Who are the homeless?  Why do I care?  Should I care?  Can I help?  Should I help?  Do they want help or just money?  Is giving them money good?...or bad?

Questions?...Questions?...Questions?...always questions. 

What are the answers?  Where are the answers?  Are there any answers?

Do they have the answers, any answers?

I know I don't have the answers, only the questions.

I pulled in the parking place by the rear door of my business.  A tall shaggy haired, unshaven man was sitting by my door as if he were waiting for me, but I knew he wasn't.  I had seen him around the business park for the last couple of years.  I had even given him a few odd jobs.

He used the door knob to help pull his tall, thin frame into a standing position.
I asked him a stupid question.  "Are you homeless?"  It was a stupid question because we both knew he was homeless.  It was a stupid question because it embarrassed him

I have found out that the question, "Are you homeless?", creates a defensive and fearful attitude.

His answer was defensive.  "I work for the businesses around here."

His brown eyes darted as if he was looking for a place to run.

"Can I ask you some questions?" I stuttered.

He grabbed his bicycle with three plastic bags filled with his belongings tied in various places, a guitar case hanging on the handle bars and a flat tire. He started to walk a way but decided to stop and tell me about an invention of his.  He knew his invention would make him rich but he couldn't tell anyone about it because they would steal it from him.

When he started talking and saw that I was listening, he didn't want to stop. 

He was going to be rich and give all the money to his children.  He had a son that was a great baseball player.  His son could pitch left or right handed with a hundred mile an hour fast ball.  If his son wanted to play basketball he would be better than Kobe but he chose not to play basketball.  He chose to sing. His son had someone who was going to produce his songs.  They just needed to agree on the money side of the deal.

I listened and tried to ask some questions, but my feeble attempts to find out about the man with the bicycle only was landed on deaf ears.  He had an audience and wasn't about to give up the stage.  He went on and on about his son and his invention.

When I tried to find out anything about his invention, he only talked about the people that had tried to steal it.

I finally had to excuse myself and open my business.

Did I learn anything?

Only that this man lived in world of day dreams.  Maybe the world of the homeless is really a "Walter Mitty" world.

Are they caught in a vortex of dreams, spinning in an endless eddy of despair?


I did learn something.  I learned that I need to find a better of way asking my questions.

Next..."Three men in the rain...and the pizza"



may peace and love
find a warm place on your doorstep.
                                                    gs batty

He was standing next to a freeway off-ramp.  It was a harsh day for Southern California.  Temperatures in the forties, rain, and a brisk breeze were his surroundings for the afternoon.

Peace and love hadn't found a warm place on his door step.

He didn't have a door step. 

He only had a place on a freeway off-ramp.  I had a warm and dry place  in my new pick up truck.  I  had worked hard for my new truck.   It was something I had always dreamed about.

He had cold rain dripping off of his nose, and a sign begging for money...
               ...HOMELES - HUNGARY- PLESE HELP - GOD BLESS...

The sign wasn't printed nice and neat like you see the words here.  The letters were crooked, some smaller than other, some misspelled.  They were printed with a black marker on an old piece of soggy cardboard.

Get a job, I thought.  Go out and work for a dollar like I have to.

But the rain, his shivering, his look of despair, touched something in me.  I looked into my center console and it was full a change.  I took a handful and rolled down my window.  When he saw my window lowering he hurried over and extended his hand and I filled it up with loose change. I have no idea how much it was.

His eyes had a thankful look and he smiled and said, "God bless you.  You're the first one today."

It was 3:30 in the afternoon.  What is it that I hear people say all the time?  Oh yea, "they make good money, 2 or 3 hundred a day.  They're doing okay."

The light changed and I drove away.  I thought about going back and giving more but of course I was to busy.  However, I have had lots of second thoughts on the homeless.

Can they work?
Will they Work?
Is it better to look Away?
Are they Criminals?

Do you give a dollar or two, or turn do you you head?

This is the beginning of my series on:

Who are they?  Is it possible to help? first attempts on personal interviews and comparing the used clothing store with Bloomingdale's.

Coming....what does it feel like to stand on a corner (any corner) and beg?

Do you have any thoughts?...experiences?...leave a comment....

About Me

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So Cal, United States
I am an apprentice writer of short stories and I also attempt a little poetry.