Monday, October 15, 2007

Morning Edition - 10/15/07

Burning Ignorance
Felix Najera, 49, found himself in a bad predicament. He was a homeless alcoholic man who routinely begged for cigarettes and slept in a cardboard box in front of an East Harlem church. The parish fed Najera, who associated the front of the church with home. On October 5th, Israel Torres, 29, set the cardboard box where Najera slept on fire. With 40 percent of his body burned Najera struggled with his injuries. On October 9th, Najera lost his fight to live. Torres is charged with assault and attempted murder. His charges have not been upgraded to murder since Najera’s death.

Mr. Telephone Man
Saturday night BD, the Minnie and I hit the theater to see the Dzul Dance Company in a beautiful performance that was a combination of Alvin Ailey meets Cirque du Soleil. The story was a tale of love, infidelity, death and a return to love. The Minnie and I sat glued to the actors and our second row center seats offered a reach-out-and-touch view. He and I whispered that we were going to leap on to the stage and take over the performance, but were asked by BD to pipe it down…but hey, we’re actors and we won’t allow the establishment to keep us down. Afterward, we joked and laughed through the streets before grabbing a late-night bite. When we returned to the car we strapped the Minnie into the backseat and he quickly fell asleep as we drove home. BD held my hand and he mouthed, “I love you,” when I looked in the rearview mirror and announced, “The baby’s asleep.” As they were getting out of the car, the Minnie gave me a tight hug and I performed my, “PLEASE DON’T GO…YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME!!” while hugging him tightly. He laughed uncontrollably and looked back after BD closed the car door. I winked and he winked back. Yesterday, as I was preparing to have BD for lunch… I mean, over for lunch…my telephone rang. Seeing BD’s number on the caller ID, I simply answered and said, “Yeah Pa, are you on your way?” I heard a giggle and then a familiar voice said, “Hey, are you going to come over?” Thinking BD was with him, I dramatically asked, “Who is this?” He laughed again and coyly asked, “Who do you think it is?” I said, “A smart kid who refused to take the stage last night.” He jumped right into character and yelled, “I told you, I’m not performing and I quit!” I sighed and said, “Well then I’m suing you for all your PS2 games for breaking our contract.” He laughed and said, “I’ll see you in court.” Our little charade over, he went right back to his initial question, “Are you going to come over and hang out?” I said, “I don’t know. We’re going to need to ask Daddy.” “He’s going to want me to go to bed early for school tomorrow so you have to talk to him,” he interjected. “Where is daddy?” I asked. He quickly said, “He’s at the store buying groceries.” I smiled and said, “Well, when he comes back tell him to call me and I’ll talk to him.” He said, “Great. Hope to see you.” As I hung up the phone I realized that the Minnie had found my number on his own and actually called me to invite me over. It gave me such a warm feeling. I filled the tub and took a hot bath, waiting for BD to arrive. As he came in and we sat on my bed – uh…talking – I mentioned the Minnie’s call. He was about to apologize and I said, “No, it was so cute….” He said, “I was so surprised that he looked for your number and called you. I didn’t spank him because he was so excited to talk to you.” I realized that my friendship with the Minnie is growing. I really enjoy him and it makes my relationship with BD a full family experience; one that I’ve never experienced before. We made love for a couple of hours and laid staring at each other in the dim light. BD ran his finger over my lips and said, “Thank you for making us so happy.” I hugged him and simply said, “Well, I feel like the big winner here. I get a baby without the stretch marks.” We hugged tight and drifted into a soft afternoon haze.

On Blast
Studies have shown that many Americans – even those that seem wealthy – are just one paycheck from homelessness. How do you honestly view the homeless men and women you pass everyday? Do you believe they are homeless because they choose to be?

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Tiffanie said...

This is a tough call. Sometimes I think they don't try hard enough and then other times, I think they're just stuck in a catch 22.

