Monday, May 9, 2016
I'M NOT A HUGGER
I made a bunch of stuff. Some of it interesting, some of it just typical work bullshit.
Something happened the other night, and it's been on my mind, so now, lucky you, gets to read about it.
There is an alley that runs along the side of our property. On the other side of the alley is a medical center.
It's supposed to be a community medical center, but 3 members of my family have gone there for treatment and all 3 have been denied service, so I'm not sure what the fuck they actually do there.
Now aside from the air conditioning unit on the roof that sounds like a plane is taking off every 3 minutes, there is a emergency exit that dumps you out in the alley...next to our home.
The emergency exit door is recessed, creating a small hallway, perfect for shooting heroin, getting your dick sucked, school kids gathering inside to smoke weed, bums to shit in, random alley dwellers to piss in. I know that this space is perfect for these activities because I get to see it everyday from my back porch.
Chalk it up to city living, if you'd like, but it's pretty fucking disgusting.
For the past few evenings, there has been someone camping out in there.
They're not doing anything gross in there, basically just taking refuge for the night.
After dinner the other night, I walked down there.
I wanted to see what this dude was all about, I mean, we're apparently fucking neighbors.
The reason I went down is because I was conflicted about calling the cops.
I do not know WHY I was conflicted, it's kind of an open and shut case...bum lives next to your house, cops get called, bum finds a new place to call home.
I was conflicted, and I don't really like to experience feelings, good or bad, so I paid a visit to my new neighbor.
Younger guy, maybe 35, Puerto Rican, fairly well dressed, not stinky, had an IPHONE, a 6 pack, a Tupperware with food, a sheet, and a couple of newspapers.
He stood up as I approached and offered me a beer. I politely declined and he proceeded to tell me his situation unprovoked.
Apparently, he works as a cook at a school on Western Ave. he has been fighting with his wife, they have had fights in the past where he has ended up in jail, so he did the smart thing and left.
He said he would rather sleep in the alley, than sleep in jail. I couldn't agree more.
I walked away, pretty confident that I wouldn't be seeing him jerking off in that nook, or shitting in my backyard, so there would be no need to involve the police.
I felt really weird when I got upstairs. A voice in my head said "do something".
I asked Laura for an old blanket, but we really didn't have one that we could get rid of, but she did produce a decent pillow, and she put a homemade donut in a ziplock bag.
I went back down to deliver our house warming gifts.
The man was genuinely taken aback, and did the customary refusal of gifts that most decent people do, but after a couple words of encouragement, he graciously accepted.
Then, something happened...he hugged me.
I'm not a hugger, and definitely not a bum hugger, but it was a warm, manly hug, accompanied with a heart felt "thank you".
A lot of us are one paycheck, or one medical incident, or a minor tragedy away from sleeping in a alley.
Granted, a lot of us have friends or family that can help pick us up, some of us don't have a lifeline.
Do I want this man living in my alley? Not really. All hugs aside, I hope the best for him. Do I need to call the cops, even though he ended up sleeping in an alley to avoid having to deal with cops? Fuck no I do not.
It's easy to judge. It's normal to not want to be outside of your comfort zone, but let's all take a moment to embrace humanity once in awhile.
Let's extend a helping hand, let's execute the benefit of the doubt from time to time. Let's look beyond ourselves for a moment.
Let's be human, again.