Saturday, November 28, 2009

Not Homeless..

That is a positive statement.

At the moment anyway, I am not homeless. Things are far from perfect, but at least I have a roof over my head. It could be far worse and there will always be room for improvement.

The other side of the coin is if you want to dance you gotta' pay the fiddler. have I written about this already?

Lemme' check.

Well yeah, I did.

The fact is that when my money came from my regular monthly check the first thing I did was get money put away for an apartment. That took a major chunk out of it.

That was a good thing. And that how us crackheads tend to do things. Get money spent on the necessities before you buy any dope. it's the way we work. The way we roll. The way we would like things to go at any rate.

You see, if we dilly dally around and don't get money put into the necessities, we won't have any money left at all. It doesn't take long for those green backs to disappear.

So the long and short of it all this this:
I did get the apartment security deposit and first month's rent paid. I did get a few necessary items so I could start cleaning the place and keep myself comfortable. I didn't save enough to get a new bus pass and I didn't save enough to put any food into the place.

As mentioned before, Erie is a hard place to go hungry. The downside is that it is starting to get cold out there and the walks to those places are going feel longer and longer as the mercury drops.

I just have to keep remembering all the positives to Erie as I take those walks.

The good thing is that shouldn't be too hard.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things could have been worse...

Getting into St. Patrick's Haven last night was a bit painful. The plus side of it all was that I wasn't sleeping outside. In the summer, that would not have been an awful hardship, but the weather is starting to turn in this part of the world. It rained last night too boot, so a roof over ones head is good.

Anyway, the painful part was having to stand outside for approximately 2 hours waiting to be admitted to the shelter. This is sort of how it works. You line up at around 4:00 to 4:30 PM outside the fence that leads to the shelters back yard. You are informally given a number.

Well, you assign yourself a number. If you show up and there are more than 17 people already waiting you might as well look for alternative shelter. If there are less than that number, you count heads including yourself and assign yourself the last number. Last night I showed up with 12 people in front of me, so I was number 13.

The people who run the shelter don't approve of this numbering system, but it works for the people who use the place. One fellow, who is disabled and can't run or even walk too fast was guaranteed a spot based on this informal system. Since there were more than 17 that showed up last night, the last 2 fellows to show up knew to keep looking for a place to sleep.

Anyway, after waiting for about 2 hours and sorting out 'informally" who's in and who's not, you line up at the door. After filling out some paperwork you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. There is a TV set that some folks will change channels on without regard for personal safety. Anyway, if no one complains too loudly, you watch whatever the crazy tunes into until bedtime.

Later on, it's upstairs with you to make up your bed, get a shower and hopefully a decent nights sleep. A good nights sleep in not assured, but at least you'll be warm and dry.

I had someone wire me a few bucks so I could avoid the hassle involved with St. Patrick's Haven. One night of that was enough for anyone.

Actually I think it would be a great idea if the everyone had the pleasure of staying in a shelter for awhile. It might go along way towards improving conditions for homeless everywhere.

Anyway that was one bullet dodged from my misadventure from a few night before. Yeah, I think I mentioned that I had a bit of a mini-binge and lost my place at the Mission. I also blew money that was intended for things other than getting high.

Oh yeah! I also seriously overdrew my account. Only a crackhead would figure out how to milk every penny from the system that they can. Someone will probably fix that loophole someday. So far as I'm concerned, the sooner the better.

How many people do you know who smoke crack only use money set aside specifically for that purpose?

Not too many, right.

When that train starts rolling, it usually don't stop until all the money is gone.

Hopefully there will be a happier tale in the near future.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

If you wanna' dance...

You've gotta' pay the Fiddler.

So, I went and did it. Got all EFed up Monday and and am now paying the consequences.

What happened?

Well, first thing was that I had money in my account. That is a major trigger for me. Money in an easy place for me to get at is almost a guarantee that I gonna' score some shit.

So, I did cop some and went to an old friend's house to smoke. Now I haven't seen this guy in about 40 years. Why would he let me come into his house in the first place? He and his wife are both crack smokers. Show me a smoker who says no, and that is someone who is really "in recovery."

Anyway, I had $250.00 that was supposed to be for housing. At the very least a down payment or a deposit on getting a roof over my head when my next check came in. The guy who I was trying to work something out with has been waffling. I got the idea in my head that nothing was going to come of it so I used the cash to get high.

Then it gets better.

After I've exhausted the money from the account, I used a trick that's sort of a hole in the banking system. I used my ledger balance to get additional cash through a cash advance with a purchase. You know, you use your debit card to make a purchase and then when the machine asks do you want cash back you say "Yes!"

This stupid crack trick has a limited time window so you try to make the most of it during that days business. Wait until midnight and the cash fairy, or more accurately the financial institution says no.

When you're staying at the Mission you get one 24 hour period to stay out all night. Even with an extension, which I had, you can't get that second extension. What happens then is that you lose your bed.

So now I going to be without cash for about a week. I am going to be without a place to stay for that period of time as well. Not a nice place to be in at the moment.

The weather is nice today, but the weatherman promises rain by tonight or at worst tomorrow.

I'll let you all know how this is going play out.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Little Respect for Homeless People

Yeah, there are a lot of homeless people who got that way because of hitting a pipe. It happens. It happens all too often and their stories are sad if you took the time to listen to them.

The problem is though that these same people are often treated with disdain and receive little if any respect. Another thing to think about though, some people just are the victims of circumstances beyond their control. They don't use drugs, aren't alcoholics and want to work and have a real roof over their heads.

