I'm up at 5:30 on work mornings, 6 if I'm knackered or went to bed too late. (read 10pm) My routine doesn't vary too much. Coffee is a staple as is groping my wife's bum. I spend a bit of time looking at a few News feeds to see what I can weep or moan about. It's big big World out there and I like to keep in the know. Often however, I'm left downcast and discouraged. The evil men do!
Breakfast however is NOT something I really go in for. No idea why...never really have done. Save your time, I've heard all of the reasons regarding Pro breaky. As a friend would say "blah blah blah"
Once in a rare while however, I do cremate a few slices of bread and heap natural peanut butter on them, but not often. Usually I just stand there looking at the toaster through bleary eyes feel neither here nor there about the whole exercise. Too much effort I guess? Burn the toast, set off the alarms and then effing firemen arrive who park wherever the devil they like! (whole other story)
The other day I was waiting for my wife while she was busking with a friend at the Granville transit station. I wandered up and down Granville Mall looking at all the shops wondering how they survive. I guess I'm out of touch as a consumer. It all looked like over-priced options to me. What do I know though right?
Anyway...nothing has really changed along that strip since the 70's. There are still lots of young people huddled together in alcoves with dogs and instruments asking for change, doing drugs and being outspoken about The Man. They're outcasts, runaways, rude boys, misunderstood, unheard, arrogant and well...trying to Find themselves.
I married a former Granville Mall vagrant, theres hope. My hope is that they all find themselves quickly so they can gather they're smelly belongings and leave in order to make room for the next busload of sojourners from back East or the 'burbs outside of Vancouver.
I see these humans with about 5 decades in front of them and in my opinion, they're too cynical already and cop attitude if you don't throw a few coins into their hallowed chalice. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, no free bonus from me!
Play me a song, dance, juggle broken bottles, bare knuckle fight each other, recite slam poetry, stand on your heads, tell jokes or try and guess my weight! DO SOMETHING!
Sitting there copping a shit attitude whilst glaring at the parade of people who pass by, read your cardboard sign and could really care less about you should be your definitive clue. Unless of course, you're right and everybody really does suck!
I work hard for my meat and drink as do most people I know. Sure, there are times when people get behind the 8-ball and we help them if we can, but it isn't a constant pattern unless there are other underlying issues.
So yeah, no "spare change" for you!
Meanwhile, there was this scruffy man in his twilight years further up Granville near that manky porn shop that has been there for 30+ years to my knowledge. It seemed to me that he had all but given up on life. One of his legs had been taken away from him, his clothing was shite and he sported a ruddy beard that any Hipster would crave...his hair would make a Rastafarian jealous too.
His pathetic eyes told of a long, sad albeit mute story and his filthy 7-11 coffee cup that caught coins had me believe he recycled.
No ambivaLance (sic) here! I let my change slide off my hand into his cup. He just smiled. I wondered if he even knew where he was? I got the feeling that he didn't need a crust and a chat so I carried on back down Granville and passed the arrogant youth and glared back. Karma...I may end up working for one of those younguns one day.
Its funny isn't it? I'm ALWAYS chatting with crack addicts, drugged out kids in care, $10 sex trade workers, humans suffering mental health issues, pimps, drunks and alley rats but those kids sitting around doing bugger all get no time from me. I s'pose its another prejudice I have. Like those guys asking for coins along the median at red lights! PICK UP YOUR TRASH!!!!!!
Sorry, lost my focus. Who was I berating?
Oh yes...lazy entitled young people. Well...I'm done doing that. Its boring and costs too much energy.
So gentle reader, your application for this night's reading is easy...
The next time you notice someone sitting in the pissing rain asking for coins, ENGAGE THEM! Ask them if, when they were 5, was their dream job Addict asking for change or Whore trying to survive a nightmare?
You wanna buy them food instead of providing a means for their immediate escape (dope, booze...) then TAKE them into a $1.49 a slice pizza joint and sit with them. I've had some amazing chats in McDonalds, Tim Hortons, A&W and 7-11's.
Don't try and tell me that you're no good at it or that I'm a natural...if this resonates with you, DO IT! But be safe!!!!
Tell me about it. Tell me why you can't. Comment here or email me email@example.com
Shoulders back, chin up, breathe deep WALK!