I have been working around addicts since before I had less than six months clean. I consider myself to be relatively jaded however my walk to work today provided some new levels of sadness. First of all, in the San Francisco Bay Area we have a train system known as the Bay Area Rapid Transit or BART. This BART is not to be mistaken with the other BAART. The other BAART is a string of methadone business well honed into a money making machine. Anyway, upon arrival at BART, the smell of piss is completely overwhelming. Three of our four escalators are out of service. It was recently documented in sensational headlines that the escalators are breaking beacuse they are getting clogged up with urine and feces. I hope you are not eating breakfast readers. That is the reality.
As i got a few blocks closer, there was a man standing in front of the donut shop. I smelled him long before i saw him. he smelled like feces from a half a block away. This many clearly had a devil on his shoulder. He has some sort of mental illness tormenting him. The devil sits on his shoulder whispering hateful things into his ear. And all the while he listens, unable to to raise his voice loud enough to create a silence. San Francisco is full of people like this man. they can function JUST ENOUGH to stay out of the hospital but have issues taking care of them selves on a daily basis.
Finally, as I turned the corner, I saw a homeless nest where a woman was camped nect to her wheelchair shooting dope next to her dog. None of these things should shock me anymore. I see all of them on a daily basis. I try to help my little corner of the world. The saturation here can be so overwhelming at times. Sometimes, I cry for the dogs because I can no longer relate to the people. I have lived in many states, many places. I have visited slums, housing projects and crack dens. But this is all out in the open. When people focus on the tragedies of the world, I see the tragedies at home- the devil on the shoulder.