On The Outside
I stand on the outside and see all these people walking to their schools or their jobs. This society puts you in a box and says, this is what you do, this is who you are, this is what you’re worth.
People begin to believe this. My looks aren’t good enough, I’m not funny enough, I’m not smart enough, this is too hard. People get scarred by failure. Fear proceeds risk, I’ll just stay where I belong, they say.
Alone in a sea of people they travel on. Loneliness cuts deep. We wonder: why the addiction, why the suicide, why the mental illness?
Seeing from the outside, I see clearer than before, who are the healers who are the ones causing hurt. Those who turn away are just as guilty as the ones who engage.
In this beautiful world observation, in the mind’s eye, creates the movie we see. You can only change the channel when you’re brave enough to walk in another’s shoes.
5:30 a.m. I wake up and pack up all my stuff. I have an interview today with Mary who contacted me on Facebook. She wanted to talk about creating a spiritual workshop for homeless people. I also want to find where the church meal is for the day. I’ve gotten used to smoking cigarettes. And I’m really craving a cigarette. I bike over to planet fitness to get my stuff locked up and work on the blog and uploading videos. I’ve made a little office for myself there. On the way I run into Freydis, Midnight, David, and Keisha. They got run out of the door way they had been staying at, and were folding up their blankets into shopping carts. I decided to get some quick interviews with them. I wanted to learn about their plans, especially with the upcoming baby.
9:30 I head over to Whole Foods on Cambridge Street to get something to eat. I stopped at 7-Eleven and locked my bike up. I’m going to buy a pouch of tobacco to roll cigarettes. As I’m locking my bike up a man leaves 7-Eleven and the clerk follows him out screaming in his face calling him piece of s***, accusing him of stealing a coffee. I can’t get my phone out in time to record. I need a f****** camera strapped to my forehead I always miss these moments. So I took a picture of the woman with a cart sculpture instead.
10:00 a.m. I get a sandwich and a chocolate mousse and I hang out at Whole Foods and work on the blog and other media stuff for a while. As I’m eating a man walked up to me and asked if I had a few bucks so he could get some food. I say I have no cash but I’ll buy you some food. He says to me, “no that’s okay, I just want money.” After the man leaves I turn to the woman sitting next to me, who also refused to give the man money. I asked her if she knew he didn’t plan on buying food, she said yes. I give her my card and ask her to follow my project.
11:30 a.m. I head over to the duck statues at Boston garden. I meet Mary there and I have a great conversation and we do a great interview. I’m pleasantly surprised that her ideas around a spiritual workshop for homeless people are actually pretty good. Mary buys me a coffee and I’m grateful.
2:00 p.m. I ride the bike back towards planet fitness on Winter Street. I make a few stops on the way. I sit in the park and look at the Martin Luther Sculpture for a while. When I arrive at planet fitness I spend some time uploading the interview with Mary and working on stuff. I also look through my resource guides for the nightly meal. My resource sheet says there’s only two in Cambridge. One at 5:00 and one at 6:00. I text LA and ask him if tonight’s meal is at Union Baptist in Cambridge and he texts back yes.
4:45 I grab my little backpack, it’s cool, it unzips from the big pack that I’ve been keeping locked up at Planet fitness, and I set out for Cambridge.
5:15 p.m. I arrive at Union Baptist Church and there’s a guy in there painting, he tells me that they no longer do dinners at this church. He says they lost their 501 c3. I text LA to let him know that he gave me the wrong place. The only other place is Christ Church in Cambridge. It’s about a 10 minute ride. I really like Cambridge. It’s like the Beverly hills of Boston. I’m also finding out it’s a paradise for the homeless.
5:25 I get to Christ Church, the place is packed. There’s a lot of volunteers, some of them local college students. Most of the people seated for the dinner are over 50. The majority is older males. They bring us out some sweet potato soup. It’s really good. They have snacks available. It’s a really nice atmosphere. We end up having salmon, couscous, rice, and salad for dinner which is good. I see a couple homeless people I know so I talk with them a little bit. After I have a brownie for dessert I leave. There’s a graveyard next to the church. I like graveyards; they’re quiet places to sleep. I walk around the graveyard and decide that it might be a good spot to stay someday.
7:00 p.m. I start biking out of Cambridge and heading back to planet fitness on Winter Street to get my big backpack. It’s a pleasant ride and I take some shots of the city at night on the way. I also see a Duo performing Stand by me on some steps. It’s dark, but I get the sound and the music is beautiful. The performers are called earthbound children and can be found on Instagram @Earthbound_children. I stopped in front of 7-Eleven off of Cambridge Street in Boston. There’s a man in a wheelchair and he’s missing his legs from the knees down. He’s slumped over. I asked him if he’s okay and he put his hand up to let me know he’s fine. I continued on. When I get back to planet fitness I hang out for a while and mess around on my phone.
9:00 p.m. I head back over the church I’ve been sleeping at. As usual I unpack all my stuff. And lay down for the night.