal for myself......OKAY....I'm open to your offers!!...LOL
MY CONCLUSIONS: I have to stop looking for a place to sleep and start in motion a plan for permanent lodging,...all right God...I CAN TAKE A HINT!!!.. now, if you could please give me a somewhat more comprehensible sign??
YOU KNOW..."PROPHECY FOR DUMMIES"!!!!
Alright, I guess you can tell I am in a good mood, all things considered. As I've noted before, having a few bucks in one's pocket can save one's mind from a lot of misery, even if you don't want or need to spend it.
Part the Second;
( with apologies..{or blame } to Kevin Cowherd, of the Baltimore Sunpaper)
I was reading the newspaper this morning and rotting my insides with coffee (more on that later), and came upon one of my favorite columns, Kevin Cowherd's, today touching on the Motot Trend Auto Show at the Convention Center. The focus being the tough road that car dealers are having in the current economic climate, tinged with Kevin's own unique "TWIST". (When I try to write with a humorous tone, the 'voices in my head' all sound like him, maybe not to you, but I try to emulate what I read/hear)...I have a fantastic, I may even say brilliant idea on how to....** House the Homeless** Bail out the Big Three automakers** Employ some workers affected by the building slump** Remove gas guzzling SUVs from our congested highways** Give Sheila Dixon some public accolades and shift some attention from her present "difficulties**....and I can probably adapt some more current event topics as things progress!!
READY...Here's my idea....( drum roll please... )
Take all the huge Hummers, and Expeditions, and Escalades, remove the wheels and engines, put them up on blocks..(tastefully camoflaged, like a doublewide in a Hillbilly Heaven Trailer Park)..install an electric space heater..(energy efficient..of course) and a light fixture..build a bathhouse and laundry building.....and start moving the homeless out of the shelters and the missions and the parks and abandominiums into these surplus dinosaurs!!!
Take it from me anyone who says that living in a vehicle is not feasible has never spent a night in a shelter or on the streets, there would be a waiting list a mile long!!!
Leather or velour seats....radio..cd ..dvd..cup holders!!..fold down rear seats and fold out tailgates...man that's livin' large!! Between the gangsta dark tinted glass and a few curtains...voila-instant privacy..sunroof/moonroof, just like having a deck..and as for aethetic dissenters..think lovely Busby Berkely style arrangements and layouts, and when the time comes..they are easily moved and transported foe either reuse or recycling!!! It's a win-win situation!! And get this I'm not going to ask a cent for my idea/intellectual property rights, I 'm putting it out in the Public Domain...no, no don't thank me, it is an idea whose time has come...
I'll see you all later....
If Mr. Spock says.." live long and prosper ",
in My universe, it's " Laugh Long-Live Longer "
BYE................Dave

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Evening Update.....grateful for "life ON the streets".....as opposed to " a night...at the minimum...in Central Booking "

Good evening to all;
I gotta tell ya, the horseshoe up my a** may be uncomfortable at times, but I am damn glad it's there! I went out this afternoon to enjoy the weather, get some needed exercise, pick up more meds, and since I was having trouble finding anyone to help me out with my cash flow situation, I felt that I had to do some panhandling, just enough to pay the few dollars I owe out. Well when I was at the spot where I stand, the crackhead quartet had locked up the corner, so I traveled on and went to my dear friend Monkee's house, picked up a couple of bupes "on account"..( on account of the fact that since I am no longer doing dope, I am a reliable crdit risk ).. and we spent an hour on the porch saying goodbye, remembering one more thing to talk about each time we tried to split..LOL. When I passed my 'spot' it was unoccupied, so I got off the bus figuring to get an hour before total dark set in, less than a minute later, the girl and one of the guys who have taken it over returned, telling me that it was not a good idea to be out there then. At first I thought it was just intimidation tactics, but turns out that as I was getting off the bus the police were pulling away with another homeless guy who had just been busted, (which was confirmed by other parties), literally seconds ago. They had warned this dude that the cop who was prejudiced against homeless folk was working, as was the bigoted woman cop also..obviously he did not listen. So, but for the grace of God..there go I. Before I start each 'session' on the corner, I stopand pray, thanking God for what I have and asking for whatever He will give me, asking only to be safe. Damn......times up..closing...you get the picture though.................bye.....Dave

Perspective..or..'Through A Glass Darkly'

