holidays are one of the few times where there is little to do, and too
much time to think.
I found myself envying my friends today, the ones with 'perfect' families.
My mom threw me out for the first time when I was 15, got her first
(of 3) restraining orders against me when I was 16. The police knew
that I would never hurt my mom, psych records showed that she wasn't
stable enough to be granted an emergency 209(a) without a hearing
either... but they'd always grant them to her. Effectively it was her
way of changing the locks without being charged with negligence.
I've only written the following story once, because it's not something
that I really...think is that special, but it's been on my mind so I
figured that I would share it.
While walking through South Station in Boston (waiting 3 hours for a
connecting train to Worcester) I met a beggar by the name of 'Fast
Eddy'. Fast Eddy was a rather hideous man, black as the ace of spades,
teeth rotting out of his head from meth use, and without a pot to piss
I have this habit of connecting with the dregs of society, since I
myself have been not only homeless, but a criminal in the past. So he
started by coming up to me and saying 'I bet you that I can tell you
three things if you'll give me a dollar (it was a 3 part riddle,
something about the state you were born in (A state of infancy), where
you got your shoes (You got your shoes on your feet and one other
thing.). I told him after he told me his riddle that unfortunately I
didn't have a dollar, but I had a debit card and 3 hours to burn
before I had to catch my train to Worcester, so I invited Fast Eddy
out to lunch with me. I walked over three blocks with him to a
restaurant called 'Shabu Zen'. It's a delicious Chinese food
restaurant that serves 'hot pot' style cuisine.
He ended up eating a LOT, 3 platters of beef and 3 bowls of Udon
later, he started to loosen up a little bit.
Turns out that Fast Eddy has a masters degree in economics. He lost
his wife in a car accident 3 years earlier and turned to drugs to kill
the pain. What started out as weed and hard liquor turned into coke,
meth, and speed. He was living in a homeless shelter and had nothing
but the clothes on his back... he spent all his money panhandling on
hookers booze, drugs and hotels to do the above.
We sat for a while, after we finished eating before we walked back to
South Station, I asked him what he would do now, if he had the chance
to turn things around. Eddy looked right at me and said that he
couldn't turn things around, he couldn't get over his losses. I asked
about his family... His mom lives in South Carolina from what he
confessed, and his Dad passed away 6 months before his Wife. I asked
him when the last time he talked to his mom was, he told me 3 and a
half years ago.
I thought to myself about the amount of money that I had in my bank
account.... $650 was approximately what I had in my checking, savings
was pretty low too. I asked him if he had any interest in going home,
to see his mom and get out of the harsh New England winter. He told me
time and time again that he couldn't go back to living with his mom,
he was 34 years old and his pride couldn't take the hit...
I pointed out to him that he was strung out on meth, and I want to put
him on a bus back home so he can get better. He teared up as soon as I
said it and kept saying, "thank you" as he hugged me. It was a long,
somewhat awkward hug for me... not because I didn't feel like I was
doing what was right... but because I was doing what any decent human
being would. Before I put him on the Bus I cashed out all buy $40 of
my checking account and went to a few stores to get him some
respectable clothing. He ended up looking a lot more human once he
shaved, washed up, and got into some clean clothing.
I pulled out my cell phone and told him to call his mom, and to tell
her that he's coming home. The phone call lasted a little over 20
minutes, which made me end up missing my train, I didn't really care
at this point. I knew that even if this man went back to drugs... that
for this brief moment, he was happy.
I put him on that bus Feb 23rd 2006, I got a letter with a picture 6
months ago. It was (Fast) Eddy, his mom, his fiance' and their newborn
child in the picture. In with the letter was a note it read: "Once,
you told me that if I ever needed help you were just a call or a
letter away. Now I'm writing you to tell you that it was your help
that has saved me from myself. God bless you..."
It went on into more personal details about his old meth habits, his
new girlfriend, his relationship with his mom, his new job, and his
I never told anyone this because I don't see it as doing anything
spectacular... I bought someone lunch, a bus ticket to go home, new
clothing and let him call his mom. I don't see why we as people can't
be more civil to those in need... Which brings me back to my point.
I get jealous of people who have these perfect families... It's hard
for me to think that all I have for all the good that I've done in my
life is a mom who ruined my youth, a brother that molested me, and a
distant family that can't forgive me for my past.
Such is life.