I went to the soup kitchen for the first time yesterday. It was an interesting experience. First, no one said to me, “You look too good. You couldn’t possibly be homeless!” like I was hoping they would. Of course, the place isn’t just for homeless people. It’s for anyone who needs something to eat. Still. 🙂
Second, I could not believe how nice the food was. I thought it would be really carby stuff like lotsa potatoes and bread but the meal yesterday was chicken with a lovely light sauce that went over spaghetti (I didn’t eat the spaghetti because of my gluten allergy) and nice green beans, not canned, vegetables and something else on my plate…can’t remember what. They had pink lemonade or milk to drink and your choice of desserts! I think there were 5 different choices! I had blueberry pie (only a bite, of course…can’t eat crust).
I’m surprised that the place doesn’t have a line a mile long with food like that. MH was there…the guy who runs The Colony. He treated me like a queen introducing me to some of the men there. I think he also gave me his regular seat. There were women there too. I know a couple of them from The Colony.
You had to wait in line but not for very long but once you sit down there was a wait. Or at least there was yesterday. I don’t like that part. I’m never comfortable with long waits with a bunch of people because you feel like you’re supposed to talk or something. The good news is, a lot of the men around me weren’t talkative either although MH was!
MH has sort of fashioned himself as a street preacher so he is preaching all the time or passing along information. He feels like this is his calling. I think he was sort of arguing with a woman on the way in to the place. That’s what happens when you discuss religion with some people. They can’t just have an intelligent discussion without getting all wound up. So MH kept things lively and I had a great meal. I slept at The Colony last night too. MH mentioned that he had been sleeping there for a year now without any trouble. One of the women who rents an office there (it’s an office complex) was writing down his license plate number one day and another woman who rent there told him…so he just went up and introduced himself. He’s matter of fact about things and obviously doesn’t come across as a drug addict or ne’er do well so I guess she was okay with him and nothing bad happened.
I like that approach. I’ve always been a direct person most of the time but since I became a free-sleeper aka homeless, I have felt sort of ashamed around regular people…timid. It’s not that what I’m doing is wrong…it’s just that I know most of them would look down on me. I have been surprised though at how many haven’t.
So I’ll probably go back to the kitchen today. I don’t know that my friend CS will always be able to give me something to eat at her house and this is a sure thing. It’s weird being there. I feel scared because I know there are probably some bad people there. Then again, there were some bad people at the big fancy skyscraper job too.
There were also some college kids there too who wanted to ask people questions…not mandatory…I didn’t talk with them. There were reporter there the day before that. Everyone is so interested in “The Homeless”. They were saying they wanted to help people get into housing. I wonder how many people in that room wanted to jump through the hoops to make that happen. Not me, not at the moment.
There are always going to be vagabonds, people like me who don’t want to live a conventional life. In my opinion though, those of us who choose this lifestyle should try to be contributing members of society-or at least not mooches. We should try to stay clean and sober so we don’t scare anyone.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.