A sign of the times. (wasn’t it written in revelations? )
But seriously. Since about the tail end of the reign of Bush, I have carried cannabis, gift cards and dog food in my car. Because of the massive rise in homelessness I saw.
I do what I can. Dog food for those with dogs. Gift cards for local grocers and or some weed for the humans.
Sometimes I think the weed does the most good of all. Something most seem absolutely astonished and thankful to receive. Something that both relieves some pain and gives some hope. Other then a $100 bill there’s nothing I’ve given a homeless person that has lit up their faces like dog food or a handful of cannabis.
And to be clear- I spent several years of my life homeless. After a back injury left me unable to really work, and before I learned how to deal with the constant pain. And of course- during the time when I could be screwed by an insurance company and then continually screwed by a pre-existing condition. Thanks- but no thanks- I don’t want your opiates. Though I suppose someday I am going to have to take the surgeries you should have offered me two decades ago. And then you can deal with the problems caused by frostbite sleeping behind a dumpster in the Chicago winters. And the…well…as chevy chase used to say “fuck you very much”…
So I’ll finish this rant with an observation. The bulk of the homeless aren’t the one’s you see at the offramp with their signs. Nor outside the crocery store. Nor the streetcorner. They are the one’s you never see. The one’s with their eyes down as you pass them on the street. The ones you aren’t quite sure why you startled…. The ones like you or me- who never saw this coming and fell guilt and shame about it.
Because, let’s face it. Bush drove america into the ground. And while Obama and the last of the sense of congress stopped the freefall, obama and the unprecedently dividided congress have been unable to make many inporvements. And millions of americans hover, or fall over that cusp where one accident, one illness, one outsourcing, one republican governor…can send them over that lip.
There, but for the grace of god, go I… What is, or should be, the new american mantra.