Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Lion - Part 2

Anna waves to me from McDonald's. I wave back halfway. I say halfway because my hand drops and I turn away halfway through it. I am embarrassed. She saw me, the me that has no heart, fold in front of those two Tree People. She dosen't understand. They invoked the ghosts with their words that day. I didn't run from them. I ran from who they called. I know them. They know me those Tree People. They are Hurters and Hurters scare me. They scare me real bad. They smell my fear and know just like I smell the old pain that sticks to them. Their skin is washed in the tears of others and dried with the breath from their cries.

"I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do" loops in my head like a bad song. I need to move. To go somewhere. Anywhere. I pull my hood up. I like my hood. When it is up I feel invisible. I need to feel invisible now.

I walk the long way. Instead of taking the path through the woods I walk around them. Not because I am scared. I just need to do it. I head towards the Lambs Center. It is a Christian place. What else could it be with that name? People go there and sit outside. They have a shower they let people use during certain hours. I never get the hours right so I never get to take a shower there. They also have two washing machines and dryers. Usually only the washer works. The dryer does but it takes forever to dry the clothes. It is free and the list of people that want to use it is very long. Sometimes I get lucky. They let me wash mine when I show up and the person scheduled for that time doesn't. I am not carrying anything much today. Just my daypack with a few things in it that I don't want to take the chance on them being stolen.


  1. Interesting. I deal with homeless in my sector daily. I have been able to put them into 2 groups. The first and most perdominant are the users, or your Hurters. They know my ugly side. To offer help to these would only be enabling them to continue.

    The others are the quiet ones much like your Lion here. I hope someday I'll find what it is I am supposed to do to help these people. Thankfully for the most part they know I have to treat them the same as the Hurters and will move on when I approach them.

    Jim in MO.

  2. Hey Jim,

    I have no answers. I know that when you work with in a system that over time the system colors everything. Especially the criminal justice system. Burn out from dealing with one too many Hurter and eventually, just for your own mental health, you quit seeing them as people.

    The best I can think to do is always look for the people inside. Well, maybe not always but try and reserve a little bit of you heart just in case.

  3. Agreed. That little part keeps me on the right side of things but I have to keep him in the back or he could get me killed.

    Glad your back.

    Jim in MO.

  4. Bohica here.

    I once had to pass by a homeless encampment on the 43rd St side of the Grace Bldg in NYC.
    Sometimes I felt like crying about their plight, other times I wanted to club them.
    What a sad way to be, for all of us.

  5. Bohica,

    I know. I see them everyday. For me it is about 80% club, 20% damn....