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When the sun starts to yawn and drifts to sleep, the moon begins to stretch and rises awake. At this moment, I brace myself for the night. I lie down and try to shut my eyes away from the daily despair I face; I look up at the top of my tent in negativity. I let the “what ifs” eat away hope as I shit anxiety.

What you call your bed cushion is what I would call my soggy cardboard and your bed frame is my cold concrete. The blankets that cover me are ones I never bought. Maybe some middle class family got them on sale and decided to give them away to Goodwill after their spoiled kid tattooed piss on them every night?

It’s 2am and roars of the intoxicated youth permeate closer. I remember those days, I had it good. But, I never forecast the storm the “system” would usher. I thought to myself, “that’ll never be me.” Ha, how naïve. I slept a lot back then, and not literally. If only I had been more conscious. Now, I never sleep, and I mean that both literally and figuratively.

In a couple of hours my ‘alarm clock’ will ring, but not the one you might have in your room. At 6am, a security guard will wake me up and kick me off the premises. Sometimes I am lucky and have someone who treats me like a human being, but most of the time, it’s a guard filled with judgement who treats me like a blight on society. Little does he know that he is probably one less paycheck away from being on the street like me.

I’ll get up and head to a fake ass church and eat breakfast served to me by lost volunteers. But before I can swell my stomach I’ll have to wait outside the glamorous houses of “God” and tell them I accept Jesus as my savior so I can eat the refined, processed, frozen, and cancer canned foodstuff. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers, so I just eat it. At least the food is enjoyed with fellow sufferers. In such an environment, we masticate in gloom. Luckily, I get enough meals a day here that I can indulge in beer.

It’s fifteen minutes after 6 and I am off on my nomadic journey through these jungles of concrete. I’ll probably sit on sidewalks waiting for cops or businesses to treat me like a soccer ball. Till then, I will let my used hat beg for money. Maybe some apathetic person will feel like they did their good deed of the day by tossing annoying change and tip money in my hat. Hopefully, I will get enough money to buy a 40oz of beer so I can drown away whatever vestiges of being I have left. Never was into alcohol, but the few hours of drunkenness are a few hours less of realization of my situation.

Maybe I made some poor choices in life? Maybe not? Maybe events out of my control initiated my current state?

Maybe I am bitter, maybe I am angry, maybe I am sad? Or maybe I am just homeless. Point is, whether I am homeless or not, I am a human just like you. Be careful with your judgement whether correct or not, because life’s train can derail anytime, and baby, when it crashes, it crashes hard.

***Thank you for taking the time to read my work. If you enjoy what you read; please share, like, and comment. All of these details help me drastically and will allow me to write more often. Thank you for your support!***

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7 thoughts on “A Derailed Life

  1. Very poignant — very apropos in these crazy economic times. Just in the past few weeks 2 family members, my boyfriend, and 2 other friends have been laid off! And this reminds me of my former husband who was homeless for several years after our divorce. It’s difficult not to judge — but in those famous words, “there, but for the grace of god, go I”. (And I know you don’t believe in god, but you get the point.)

  2. I liked this piece. I just found the part that you have to say you accept god for them to feed you as mistaken. Most church places that give food to the homeless do
    Not require you to ‘accept’ god before eating or make you say grace.
    I also found the ‘lost volunteers’ a bit judgmental of the people who do volunteer to
    Serve the homeless food. I would take them for a little but more humble then most people because they actually took the time out of their ‘busy lifes’ (which by the way was an article Hugo put up) to serve to the needy. I think those people have their act together since most people who are ‘busy’ are really just at home watching tv… I don’t know, just my opinion.

    • Oh yea without a doubt! That is why at the end the character was saying maybe he was bitter or just angry. This was written from the eyes of a homeless man, one with resentment, hurt, and anger, its a fictional piece.

  3. I was about to agree with Roman’s comment on the view of the volunteers, then again when you mentioned the piece being written from the homeless man’s perspective, I understood what you meant. And yeah, maybe a person in that situation feels the loneliness and desperation that abandonment brings and sees God and fellow human beings in the same place. I really liked the part about him drowning his sorrows in booze. Unfortunately that’s what happens to about 90% of homeless people–substance abuse is the only way to numb the pain. And while I agree that forcing someone to accept religion is NOT the way to help them, I think there’s a lot of groups that provide support to addicts in these situations. Yes, a lot of them are ‘church groups’ but not all push the religious agenda–those I really applaud. Support and love is genuine when it comes from fellow humans who’ve probably been through the same ordeals as these people. And I agree, religion is not what saves them, its the strength and compassion from others that does. Nice piece, G. 🙂

  4. I liked this poem, it showed an emotional appeal of the challenges that the forgotten Americans face everyday and we take them for granted. Your right most churches try to preach the word of god to them though it should be by choice. But give them credit because they are actually doing something positive in feeding them, some sheltering them and giving them clothes. Though i have my disagreements with religion some religions helps them have a positive outlook in their lives

    • Oh yea for sure! This is a fictional piece (while of course, could be true to some homeless out there), it is a subjective piece written thru the eyes of a resentful homeless man. For my non-fictional piece on religion, check out “Dear Satan”.

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