Best Story of the Week…January 31

I’m on West 23rd Street by the Chelsea Hotel, images copy.jpeg a favorite spot of mine for its historical, artistic lore. It’s where Patti Smith lived with Robert Mapplethorpe and Janis Joplin and The Ramones danced and dreamed. Arthur Miller and Dylan Thomas both wrote there, and if you want to get dark, it’s where Sid killed Nancy.

That said…

I see a kid in front, all of 25, pale as me with dreadlocks streaming in the wind, packing up his sleeping bags. He has two dogs dressed in his own clothing, waiting patiently for their next move.

I’ve seen him before, way uptown, with one dog who now seems to have only one working eye. He was sprawled on a blanket, reading The Alienist, by Caleb Carr, displaying a sign that mewled in Quaker sentiment…

SOCIETY OF FRIENDS, PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN

Between the dog in a parka, and that he was reading one of my favorite books, I naturally emptied my pockets.

At least it was warmer then, not like now where he should really be in one of the many city shelters, but what you learn about the homeless is, there’s something very undignified going into one, a cold corner on the pavement, proudly preferred.

I give him the two bucks I have for the 12 step meeting I’m en route to, he needing it more.

His dogs bark as I take out my wallet, protecting their man as they should. After all, he didn’t leave them behind since, no one gets left behind, according to the U.S. Army Rangers.

Yet, this boy strikes me as being fatally forgotten.

He has another book, said he finished The Alienist, and was hoping this one lasted the day. Oh my, a passionate reader, just like me, despite his crumbling circumstances.

If the book in my bag was mine and not the library’s, it would have then been his.

I have nothing else to give, except perhaps prayer, hoping God, who’s been missing in action lately, hears me.

But what really left a mark, was not the one-eyed dog or his chihuahua brother in his much too big, gray-striped turtleneck, but the smile this young lad gave me as I took flight.

Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did for me.”

Yeah yeah. I hear God bats last. Well, he better hurry up to the plate, that’s all I know, or this soul will be lost.

As I walk away, I’m not thinking of Patti or Dylan, Sid and Nancy, or how the Chelseaimages.jpeg has stood the test of time, or even Jesus for that matter, but this young man and his beloved pets, making their way courageously in the icy cold, along the lonely streets of New York City.

Susannah

Advertisements

About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, grace, New York City, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Best Story of the Week…January 31

  1. My heart breaks for people living on the street especially since it seems like such an insurmountable problem, although one easily enough fixed if society had the will to do it. I’m sure you made his day, still. Every little bit helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. robprice59 says:

    I wonder about the economics. It would cost a pittance to feed and house everyone, compared to what we spend on say the military or entertainment. Maybe the homeless serve more fundamental purposes: “work hard and don’t rock the boat, this could be you” or “we may not be paying you a living wage, but you’re a lot better off than him”. Or maybe we just have a deep-seated yearning for someone to look down upon. Whatever, I don’t accept that this situation is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so cold here. My heart is aching for anyone and anything without warmth. You should see all the dogs. Many people have them by their side with their few possessions. I’m always so humbled having a roof over my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • robprice59 says:

        M.K.Gandhi said he thought “Western Civilisation would be a good idea.” How can a multi-trillion dollar civilised society watch someone freeze to death?

        Like

      • I have no answers. I feel too fortunate to be quite honest. The city is in full flight. It makes one feel less anxious. I hope this freeze is of short duration to use an Austen term. They had only fireplaces, shawls and hand made blankets. The Bennetts, Binglys and Darcys. I will leave you with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    It truly make you wonder what his story is. How such a polite and obviously intelligent young lad could end up like this. I wonder why he doesn’t go to social services, where he would get placed in a shelter, given food stamps, and possibly placed in a work program. Thank goodness you gave him reason to smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure there’s more there than meets the eye. His dreadlocks are a big tip off since he looks right out of the Midwest otherwise. His dogs were obviously adopted or corralled from the street. He’s very well spoken so there is much more to his story. He’s not just a panhandler by trade. Thanks always for showing up on the page Skinny. I appreciate your attendance more than you know. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:

    SB,

    It’s shameful, the way in which the homeless are a throwaway issue. People, human beings . . thrown away. Because nowhere in this government shutdown was there any mention of the homeless. You think all those monies that are wanted for walls in the world of make believe or the military in the here and now might be better suited for humanitarian purpose? I know, I know . . it’s pie in the sky thinking to the backwards thinkers.

    Do all these brilliant decision makers ever think, there but for the grace of God, go I? Or is it that too quaint a notion?

    Like

  5. Dale says:

    I was sure I had commented on this. Must have been one of those “Read it while still in bed but will comment from computer moments”…

    Love your exchange with Sorryless. I’m with him on your writing skillz and fabulous stories of New York (funny I wrote about visiting New York just yesterday).

    As to the plight of the homeless, it is more than sad. And these frigid temps make me fear for them. Someone, the other day, said ALL churches and places of worship should open their doors at night for them. They all have a story on how they got there. They were once loved and cared for. I do know some make the choice but they are a rarity, of that I am quasi-positive.

    Your beautiful soul is showing in your attention to this well-read young man. We need more Susannahs in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.