Friday, November 30, 2007

Latent Memories

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. 


Beautifully Profound said...

G'morning Andrew. It's good you are thankful really, you could take everything you have for granted and be a total prick about it. Anyway, I need to get going. Have a good day. I look forward to seeing what kind of photos you will take today. Take care..

SOUL: said...

hey there my brotha

i do like to read about your positive reflections on the past. and how it really "could be'. but thankfully is not.

you ARE deserving of all that you have . if you weren't, you wouldn't have it.

you have seen both sides of this cruel world, and the blessings that each side holds... you are a grateful man... and it shows.
happy friday...enjoy your day, and all that is in it.
you worked hard to get where you are!

Rhette said...

Sometimes it is a good thing to look back at where you have been to remind yourself that you need to go ahead as you are AND you did not get to where you are right now so easily. The ball will not drop for you Andrew because you won't allow that to happen to you again.

I don't think you take anything for granted -- you fight each day to stay grounded & you have been doing just fine. It's because you are so humble that you can relate to the past.

Enjoy the warmth of your home & the warm Danish -- you deserve it! Yes, you have help -- but at the end of the day, YOU get yourself through the difficult times -- that's not easy, that's brave! Give yourself a pat on the back & take some credit for how far you've come, you're doing great!

Happy day to you :)


Cheryl said...

You do deserve the things you have. They're basic necessities of life. Everyone deserves it, and I know you're thankful for all that you have. Your father helped you out when you needed it most and I know you're thankful for that.

Just keep taking your days one at a time and the ball won't drop.

Enjoy this day!

bonnie said...

Andrew, you are truly a survivor, no matter what. I think you know how to find your way. You can trust Andrew. You will be fine.


I'm so glad she's feeling much more balanced than she was before. After my episode of bursting out tears yesterday, I too think I need to get back on some form of med's...something is not balanced within my 3lb'r as of late.

wait, apple danish? YUM!! I love how flaky those are...I can taste the warm apples right now!!

Happy may you have a great day Friday today..I'm glad your neighbor friend is back. Are you guys going to do a mock thanksgiving now?


justLacey said...

I'm so glad that Joyce is home and doing better. How nice too get an unexpected cup of coffee too. Sometimes the little things are the best gifts. Especially when we need them.

Josie Two Shoes said...

What an awesome post, Andrew! It is really good to see you feeling ok about your living situation. You do have a lovely little house that suits you perfectly, a devoted furbaby, and friends all across the country. Not everyone can say that! I'm glad that Joyce is now home safe and sound, and will be good company for you again. I hope you have a great day there in Alabama, am trying to pray you up some snow! :-)

Barb said...


I concur with the previous commentors commending you on your strides that you have taken, and being glad that Joyce is home safe and sound.

I too, am particularily moved to empathize with persons that are less fortunate then I am. The broken of mind, body and spirit. The hungry and cold, those that only look at all of our "stuff" as abundance. May we be more mindful of them, and do what we can to feed and clothe, and love them too.


Portia said...

I think I like that favorite clerk of yours. He seems like a decent fellow.
Try not to be so hard on yourself. I figure life's not fair, so take what you're given because you might not get what you earned. Seriously.

Kelly Jene said...

Everyone deserves happiness and security.

I'm sooo glad Joyce is home and feeling well. I hope she gets lots of rest and continues to improve.

How can you stand being up that early?? Yikes! :)