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This is a blog swap chain letter organized through the Yakezie network. There are 4 stops. Check out my post “A Homeless Plan to Guard Against Hopeless” at the next stop!
The following is a blog-swap guest post by CT, who formerly co-created Broke Professionals and now blogs about his freelance business and blogging at FreelancePF.com; CT’s personal finance blog is debtpayer.com.
For this Yakezie BlogSwap, we had to state what we would do if we were homeless to try and get out of that situation. I decided to write it as first-person narrative fiction. I hope that makes it a little more interesting, although I feel nervous writing about a subject I do not know about. What I realized while writing this is just how difficult of a predicament this would be to get out of. And yet it is something that faces a higher percentage of our population than we would ever care to believe. Please comment on what you would do in that situation.
I wake up to the smell of piss. My metropolitan jail stretches out above me in towering skyscapers–where those who still have jobs will soon be starting their day of work. I view it all through windburnt eyes.
I start up 34th and hope for a miracle. People either cross the road to avoid me or walk fast while looking away. I am a spector–one of many. The numbers are increasing every day.
How did I get here? The question is too complex and time is the only commodity I have. It can’t be wasted. You’ll just assume I’m an addict or a mental case anyway. The more important question is how do I get out?
Who’s going to hire me? Who would give me an interview? What options do I have?
It’s almost summer now and that’s good. I should stop walking to save calories–but what else is there to do? I can’t stay in one place too long before I start getting bothered. My gut no longer rumbles. It knows the drill.
As I walk I see so many people.
What is it about this city? It’s as though everyone became convinced there is nowhere else to live. What promise does it hold for them? The promise from past glory pays out less than the lottery. I know it because in that way I am like this town. Maybe I should save up what I can and move west.
Underneath a highrise where I use to live–and near where I used to work–I sit down and start contemplating my options. Here’s the way I see it:
I can go to a shelter.
I can go to the government offices and review my options.
I can sit out with a cup and hope for some quarters to drop.
I can beg for jobs–perhaps offer to work for some charity to start. Save up for some clothes and shower in a public sink. Do my best to score an interview and start making an “honest” living. I just need a few things to go right. If I want back onto the grid I will have to take action.
The libraries offer free computers and internet. That might be a consideration. It’s better then what I have going right now. I look as homeless as I am and I do not have a hidden singing voice. Expectations must be kept to a minimum.
I trudge back to wear I woke up and am glad to make it through another day. I huddle in my corner and think about previous lives. Then I reflect on this one: a lonely life amongst the masses. But not without hope.