Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Forlorn Ones

Still can't sleep for thinking of all the homeless out there. Ones that were like me -- lost, helpless, wounded, without anywhere to go home to. The ones without families to coddle them like mine. I become deluded thinking I must live like that -- my cross to bear. I never talk about it in my real life much for not wanting to upset Rosa or my family. I write about it in excess though -- grand lists of preparations. Determined this time to 'do it right'. Visiting Campmor and looking for hours at all the survival and camping gear I could order. I keep thinking I am far too intelligent to live like your average homeless person. That I have the skills and knowledge to make it a pleasurable experience -- an adventure. Like Don Quixote tackling a windmill, I want to tackle my own deluded dreams of living sans home. It is a fitting aphorism for my madness.

I lay there in bed a moment ago. Thinking. Thoughts of people in sleeping bags in the bottom of doorways and alleys. People with sheets of cardboard for a bed. Great throngs of sweaty, unwashed men grouped together like sardines in a tin inside Rescue Missions. The eyes of sad children, hungry and homeless. Worried mothers, helpless, not sure of what to do next. Their lives being blown like feathers in the wind. Vulnerable and many of them harmless, the waste product of societies madness and avarice. Many of them sleeping out of doors to not be institutionalized like me when I was homeless. The mentally ill -- fearful of medications because that is the way, 'the solution', the convenient way society deals with the insane.

Bleary eyed, I leave Rosa in the bed to come and write about it. To get my thoughts down and out of my head with the hopes that by doing so I will get some release from these images that haunt me. I harbor a keen sensitivity and empathy for people experiencing such plights. I think I shall go curl up in the bed with a novel -- like all those nights I spent as a child under the covers with a flashlight trying not to disturb my brother or alert my parents. That would always make me sleep so well afterwards.

I sometimes think there is nowhere for me to go to get comfort and solace — no base, no point of reference for me in the whole universe, how utterly alone I am in my madness, I can't continue on. That is when I write. It is like standing at the edge of a precipice and almost losing your footing, you can't go on, your mind won't let you. I try and shake loose these thoughts -- the precipice being my urge to be homeless again and dwelling on such predicaments. Writing seems to help -- the balm that soothes my wounds.


Nikita1 said...

Hi Andrew, not posting on your blog for a while, but still reading it! Fantastic writing as always....really looking forward to your pictures...!take care! nikita

PipeTobacco said...


I think you do yourself a disservice by suggesting you are a "crazy person". While I know you are using the word in the vernacular of the day, I would like to cast my opinion that you are anything but "crazy." Granted you may have an illness, and a mental one at that... but it is really only a difference from the "norm" or standard. And think about it... everyone has deviations away from the norm (or if they do not, they are so dull no one notices them). Whether it is a mental ailment or a physical ailment, most of us have one sort or another. What we each do is simply compensate for our differences in ways that a) helps us function, b) helps us utilize in the best ways we can what is "different", and c) allows us to still strive to make a difference in life... to make a "mark".

A simple example first.... a person who has significant myopia. Such a person will a) wear glasses, even if they are very thick glasses so he can function, b) uses his medically corrected vision to accomplish day-to-day tasks, and c) this person could use his vision to help him create beautiful art or photographs.

Now, for a more complex example....person with a mental condition. Such a person will a) take appropriate medications to minimize the negative symptoms of his condition, b) use his mind to accomplish the necessary day-to-day tasks, and c) use his mind that may look at the world a little "differently" to create new ideas.

I say you are doing a damn fine job in your own life. There is no set of correct "instructions" on how to live. You are doing what is wonderful... you are living life, day-to-day... exploring the world to look for adventures (just look at a partial list... the hanging with the gang, being with Rosa, the camping, the photography, the possible art classes, the new house, and etc.) And, dammit, you know full well that your writing is wonderful and that your efforts there are a definite way you give to the world and accomplish something for the betterment of society.

So, in my long-winded way, I guess I am simply saying... you are doing a helluva good job. Do not let the anonymous yahoos get you down, do not think you have to conform to any prescribed ideals other than ones you set for yourself and WANT to do.

Keep up what you do... because it is good... and it helps society.


Barb said...

Wow, Pipe smoker is a great person. He searches himself to affirm you at every fork in your road. Cudos to him.

I see you as a social worker, as a spiritual gift from God. You empathsize, you care, you dream of big things for others, you have hope, all things are to me as being social justice issues that you could share for the good of the less fortunate. That is what I think!

Enjoy your day.

mago said...

The professor is - in a very american way I'd say - very right.
"There is no set of correct "instructions" on how to live."
Gives the single person value, responsibility and freedom. All belonging together. Rooted in the humanistic idea of the worth of the single human being, that in itself is deeply rooted in the christian idea of humanity, and caritas.

What you are talking about reminds me of Ahashver, he who is always wandering. Is it a deep inner urge, is it an escape (what from?), is it pointed to somewhere? Is it just an imagination?
Literature is an ongoing conversation over times and ages. You have plenty of energy, you can express yourself, writing - and probably painting (what about this class or teacher of painting you were writing about emphatically some time earlier?) - so use that energy and create! Texts, pictures, images, paintings - it is all there, you have the possibilities. The alc is just one thing on the way, it is simply not worth to rule your life. Your life is yours, and you are worth it, because you are a human being. In a way I just repeated PipeTobacco's words, so it's not a very original comment.

CJM-R said...

People who aren't afraid to put themselves out there, like yourself,are the ones that make a mark on society.

You will go places with your writings, I have no doubts!

jane said...

andrew, thanks for sharing yourself. i love what pipe tobacco wrote by the way, and second his feelings.


You are tremendous.
Your writings help me even. Thank you for you.
I hope this finds you very well!!!!