a short story.


He would drive the same way his office 6 days a week. He worked alone. Passing the same bums holding their sign on the freeway on ramp and off ramp. Never ever looking their way. Just straight head. He could not even tell you what the signs said.

 Then, after parking he would walk the 4 blocks to his office dodging the “panhandlers” it made him so angry! “why should I give them one thin dime of my hard earned money? They could gt a job, McDonald’s, greeter at Walmart, selling flowers on the corner, what ever!” but the begging, it really chapped his hide.

More so when they had children with them to get more sympathy. It made him sick, enraged even.

He would say “It was not my problem that they drank or drugged their way to the street. Not my problem if you can get food to eat there are food banks.”

 

This went on for years. Voting against health care, and tax raise for the poor. “They should pull them selves up by their own boot straps”. why should he have to pay for someone else medical bills? Get insurance for Petes sake, get a job your problem is NOT MY PROBLEM!

 

One night, after working late, he was walking to the car park and he was mugged. Savagely beaten beyond reconstitution and everything stolen. His wallet. briefcase all his Ids and Credit cards. The thieves took his keys and stole his car, drove it to his house and took most of what ever was of any value what so ever and then trashed it.

 

He lay (lie?) in the street for some time, with catastrophic injury’s. Around 3 am someone drove by and called d911 saying there was a dead guy in the road. When the EMTs got to him he was not dead, but barely alive. He was rushed to the hospital where he spent the next several months in coma. After a transfer to a hospital able to care for indigent patents, as no one knew his name, no one even placed a missing persons report.

 

After nearly a year, he was release, at this point, he knew his name but he could not prove it. He remembered who he was and where he lived. But he had no friends or co workers, no family, he had estranged himself from everyone he ever knew.

 

He was literally lead out the door of the hospital and told to go on his way.

 

He had no where to go, no money he had a long scruffy beard. And a limp. He had no clothes they had been torn off when he first was admitted to the trauma unit. He did not even have a pair of shoes, a nice nurse gave him a set of those paper scrubs, ya know the ones that dads wear when their wives have babies?

 

So he started to walk to his old apt. but when he got to it. There was another man living there. The man would not even open the door. In fact he told him to go back under the bridge where he belonged! The man cried and begged him please! This is my house I live here! The guy on the inside of the house said. “dude. That is not my problem! Go away. Or I will call the cops”

 

So he walked away alone, penniless, cold and hungry. In paper pajamas.

He walk for hours on his bare feet soon he found him self at the bridge where he found a community of homeless folk.

Men

woman

families with children

dogs

 

When he walk over to a fire in an old trash can he was welcomed with a pair a pants. Dirty filthy pants. He needed a rope to keep them up as they did not fit.

Someone else gave him a old sweater it had holes and smelled, but once a blanket was wrapped wound him he felt a little better, he found a corner and went to sleep.

 

The next day the woke up and followed the others to a shelter to get coffee and breakfast from some church, but he had to sit though a sermon telling him he was going to hell. But the coffee was hot and the food OK.

 

Then one of his new friends said. Here is a box top. You can write anything, “help: in need; I am hungry;; what ever you want and people will give you their spare change.

He took his sign stood on a corner and two men walked by, one tossed some lose change in his can, the other would not look at him, his companion asked “come one dude you have some change for the old guy,” but the other just said “its not my problem dude, he should just get a job.”

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