Even for a Minute

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

by David Glenn Cox

Another day, another shooting. Another waste of life another spreading of misery and pain. Young lives cut short, and children scarred by the loss of a parent. In the land of the free and the home of the vulnerable where anyone can buy a high-capacity firearm and can teach us the meaning of poor mental healthcare. Gun ownership is a right in this country and healthcare is a privilege. A society that grinds people into dust with a poor social safety net barbarously low wages and wonders…what’s his problem?

Well we all wanted to go back to normal and now we have. Americans with mental health problems locked in the house for a year. The general level of societal frustrations level two aggravation nonsense. I made a call, the machine answered and said, “Press one if you would like to continue this call.” Well, I did go to all the trouble of dialing all seven numbers. I did call for a reason. I did want information, so sure, okay I’ll press one. I was looking for an apartment, and the leasing office was closed. So, I dialed their number. The message explained that the office was closed but if I wanted more information…I should call them. I pulled the phone away from my face and just stared at it.

Tens of millions of unemployed, underemployed and underpaid. Staring into the void of financial insecurity and organized bureaucratic brutality. There is no hope and no help, “you got your freedom, what else do you want now? Food? Healthcare? A roof over your head? We have built a highway that says, “No,” to those who don’t have money coming out of their ears. The orange Trumpizoid has millions of pages of legal complaints, rape allegations, tax fraud and a myriad other charges. He walks the earth a free man while others sit in jail for unpaid traffic tickets or shoplifting food. It’s an even money bet Trump will be moldering underground before he ever sees the inside of the gray bar hotel.

I recently watched a story about the homeless problem in Seattle. The have a serious homeless problem and the citizenry are angry and upset. They want something done immediately, those people must be gotten rid of, “They’re fucking up my upper middle-class lifestyle and make me nervous about leaving the Mercedes here. Why don’t they get a job earning 200K like I did? I knew a man whose parents ran one of those mom-and-pop Bates Motel operations. Eventually, they closed and passed away. Their son got a call from a major retailer who had a check with his name on it for two million dollars, if he willing to let the abandoned hotel go. Guess how he felt about the homeless crisis?

If you want them to go away give them an opportunity and healthcare. It kind of pointless to rescue someone from the street to say, “Now, go forth and find a minimum wage job.” Nobody wants to live in a tent behind some bushes. No one wants to shit on the sidewalk. No one shoplifts food for a thrill. We have priced a considerable portion of our population into struggling miserable condition. And then we blame them for their own poverty. I ask myself of these millions of homeless with mental health problems, did they have these problem when they moved to the street or are these newly acquired symptoms. Symptoms based in fear and stress and hopelessness. Will I get beat up today? Will I get enough to eat today? Will I be able to handle the stress of thousands of eyes staring at me, filled with disgust?

The Republican party stands four square for individual rights and personal responsibility for those with the income to say, “I got mine Jack, keep your hands off of my stack.” If you raise my taxes to help the homeless that’s income redistribution and that’s wrong. Can’t you get rid of them without costing me money? “We could raise the minimum wage?” Are you crazy? That would hurt the bottom line of my business. Can’t you just call the cops? Have the human trash pickers in blue just cart them off someplace and solve MY problem.

Ironic that some of the main centers of homelessness in America aren’t in the struggling areas of the economy but in the most prosperous. The issue becomes very simple. Prosperity in the boomtown forcing those not on the bubble into a miserably grinding poverty that destroys the soul. Ronald Reagan declared it wrong to confine people dangerous to themselves and others in mental health institutions; he gave them their freedom and turned them loose to live on the street in your town. On paper, he saved this country billions of Medicaid dollars. Of course, there are tradeoffs and new industries, “Want me to clean your windshield mister? Want me to knife your child?”

Anyone who has ever been homeless will tell you, it’s not sleeping on the concrete or being cold and lonely. The pain is mental, and the stress is unending. If you really want to learn about homelessness. Pick a day, put on the worst clothes you own and leave your wallet in the house. Go downtown and get a McDonalds cup and pick out a piece of sidewalk. Sit there for a few hours and reflect on how America is the greatest country in the world. When nature calls, tell yourself too bad and when you get hungry tell yourself, too bad. Crystal cathedrals and palaces of the lord with signs on the lawn, “no loitering.”

To be homeless is only minutely and issue of having a roof over your head. It is to be virtually X out of society and become a non-person, subhuman untermunchin. If you don’t have mental health issues when you get there, hang around they will be along shortly. I’m looking for a new apartment and even though I haven’t been homeless in ten years the ghost remains with me. It ought to be a simple matter with money in my pocket, but it is not. The ghosts haunt me and terrify me, the terror of going back there even for a minute, crucifies and defeats me.

One thought

  1. I was in the navy in the ’60s. In Charleston, S.C. there was a church with a sign; “Dogs and Sailors Keep Off The Grass”. Makes a young squid feel patriotic.


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