Friday, June 27, 2008

thursday afternoon

He called and asked me to show him around and I was happy to oblige. We talked and he asked good questions, curious and unfamiliar. We walked the building and he's quiet, polite to those we pass. I can't read him, I can't tell if this is horrible or painful or what the hell, maybe it's boring. When we finish we are standing in the sun. A question, he says. I turn and wait. I mean, this is....where is the dignity? Is this the best...is this the best we can do?

I know he's not talking about my work but the reason my work exists, the walking wounded lining the fence watching us right now. It's hard to wrap your head around, isn't it? I tilt my face towards the sky I mean, it's really some kind of bullshit, people having to survive like this. It's the worst kind of bullshit I know. He doesn't expect that, we don't know each other and until now I've been keeping it on the level. I can see he's been affected by his visit and yet I don't know what that means. I've just never thought of it like this, he says.

And that's the problem in general, I say and touch his arm gently and we look at each other still two strangers and yet maybe somehow not but it's too soon to tell.

It's not for everyone, this.

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22 comments:

Pgoodness said...

good for you, being honest like that.
I read an article about homelessness the other day, about how bad it is in California and Florida because the weather is so mild and I thought of you and all you do to help. You are awesome.

kristen said...

i'm glad you told this dude your true feelings. i imagine the "never thinking it would be like this" is common, after a walk through. i don't think anyone could be the same after that.

Beck said...

It's VERY hard to wrap my head around, very.

Sober Briquette said...

{{jen}}

I hope he was someone with some pull and a whole lot of depth.

Omaha Mama said...

You always know how to put it in words. Bullshit.
Yes.

Aliki2006 said...

I hope...I hope.

Magpie said...

i am curious - was it a potential donor or staffer?

make the connections one at a time...

Kyla said...

I always marvel at how wonderful you are at what you do.

thailandchani said...

Maybe just the fact that he asked in that way is indicating a shift in consciousness of some type.

crazymumma said...

I was in the downtown core a couple of weeks ago, riding my bike thru one of the nastier areas. and it was heavy. When you are out of the area for some time you forget.
I am wondering who this person is. I am hoping it might be someone who can affect some change.

crazymumma said...

I was in the downtown core a couple of weeks ago, riding my bike thru one of the nastier areas. and it was heavy. When you are out of the area for some time you forget.
I am wondering who this person is. I am hoping it might be someone who can affect some change.

flutter said...

do you even know how much more bearable you make the bullshit?

Do you?

Amy Y said...

I never thought about it, either. I know you're right in that that's the problem.
Thank you for helping us do better.

Emily said...

I've missed this space.

My computer used to freeze up everytime I tried to open your blog. But now, my computer has called a truce and miraculously healed itself, as things sometimes do.

You are an inspiration. You have a way of opening our eyes...

And I am happy to be back in your jungle.

TEOM said...

Will be very interested to see where this goes...

Wayfarer Scientista said...

hi! just to let you know I'm back. It's damn good being back too...to "see" you. Going to go catch up now....

Hetha said...

"And that's the problem in general"...it most definitely is jen, but you are really changing that with your writing.

Janet said...

Thankfully it is for some, or we would be in even worse shape. Thank god for you.

meno said...

Yes, it's easier to ignore than to try and find them that dignity.

It's a beautiful question.

painted maypole said...

ha ha... magpie asked my question. ;)

hele said...

jen for president

QT said...

It never stops being a shock, really