Thursday, May 24, 2007

Brother can you spare some advice?

There is this homeless man (At least I think he is homeless) who is always hanging out in front of the Dunkin Donuts by my job. Every morning on my way in for coffee, I break him off. I swear I should just get dudes Social Security number and claim him on my taxes. But its all good, dude is like my muse. Honestly, it seems like on days that I don't see him or break him off, things don't go quite as well for me.

So anyway, he always has a panhandling cup out, and no matter what time of the morning you get there, it seems my man is always there first. Everyone just drops some change in his cup and moves on, most people don't even look at him. You just drop the sh** in his cup by habit.

But not me, dude and I have this relationship of sorts. We always exchange a few words, talk about the news of the day, my job, and whatever else is on his mind. And I respect my man and his opinions. When he compliments me on what I am wearing "That's a nice suit my man" I feel good about what I have on. But on days that he doesn't say anything, I actually worry about my hook up. Last summer dude even went as far as to tell me that he didn't like a particular suit I was wearing. I haven't worn it since.

I always wonder about all the homeless people in Philly, and how they even got that way. I know most of them suffer from drug or mental problems, and some of them just fell on hard times. But this cat doesn't seem to have a drug problem, and he sure as hell doesn't seem to have any mental problems. I am thinking he just fell on some hard times. Maybe a bad marriage, or some woman broke his heart. Just looking at him he could be any ones pop or grandfather. I am guessing he is in his late fifties, and he has this distinguished look about him that says: I didn't always live this way.

One day I am going to seriously engage him in some conversation just to find out more about him. But every day I am so rushed, so caught up in my day to day life, that it's almost impossible to engage my man in a conversation for any period of time. Today I saw him again, I mentioned the crime wave and the murders in the city, and as usual he had a witty come back. "Hey, let them kill each other, it's just the laws of the jungle at work baby". Out of the mouth of bums. But you know what; maybe he has a point. Maybe it is just the laws of nature. Just like in the animal kingdom; there is a certain dog eat dog only the fittest will survive order of things. The animals kill each other and nobody cares. Why should we? They don't care about each other or themselves, so why should we care about them?

But I can't think like my cynical homeless friend. After all, he can't help it, look at the type of hand that fate dealt him. I have to have more faith in my people, and feel more sadness for my young brothers who are taking each others lives on a daily basis. Still, my man seems to have a way of seeing things that others can't. (I haven't worn it since) I just hope that he isn't right about this one.

Tomorrow I am going to have to ask my man his name.


The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

He's a homeless guy? And he has the nerve to criticize you about your wardrobe? LOL.

Seriously, it's getting to the point that someone's going to blow everything up and hopes God will sort it out.

I don't drink, but when I see the craven lunacy that abound in DC, I get the strangest craving for a mojito...

Anonymous said...

cfhistian you believe that sh**? Yes the guy actually dogged me about my hook up. But it might have been one of those "emperror has no clothes" moments, so I took it to heart.

Maybe I will try that hook up later this summer :)

Dangerfield said...

Field good post. I know that in DC when they closed St Elizabeth's (the mental institution) the homeless populations in DC shot way up.

I could understand the law of the jungle theory as it relates to the killing, the problem is this their are innocent women, kids, older folk and even grown men who are preyed upon by the predators.

Dangerfield said...

Yo Field what happen to the your moniker you know the guy with the cicle?

I think you should bring him back.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Mark, what happened in DC with the closing of St. Elizabeth's was the same thing that happened out in California, when former Governor Ronald Reagan shut down all the state's mental institutions.

I swear, by that act alone, he started the road to homelessness when he put all the mentally ill on the streets with no place to go.

One irony is when he became President and declared "there was no homeless people in America" and 50,000 or more showed up in DC and created "Tent City" in the park directly across the street from the White House at the same time he was crowing about "no homeless people in America."

The final irony; he spent the last years of his life living in never-never land, suffering from the same illness that he condemned 15% of California's population to, when he put them in the street.

I can't say if Reagan or Falwell will go to Heaven or Hell, but one can hope that they will have to stand before the Almighty and defend their crap on earth. I want a front row seat so I can hear Jesus say, "Step to the Left" and the "Left" are the Gates of Hell.

Forgiven said...

