Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Homestead...

Spent some time this morning in the cold helping Ferret carry the last of his belongings to his campsite.  The campsite is a mess and looks just like some ne'er do well homeless person has set up home. Beer cans are everywhere.  An old fire pit sits with half burned trash hanging out of it.   Ferret's belongings are scattered about under a tarp tied between trees. 

"You're going to draw attention to yourself," I warned Ferret.

He didn't seem too concerned.  It is paramount to be stealthy when homeless. 

The cold is already getting to him.  Ferret walked all the way down to Wal-Mart to buy some warmer clothes.  He changed in the bathroom and threw his perfectly good clothes away in the trash can.

"I didn't want to have to carry them," Ferret told me as he regaled me in this tale.

I shook my head in disbelief as Ferret is going all about this the wrong way.

I then sat down for a long time as Ferret drank beer and we talked.  They don't sell beer here on Sundays in the Bible Belt so he had to stock up the day before.  I don't know where Ferret is getting all this money, and I am afraid to ask.   I noticed it was expensive beer.  Budweiser.   Beer I could never afford when I was homeless. 

"Ferret, what are you doing to do?" I asked of his homelessness genuinely concerned.

"I am going to drink myself to death," he replied with an air of joking as he laughed. 

"Don't you have goals and aspirations?"

"What are your goals?" Ferret asked me dodging the question.

"To go back to work.  To buy a new computer.  To cherish my car that was stolen when I get it back.  I am putting a lot of stock in vocational rehabilitation. I also want to get into digital photography."

"I've never had goals," Ferret said. "I just live."

Oh, how I knew how he felt.  I've never had goals as well until recently.  My remission from my schizophrenia had spurred me onwards to think ever more progressively.  To work.  To have the self esteem of supporting myself.  To be able to afford my favorite hobby: computers.  I know all too well how Ferret is thinking, though.  I've been there myself, homeless and aimless.  It is a quagmire of a bottomless pit that is hard to dig out of.  My family saved me from that quagmire.  Unfortunately,  Ferret is on his own. 


C.A. said...

Andrew that's the thing about your "remission"'s allowing you to see clearly the differences between a life that has been and a life that is and can be. It's so hard when friends are making bad choices and you want to help. The thing I always try to keep first and forefront is to remember I have no control over anyone elses behavior, choices or decisions...just my own. Sometimes just making good choices for ourselves proves to be difficult. You're a good friend to Ferret, and like I said before, you are now a good role model for him. It must be hard for you to see him in his current condition, because it's obvious you care very much about what happens to him.

I keep looking at your sobriety counter and feeling proud of you...youre doing wonderfully!



ac said...

Congratulations on digging yourself out of that pit. That's quite an accomplishment! You should be very proud of yourself. If life is what you make of it then yours is definitely on a good track having set goals for yourself. I'll be here reading and wishing you well as you move ever closer to achieving them. ac

Summer said...

This makes me smile, to hear you speak of these things. Me and ac are are going to be your biggest fans!

Cheryl said...

Ferret has been down before, and managed to be sober for a while. As much as you want this for him, he has to want it for himself, and he's not there yet. Like you said, his way of living is going to come to the attention of someone who won't tolerate his carefree and careless ways. I hope for his sake and for your's, as his friend, that he comes to his senses soon. You are a good person for wanting to help him.

mago said...

When I read that you sat down with Ferret to talk in earnest I admit that I had to look for the counter - I was very reliefed to find it okay and counting ... hope it does for a long time coming.

mosiacmind said...

It is so good isn't it when one gets sober and can see how they were and how they are now. I doubt if I would be alive if I still was using so many years. I think that your goals are really great. I think that if I were you I would ask the bvr person about taking some classes in digital photos and such as you know i do not bs with you nor do you with me and i do think you could make an income with your photos.......

Tee said...

Choices, that's the bottom line.