Friday, December 12, 2014

Gourmet chicken lunch for 2

There's been a lot of negative local News reported lately. Horrific crimes against humans and property, unchecked Corporate waste of taxpayer monies, police hassles, storms, Government bs...a rather dreary list.
So...a personal good news moment!  I have hope for placement in another job working with marginalized people in Vancouver's Downtown East Side. Canada's poorest postal code. I won't quit driving truck straight away and I'll never allow my professional licenses to lapse but working WITH people is what I really enjoy.
It's a front line job "working" with men (and women) in various stages of addiction, stagnated by poverty and mental health issues and a prejudiced system that continues to fail them.
I'm afraid I've never been able to look away from these types of social issues. I've never felt the urge to chase after a well paying career in some other area.. I'm convinced that big bags of cash wouldn't make me happy. (However I COULD help more people??) 
I bought a guy lunch today. Dave lives in a shitty little space that costs him $500 mouth in single room occupancy hotel in skid row.
"Its clean and the landlord keeps the crack heads out" he assures me. I brought Dave on the truck today because I thought I'd need a hand loading 155 turkeys from a supplier. He was happy to get out and see a part of the city he doesn't recall being in. I guess change is good when you're used to 120 square feet of private living space off of the always active Hastings street.
Dave had a chicken burger, fries and black coffee. We had precious little time so it was a "kiss me quick" at A&W.
I don't recall the last time I've noticed anyone enjoy food the way he did! A crappy fast-food meal (no offense Allen & Wright)
Dave is 51 and has been clinically depressed for 8 years. Too often, for many days on end, he can't face leaving that stuffy hot room of his even though he's on a cocktail of medications.
I understand his struggle in a minute way. Difference is I have a supportive wife, a job, a motorbike, coverage for meds and therapy and friends to name a few of my blessings.
Dave has...his room and smokes. Dave rolls his own smokes...from butts he finds on the pavement. I don't like the smell of them but Dave needs "his fix". Dave doesn't drink or do drugs.
The system fails Dave moment by moment I'm afraid. The social safety net isn't strong enough to support his weight until he's fit enough to keep employed somewhere.
This COULD become you you realize?
So there's a happy story mixed with bitter realism for a Friday night.
I'll see Dave again. I see him often.
In the mean time. Look after yourselves.

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