As someone who has worked extensively with the homeless and poor, I can tell you that it has broken down into 3 main groups. The first group is the mentally ill which makes up about 30%, these are the remnants of the mental hospitals that Ronald Reagan closed and threw out on the streets. Not everyone acting mentally ill on the streets is, some are using it to get disability or for survival (not many people bother someone that is crazy). The next group is the families that have had some catastrophic event, they make up about 20% of the population. This is the group where policies and programs can help them to rejoin society. The third and the most frustrating group are those that have for one reason or another have decided to no longer participate in our society. The reason are just varied and complicated as the individuals, it can range from drugs & alcohol, personal tragedy, or frustration with capitalism. Until this group decides that is ready to reintegrate into society there is little we can do, besides provide food and shelter.

Every Friday, I volunteer at my Church to feed the homeless and poor, we also show a movie after the meal. While my heart goes out to them I can’t fix them, that is not my job. My job is to provide for their needs at that moment and to show them the love of the Creator that I am so thankful for everyday. When I am able I give money to some people I meet on the street, it depends on their “aura” and the Spirit. I don’t ask what they are going to do with the money that is between them and their God. Once I give someone something at that moment it becomes theirs. It use to trouble me when I read that there will always be poor, but today I understand why.

Hey field, since you are taking fashion tips from homeboy, maybe he has some stock tips he can offer you as well…LOL I have found a large number of homeless to be engaging and knowledgeable. I take wisdom from wherever it comes, because all wisdom is from the Creator and he can choose to use any mouth to dispense it…

There are many more wrong answers than right ones, and they are easier to find - Michael Friedlander

The Disputed Truth

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

BTW Field, I have some truck with you cheering Rosie O'Donnell on against Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Don't you remember that Rosie started that war with Star Jones by challenging her to come clean about how she lost the weight?

It was none of Rosie's business. And when Star got the boot from the View, Rosie replaced her.

I notice Ms. O'Donnell has a real problem with people of color, but she is mad because Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a flaming GOP ReThug blondie if ever there were one, wouldn't defend her comments about "America is a terrorist" country or some crap like that?

Why isn't Ms. O'Donnell's bigotry not addressed? Being a lesbian doesn't automatically give her a free pass from being a bigot. Believe it or not, there are some gays and lesbians who think because they're white, the superior rule still applies to them, but when they get discriminated against because of their sexual identity, they want to shout from the rooftops that their "Civil Rights" have been violated and we (people of color) should join in to help them.

That works when you're committed not to be a selective bigot, which O'Donnell is.

She put out Bad Karma when she dissed Star Jones and tried to put girlfriend's business about her weight loss on Front Street. That bad Karma has come back to haunt her. You can't diss people for no reason and expect to be defended by your white bretheren when you're on the receiving end of being dissed.

Besides, Hasselbeck is the last person who would defend Rosie, because anyone who's watched "The View" knows Hasselbeck is a bigoted homophobe who spews out her bigotry at any given opportunity and Baba Wawa hasn't called her on it yet.

Whoever thought adding Rosie to the show with Hasselbeck there was asking for trouble, not ratings.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

I am willing to defend Rosie. Why? Because Rosie shows progress. Her mistake is, she thinks out loud, she works through her issues, priviledge, prejudices, having money, etc out loud. I have read some of her blog, really journal, way back when she actually allowed comments, before blogging “blew up.” Rosie learns from her mistakes. Perhaps not at the speed expected from a public figure, and I am sure her pride does not allow her to show that she had to eat crow, but time shows that she has eaten crow before. Sit around and see if Donald Trump will change. Not yet. Those Apprentice shows were some of the most sexist and racist crap on the air. Nothing was done to downplay the evil black bitch (EBB) chant when Omarosa (sp?) was taking the heat. And what about when the black man won? They asked him to share or something like that. Yeah whatever.

As far as Star Jones, she deserved to be called out about her weight loss method. Because SJ was talking to and about people (really women) as if they were weak and sorry because they could not lose weight as she did. I saw it with my own eyes. As she got thinner and the compliments grew, she became more judgmental. In the female dieting world, we call it the diet cop syndrome. Ever been annoyed by the person who successfully quit smoking and they make it their job to tell every smoker around how they are dying of cancer? Same for the diet cops. “Are you going to eat that?” “How do you expect to lose some weight?” “Don’t come in my face if you are not willing to do the work!” Yet, Star Jones work was to get bariatric surgery. Let me tell you, that is the biggest hypocrite a fatty or recovering fatty can possibly be. When Star Jones come correct, then I will sing a different tune.

SouthernGirl2 said...


That fight between Rosie & Hasselbeck had Shawn Hannity dripping with delight. Sanctimonious Hannity didn't even condemn guest Curtis Sliwa for his JOKE on taking a bat to Rosie like a human pinata.

