Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Deepest, Darkest Despair

“Here, take this,” I said to Ferret handing him a 20 oz Coca-cola and a bag of beef jerky from the convenience store up the road.

“I fuckin’ want to die,” he said as he sat sulking behind the furniture warehouse.

A tear rolled down his cheek.

“You don’t want to die,” I said. “You just need a reason to live.”

“What did you do when you were homeless?” he asked, wiping the tear away.

“I sure as hell didn’t hang around where a lot of people are, like you do,” I replied. “People are bad news when you are homeless.”

“I don’t have a fuckin’ car, I don’t have a fuckin’ job,” he said, slurring his words. “I don’t have a fuckin’ life.”

“You have a fucking choice and that is far more than most people get,” I said, growing angry.

I didn’t have time for a drunken pity party today. I’ve shed a few tears in my beers, so to speak, and it was always a useless endeavor that never really made you feel better. Your emotions are heightened when drunk and you will say and do things you normally wouldn’t do.

“Come by the house and get yourself cleaned up and I will let you borrow a clean shirt and some pants,” I told him. “That way you can try for the job opening at the grocery store.”

“I’m not bagging groceries for chump change,” Ferret told me, adamantly.

“Fine,” I said as I began to walk home. “Fucking starve to death. See if I care.”

Deep down, I did care. More than Ferret would ever know, but males can’t show such affection without being labeled with the “homosexual” moniker. I’ve been in Ferret’s shoes and I‘ve cried in my beer many times. You know what scares me the most? I am a case of suds away from being right back where I started: Living in a tent in the woods and freezing my ass off as I drank and smoked myself into oblivion. At least, I didn’t constantly whine and bitch about it like this Homeless Guy while doing nothing to change my life.

Ferret’s one saving grace is that summer is on the way. I know all too well those cold winter mornings, homeless. My homelessness taught me to look at the change of the seasons in a completely different way. I’ve often reminisced about being homeless and prayed to my gods to once again be “set free” as I like to call it. If there is a god, I want to thank him for unanswered prayers and Ferret’s predicament pounds that home with a resounding jolt to my good senses.


LAB said...

Your a good friend even if Ferret is not looking at it that way right now. Just keep trying and he will eventually come around.

Here's hoping!

Cheryl said...

You are strong, and brave, and fight the fight every day. I hope Ferret gets his act together and straightens up. Not many people would be as generous to Ferret as you are. You are being a good friend, and he's a lucky guy.

Bianca said...

nossa gente eu tinha colocado outros comentarios aqui!
mas alguem apagou!
por tanto naum passarei mais nesse blog!
querer reclamar comigo pode falar
bom gostava muito da ki!
ainda gosto...
mas depois disso!
fikei triste!:(
por favor não apaga isso!
sou de BRASILIA e vou muito ai...
me add no msn:D ok\o/
bjusss para todo mundo!
e gosto muito de falar minha lingua!
by: Bianca M.

Melanie said...

it's hard to know...sometimes, that sort of brusqueness can be just what a person needs to galvanize them into action. or maybe it won't, but either way, you have been a better friend to him than anyone could ever expect. and to hell with "monikers", there's nothing wrong with a human being caring deeply about another human being, regardless of the plumbing involved. but i know you're a southern gentleman, ever mindful of such things as you've been raised to be.

kato said...

I suppose when my friends ask me if I want to go camping, to which I reply: "I don't work 49 weeks in the year to pretend I'm homeless on my 3 weeks off.." is a bit insensitive in reference to your touching story.


austere said...

Someday when I'm down and out, I want you to read that riot act out to me, please.
He's darn lucky to have you around. Wait, sense will creep in by and by.

SOULMANGE: said...

well, first, yes you are a good friend. a lot of people would, and do lose patience with people who "choose" to live on the street. you told him of a job opportunity, but what? minimum wage is less than he can get pan - handling? i don't get it. chump change is better than no change...or free change. THAT is the true chump change. and i am not trying to be cruel here. i too have been homeless. a few times in my earlier years. not due to alcohol or drugs either. it was just pure dumb bad luck and circumstances. but i did what i had to to survive. and i had to do it without friends like you..i did it with NO friends at all. i took what jobs i could take, be them daily, or weekly...they were honest and legal. i also sold and pawned what little i had, and also had to pan-handle a few times myself...not for booze, but actually to eat, or have a motel for a night. just to do it all over again the next day. so, weather it's in the Bible or not..i believe it to be true.. God DOES help those who help themselves. not in a selfish way...in a surviving way. so much in religion is taken out of context anymore. people do a lot worse than work in a grocery store to keep a roof over their head and food in their belly. no... it isn't always a choice. but ya do what you have to in times like those. and it's when you humble yourself...and "help" yourself.. that you see God..(your own God) work miracles.
Ferret is obviously a smart guy. he knows how to use the internet...he can read, write, remember scripture...so obviously he is bright. the guy has options. he only needs to use them. give him my best.
and look at his stubbornness as a lesson in your own life. where he is, is not a place that you want to return. i know i don't want to be there again.
take care, guy. and try not to be mad at him. sometimes somebody's situation isn't their lesson...it is for someone else.

(BTW>>>am I the only one who can't read these word verification things? i'm always having to do them again, and again... i cannot see!)

Terri said...

you have a wonderful and knowing perspective and Ferret should recognize that; its a good thing you are around to help him in whatever way you can and if he can't recognize that right now, he will soon and you will still be there. Thanks for a great post.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Ypu are a good friend and good friends just don't give up. I hope that Ferret will reach out and take your helping hand.

Kahnee said...

thank God for unanswered prayers

Dorid said...

I am always a little surprised at some of the blogs by the homeless. For so many of them they act as though in general, homelessness is a lifestyle choice. I don't think anyone CHOSES homelessness. I think it's just that some people don't know how to chose NOT to be homeless.

One of the interesting things I've learned is that there seem to be a couple different catagories of homelessness, the long term homeless tend to have inadequate treatment for mental health issues, or alcoholism. Median term tend to be unemployed or underemployed single well people.. and short term tend to be the abused, ill or disabled, or functional drug and alcohol dependent. The sad thing is that no matter what the circumstances are that lead to homelessness, in most cases there IS a functional system in place to get you OUT of homelessness.

I had been reading one blog by a homeless man who traveled cross country continuously. He claimed to want work, to want a stable place to live, but every time he started in a program (even ones I knew for a fact to be GOOD ones in tolerant states) the next time he blogged he'd be blogging from 5 states away that he was in another lousy situation.

I think that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can decide to pick yourself back up. Maybe that's what's happening with Ferret. If he feels this bad... and it isn't just a transiant emotion, he may be more willing to try to stop drinking, give himself over to some sort of program or treatment center, and get some help.

Yes, I know that can be an aweful experience as well. I've heard about loss of freedom and feelings of oppression, but I guess in the long run that's a lot better to go through than dying.

Augs Casa said...

I'm sorry to hear Ferret did not take your help. Hopefully he will straighten out soon. All you can do is offer to help. I'm proud of you amigo.

Beantown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenera Healy said...

Sometimes we need a reminder of the things that we have overcome so that we can keep on the right track. You are being a good friend to him even if he cannot see it.


KoRnxKrEeP said...

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