Two quick stories:

We have a "regular" lady at my job who sits on the steps outside my building. Along with a few other girls, I was walking and overheard the jobless ('cause we've learned she's not homeless) lady telling another homeless person that she "gets off at 3." The girl walking beside me said, "Oh, you get off? This is your job???" Her reply was, "Yeah girlfriend!"

On another day, I was going to lunch with my best friend, and we were walking into Wendy's (to get a salad of course). This homeless dude staggered towards us and asked my girl for some money to get lunch. She said, "Well come on in with us and I'll get you something." He, with much attitude, said, "I don't like Wendy's!"

I guess beggars CAN be choosers, after all.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

lol @ Tiffanie

I like to think they are in that position due to circumstances beyond their control. Yeah, some of them are just fuck ups. I've been a fuck up so I can relate to that too. Still, it doesn't give me the right to judge or look down on them.

I sometimes give my last dollar to a homeless person; I also sometimes ignore their requests when I'm in a bad mood. On one of those bad days, a homeless guy who I'd ignored followed me into my favorite health food store to tell me loudly that God is watchin' and He doesn't like stingy people.

I told him to ask God for a dollar then and get outta my face.

I wonder if God gave it to him?

bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

First, if you do one more Cocoa & BD story that makes me smile, Imma fight you yo! LoL. I love it.

Your blast comment is an interesting one yo... I was expressing to my lil FH (fag hag) here at work one day that I don't understand how people 'allow' themselves to become homeless. I mean it's a dumb statement I know but in knowing myself, I would never 'allow' that to happen to me. I'd flip burgers (and have in the past although that was when I was 15 and only for a month b4 I told the manager that I was too smart for that shit and promptly was placed on drive before I'd be relegated to begging on the street. There are two homeless (or jobless) individuals I see everyday during my travels to and from work. One is a man at Penn Station whom when I see him he's either sleep on the floor or drinking a 40. That bothers the shyt out of me and I would not give him a penny! The second lady I see at Grand Central Station. Now I used to feel bad for this lady, however, I have an overwhelming urge to help her! She seems to have on clean cloths everyday, never looks disheveled, and is pleasent. She sits there and greets me every morning and evening as I pass by while she listens to her walkman (Yes, she has a walkman which threw me!). I told my FH that she just seems to have been down on her luck and I would love to take her out to lunch and see if I could help her get a job! Still thinking about it...

Great post as usual Cocoa!


Tim said...

You know the Minnie story made me smile this morning.

As far as the homeless goes, I do believe that we're all less than one check away from being on the street, but I do believe that it's about half-and-half, especially here in Chicago. You have the homeless guys that try and then you have the ones that try to exploit their situation.

Real quick story about those that exploit:
I was getting on the subway one night and this guy told me he was homeless and trying to get to the shelter but needed a dollar to get on the train. I offered to put him on the train with my pass, but he declined and told me he really needed the money to get some cigarettes. I walked away.

Joey Bahamas said...

YAY for the Mini! I like him already!!

I take a Marxist perspective on economy so I would have to say that we live in a system the perpetuates homelessness. And, whether or not people aren't trying hard or they are pushed out onto the street, the current system doesn't allow the resources for us to help people....

Kensilo said...

Nice to read that you, BD and the Minnie are doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

you and I grew up in the hood, so that one check away from homelessness thing is real to us : )
if that is the case, I have no reservations with going on the dole. I need a break.


life said...

I'm so afraid to be that guy on the street I save like it could happen next week. sigh..the thought just blows me. YOU, MINNIE, AND BD are just the best! THERE IS HOPE!!!!

Mr. Jones said...

Unlike most people, I don't dismiss the homeless. Most of them just want someone to connect with. Just to talk. I give them that.

Anonymous said...

I think some people choose not to help themselves so they remain begging on the street and homeless. The people who end up homeless due to circumstances beyond their control don't stay homeless very long.

Troy N. said...

lovin' what you wrote.
I remain constantly giving to anyone who asks -someday they could very well be me.