Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hospital Duty

Spent the last three nights at Good Samaritan Hospital, sleeping on the floor next to an acquaintance's dog. The patient was the fellow homeless person K— I mentioned in the last post, whose lung had apparently collapsed Saturday after a fit of screaming at Portland Patrol security personnel (for whatever perverse dissident grandstanding reason). I ran into him at the Northwest neighborhood public library branch on Sunday, whereupon he told me about the collapsed lung and that he discharged himself against medical advice earlier that day because hospital staff told him that unless he could find someone to watch over and walk his dog it would have to stay at the pound until he's released. I sympathized with his refusal to let his dog go to a Guantanamo detention facility for animals where a simple mistake can result in his dog being lost or even put to death, so I agreed to help him out when he asked me to return with him to the hospital. Alas, I've never been good at refusing people.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Jack Pack

The nearby Jack in the Box is a locus of traffic for local tramps. Every morning and evening I see up to half a dozen in there: munching on value menu items and sipping on coffee, reading, waiting to use one of the bathrooms, or just loitering for a bit to rest tired feet, gather the morning's addled wits, duck out of the rain, or formulate or reassess plans. For some reason, the Council of Elrond comes to mind whenever I think about it, even though that was a much more sober gathering. It's nice to have access to such a place, especially one that's closed for only five hours a day and which sells two tacos for a dollar. Management and employee reception is warmer and they're more lenient toward facility use than the handful of McDonald's are downtown — not to mention the old Carl's Junior was that went so far as to remove bathroom stall doors to discourage IV drug use. Don't get me wrong; I completely understand a fast food restaurant manager getting sick of legions of the more egregiously disgraceful and disagreeable bums repeatedly trashing the bathrooms, making the more domesticated and monied customers uncomfortable in the lobby, and aggressively panhandling outside the business doors. I suppose what this treatment really indicates is how much better the street scene is in the Northwest neighborhood than in downtown. Perhaps I ought to introduce some of my fellow Jack Pack members to you:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

All Quiet on the Northwestern Front

At least under present circumstances, it feels pretty awesome, having nothing much to say about my life. A lack of excitement is usually a good thing when you're homeless. It's not that nothing's been going on, it's that I'm not watching cop cars prowling around or parking nearby and spying on me through their side-view mirrors, I'm not shirking before shadowy figures engaged in theft by the light of the stars and street lights, and I'm not getting my tarp blown down the street by an icy wind or getting rained on while lugging a heavy bag full of bottles and cans. No news is good news.