Hi;
I chose the gray today because of an incident that happened to me last night.
I left the library at closing time, and as it was so warm out decided to sit on the bench under the street lamp and read for a while, instead of riding the subway for a few hours before slipping into my hidey-hole to sleep. As I was opening a can of Pringles, (THEY TRAVEL WELL>>>LOL), I noticed a fellow homeless guy walking past across the street. I called out to him to say hello, and asked if he wanted some crisps, (THEY CANNOT LEGALLY BE CALLED CHIPS....[trivia courtesy of the PCIofA]..{that's Potato Chip INSTITUTE of America...yes there is such an organization), and he came over and we talked, now this guy, let's call him Mike ( because that's his name), is a kind of a Sad Sack type, always being hassled by the police, and when confronted by them always argumentative or aggressive,...whether he is in the right or not, he is not a BAD or an evil person by a long shot. Now Mike's philosophy of finding shelter is to constantly move from place to place, having many little nests, (mine being..find a safe, quiet, comfortable spot and dig in, as unobtrusively as possible), therefor he is always being rousted and/or busted...he is constantly having run-ins with store owners, and being accused of stealing..( I CANNOT OFFER AN OPINION, HAVING NO EVIDENCE EITHER WAY.....SO I WILL TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD WHEN HE SAYS HE DOES NOT STEAL)..I can see from his general behavior why, he might be SUSPECTED of shoplifting, he is furtive in his actions, like a small rodent, and suffers from low self-esteem and a bit of paranoia, both of which I can relate to and empathize with. Okay, that is back story as it is called in Hollywood, if you remember from last nights post, I had received $5.00 from someone, well after Mike had some crisps, which I had to convince him that I had enough to share, and that if I did not I would not have offerred, we started off in different directions and he said he was going to look for change on the streets because he needed a bus pass for today. Since I had it and needed to give it away, I handed him a dollar towards his pass, I had to fight with him to get him to take it, again stating that if I could not..I would not offer. He then said that he did not want to take it because I am in the same boat he's in. I told him we (the homeless) must look out for one another, and if it bothered him that much, when he had a buck he could give it some one else in need...Pay It Forward. Now gentle reader, I need to be clear and honest here, I really do not 'like' Mike all that much and do not 'hangout' or 'pal around' with him, I am civil and friendly, and willing to talk, but he is only an acquaintance at best, and often an annoyanance, who, if I don't actively avoid, I will not always seek out evevrytime I see him. This is the killer...as we parted ways for the night, Mike turns to me and says "You're my best friend, you're the only person who talks to me, you are my best friend".......you want to talk about being humbled, about putting MY life in another perspective...damn, although I believe that I try to be properly grateful, there has been a certain amount of hubris and complacency I have allowed to settle in. That one sentence made me stop and re-analyze a lot of what I have been doing and not doing. And right now, another wake-up call to make me realize what I have been gifted and blessed with, behind me hee in the library is a guy with what seems to be either Tourette's or Asberger's syndrome, inappropriate and/or uncontrollable outbursts; and the content of his vocalizations seems to be a little 'off kilter'. "But for the grace of God............."
I can't remember the author of the quote (I'll look it up later and insert it), but it goes..."An unexamined life is not worth living"
I think it's past time for a pop quiz!!
Phenomena-Comments-and Notes
(and I stole that from "THE SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE)
The day after I posted my poem 'identity'....my horoscope in the Baltimore Sunpaper was pretty much a prose paraphrase of it....???
I was composing a thread to start on the Addiction Surviors BB, regarding the long term effects of Buprenorphine and whether any other opiate/opiod addicts in recovery have chosen/considered the option of becoming "lifers" as regards maintenance; I logon on the web site...boom up pops someone else raising the same issues at exactly the same time....???
Same scenario..I am in my contacts list looking for Anne's e-mail....before I could paste it in....there she was with a new e-mail for me...???
And today, my first task was to be write Mary...and there she was...???
I like to believe in serendipity and synchronicity...we are all connected..somehow!!
Just when I have a jumbled mass of related yet still disconnected and disorganized phrases spinning in my head, I trip over a Jimmy Buffet CD, "Beach House On The Moon", (literally, it had fallen off the rack in the library and I damn near broke my neck slipping on it!!) that I had not heard before, but which was rich in lyrics and poetry that expressed what I wished to convey, and has inspired me to start writing again.
Well I am going to go outside and really enjoy today for all it's worth while the weather is so lovely, maybe I'll try to make a few bucks too, but even if I don't I think it's time to just appreciate life for it's own sake, and just celebrate the day.
PEACE............Dave