Then there are those unfortunates who are physically or mentally ill. Some of these people belong someplace other than on the street. Some are a danger to themselves and to others. Some are just suffering from conditions that they either can't afford to have treated or are afraid of the stigma that would be attached to them if they did seek treatment.

Now, you would think that people who work at some of the homeless shelters would have a tiny bit of sensitivity to the plight of the homeless. Amazingly there are a few who seem to think that the street has a place in those shelters.

Oh, they may make a big deal about making sure that those who are clients are served. But how about with a bit of respect. A little respect goes a long way and when you don't treat someone with respect, deserved or not, don't be surprised when you get none in return.

What brings this all on today?

This morning one of the shelter workers was hollering that there were people who were getting coffee who should not have been doing so. One of the shelter residents, who did not have a good handle on the English language, misunderstood what was happening and rushed out of the doors. This poor fellow left before he had a chance to get breakfast.

Maybe he didn't need that meal today. Who knows.

Maybe he was frightened by the aggressive nature of this worker. Heavens knows that many of the people staying in the shelter are hassled on a daily basis. Some for no more reason than they are indeed homeless.

Wouldn't it be nice for a shelter to be more than just a shelter from the inclement weather. How about a shelter from some of the bad attitudes and conditions many of these people face on the street?

OK...back off the soapbox for now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I've been away...

I haven't been getting high either.


It's just been one of those periods where my instincts and disposition have been to stay clean. This is certainly not normal for me, but it is what it is. The quality of the shit around here is pathetic. The cost for garbage is outrageous as well.

I suspect that there is something a bit better out there somewhere but resources have been stretched. Trying to find suitable housing has taken a more important role in my life recently as well. My time at the Mission is running short and the ability to get an extension there is questionable.

The place I wanted to live has rejected me because of credit problems, but they didn't know about my crack habit. Not that that would has strengthened my case for proper housing.

Actually, my addiction would probably gotten me into one of the hobo camps by the railroad tracks. This is not the time of the year to be sleeping under the stars. While I don't consider myself any better than anyone else, some of those people are downright scary.

I may have scared someone at one time or another, but when a person has the capacity to frighten me!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lab Rats

I got really pissed off the other day. At the mission, some street thug was talking with his source of supply. Well, that's my thought anyway. He was complaining to his source that his "lab rat" didn't like the quality of his goods.

This clown was pissed because his lab Rat was talking trash about his shit and it was hurting business. I can only wonder what the conversation sounded like from both sides. Perhaps it went something like this:

"Hey, my Lab Rat was talking and says that the shit he been gettin' from me was no good. What am I supposed to do 'bout dat?"

"Don't worry Cuz! Juz give him an extra bump next go round and tell him you' gonna' make it up next time."

Fact is though, the dealer is never gonna' make it up. They never do. It's all about money. making money and then making more money.

We're their cash cows, not their lab rats, seems as though they need to get that shit straight.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maybe I'm Depressed

The past few posts to this blog were certainly cynical and not at all upbeat. I'm thinking that has to be attributed to being depressed. it seems when that happens, whether it's a product of recently using or just the plain old garden variety, chemically unbalanced type I get crotchety.

Well, it comes with the territory.

There are more than a fair share of crack smokers who, unconsciously or not, use crack to kind of self medicate themselves. The stuff certainly does give you a lift after the first hit. It doesn't matter if it's the first of the day or the first one after a certain amount of abstinence.

The problem of course is when you run out. Run out of crack, run out of money or just run out of the energy to keep that binge going.

So the blues set in. The first part is the knowing that the party is over before you're ready to say the party's over. This can lead to trouble in some circumstances. You know, the clown who thinks they need a hit so bad that they try some stupid crack trick.

You know, the try to stick up the local convenience store. The grab the guy walking down the street and try to get his money trick. The go to the stroll and do the trick trick. Things that come back to haunt some crackheads for a very long time. Especially if they get caught, which happens a very high percentage of the time.

Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent. All I really wanted to do was tie in my apparent bad mood for the past several days to possible depression.

Am I going to stick up a store or roll a drunk to get more crack to put me into a better mood?


Thank God it hasn't gotten that bad.


Sheesh! Talk about cynical!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Choices.

Crackheads piss me off!

Yes, I fit the description to a T and have a hard time with the things I hate about myself. It is perhaps part of that self-loathing that fuels my occasional binges.

Who knows?

I've spent thousands of hours in therapy, in rehabs, in psych wards and in private counselors offices trying to figure it all out for myself. Regardless of all that I still find myself at the same place on an all too regular schedule.

Like when I get more than two dollars to rub together.

That aside, I really get upset by some crackhead behaviors that I see exhibited in others. it's the petty stuff that seems to gal me the most. "Do you have a spare smoke?" "I'm outta' toilet paper, can I borrow a roll from you?" "It's been awhile since I've had a decent meal, do you have something I can eat?"

Now, I do have to admit that whenever someone shows up and is hungry, I'll do what I can to get some food into them. The other stuff just grates all too much though. The other thing is that if they don't ask, sometimes they just take it upon themselves to help themselves to your stuff.

No asking, just taking.

At times I think there are entitlement issues at play here. I have something they want, they feel entitled to just taking what they want. The thing is that should I ever ask for a bit of something from another user, it's like pulling hen's teeth unless they can see some profit from the trade, loan or whatever.

Maybe I haven't reached the same place in my addictive behavior to just take other people's stuff. Maybe I'm cold hearted and just don't want to share what little I do own.

I had a few days in a row without going hungry. I wonder if that is not making me insensitive to the plight of my fellow crackheads.

Naw! After all it's all about making choices.

Besides, I'm POed because someone gave me attitude because I wouldn't give them my next to last cigarette.