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....


JTS said...

I think this is going to be an awesome series and I'm curious to see where it leads you because I've pondered the same questions and dealt with the same reactions so many times. Awesome idea... carry on!

Connie Wolf said...

Go for it Stan. If you look hard enough I'm sure you'll find that some have stories that will break your heart, some are looking for just enough money for a bottle and a pack of cigarettes and some are just passing through. The stories need to be told by someone just like you.

alphawoman said...

I eagerly look forward to this series. Sometimes I turn my head away and other times I hand out a $5 bill. Once I was in a line at Wendy's with the window down and someone approached my car and asked for money to eat. I screamed. He really startled me and I felt so bad afterwards.

Flying Monkey said...

I applaude you for doing this project and can't wait to read more. Have you heard about Ted Williams' story? Very moving interview.

Connie Wolf said...

Ok, so THIS is where I'm suppose to post my link for Snipplets in Time?"> Snipplet

Connie Wolf said...

Let's try this one more time.

Jingle said...

keep it up..

the world needs more kindness.
Thanks for the sweet comment in my blog.

b said...

Hi, its me b. I haven't been back to the Sunday Scribbling community for a while. Your idea for an article caught my eye. I helped feed the homeless here in Tucson at the Catholic Church lately and was surprised at the yearning the men had for attention and affection. It did make me very sad. Their only family was the one gathered there on that night.

I think that the community of homeless are like the neighborhood we live in. There are all kinds of people that find themselves on the streets. I think the two commonalities we would find are poor education and mental illness/mental disabilities. It may that society failed them as much as we failed them.


Amy Luskey-Barth said...

Stan, This is a great project! I look forward to reading.

Linda May said...

I always feel sad when I see something like that but , yeah I know bad girl,,,I am scared to get involved. A lot of the people who are homeless have multi problems with drug and alcohol abuse plus mental problems. Begs the question, cause or effect of society?
I was walking down the street in Melbourne one day and holding hands with my Hubby just being happy when we were passed by a fellow, obviously a derelict of our affluent society who clicked his tongue and shook his head then looked at our hands cynically and laughed in our faces. God how I wished I knew his story and what made him like that.

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.