In that moment John Morgan was transported back in time. He lost twenty five years in that moment. Two boys and one girl ran from the home he built they were racing to the pond. A dog bit at their heels and barked. A moment later they were all splashing in the pond. Another moment and his beautiful wife was wiping her hands and walking out onto the wraparound porch. In a warm and tired way she smiled. A toddler was following her onto the porch. The blue eyed brunette girl yanked on her mother’s skirt and she picked her up. Laughing she quietly sang to the little girl in her arms. A twig snapped under his shoe and his wife looked up smiling.
“Dad’s home!” His wife waved him to come to her.
“Dada…” the little girl wiggled out of her mother’s arms. John ran up the porch stairs and caught the little girl just in time as she tried to go down the stairs. Holding his daughter he looked out over his land. One big barn, the pond was out of sight pass the creek and oaks. The field was a healthy bright green. It was early summer and yet the locust was already buzzing from the gentle heat. The concrete and asphalt disappeared. The honking traffic melted into the sound of locust and a mooing cow. The smell of car fumes, asphalt, and the usual city stench went away. In its place the smell of summer in Texas rolled across the farm he now looked over.
John Morgan no longer felt the constant sting of poverty or the pain in his back. At thirty five he was sore from the days’ work but he was happy. He was comfortable. He was loved. He was not as poor. He had a roof over his head that he solely owned. A passed down lifestyle all was paid off, all was profitable, it was too perfect. A fertile farm, a happy family, and a beautiful home; heaven was at his feet. A tear swelled in his eye when he knew only a moment later it would be lost. All of it would be lost. Heaven was at his feet and it would soon be lost. He was lost in memories when he was rudely awakened by screeching tires.
Like a window shattering his vision came back to him the farm, his family, his heaven dissolved into the sweltering heat. Looking up he could see Sophia walking away waving good bye. A moment of sadness was put off with the chocolate Sunday she had left in front of him. The discontent he held slowly melted away as the ice cream melted in the heat. Though it would be a while till the next time he could relive those beautiful days of his youth. But luckily that one inexpensive sundae did more than he could imagine. It wouldn’t be very long though till the discontent and unpleasantness would come back to haunt him. As he made his way back to the same old thoughts and life of poverty the sun set on the camp. As he took in his surroundings he found that someone had riffled through his few belongings. Leaving only trash that wasn’t even his they whomever they were police or kids from the nearby suburb had decimated the camp. In a threatening message on a piece of cardboard he knew it was time to move on. In some other life he would have found who did the violent act and he would have confronted them. He would have called the Chief Sherriff himself because he knew him from school and someone would have been in trouble. But he couldn’t even imagine letting his friend see him in such a state. Plus in the real world of poverty and being homeless renders a person powerless.
So picking himself up off the ground, head held high and with the wonderful dosage of Sophia’s sympathy, he carried on. He carried on as he usually did. Tonight he wouldn't sleep he would wonder around the city until dawn, until he found a large rock behind a bush to sit on. At eleven he would make his way over to the Wellcome Center and for all the name it wasn't very welcoming. A couple very well used and warn couches sat adjacent to one another in a room with some air conditioning. Though the government officials were always complaining and picking on the poor about the money, that supported it, had came out of tax dollars. They would say it went to nothing and went nowhere. But for how many tax dollars supposedly went the Welcome Center's way this particular facility looked like it hadn't seen a tax dollar scince 1973 when it was first opened. But in comparison to many other centers this particular one at the moment had a quite wealthy quite old benefactor that was donating every once in a while. It was lucky that the sweet old couple that donated had horrible decendants and relations because if they didn't they wouldn't be so avid to donate. But due to this they never donated anything that their relations would want or could use or have want to take. So it was always od and off things like the weekly donuts, or the fully equipped computer lab, or a scratched big screen flat TV, or the hundred VHS movies, a piano that would never tune no matter how hard anyone tryed, and a coffee pot that was never stocked with enough coffee. It was a sad sanctuary from the heat or cold that was only opened from 11 Am to 3:30 Pm on weekdays as long as the social service workers didn't have something better to do like holidays.
John walked up the non-handicap excessible stairs into the Center. At the door a phycologist loomed clipboard in hand. As though entering a high security mental health facility he had to sign in with name and social security number. A camera in the far corner of the ceiling had a sign reading camera is on. As signing in the lady asked the same usual rude, interrogating, and offensive questions with the usual porceline doll smile. As usual he answered in monotone without saying saying much. After she asked the usual, "How do you feel about being homeless and are you an achoholic?" She ended the interogation with "and have a nice day." Feeling like a criminal and absolute powerless nobody John walked shoulders and head down to the lounge room. He sunk into a broken down couch and closed his eyes in hope of peace and quite. He had aproximately 28 minutes before the social worker would be holding the every other hour activity. Today was a fun one. Today was Wednesday which meant job placement activities. This only meant one thing the almost homeless would show up in desperate but hopeless need of a job. These people would treat homeless with respect, regard, and generosity. Plus it was always fun because the whole job placement program was just a joke. And, everyone knew it.
Therefore there would be laughing and joking. The panhandlers, the outskirters, the train jumpers, and the pick pockets would appear for hopes of a cigarett, change, or anything an almost homeless could spare. Plus it was always a kick to have a chance to harrass the better off that volunteered for college credits. One particular hobo, Miner Jim Joe Who-Dont-Know, he would appear out of nowhere just so as not to miss it. Looking like he hadn't taken a bath for the last decade because he hadn't taken a bath for the last decade he would make the ten to fifteen mile hike out of whatever hole on whatever river he thought might have gold on it and he with his vulgar-smells-like-sewage stench he would make a woulderfully honest statement. Sitting near, shaking hands, talking, and hugging any well-to-do that volunteered he would show how true of a humanitarian they were.
© Copyright 2016 SHC. All rights reserved.