Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Least of Us

Rosa picked me up a sandwich from the local diner for supper last night. Toasted white bread piled high with roast beef, American cheese, mashed potatoes, and gravy. It was sloppy, but oh so delicious. I had to eat it with a fork and knife. I finished off the meal with a large portion of steak fries dipped in corn syrupy ketchup. I could feel my arteries clogging for the hours after the meal.

This morning we went on our normal walk. That homeless woman I had spoken about in a previous post was hanging out at the convenience store by the post office. I have a soft heart for anyone undergoing such rigors. The heat lately has been oppressive and I was worried about her.

"I want to rescue her," I told Rosa as we passed by, watching her sit on the sidewalk.

"You will get yourself in a world of shit," was Rosa's reply.

"I just feel a certain kinship with homeless people."

"I try to forget I was ever homeless," Rosa said. "You should, too."

Rosa's blithe response this morning to the woman's predicament surprised me. It was almost as if she was jealous of my diverted attention. I have thought for the rest of the morning of driving down there and asking that homeless woman if she wanted to try the Rescue Mission in Columbus. I realize Rescue Missions are horrible places, though. Filled with depressing people and even more depressing environs. It is kind of like a modern day concentration camp. It is hard to believe they go about their mission in the name of Christianity as they afford a homeless person little dignity. Maybe, the homeless lady is just fine where she is at for the moment. I should leave well enough alone.

I don't know what is up with me these days. I seem to have homelessness upon the brain. I dream grand dreams of pulling on my big Kelty backpack and setting out for a long walk about America. Rosa and Maggie keep me tethered to home. "You just don't understand," I told my father of my homeless dreams last night during our medication ritual. Strange dreams. Even stranger longings. They are all apart of my life these days. Excuse me while I drive down to the library and find that book about the man who walked around the Southeast during the seventies, homeless. I can live vicariously through the written words of that book for a few days.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is very awe inspiring and i have favourited it. Keep cool man, and always look on the bright side of life. God is watching and taking care of you.

madamspud169 said...

It sounds like you have been well & truly bitten by the wanderlust bug. It's not easy to work through I seem to get bitten every couple of years or so but a short break somewhere new or a holiday usually sorts me out.
I always want to help any homeless person I see so they can get out of that situation they are in & I'm happy to say I have two now ex homeless people to get not only a home but also employment, the last person I offered to help & allowed to live in my home managed to rob me blind which took away my willingness to offer my hand.
Sometimes the few really do ruin things for others & I have never felt inclined to offer my friendship & help to another in such a personal way.

Portia said...

if you had not been homeless you might not relate the same, but i get the feeling you would still have compassion for this lady.

reading about your dinner was mouth-watering...i think i will take an early lunch:)

Lordmanilastone said...

you have such a heart of gold that if you could, you would have taken that woman with you home, but i think it isn't that easy, things might get complicated, i also feel for homeless people on the streets and how i wish i was as rich as Bill Gates to be their providers, i know you can find ways to help them in simple little ways, God is truly watching you and he knows your heart^^

w. wright said...

May your path carry you further upstream: where does that small voice come from, who is he that whispers about a homeless life? We are never truly homeless... are u fit enough for the journey? I guess i'm still on my roadtrip... i wish u all the best.

Blue said...

You can't always expect people to understand why you feel compassion toward another. Perhaps rather than taking her to a mission, just making sure she's got plenty of water would be good? As you've pointed out, it's been scorchingly hot the last few weeks, but that mission sounds scary on the best of days.

Trail said...

I think blue has the right idea.. maybe a drive by food drop where there is no commitment on her part to do anything and you leave feeling like you did something

Janna Seliger said...

Some find a homeless lifestyle to be freeing. It's all up to personal preference, really.

By the way, awesome blog. I, too, am far too medicated for my own good and ravaged by more mental illnesses than I can keep track of anymore. You should check out my blog sometime. I'll add a link to yours on my own.

Gern said...

I am more concerned with your feelings to scoot. I think it's a 'fight or flight' thing. My brother suffers with mental illness and your writings remind of him. Whenever he gets himself into a good situation it seem that he wants to self destruct. Please understand that I love your blog (and by the way you are a fantastic writer.) I just make my comments because I'm worried about you and my brother.

Stay well my friend.

Portia said...

you inspire me and have been given an award to that end:) it is posted on my blog today.
this is not to obligate you to do the meme, but rather to let you know - or remind you - that you have quite a positive influence on the world, and you are appreciated.

Tee said...

You are referring to "Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins and "The Walk West" by Barbara and Peter Jenkins. He found a wife on the way. The last report I heard about them they settled down in Franklin, TN. Great reads!

Cheryl said...

You've always wanted to wander, to feel free. I know it's hard to find the balance. Blogs and books are a great way to live vicariously. I's be lost without them.