Archive for August 9, 2014

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8 August 2014

As I was walking past the entrance to the park I heard my name being called, “Hey, Dennis, over here.” I walked over to a park bench to find Little Chester.

“Hi Chester, how are you today?”

“I’m fine, just enjoying the shade.  How is your lunch hour going so far?”

“So far, it’s going fine. Is anybody we know in the park?”

“Yeah, there are a few. They’re mostly standing. I prefer to sit here.”

I said, “I guess the grass is too damp for sitting.”

“Yeah, there’s some dew on it, alright.”

“We had a heavy rain storm last night. I guess it hasn’t dried completely.”

“We had rain last night? That explains everything.

“Dennis do you have one of those meal cards?”

“Sure Chester, here you go.” I passed him a card from my back pocket. “I’m going to see the others now. Bye, Chester.”

“Thanks, Dennis, you have a good day.”

There was the same group as yesterday, sitting in the shade. “Dennis,” said Outcast. Come here and give me a hug. How’ve you been?”

“Great, beautiful weather, it’s Friday. What more could a person ask for?”

Jacques handed me a cushion to sit on the grass. “Thanks, Jacques.”

He said, “Did I show you the computer I got?”

I replied, “Yes, you showed it to me yesterday. I checked it on the internet. Those start at $300. and go up from there.”

“Yes, you can get a little chip to make it go faster. I found out that a lot of restaurants have Hi-Fi…

“Wi-Fi?”

“Yes that’s it. It doesn’t make sense to pay for internet if I can get it for free. It’s not like I’ll be using it too much.

“I have to sit between Outcast and Wolf so they don’t fight.”

Wolf said, “Yeah, even though we cheer for the same team, we can’t watch a game together. Either he’ll ask me to leave if we’re at his place, or I’ll ask him to leave if we’re at my place. I don’t know what it is, but we always start arguing.

“Jacques always asks me, ‘Do you want to start a war?’ I say, ‘No, I don’t want to start a war.’

Little Jake said, “Hi, Dennis, I’m a bit drunk and everyone is pissed off at me.”

“Why are they pissed off?”

“I don’t know. Maybe, because I have an opinion.”

Outcast said, “Nobody would be pissed off, if you’d just shut up for a while.”

Jake said, “All I can say is that I got issues.”

Gene and a friend rode up on their bicycles. Jake said, “Gene, tell your friend, Donny that, if he punches me again, I’m going to knife him.”

Gene said, “Don’t do that, Jake.”

Jake said, “I’m getting fuckin’ sick and tired of being beaten. If anyone wants to beat me, I’m right here, bring it on. Just because Shakes died at my place, in my arms, I’ve been beaten three times. I don’t even know why he came to my place that night.”

Debbie said, “I think he went to your place because he felt safe there. Nobody blames you for anything. You did everything that you could. He had a heart attack. That’s not your fault.”

“Dennis,” said Jake, “I want you to tell me the straight shit about Joy. I’m a close friend of hers and everybody else seems to know more about her than I do.”

I said, “My wife and I visited her Sunday, in the hospital. She told us that, a few days before,  she had been having trouble with her legs and couldn’t get out of bed. She phoned Big Jake at the Sally and he came over and took her to the hospital. Since she’s been there she thinks that she’s developed pneumonia.”

“What do you mean, ‘developed pneumonia?’ “

“It hasn’t been diagnosed yet. They are going to take her to another hospital for tests to see what’s wrong with her. Joy thinks that it’s pneumonia, because she’d had it before. When we saw her she’d lost her voice, she couldn’t speak above a whisper.  Breathing was difficult and painful. She’s not allowed to leave her room until they find out what’s wrong. That’s all I know. Mariah visited her early this week, she may know more.”

Outcast said, “Yeah, I heard that Mariah was going to see her. When I was in the hospital with pneumonia, they had a security guard posted outside my door. He warned me, ‘If you leave this room and you’re going to jail.”

Jacques said, “Hospitals aren’t the same as jails. If you want to leave they have to let you leave, but if you want to get well you have to stay there. When I was there they wanted to cut me open and do a bypass surgery. I didn’t want that. I just have to be careful not to do anything that will stress my heart.”

Outcast said, “They want to replace my hip. Can you imagine me being unable to move around for six weeks?”

I said, I’ve had a hip replacement. You’d be able to move around on crutches shortly after the surgery.”

“Yeah, but I don’t want to be on crutches. I’ll deal with the pain myself. I’m an addict, so the doctor can’t give me pain pills. I’d just keep taking them until I got high. Now, I drink until the pain goes away. I’m just about there now.”

Jacques pulled out some flyers from his suitcase and spread them out to read. “Look, grapes for $.77. I’m going to get me some of those.”

Jake said to me, “Jacques is such a stingy freak. I bring him all the flyers that get left at my building.”

Gene asked, “Does anybody know the time?”

Jake said, “What do you mean, ‘Does anyone know the time?’ Just look around you, look at the sun. It’s afternoon.”

Gene said, “It’s okay, Jake, settle down.”

It was time for me to leave, so I returned the cushion to Jacques and shook hands all around. I said, “Have a good weekend. I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Bye, Dennis.”

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5 stars out of 5
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People [Kindle Edition]
Dennis Cardiff
This review is written by Jackie Paulson © 2014

This book is for anyone at any age group! I have been homeless for three months and three days, so it is a book of interest and that is why I wanted to read it. It really gives you the feel of hope even during trials such as being homeless. This is one of my top ten MUST KEEP AND READ for 2014! The author documents homeless people around the world and their true stories. It is heart breaking and breath taking all at the same time.
Yes, some are yucky, stinky, and weird, but they are Children of God. We all come into the world, and we all will go out of this world. If you are a very emotional person this book will bring you to tears because of the reality in all of the stories. Most people pass by a panhandler at a park or where they are at thinking their own perceived thoughts, but mostly to walk by and gossip about it. Did you ever think that some are homeless because of medical reasons, house foreclosures, job loss or even running away? It’s often said that if you walked a day in someone’s shoes, like the homeless, that it would give you a life changing perspective, and change your life for the best. It will make you realize that when things are tough someone else out there has it worse than you do. If you liked this book you will love: Homeless Bound: By Jeremy Reynalds “UNDER THE OVERPASS” where just a couple of years ago, Christian college student Mike Yankoski and a friend voluntarily plunged themselves into the unfamiliar world of homelessness.