Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hobo Handbook: Memoirs of a Homeless Poet in New York (Excerpt #18)

 By Daniel Canada c.2010
THE SHELT (Continued)

What’s really the rub is that a "Shelt" doesn’t have to do any of these things at all. If they live in any of the government shelters throughout the city or state, food is served in these institutions three times a day. What is more, these shelters have to follow a regimented dietary code. Most Shelts are recipients of welfare, and welfare provides them upwards of two hundred dollars for food, and two hundred dollars cash for expenses, every month.

Most government funded and run SROs also serves three square meals a day-for free. So, there’s no reason on God’s earth a "Shelt" has to be standing on a goddamned soup line, humming for grub!

I suppose they just want to.

Why? Because they’re a bunch of greedy, gratuitous, grubbing, bastards. That's all.

Sorry folks. I wish I had something better to say.



Now these guys and gals are the real deal!

They’ve gone hardcore, and said so long to the world and all its trappings a long time ago. They don’t rely upon the government or any would-be sympathizers for a goddamned thing. The way of survival on the heartless streets has become the Tao te Ching for them. Subsequently, they, just like the Toa te Ching, have become nameless and formless and can conform to any type of hardship life tosses at them just for shits and giggles.

They’ve mastered the art of building "hotels" out of cardboard boxes, to rest their heads for the night. They’ve become proficient in the art of the glom. Some of them even earn a modest income as canners, people who you see collecting the cans and bottles you happily throw away.

They are totally self-sufficient, and will rise out of the ashes of a nuclear holocaust, to dust themselves off-along with the cockroaches-and get about their business, before they were rudely interrupted by that pesky atomic blast.

YOU have to worry about the confluences and mercurial nature of the stock market, and Wall Street’s quarterly reports. YOU have to suffer the plague of lost sleep, because of the whims of a recalcitrant and overbearing boss. But not the "Homeless Streeter." The "Homeless Streeter" has long since divorced themselves from these concerns.

Sleep tight "Homeless Streeter." Trust in the Lord, but keep your shopping carts tied down.
(To be Continued...)