Living inside well, you can take a lot of things for granted, like a toilet. When I first came off the streets, I would step outside to smoke a cigarette, realize I had to pee, step over to a bush and go.
One night I thought, what in the hell am I doing, this is a fricking neighborhood and well someone may see me and find this strange. If you are homeless in a city finding a place to go can really be difficult, that is why a lot of hobo’s smell like hobo’s.
Portland has a lot of homeless services and compassionate people, but the city government makes it as tough on homeless folks as they can, so as to drive them out of business districts. It doesn’t work and creates rebellion and resentment which makes the gulf wider emotionally between the haves and have-nots.
For one thing few business establishments in Portland will let people use their bathrooms unless you are a customer, it makes it difficult for the homeless, especially women.
When I was in court pleading not guilty to an open container ticket, an older black man had just done his community service for urinating and defecating (what a fine word defecate is) in public.
He complained about the city not providing outhouses or port-a-potties for the homeless. The judge seemed like a fair man but, treated street people like little children, it made me angry actually.
The homeless guy had a fair point. Adding a few port-a-potties to nooks and crannies of cities would easily solve that.
Me? I have my own special method of taking a piss break. I have been wearing a fleece poncho as of late, it is very becoming, but it serves another purpose. When I have to urinate, I take a cup stick it in my pants, face the people on the sidewalk and go. My little rebellion I guess.
Another kid was in court for having herb. The judge said something about being in possession of marijuana. The kid said that he wasn’t in his possession of it, but that he was smoking it. This got a big laugh out of me and some others too. The judge looked at us like, “you poor things” and told the kid, “You have a receptive audience here, but it isn’t helpful.”
It reminded of royalty in times of yore. They had all the advantages; learned all of societies rules, had all the money, but were deeply unhappy and took that unhappiness out on the peasants.
I have been processing my resentment about how I am treated on the streets and much of it stems from the fact that I am treated much differently when I am not on the streets and when people find out I have a Master’s degree and have written for a newspaper.
I have been guilty of similar thinking, but if we practice Christ’s teachings these man made thoughts disappear and we all become beautiful children of God the creator.
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