February 22, 2011

If you'll just, gimme shelter.....

Why do homeless women with kids
always get the best spots?

As stated in my previous post, the good-hearted soul who has so generously allowed me to couch-surf at his abode since my release from, Miami Valley Hospital, last, Tuesday afternoon had custody of his two children over the past two days. (Sunday, February, 20th and Monday, February 21st.) Again, since he's currently in the midst of attempting to gain permanent custody of the kids and image being everything right now to, Children's Services, it was decided that a rapscallion such as myself might not properly embellish the desired familial image he's trying to maintain as the loving and devoted father and perhaps it would be best if I vacated the sofa during their visit.

Again, as previously posted, Sunday, at ten-o-clock in the morning, I first prepared and then saddled up my homeless-survival-gear and then headed out the front door of the apartment building and into the harsh and cruel elements of, Dayton, Ohio in true homeless fashion.

As stated in my last post the day began as a good day to be homeless and I spent the best part of the afternoon and early evening in the friendly confines of, Bethel Christian Church. Alas, as we all know, all good things must come to an end and as night began to fall it was time to find shelter for the evening and settle in for a long night out on the mean streets of, Dayton, Ohio. Having visited the local K-Mart earlier in the afternoon I couldn't help, but notice they had a nice awning above the front of the facility with a convenient little bench located in a shadowy little spot near the place where they stored their shopping carts. Thinking this would provide a nice bit of shelter from the rain we were expecting later on in the evening hours I marked it as a possible lodging spot in the afternoon and decided to return later and stake my claim to the bench and the shelter of the awning for a good night's sleep.

One more time I began the arduous journey from, Bethel Christian Church, on, Smithville Road, down the long hill towards the, K-Mart, on, Woodman Drive. Let me tell you dear readers that the brush along the sides of the asphalt path I walked was filled with the feral glow of beastly eyes peering hungrily from dark and hidden holes, waiting for a single misstep on my part before pouncing and assailing me with sharp tooth and razor claw. (They know full well that the homeless make for tasty meals and usually travel alone and not in packs.) Still I continued the trek towards the, K-Mart, on Woodman Drive, ready to stake out my small spot for the night and defend it against any and all potential predators.

Using my finely honed homeless skills I chose a, Speedway, gas station across the street from the, K-Mart, from which I might discreetly reconnoiter my chosen spot and wait for the store to close and all of the employees to leave for the night before strolling over and settling down upon my bench for the night. (How I do love a good plan.) Everything went as expected and soon the store lights dimmed, all of the shoppers were sent packing and the front doors locked. Now it came down to waiting for the employees to go home. It wasn't long before the lights of the store were turned out, workers began filing to their cars and leaving and I knew it wouldn't be long before the parking lot was empty and I could make my move.

Soon I was settled in upon my bench and ready for whatever the night would bring. My first course of action was to text my good friend in, Seattle, Kirk. Now, Kirk, is perhaps one of the fastest texting people that I know. Once he gets going it's hard to get a text in edgewise. I'm telling you, the man is fast. well, by the time, Kirk and I got to texting back and forth my phone was beeping like an alien space ship looking for cattle to mutilate. We were having such fun I didn't notice the police cars entering the, K-Mart, parking lot until they were right up on me. Turns out the cleaning staff heard the beeping sounds and unsure what was going on they called the police and asked them to investigate.

After a thorough frisking the officers ran my drivers license for wants and warrants. Once it was determined that I wasn't a wanted criminal they asked what I was doing sitting on the, K-Mart, bench and I told them that I was only waiting for the rain showers to let up before continuing on my way home. Mollified, they sent me on my way into the rainy night and the spot I'd so carefully scouted out during the day was gone and I was forced to formulate a, "Plan B." Regrettably, I once more began the arduous journey back up the hill towards, Smithville Road.

By now it was getting late and indeed the rain we'd been promised was coming down pretty steady. Sleeping out of doors in the elements is one thing. Sleeping out of doors in the elements soaking wet is quite another. I knew I had to find shelter and find it fast. As I walked down, Smithville Road, I noticed a church with a little playground attached to it's lot. There was a slide with a small wooden cabin on top enclosed on three sides and most importantly, it had a roof. Giving both praise and thanks to the gods I climbed up the rope ladder and into the dry shelter of the cabin. At last I thought to myself, I'm safe and secure against prying eyes, animal and human predators and the weather. I laid my head down upon my backpack and prepared to go to sleep.

I don't know how long I'd been sleeping before the harsh white glare of the spotlights woke me up and of course as soon as I looked out the little window of the cabin I was confronted by a small contingent of police cars. (The Dayton Police Department, this time.) After another thorough frisking this group of officers ran my drivers License for wants and warrants and after determining that I still wasn't a dangerous criminal they asked me what I was doing on top of the slide in the middle of night. At this point I opted for the truth and told them the story of being out in elements for the evening because of the children visiting their father. They sympathized with my plight, but like the, Sugarcreek Policemen, they told me I couldn't sleep in the slide because a neighbor had complained and once again I was rousted from my shelter and sent wandering into the rainy night once more.

As I walked down, Smithville Road, yet one more time a small mini-van pulled up alongside of me and when the passenger side window rolled down I walked up to the car and peered inside at the driver.

"You look pretty wet and cold," he said.

"You aren't kidding," I replied.

"Tell you what I can do," he said. "If you're willing to give me a blow job, I can pull into one of the parking lots and you you can at least get a little warmth inside my car for a while."

I just stared at the man for a moment. "Really, that's your best offer," I said. I just couldn't believe I was being propositioned by someone for oral sex in exchange for the temporary shelter of a warm car. As, God, is my witness he looked at me and said, "You don't expect me to take a homeless man into my house do you?" Yeah, I got angry and told him off. He rolled up the window and off into the night he drove leaving me once again cold, wet and now angry as well. It was just the cherry on top of what was turning out to be a wonderful evening...

Okay, I'll make this quick so you can get back to your life and the important things like Facebooking your friends and watching, American Idol, or Fox News. I wound up sitting on a bench in front of a, Kroger's, watching the rain fall until nine-thirty in the morning when I made my way to the, Burkhardt Library, where I dried out, used the Internet and waited for, Robert, to get a hold of me and let me know it was time to return to the couch and get some well needed rest. Let me assure you, once I hit the sofa I just about cried with relief.

I'm just too darn old and weary for this crap. I've got a terrible cold now and am sick as a dog, my legs still hurt from walking so much and the best part of all this, the kids are visiting again this weekend and the weather forecast is for even worse weather, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! And you folks wonder why I'm feeling suicidal these days...


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