Working downtown I encounter a lot of homeless people. Today I walked down first ave and saw what seemed to be a couple teasing a blind man with a severe developmental disability. I slowed down to check out the situation and the man of the couple started saying quazi-agressive things to me so I crossed the street. I stayed and peeked around the parked car to see if the situation was alright or if I should call the police-at second watch the blind man seemed to be on good terms with the couple, he followed them down the street-had I misread the quazi head lock? I still feel haunted that the couple was abusing the blind man; that he followed them because he got attention or love from them even in their abuse, or didn’t know any better - I don’t know if I did the right thing by continuing on my walk.
10 minutes later I passed by a woman sitting on the ground rocking herself in fetal position. She talked to herself and rocked-I couldn’t understand words, but there were sounds of rage and sorrow mixed together. A few minutes later I walked back down the street. There was vomit by where she had been sitting, two piles of it, and she was now pacing back and forth in front of an empty storefront, completely engaged in her own mind, vomit smeared on the back of her jacket.
After I passed the woman I went into Bartell drugs to buy some mascara, passing by a man with some sort of disability selling Real Change. He spoke like his tongue was cut off or numb, his clothes piecemealed together. As I wandered through Bartell’s his muddled voice range out every time the automatic doors opened: rea change, rea change, rea change, rea change, rea change.
How long, O Lord? Have mercy on us.