The characters and events in this post are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
His rattletrap car gasped over the seven mile Overseas Highway, finally letting out it's
last groan on Stock Island. He shrugged off the inconvenience, ditched the pathetic deathtrap next to
what looked like a trailer park and lumbered on to the island at the End
of the World.
He'd known the car was going to going be DOA but had taken the risk
because he had "no intention of never coming back no how, no way" he balled at his overhung wife who squinted sluggishly at him in the doorway before he slammed the door for the last time.
Her kids blinked at
him blearily from where they curlicued on the doorstep, watching as he
threw his bag into the backseat, understanding his flight but clearly
longing for their own rescue.
He slumped against the
car then looked over at the pair and finally walked over to give them a
final embrace. "Ya'll can't come. I'm sorry. I got no way to provide for
you and I just ain't doing you no good here. Ya'll be better off." He
kissed matted scalps, noted the soiled skin and turned their tear
stained faces upward. "Take your baths tonight and don't forget to brush
your teeth. Ah right? now go on into the house."
bobbled in tandem. They stumbled up, pulled on the wooden screen door
that screeched in protest and let the door slam behind them.
gazed at the rusted screen and chipped paint for a quiet moment, then
settled in the front seat of the rattletrapped car and backed quickly out of the
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless' website "approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children,
are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law
Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2007)." While there are many, many
reasons people are homeless (mental illness, eroding working
opportunities, foreclosures, decline in public housing, lack of
affordable healthcare) the problem is nevertheless a visible reminder of
America's shame. The wealthiest country in the world and yet we
continue to have people sleeping on the streets, in the alleys and under
our overpasses. In Key West, the weather is generally balmy and
pleasant for outdoor living. As the summer ends it is worth noting that
here in Colorado, people die each year from the bitter cold when they
note from the author: I was reminded of this post (it's a repost) when I visited a blogging friend who lives in Key West and saw his post for today. Conchscooter posts essays on life in the Keys as well lovely photographs of his surroundings. Today's post was meaningful and timely considering an economic climate which keeps the poorest enslaved to poverty and homelessness. You can see it here. (And Conch- though I know you don't collect or cherish blogging awards, you really do deserve the "no, Thank YOU!" Great Comments award.)