2/28/2006

 

Perceptions

Reflected on being homeless yesterday while traveling to a job interview here in town (don't want to say where yet, although it was very positive, if brief). I was all dressed up in suit and tie, and carried nothing except my portfolio. Yet, for te first time in weeks, I was relaxed*. Why? For once, I wasn't secretly obsessing over my appearance. Not the obssession that everyone feels (is my hair combed? Fly open? Spinach in my teeth, etc.) No, normally I worry whether or not I look homeless. Whether my clothing is too rumpled or dirty. Whether my beard is too scraggly. Whether I walk tall, or hunched over. Whether my bag makes me look like just a guy carrying office supplies, or my worldly possessions. In short, whether the rest of the city can take one look at me and go "Yeah, he's homeless. Let's point and laugh."

Most times, I don't get a second glance, but I still worry. Sometimes, you can indeed look at someone and tell several things about them just from the way they look. Some homeless people are no exception. Of course, it doesn't help that usually, they're found in places where you would normally find the homeless: on street corners with a sign, hanging out near Greensboro Urban Ministry, sleeping in the library. But sometimes, you just know. It's that psychic/limbic connection that all humans share on some ancient, esoteric level. That feeling that the cavemen once used to tell who was part of their tribe and who wasn't. I try hard to keep people from simply knowing I'm homeless, and reacting accordingly. Besides, keeping such reaction to a minimum keeps the Beast at bay.

Speaking of the Beast, he jumped me yesterday afternoon. I had time before my interview, and since I was in the area, I visited the offices of Trone Advertising, where I'd worked from 2000-2002 (and held the absolute best job I've ever had in my life.) A position I'd applied for had already been filled, as had one I hadn't known about (and wish I had). As I left walking down the road to my interview, the Beast, who'd lumbered to my forebrain to see who I was talking to at Trone, lashed me with all the force he could muster. And he chose a devastating weapon: my memories of working at Trone, now so much ashes, and the knowledge that my career in graphic design may indeed be over. I fought him for a solid half-hour before I finally made him shuffle, grumbling back to his little corner of my mind. But I could feel that smirk he had, knowing he'd be back, and soon. Fortunately, he withdrew before I got to my interview.

I gotta get myself a good shrink.

Comments:
You're a very very good writer. Start a novel.
 
This beast you speak of, did he trouble you before you were homeless, or is he a condition of circumstance?
 
This story has hit digg.com and is getting bigger by the minute. Lot's of people are wanting to help you out!!!

http://www.digg.com/links/Homeless_man_blogs_about_his_experience

Could you please open a paypal account?

It's very simple to do and there are a lot of people that wouldn't mind donating to help you out.

If you need help with this just email me at webmaster@beoffended.com and I'll help.
 
Good luck with that potential job!
Maybe with your start, we can start creating a network, to help people in the same situation, since the government is too busy spending money elsewhere!

Steve
 
True about the digg.com mention, that's how I found it. Very interesting how quickly things can change! The digg society will help out for sure if you hook us up with a paypay account.
 
I'd definately donate! www.paypal.com
 
Do you think this is a question you can answer?: "Why have you convinced yourself that people know you're homeless when you haven't yet convinced yourself that you ARE homeless?"

This is one of Aesop's Fables that I think relates to your post:

AN EAGLE sat on a lofty rock, watching the movements of a Hare
whom he sought to make his prey. An archer, who saw the Eagle
from a place of concealment, took an accurate aim and wounded him
mortally. The Eagle gave one look at the arrow that had entered
his heart and saw in that single glance that its feathers had
been furnished by himself. "It is a double grief to me," he
exclaimed, "that I should perish by an arrow feathered from my
own wings."


You're the Eagle... You're Mind is the Arrow. Your Situation is the Feathers. Notice how there is no symbol for the Job? Some might say it's the Hare, but does the Hare really have anything to do with the story? It could have, but the circumstances don't allow it. And that's the point. If the Eagle didn't provide the means to create the arrow in the first place, then the hare would have had a bigger role in the story. Maybe he would have been caught by the eagle, or maybe even narrowly escaped the eagle's clutches. But alas, we'll never know, now will we?

By the way... The second you know that you cannot answer my question...
 
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Bro, I dont think most people can tell if you re homeless or not. It all depends on cleanliness. I am also in your shoes, although in Miami metro area. I m not sure about your case but me, I got my car, some money(not enough to rent a place, but enough to buy gas to go to work, and food-processed fast food, but food nonetheless). I m writing you from a laptop I bought from a used business equipment store(wireless Internet). I have the money to do this, but not pay rent. And oddly enough, this computer at present is more useful than paying rent would be. You dont know how lonely you feel when you have no place to go to when you get off work. Walking around for 3 or 4 hours waiting for it to get dark and secluded enough for you to go back to your car and sleep and not attract any attention. Well, the library is closing is a few minutes, I figure I ll go to the supermarket get some peanut butter and some fruit for dinner.
 
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