Hmmmm..... let that had been a black man advocating violence to women on air! Hannity would have generated more heat than the Imus situation.

Anonymous said...

Hey forgiven, thanks for the knowledge about the homeless population (that's why I love blogging I learn so much sh**). And you are right about the knowledge that some of these people carry around.

christian progg. I was going to address the Rosie thing with you, and then e.k.(kitty) stepped in for me.Honestly, it's hard to see Rosie as a racist, but maybe I am wrong. I will have to look at her a little closer from here on out.
And kitty is right about Star Jones; I am not feeling her either.

Mark, I had to stop using the little man, because it was lifted from a book on the Maroons and I was...let's just say a "cease and desist" letter was on the way. Given my profession I should have known better. No problems now though, I used a picture of yours truly to come up with this image.
I preferred the Maroon fighter too, but...hey, such is life.

At least this way I get to show off my work in the gym :)

Anonymous said...

I used to know a homeless man back in the late 1980's. He used to sit on 12th and Spruce streets. I would see him on my way home from classes and would give him cigarettes and change.

We became friends, he said I reminded him of his daughter and pulled out a photo of his wife. After Vietnam they left him and he was alone and down on his luck.

To make a long story short, I was walking to my apartment at about 10 at night on 11th and Spruce and found myself cornered by two very menacing men.

Out of nowhere comes my homeless friend who promptly began calling to me very loudly saying "Wait up-I am supposed to be walking you home!"

The men vanished into the night, my homeless friend walked me to my apartment stairs and bid me goodnight.

I felt he was an angel I was speechless for what he did for me. After that I began sharing my homework with him, I brought my parents to meet him on a visit and my dad got a small corner store to give him a job.
I will always wonder what happened to him. But I now know when I heard the phrase..."When you see the homeless, they could be an agent of God working on your behalf, to remind you of your blessings everyday."

Mine was a agent of God who saved me from possible bodily harm. I could enver repay him for what he did. But he is always in my heart.

west coast story said...

forgiven: Thanks for the dose of reality about homelessness.

e.k.: Amen about Star Jones. She's nobody's victim. Aside from the weight loss issue, I seem to recall she had some less than progressive attitudes about gays and lesbians.

Anonymous said...

I'll be back to find out more about your homeless dependent. I was going to suggest you begin asking him about his situation. Starting with his name is good.

Thanks for the Rosie love. I have been following The View since she began her stint. She is smart and funny and flawed. Not a racist in my opinion.

I did not always agree with her (saying Imus wasn't so bad because Stevie Wonder used the term nappy-headed in his song I Wish) but she was more credible in her opinions than the conservatives/republicans who seem to base their beliefs on hate and fear rather than acceptance and logic.

Miss Snarky Pants said...

This is an excellent post. You have a great blog here!!

Woozie said...

You should just call in sick one day and then go talk with him for a couple hours.

Christopher Chambers said...

I just posted about the Rosie thing. Screw Hasselbeck...and screw Star Jones. She used to be a tough brainy prosecutor and the limelight ruined her. She's lost her damn mind, married a patently gay prettyboy, and is dangerously thin from surgery and drugs.

My theory of course is that the whole thing was provoked by the producers...

Francis Holland said...

Field, animals usually kill each other because they're hungry. If the people killing each other were cannibals and were eating each other, then at least their behavior would make rational sense.

But, many seem to be engaging in fratricide because they're an insane manifestation of an insane culture and society. This is true for people of every skin-color group in America. If not, then why would "senseless" shootings be so common now, among people who have nothing as well as among people who have everything?

Now, on a different topic, what do you think of this proposition:

"If you say that "race" is a lie, then you are denying the existence of "racism," and if you say the flat-earth theory is a lie, then you are denying the existence of the earth itself."

What?! Wait a minute now! That makes no sense! You can deny the flat earth theory ABOUT the earth without denying the existence of the earth itself!

I was walking into a bagel shop in Boston when a drunk asked me for money because he was hungry. I refused, but I bought an extra bagel with cream cheese, all rapped up, and I offered it to him on my way out of the restaurant. He said, "I didn't want that!" And he threw the bagel back at me.

I guess he wasn't THAT hungry! If I was hungry enough to beg for money, I'd have taken the bagel.

Please visit the new American Journal of Color Arousal (AMJCA), which is an AfroSpear blog, Editor: yours truly!

Karim said...

JUst passing the site.