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'Back To The Future'..or..'Return To Forever'

Hi There;
First thing first, I have been a bit off to the side in the matter of topics on the last few posts, and slightly skewed away from the main objective of my blog, the 'Homelessness' and the 'unexpected grace' I have observed and experienced. I shall try to be more balanced in the future.
That being said, I'm here with another story of kindness and generosity.
I was in my usual seat at the (soon to be shuttered forever) Starbucks in Pikesville where I spend most of my mornings (and sometimes all day), and a young Orthodox man (middle school age) and his math(?)tutor sit down and we all exchange the usual pleasantries one does when in such situations, and she (the tutor/teacher/mom?) asks what i am watching on the portable DVD player. ( It was "Secrets of the Code-- The DaVinci Code Revealed" with Stone Phillips, an NBC production from 2005) I mentioned that I got it from the library, where I spent a lot of time and the young man recognized me and mentioned that we had talked about my sleeping bag.....yadda--yadda--yadda, which led up to my homelessness, and a discussion of available aid and agencies....etc. Now the young man Elli, I think his name is, was trying to keep the conversation and distraction going as long as he could, being a teenager faced with schoolwork!! LOL!! So I began to pack up and leave as a courtesy to the teacher and mentioned going to the food store across the parking lot to look for some one I knew to help me convert some groceries to cash, and explained how I was trying to avoid asking anyone for money except in circumstances of dire need. As I am walking out, she, the tutor, (and if you are reading this, I apologize for being so flustered I did not ask your name) hands me a $5.00 bill, I tried to explain that I was not attempting to take any money from her, and I then offered to use the card in her behalf at the food store in exchange, but she insisted, and I accepted for two (2) reasons...the first being that of practicality....at that moment, I had 36 cents left, and a second reason relates to something that a 'rebbe' (a teacher or learned man, often but not always an ordained Rabbi ) recently told me, and which the more I think upon it and apply it to my own sense of well-being and self-esteem make a lot of sense. I Paraphrase- To deny someone the opportunity to perform an act of 'tzeduckah' (charitable goodwill), through mis-guided, or stiff-necked pride is, in it's own way stealing from them, by robbing them of their duty to perform and chance to receive the grace of 'mitzvah' ( both a commandment and a good deed).....by relating to the feelings I have when able to walk in and pay my way, {or at least make the attempt to} when I have the money, and even more so when I can offer to treat someone else, I understand exactly the concept of how deeply intertwined the acts of selfless giving and grateful receiving truly are....NEEDLESS TO SAY ( ever notice the redundancy when we use that phrase...LOL ), this excludes scamming or conning people just to make a buck, and (these days, Thank You God) in my own little moral universe I try to examine both my immediate financial situation and foreseeable cash income, AND my needs and motives before accepting or refusing, I can, do, have, and will continue to, say, 'no thank you', in certain situations. I also try to either pass on or pay forward my good fortune, to keep the 'karma' flowing in the right direction, and hopefully I can now differentiate between enlightened self interest, and egoistical selfcenteredness.
Okay..times up and I think that thought is finished. I would like to tell all those who have so graciously given of their wallets , and their hearts....
Thank You.....................Dave

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Brother Can You Spare A Dime"

Good Afternoon 'friends, neighbors, and countrymen'....
(and also you folks from Israel, Ireland, and South Florida who have looked in on my little blog) { I know that technically, Florida is part of the USA, but, like Texas...It's a whole 'nother country!!..LOL}..
I am teetering between the anti-depressive effects of the nice weather and a few solid nights sleep and the stress of having only $0.19 cents in my pocket. I've got a fair amount on credit for grocery/food purchases on a particular debit card, but I cannot seem to find anyone who needs to go food shopping so we can trade and I can convert some of this money into cash...usually this is not a big problem, but my timing is off for everything this week..." a day late and a dollar short " as the expression goes.
okay..this days post is on hold the 'ex' needs me to help with my daughter and I gotta go, I effin' hate being used, last week I could not see her in her house, BUT IT"S MY KID AND I LOVE HER, AND MISS HER, so I'll suck up the bullshit...again....
hopefully back to finish tonight..
Hope you enjoyed the poetry...let me know what you think,
DAVE>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Poetic License

