Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Big Four-O

It's my fortieth birthday, and I'm looking out the window of the Friendly House at the rain sliding down out of the gray sky, looking like the kind of misery that precipitates daily in the third circle of Dante's hell. Actually, it's not all that bad out, but it's awfully dreary and reflects my feelings about the current state of my life and what I've managed to accomplish in the years behind me. It's just plain depressing sometimes, being a bum living beneath a freeway, having for some reason I don't understand (but sometimes think I do) such a difficult time dealing with the normal world where people hold jobs and have relationships and live indoors. It's almost perverse to me, that I can't seem to manage to accomplish what thugs, boors, dolts, creeps, slobs, and jerks have little difficulty in doing. I guess it's just demoralizing, is what it is.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day!

So, today marks the anniversary of the day ol' St. Patty drove the snakes from Ireland. Actually, today is a traditional feast day celebrating the death of an uncanonized saint of the Roman Catholic Church who apparently was also a missionary responsible for — alongside his disciples — re-introducing Classical Greek and Roman literature lost in the fall of the Roman Empire to Continental Europe. For me St. Patrick's Day marks the beginning of spring, even thought it occurs three days before the actual vernal equinox; the onset of Daylight Saving Time mentioned in last week's post actually denotes a sort of pre-spring to me, a reminder that the still cold and dormant world is poised to waken out of slumber. Spring can actually be a rather unpleasant time of year for street people here because of how variable the weather can be; often you'll have balmy days followed by bracing days of miserable horizontal rain, even during a single day you can find yourself peeling off your flannel just moments after shaking off your umbrella! The only constant is the (welcome) addition of two to three minutes of light to each day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Five Days of Salami

No, I didn't JUST eat salami, but I did consume about four to five ounces of the delicious stuff each day; three different kinds of excellent artisan charcuterie: traditional Italian, Alsatian, and Spanish chorizo. Donated to Trinity Cathedral by Olympic Provisions, in apparently U.N. food drop quantity. Talk about an angioplasty waiting in the wings! A pity I never canned up the money for cheese to accompany it, alas. Still, even despite all that salami — not to mention the overall high fat content of my providential diet — I managed to slip into a pair of thirty-two-inch waist jeans donated Saturday, and without any blue-faced tugging or writhing! I can't recall a time when I wore jeans this slim ... maybe fifteen years ago? Well, anyway, I made up for the salami binge on Sunday by eating nothing but cottage cheese and salad (after finishing off the last of the chorizo) — hell, I even went on a lengthy four-hour canning run that day.

Monday, March 3, 2014


For those not in the know and curious, my diet is supplied almost entirely by free meals; "There but for the grace of God," and all that jazz. I suspect when people think about the homeless dining experience many of them still hold images in their minds of black-and-white photos taken during the Great Depression of blocks-long lines of men in tattered and faded garb winding their way up to a giant pot of soup doled out in metal ups; or perhaps Oliver Twist springs immediately to mind, with his audacious request for more gruel from the scowling orphanage worker; then again, I bet some people aren't even aware that there is free food given out on the streets and just assume we all root around in dumpsters or panhandle money for fast food. Alas, I don't go around asking people, nor is this sort of information typically volunteered in casual conversations between strangers.