Wednesday, September 26, 2007

That Crack House High

Lunch was a greasy-spoon burger all-the-way down at Merl's Diner -- money I shouldn't have spent being almost broke after paying a hefty bill this morning. An empty wallet greeting me after paying for my meal. Ferret accompanied me -- my now un-homeless friend having gathered himself, shaved, taken a shower, and wearing clean clothes. His new living arrangement is humble, but seems to suit him well. His spirits shining brightly with a renewed vigor. Anything is better than that leaky tent in the woods by the river for him.

"I've got to get a job," Ferret told me as we sat eating -- surprising me as Ferret has been so anti-establishment and anti-work lately. "I thought about getting a job at the grocery store in the shopping center bagging groceries."

I agreed it would be a good and simple job for Ferret -- a job he could easily walk to and handle. He would have to curb back his drinking, though, I told him. A twelve pack of 'light' beer every night instead of a 24 pack of 'stout' Budweiser, or that terrible alcoholic swill Ferret so likes such as Steel Reserve or the ice beers. Possibly even just a six-pack.

"Having a safe place to stay picked up my spirits," he told me as he ate his fries with ample ketchup. "It gives me hope that things are going to get better for me. They couldn't get any worse. I tried to tell myself I liked living that way, but it was just my way of coping."

Sometimes, that is all it takes for things to start looking up. A helping hand out of a quagmire of a situation. Homelessness can be a hopeless feeling predicament. Thank God for lucky breaks -- breaks that can make all the difference in a life. Lucky breaks I've read about countless times on the blogs of other homeless people that brought them out of living without a home.

Ferret left me to walk to his mother's house to get his birth certificate with the hopes of obtaining a new state ID for getting a job. I walked back up to the shopping center to sit with Clara and Big S for a while until George showed up. I was so glad to see George and we went for a long drive out into the countryside as we drank beer and talked. George was in fine spirits and regaled me in tales of last night's poker game over at Pookie's house.

"I love her to death," George told me of his girlfriend, Pookie. "But she will get high on that crack and steal everything I own. I don't know what to do with her at times."

George's dysfunctional relationship with his girlfriend amuses me in an understanding way. He never gives up on her. Pookie will do dastardly things to George, but he rarely complains about it. Loving her all the same. Pookie will come down from her crack house high, so sorry, and apologizing profusely to George for him to forgive her. George always does. Each storm is weathered and forgotten only for history to repeat itself.

Near my home there is house in a dilapidated and poor neighborhood where great groups of people go to hang out on the front porch everyday despite the heat -- throngs of cars lining the road. I drive by there often on my way to my parent's house and long to join them, feeling lonely. George was talking about going on a previous day and what he did, accompanied by a friend of the owner of the house.

"We just sat and talked for hours. Shooting the shit and drinking beer," he told me. "It is good to have friends, ya know? People to hang out with. Good folks."

I agreed. It is good to have friends and I urged George to bring me along the next time he went. It is strange how despite my social anxieties I feel so at ease with blue collar, working class people. People of simple means and simple pleasures. My mother is the same -- her best friend being the polar opposite of her own sheltered life, being dirt poor and having a lay-about alcoholic husband who won't work. My mother loves Sandra and feels so at ease around her. They go out to eat every Tuesday night. It reminds me of my own relationship with George and the gang.

Having not really slept for twenty-four hours, I feel a nap coming on. The sleepy embrace of my bed is calling me. I have also read over everything I wrote this past day and it seems I am on a manic high -- the words coming so freely and fast I almost can't get them all down with this computer keyboard. I am worried I wrote too much -- shared too much. I rarely see other people express such emotion and thoughts as I do on my blog and that makes me think I am obviously doing something wrong. People live such guarded lives with guarded feelings and emotion. Afraid that to show them would express weakness and weakness is picked upon and taken advantage of by unscrupulous people. People are obviously being guarded for a reason -- a reason that escapes me. I try to reassure myself that I am anonymous for the most part -- the only clue to my identity being a three year old picture of me on this blog. It is still unsettling anyway.


Anonymous said...

Tis true I'm afraid, I've been told many a time - don't put yourself out there; you'll end up getting abused for your big ole heart...and I do; consistently and repeatly and yet I still ask myself why do I keep setting myself up?
I read you faithfully've inspired me....
I'm sorry I don't blog yet, but I will soon; once I get my thoughts together and come up with something really cool for a header! LOL.

Anonymous Boxer said...

It's people like you, who do open up and share who truly are the strong ones. It's hard for me to be open.

Plus, you're a good writer and that's not easy. Not everyone can do it.

Josie Two Shoes said...

I can understand your anxieties about sharing so much of yourself with us, Andrew. As you know, I do that on my blog too, and later I think "I can't believe I told them that!" In the blogworld there is no "undo" button. But you know, I will continue to share the real me, warts and all, not just the pretty pictures, because that IS me and this IS you. People can either accept you as your are, or read elsewhere. Most of us reading here find you a real treasure - the key word there is REAL! It is the reason I keep coming back.

Sharyna said...

It's me again. Please don't ever stop writing. You inspire me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Andrew, you are brave and strong. Do not are helping more people than you could ever imagine.

SOUL: said...

can i just ditto josie? cuz, ya, that.
take care my brotha

Le Fleur said...

Wonderful day today, isn't it? I just got home from school and I'm going to sleep for a bit before I update my blog. I'm so glad you've been in such high spirits, but now you've got me wondering if I share too much.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I read your blog. I can't tell you what your writing means to me. I just know you're teaching me how to be less cold and open up more. Don't be afraid to "write too much" no such thing.

I have to say your writing is so smooth and that alone sometimes just puts me in awe.

But at the same time I'm sad, when I read you talking about drinking beer with your bud. What can I say? I sort of grown to really think more of you. Dare I say it...been to any good meetings lately? I hope you get back, I know the difference they make. I also know this is your journey. But man, you have got so much to offer...

Lynn from Canada eh

kickenchica said...

Only a few of us are blessed with the writing ability of so much emotion and detail... you carry that Andrew.. God has given each of us as individuals something to help us carry. For you out of all your trials and struggles in life, you share... and you share the hope that we all want to see in ourselves, and those around us. I cant write very well without being drunk... see, so much difference in everyone. I love your stories, I love your thoughts and your writing. You are a book I can not put down! We may not be friends that are on the same street or same state for that matter, but your writings make us all feel as if we are friends with you sharing things most would only tell a close friend. Thanks for your inspiration, thanks for being simply you!

Lo said...

Hey Andrew,
I'm a frequent reader of your blog and I know that you are desperately in need of a digital camera and don't have the necessary funds for a new one right now. I have one that's a few years old, a bit slow, but still takes good shots. I was thinking that you could have it for now until you got some more money for a better one. It's just a solution. What do you think?
email me

abbagirl74 said...

Hey booger. This post made me think really hard about all of our lives and what our purpose is on this earth. We are really all anonymous to even our closest of friends and family. Everyone has part of their identity they don't share 100% - their thoughts.


so true..we are all some's hard though..I see how you feel a bit freaked about it..I'm the same with certain things.. we're strange creatures, us humans! :)