Today I was sitting on the steps at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago as I passed I witnessed the tattooed man who had been sleeping on the side of the church wrapped in cardboard and one of those not so cheap; yet, skimpy hospital blankets. We had talked yesterday and about housing and his drug problem and staying clean for two years and how all he really wanted was a tent.
And today it was a man that I have seen for years sitting at the corner of Wabash and Superior and I often would say, “Hello,” to him or bring him a newspaper or some food or drop money into his cup. Most days I just wanted to avoid him. Had he did anything wrong besides being improperly housed? No.
Today for some reason he decided to talk to me and told me about his son being killed and his wife no longer loving him and his friend where he stayed at night who didn’t seem to really like him and didn’t like to share his food. And just wanting a job that wasn’t too complicated like cleaning up and picking up papers.
His son was in a car I when he got shot twice. And I just let him talk. And gave him a little Debbie’s Bar. And after about a half hour I left and started my almost daily routine of picking up trash from Holy Name to Northwestern Hospital. It is a boon market.
I passed by the Hyatt where I found a phone the day before and returned it to it’s owner and as I am walking by the Lavin Building I see an African American man being talked to by three security guards, he is disheveled, barefoot although the rest of his clothes are looking clean, he might be in need of a haircut, am I the one to decide that and they are telling him that he can’t enter any of the buildings and he persisted. I pass by and compliment the guy on his hat and to break the attention of his failed arrest.
If you are going to arrest someone arrest them, because if you fail you look really stupid. And they failed to arrest him and now he wants a light for his cigarette and of course I complied looking forward to a good conversation.
I gave him some cookies and a vitamin and told him to, “mumble and heal.” And then he went back to mildly cursing at people as they passed…