When a loaf of bread became a feast…I was homeless and having one slice of bread it felt like having Thanksgiving dinner.
When I would dig through the garbage cans praying that somehow someone dropped their wallet in the can, stuffed with money.
I never found one.
God, I have learned is not that kind nor is God that miraculous..
In my life anyway.
The looks of disdain,the glares of fear and stares of judgment from passerby engraved in my heart to this day.
“You’re disgusting and dirty” They cried.
“Get a job” spoke more.
Fleeting glances of fear as if somehow my poverty was catching as people widened the gap between us, or crossed the street to keep away from me. Away from my “poverty”.
When I would Sleep in the back of the car ( a luxury) .
Legs bent in the most awkward of positions because in a car you can’t stretch out your legs.
Never quite resting,,,never quite getting that REM sleep your body craves and needs.
Never ever forgetting the sound of tap tap tap on the window as the old white guys who always seemed to troll nearby stood and offered me “10 bucks for a blow job”.
“No thank you really I’m fine”
Finding your way to a cheap apartment, accepting the help from Welfare because let’s face it overwhelmed,is overwhelming and it is too much to bear..tears streaming down my face as they take my picture:
“Don’t cry miss you’re messing up the photo” she said.
Never ever replacing the loss of pride and dignity that day.
Many people have made sure of that as well.
My life up to then was a travesty.
Manipulating me emotionally over and over and over again.
Brandishing control simply because he had the job.
He made the money.
He brought the food in the house.
So I ran.
First time I was 11.
Sleeping in the bushes because sometimes it does get so bad that sleeping in the bushes is better then being ‘home.’
More to follow 13 15 18 but by then I was free.
Or so I wished.
By the time I was 21 I was done.
I had been overwhelmed all my life and could not stand up to life very well.
Many times I would shake my fist in the air and shout “Why God Why?”
It wasn’t like I did anything.
Sitting in my car one day. I had this wonderful Delta 88 it was old then its fossilized by now.
it was roomy and made a fairly decent house.
No money no food.
I managed to scrape together 5 dollars.
Sitting in my car in the front of “Dunkin Donuts” having just purchased a combo of coffee, a sandwich and a doughnut.
Back when 5 dollars got something for you.
I remember it like it was yesterday tears running down my face, sitting watching the rain.
Holding my treasure of food and coffee for a bit longer before eating it just to have it longer.
Poverty does something to a person.
Angry at God at life at my lot in it wondering why at 21 I was here in a parking lot treasuring a combo like it was life itself.
Why, I demanded was I robbed of everything before I had even had a chance to have it.
“Why God Why?”
Feeling rather sorry for myself and perhaps rightfully so.I noticed a man come around the car and head towards the front door to the restaurant.
His coat was at least 2 sizes big for him. His face was covered by a beard unkempt and spattered with white.
His shoes are what struck me. The right sole of his shoe was hanging on by a thread it flapped up and down as he walked.
He ambled up to the garbage can and started to rifle through it.
People were walking into and out of the restaurant many widening the gap between he and they.
He did not seem to notice.
A used bag of potato chips appeared in his hand he picked through the last remaining chips tore it open and began to lick the insides of the bag.
People looked on with disgust.
My mouth dropped open and I was frozen for a few moments.
It was guilt maybe or responsibility that came over me. Perhaps it was deepened because I had been in his shoes.
Or thought I had.
Before I could think I was on my feet outside the car and standing in front of him,my coffee and doughnut in my hand outstretched toward him like I was offering food to the god’s.
“Here” I said nearly unintelligible
“This is for you”….
His eyes betrayed a fear but sparkled nonetheless.
He stood there and said nothing just looked at me with half a smile on his face.
“Here” I said again pushing my hands out towards him my gift prepared to be received
“No” he responded turning away.
“God wants you to have that”.