hello everybody;
I hope you are all enjoying this glorious day.
I am taking a "Sunday Drive" today, a slight detour to PoetryLand, so either logout now or settle back and enjoy {?} the ride,
remembering to keep your seatbelt fastened and your hands and arms inside the ride at all times ....
As a disclaimer, I must let you all know that I was requested to post some of these...
SAFETY VALVE
-------------------------
I'M JUST A JUNKIE POET,
FIGHTING TO STAY ALIVE.
LEARNING TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONS
THAT TO YOU, ARE NATURAL,
BUT TO ME, ARE STRANGE AND EXTREME.
I'M DUELING MY DEMONS EVERYDAY,
BUT THIS TIME, I'M USING A PEN,
NOT A SPIKE.
THIS TIME, I CHOOSE MY OWN BATTLE GROUND,
THIS TIME, I CLOTHE MYSELF IN THE ARMOR OF MEMORY.
I SEE THOSE I LOVE,
AND THOSE I HATE, FALL BY THE WAYSIDE.
DEATH IS STILL A CONSTANT COMPANION,
THOUGH NO LONGER MY PARTNER
IN SELF DESTRUCTION.
NO LONGER RUNNING FROM THE FUTURE,
NO LONGER HIDING FROM THE PAST.
I MAY BE POOR, BUT I AM NEVER DESTITUTE,
AT TIMES I MAY BE DESPERATE,
BUT I AM NEVER DESPAIRING.
I NOW STRIVE INSTEAD OF STRUGGLE,
I'M JUST A JUNKIE POET,
WRITING TO STAY CLEAN
--------------
DBC-3/20/00
-----------------
------------------
Remember When
------------------
------------------
Remember when:
Love and pain weren't synynomous
Youth and innocence were
Horror was just at the movies
Villians always wore black hats
And terror came from a rollercoaster ride
*
Remember when:
Loss was only a ball score
Heroine ended wiyh an e
Coke came in green glass bottles
Needles were for embroidery
And nobody carried guns in school
*
Remember when:
Lonelyness meant your best friend was on vacation
Emptiness could be filled with a cookie
Happiness was a normal state of mind
Depression was a hole in the ground
And insanity happened to other people
*
Remember when:
Dads were heroes
Moms were goddesses
Only goldfish ever died
Each day lasted a lifetime
And the night was our friend
*
Remember when:
Evil was only fiction
Goodness was unambigous
Fantasies were harmless escape
Dreams were untapped potential
And hope shaped our lives
****************
Remember When?
--------------------
dbc.......9/16/01
***********
identity
---------
---------
who am i?
the only question that really matters,
we define ourselves by our perception
of self, of our place in the grand scheme of things.
we measure ourselves on the yardstick of another's perception,
of the niches we fill in their lives.
who am i?
the ultimate revelation,
do i matter?
am i a part of the whole?
or just a mote in the eye of time?
a byte of lost data in the cosmic computer?
----------
dbc....12/13/99
------------------
-------------------
A Lover's Prayer
******************
******************
I long to worship at the Cathedral of your Love
**To kneel at the altar of your sex
***To taste the sacrament of you upon my tongue
****To experience the Transubstantiation.
I ache to bring upon you the Rapture
**To unite in the Holy Trinity's of -- You, Me, Us;
***Mind, Body, Soul.
I desire the Ecstasy of the "Little Death"
**To be Resurrected in you, of you, and by you.
In you I seek my Revelation
**And through the Sound and the Fury,
***To reach the Power and the Glory.
.......................................................................................Amen.
dbc 11/28/99 { for M. }
******
********
Inner Vision
********
Don't tell me about MY reality
*Don't try to delineate MY illusions
YOU have not walked in my shoes
*YOU have not lived in my skin
----
Where YOU see a crazy man
*Talking to himself on the bus
I see a kndred soul
*Crying out for solace to a deaf world
----
YOU may have some sympathy
*But you'll never understand
YOU see only the facade
*I see Insanity from the Inside
----
Where You see a diamond
*Sharp edged bright and beautiful
I see a house of mirrors
*Trapping me in the midst of endless reflections
----
So DON"T tell me about MY reality
*If I can't define it
How the Hell can YOU
*Blinded by the light of your ego
--------
dbc...1/11/00

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"The Weather Is Here...Wish You Were Beautiful"

Hi there;
What a beautiful day!!
Library is closing so I just wanted to clarify a point that some asked me about.
When I am speaking about anything relating to the homeless and their/our thoughts or feelings, it is accumulated anecdotal evidence garnered through conversation and eavesdropping and direct questions. it is not scientific polling, but unless I state that it is MY opinion, or MY feeling..etc. it is a true bill......LOL....you either get it or you don't !!
Bye.....Dave