It wasn't that long ago...Part 1

It's early in the morning and I can hear the noise of the 405 fwy traffic getting louder with large trucks and speeding cars. My alarm clock, I guess,  so to speak. My body aches from the hardness of the ground slept on.  But, at least this morning, I am not as cold as other mornings. Yesterday, a man came and gave me a sleeping bag and a five dollar bill. When he gave it to me he said, " Jesus Loves You". Inspite of my situation, I believe he does.
Upon my waking I remember I have five dollars in my pocket. Cool! I can get a beer and something to eat. Then, off to start another day of hustling. I put on my shoes and move a little ways from my camp to pee. Looking around as I relieve myself, I think of how beautiful the side of the freeway is. Large trees, foilage of all types. Too bad the beauty I saw was external, only.
 Glad to be awake, yet carrying sorrow inside, I get back to camp and pull out of my back-pack a bottle of water, a wash cloth, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste. It is my attempt to look as normal as anyone else. But, when you look at me, you can still tell that I'm on the streets. I'm under weight and the look in my eyes tell a story of hurt, guilt and shame.
I check my belongings in my back-pack, put it on and carefully walk out of the side of the 405 fwy ( offramp Roscoe Blvd North ) I have to. Cause if I am spotted by a California Highway Patrol, I will get a ticket for trespassing on State Property and most likely go to jail for being on parole.
Making it out safely (I have never been stopped by Police) I tend to keep my head slanted at a downward angle or just pretend to be looking in my back-pack or whatever, just not to catch the eye of the motorist coming off the freeway going to work or wherever the hell they're going. Their eyes say to me why? What are you doing? Why are you coming from back there? Are you dangerous? Are you crazy? Their eyes ask of me questions I'm not willing or able to ask myself. So I walk and I keep my head down and I pray for no Highway Patrols and I avoid their eyes...and the questions they ask.

These type of experiences were not that long ago...Less than a year, actually. Sometimes  it"s easy to share the things I've been through and sometimes it's not. But I share because I believe I have to. My sanity depends on it. So, come back and find out the things I had to do in a day to survive living on the streets.

If there is any who liked this post, for whatever reason, please leave a comment. Would love to hear from you. God bless.

Remember the Pain...

Pain is like history. If we forget, we are doomed to repeat. So I remember the pain. Not out of some morbid fascination, but from understanding myself. You see,  if I forget how humiliating it is to be in jail and have a Sheriff's Deputy look up my butt with a flash-light, it'll happen again. If I forget how desolate I felt when my son sent me a letter asking me how could I choose drugs over him, I will be desolate again. To forget how alone and hopeless it is walking the streets with no where to go and no way to get there. To use all of my waking energy just to acquire a drug in order to achieve a high that no longer covered the hurt. If I forget the loss of careers, marriage melt-downs, prison riots, police-raids, fatherlessness, lack of being a father, the lying, stealing, betraying, abyss embracing activity, I will once again become a prisoner to the same circumstances and repeat the same insane things. I remember the pain because I have to.
I have to. The alternative from me not doing so would put me back in places I refuse to ever go again. I have so much to live for, so many people I love. There are things I want to do with the time I have left on this planet. And today pain is my friend. Why? Because it reminds me where I am, where I am going, and where I no longer want to be.