As I approached the park I could see the regulars standing along the fence: Jacques, Matches, Andre, Chester and Ricky with his bicycle, Heinz and his dog Shaggy, curled under his cart.

Sitting alone on the sidewalk was Raven, obviously drunk. She asked, “Will somebody please come sit with me?” I sat next to her, she began sobbing, “I miss my mother so much. She died on April 24th, two years ago, but I still miss her. What can I do?

“My problem is that I’m an alcoholic.”

I asked, “Do you have any other family here?”

“Yes, I have two younger sisters. One lives here, the other lives in Iqualuit.”

“Perhaps, if you talked to your sister, about the good times you had with your mother, it may help.”

“Maybe. I’m not sad about my mother any more. I’m worried about my other sister. I know that she is being abused and I can’t do anything about it. When we were younger I would always protect her, but now I can’t.

“I hated my mother when she was alive, because she cheated on my father. She was always so horny, just like I am. My dad has another wife now, but I don’t see them very often.

“Why won’t anyone pay me?”

“You’re a very beautiful woman, Raven. Don’t forget that.”

“I think I’m beautiful. I used to think I was beautiful, now I’m not sure.”

“You are beautiful. You’ll feel much better when you have something to eat and get some rest.Everything will look better tomorrow.

“How long have you lived here?”

“Off and on, off and on, quite a while, I guess. I know the city pretty well; except for the east end. I don’t know my way around there.

“I want to go home with Chester, but I don’t have any bus tickets.”

I said, “I can give you some bus tickets, and some for Chester too.”

“Chester, can I come home with you?” He shook his head, no.

She handed me back the bus tickets. “I guess I won’t be needing these.”

“Keep them for next time. Maybe you’ll need them tomorrow.”


  1. at least now in Chicago, the winter has finally broken, the encampments under the overpasses along Lake Shore Drive have come down and at least there is a relief that there is one less element to worry about, forthe homelees here.

    just though i’d visit and thank you as well for the likes and follow, it means a lot.


    • dcardiff says:

      Thanks for your comment. Winter has broken here as well, only recently. People are able to congregate in comfort. Spirits have lifted. Still there is the hunger.

      I’ll be back soon to check more of your posts.



      • i’ve been impressed with the Chicago police officers and the kindness, turning a blind eye to the encampments below the overpasses during the winter months. the officers park their cars there and never once did i see them ask them to leave, empathy not often seen in such a big city.

        and thanks for the follow Dennis, my door is always open.


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