posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 04:48 PM
If I have learned anything throughout my time, homelessness can be just as much a state of mind as it is a descriptor of life circumstances .
I put this in the general because its an anecdotal experience and by no means speaks to all situations or experiences, but this is mine; and with that
opened my eyes to a certain reality previously I condemned and even looked down upon.
A year and a half ago I found myself separated from my wife, her with another man and me working on the road (across country, I came home every couple
months for a weekend I can conclude - distance does things to people & relationships) I was installing integrated network systems - fire alarm,
access control, security,and voice/data. When the news came my cell phone had died so I pulled over and began the saddest and longest call of my life,
one that im sure ill never forget. I begged her back in the middle of nowhere Kansas, cold and crying below a street light, knowing there was someone
else,me being the kind of man who stands on his own feet and does not beg I was acting completely out of character, I was in pain, her consolation her
parting gift was a short and to the point sentence, " I don't like it when you beg" and that was it.
I found myself coming home to nothing, and I lost that Job, i took a much lower paying job to stay in the metro area closer to home, I was still
paying for my wife's car, and house, hoping and praying she would change her mind, i missed my kids i missed my family and i was content to support
them and live any kind of way in the hopes that I could salvage a doomed marriage, boy was I in for a rude awakening.
I stayed in a homeless shelter for a while the whole time working, it was very cold and i walked a lot, but the rules were intense, they also preached
at me and told me how wrong I am, i was too ashamed to tell my mother and father how bad it really was, I ended up leaving the shelter to be closer to
work, so at that point i was living in hotels but mostly on the streets. The thing is, hotel life isn't cheap and when you are a fool like me still
supporting a woman who has in all ways disowned you,money is scarce. The cheapest hotel i could find was 40 dollars a night so many days I would go
without eating and stay in a hotel to maintain a professional appearance, then I would break down and finally have to eat and I would stay outside and
drink as a means to cope with my situation.
It came to pass that I was ready to kill myself, I was broke, unhappy, lonely, and living on the dream that things could go back to the way they were.
After work one day I was wondering around town I had bought a bottle a vodka i was intent to complete the deed, right then! first, I thought I would
jump out in front of a vehicle but I quickly chose against this as I didn't wish to harm anyone else.Then, I thought about jumping from a tall height
and this too disturbed me because the clean up and traumatizing mess that would be left, so I settled that I would find a wooded area and I would hang
I was stumbling around town on my way to the train station and all of a sudden a black man who is homeless calls me over, he asked me about my woes
and he said i looked pale, I told him I didn't have any story worthwhile that I was about to end my own, he laughed, and said he had time, I passed
him my vodka flask and we both drank and I broke down and I told him the whole story.There I was crying to a man I had just met, He said to me,"
you're gonna kill yourself over a woman?" and he laugh (not meanly) and said," I am not gay, but I am going to tell you that you could have any
woman you want, you are smart,good looking, kind , and you have a JOB!!" he asked me if i was hungry,( he didn't know I had just enough money to eat
or buy a hotel that night), and with his last five dollars he bought me dinner and I bought us a hotel; and so began a friendship that i have to this
There is no doubt that a homeless man named Garvin saved my life that day, and also gave me hope at a time that I had none. It makes me tear up a
little to think about it considering how very little he had, but he didn't see his life as not worth living,and this man was charitable in the face
of insurmountable struggle. Garvin and I became best friends and many nights after work,we spent together laughing and cutting it up, both him and I
have a huge sense of humor and I still see him to this day. Later my mother found out how hard my life had become and I told her and my family helped
me and I turned it around, I just wanted to tell this story that means a lot to me to show that these homeless people in experience have been some of
the most altruistic, and that while others treat them as ghosts or pests, they are human just like you and me and I will never see them as less than
again. That's my story and while there is more that is the point I wanted to bring home.
Thanks for reading, and I hope the best for you all my ATS family