This time of year the church people and the do gooders of the world take a day here and there to be kind to us homeless. 362 days in the calendar, they simply cannot be bothered. They are easily irritated if someone in front of them in line pulls out food stamps. They want to know if he paid for that steak with his welfare check. "Are my tax dollars going to buy that beer?" they wonder in disgust as they step over my feet. Compassion comes in the form of blankets, socks, and warm beverages.
The irony of public benefit is that the agony people are put through for $175 every two weeks is rarely worth the money. Welfare requires waiting in line and in hard chairs 8 hours, being finger printed, and asked to sweep the streets. The same job pays $20 to city employees but the city gets people on welfare to do the job for $15 a day. Fuck that shit. The only time I had welfare for a few months, I had a raging case of Hepatitis A. Your eyes and skin turn a yellowish color. Your piss turns brown and your poop turns white. Needless to say, my worker had pity on me and let me stay home for a month to get better. I took a week off from turning dates but could not afford much longer with a habit to feed and rent that was $120 a week. When I decided I no longer was willing to prostitute myself to keep a roof over my head, I ended up on the streets.
I lied to get in here today. My drag queen friend and I both lied. I think we were supposed to be much younger. We are not the target homeless. People have less compassion for us at 25 and 26 respectively. We didn't actually lie, we just blended in. I looked much younger than me age. Or at least I thought I did. The men used to pick me up and ask me- how old are you? I would tell them 22. They would tell me to get out of the car until I told them NO NO. I am 16. They wanted me to be 16. They were not interested in me being of age. The specifically wanted me to be younger. One guy took me to a trailer right before Christmas. It was on the side of a property he owned. Inside the trailer, he had a bed. It was a princess bed, with a canopy, like the kind a 10 year old girl would have. With dolls on the side on makeshift shelves. He wanted to fuck me on the princess bed. People wonder why I can't stop using drugs. Because I know there are men out there pretending to be normal while they take young hookers on princess beds. I tried to shut this out of my mind while I got passed the hot chocolate.
I haven't seen my family in a year? Two years? Another Christmas spent alone again. My friend tries to cheer me up by handing me a new pair of shoes. They have long tables full of donated items. We can all take a few things. These are $20 shoes from Payless that hurt my feet within 20 minutes of walking in them. At least they look nice. I would get arrested in them for selling drugs to pay my rent, the day after Christmas.
I am sitting against the wall wondering if there is something I could sell here? I don't need to steal. They will just give it to me. They can give me a few trinkets but they can't give me what I need. Can they turn back the clock on the past 5 years? Can they take the needle back out of my arm? Can they repair my self worth and restore me to a feeling of belonging in the company of friends? No one can save me. No one can help me. I am out on the street again. I am full of food with a backpack full of donated stuff. I have empty veins, A broken heart, and a void in my life than can only be filled when I fell that rush. Then, it will be Christmas time again.