We are – all of us, human

My time on the street

Changed me

 

Fundamentally 

 

In ways I’m only just starting to understand

 

Opened up avenues in my mind

I never would have thought to travel down

 

Opens up paths towards adventures, and meaning 

In my daily life

 

I would never have thought to seek, before

 

Today, 

Right now

 

My car is sitting at a tire shop to have a flat repaired

 

A dear old friend, whom I haven’t seen in over a decade, is in town, and we were supposed to meet up

 

She said she’d wait for my car to be ready, at a coffee shop around 2 miles away

 

First, I decided to try to walk there 

See how far I got

I don’t know how hot it is, right now

 

But I know the weather report estimated it would be 108 degrees Fahrenheit today

 

So, I didn’t make it too far

I started walking down the street, thinking about how unpleasant this heat is

When I saw the Sacramento River ahead of me

Well, I couldn’t see the river 

I saw the bridge over it

And my feet turned towards the line of bushes where I knew the bank would be

 

But, then! I remembered that I was hungry! And that I’d been planning on eating at the coffee shop

So I looked around

And realized I was right next to a sushi place I’d been meaning to try, ever since I had picked up a delivery from there from Doordash 

So, first, I ate

And oh my god, it was amazing!

 

Then, I walked back to the river

 

The trail down to the water wended right past an occupied encampment 

The men sitting there

 

Stared

 

At this girl (okay, I know 33 is a little too old to be called a girl, but that’s how I felt at the moment!)

Who was wandering down to the bottom of this bridge, where probably only the Homeless and the Police normally venture

I said 

“Hi!”

And smiled 

“Sorry to bother you guys, I’m just looking for a good place to jump in the river!”

 

And they smiled, and waved

 

And so, I kept walking. 

And sat under the bridge to eat my delicious sushi

And then I didn’t jump in, per se

But I did wade out

And sit in the river, for a few seconds

Filmed this, for a friend:

 

 

My point with writing about this is that now that I’ve started believing that there are solutions

To any problem

To any moment

 

Now, I see them everywhere 

It’s hot?

Well, there’s a pond/lake/river

There are homeless people I’d have to walk past?

Well.  Now I know that they are People, who happen to be homeless. 

And as people, appreciate a smile and a hello just as much as anyone else. 

They did not follow me, did not try to bother me, did not ask me for anything. 

 

Some might, yeah.  But some people I’ve met who have houses and jobs and stuff

Have also tried to follow me

Or somehow bother me

When I did not wish them to

 

So that makes me feel like this is a human thing

And we are

All of us

 

Human.

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

Leave a Reply