I stopped off at the convenience store this morning. My favorite clerk fronted me a cup of coffee as I am penniless.
"I'll pay you back as soon as I get some money," I told him.
"Don't worry about it," he replied with a smile. "I pour out as much as I make these days."
The coffee was wonderful on this cold morning. The temperature was right at freezing and that hot coffee warmed my numb hands.
I then sat out on the wall beside the convenience store watching people coming and going. Most were headed for work -- something so foreign to me. I thought about my life these past few years -- the life of the gilded one. Not a day goes by that I don't wake up thinking about homelessness and my own bout with it. Life seems too easy these days. I wonder when the ball is about to drop.
This morning in the predawn dark before leaving the house, I turned my heat up from 65 degrees to 78. I popped an apple Danish into the microwave for ten seconds to warm it. I wasn't taking all this for granted this morning. I thought of all the people sleeping out-of-doors on this cold morning. The huddled masses packed into Rescue Missions and shelters to sleep in warmth. People standing in line to get a meager breakfast of handouts from more affluent society. Here I was, sitting in my very warm home, eating my very easy and delicious breakfast, not deserving any of this. If it wasn't for my father, I would still be sleeping in the woods, drinking beer, and living the life of a lost one.
My neighbor, Joyce, is home. She has been in the mental hospital for over two weeks. I can't even imagine being gone that long. She called me last night just to talk and we talked for over an hour.
"I thought I would never get home," she told me.
"You sound well," I replied.
"They finally got my medications straightened out."
"Try to take it easy these next few days," I told her.
She agreed. She was going to watch lots of her favorite soap operas, cook good meals, and get plenty of rest.
"I'm just glad I am no longer psychotic and paranoid."
"I can understand all too well," I replied.
There is nothing scarier that losing your mind. Everything in life is dependant upon that big organ in your cranium.