This morning was a cool morning. Waking each morning I find that i appears my usual time clock, rained religiously for the last 30 years, is being rudely broken.
I am starting to enjoy my 5AM walk to breakfast, yikes does this mean I am starting to be assimilated? As I observe the truly homeless walking the streets choosing not to seek out these fine services, their panhandling (the profession that never has a break has brought them to a new day. Night that has now become morning, the coolness of the morning reminds me of what I enjoys so much about the night.
There is such a calm at 4:30 in the morning, in some cities the clubs have just closed, and the cities Denny's or local diner, is full with exhausted or dreamy eyed customers. The liquor in most cases worn off a quick bacon and eggs or shared omelet finish the night and the early morning day break.
In this city, the clubs have been closed for several hours, the local diners are now empty, and there is no GAY Denny's to find the clubbers who have he same general opinion of life, or for me to order my usual ice cream sunday and cup of coffee.
Walking to my destination, I pass an occasional person I know from jail, prison, or the shelter, who didn't find refuge that night. I dismiss questions of "Sir can you spare a dollar?" or "I am sorry I didn't mean to bug you." A phrase that almost made me stop and actually hand her some change. But, I never do, cause as in the past I never have.
I admire the landscape set before me of the Puget Sound, passing Marion, Madison and Spring streets and depending on the day, the view of docked bulk carriers, or Ro-Ro's parked in the middle of the sound, sound asleep, give me a moment of tranquility once achieved by my love for travel and visiting strange cities and being surrounded by unfamiliar people. Perched on these streets, like a bird looking over its nest, I have seen beautiful pictured landscapes of moons on the water, in fact a few days ago an eclipsed moon; overcasts of fog that took me into a three dimensional view life and out of my one-dimensional view of my situation. These days, I so find myself peering into the text on this screen that has become my pen and my escape. Tempted to disturb the landscape before, and of yet never acted upon, I tell myself that I should walk to the boardwalk and observe the glassy reflections that I see from afar.
A hater of the mundane I am quickly reminded that the mundane would drive me crazy, I dismiss the hike knowing the hike would begin the transformation out of my athletic figure of French fries and crispy bacon!
For today I have a mission, the much awaited re-opening of the Urban Stop is to happen. Seven years in business, I hear the friendly attendant tell another client. This place, small but quaint, had finally expanded after fiver years of anticipation, once again the tour guide proclaims, is a wash and shower facility. When I approached the building I could see that other early morning clients heard the shelter was finally reopening. Sharing "Hello's." and "How you been?" and with the usual politician demeanor I acquired in Portland, I reacted with my usual polish of my past, "Hey are you? When you get out? You staying out of trouble? Cool, that's awesome, have a good day, and stay out of trouble?" This in closing I present my smile that reminds me that I am not on of hem, but with as fast a polish, I remember, why I was walking to the facility to begin with.
Most know me by my last name, and they always tell the people they are with if any, this is the guy who is fighting DOC. I of course dismiss that, and remind them that in fact I am not fighting the DOC, but in fact I am just trying to elevate the awareness of what is happening. In the days of old, we used to call this type of understanding as "eating-your-own-dog-food." Perhaps, the next time a policy maker puts forth a "good idea" maybe they should "eat-their-own-dog-food?"
Nothing has changed. Maybe the city, maybe ... Ah who cares.
In the Urban Stop, I was generally surprised, if you wanted to, you could take a shower, and be given a pair of coveralls so that you can as well wash the clothes on your back! Not since I traveled in Europe with a backpack and several At Risk Kids who I dared to graduate from high school at my expense, did I experience such hospitality.
Avoiding the red coverall, I walked out from the shop, clean treated professionally and with a genuine carrying attitude by the staff, the same general demeanor I received by the Compass Center, the UGM, the Bread of Life, New Horizons and I thought?
What the heck?
I must say, in my final analysis, only my mom doing my laundry has made my new type of laundry day easier. Thank You
AMEN CORNER - (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE