Sunday, January 09, 2005

SUV Lady meets and greets homeless.

So I have to walk out of my office to get to a meeting. Crossing the street on foot I see an SUV stopped at the corner. A woman's dainty hand and wrist appears from an opened window. The SUV is so tall that her arm must angle down to hand the homeless man a dollar bill. Her hand retracts cranes up and away, the window closes, SUV off, homeless guy is 1 dollar richer.

Thanks lady.

Thanks for keeping this guy on the curb, begging for his next dollar, as he drunkenly stumbles close to the quickly moving cars, setting himself up for blunt trauma, then ER, then we all pay - more than a single dollar.

Thanks for helping out with funding his next bottle of cheap vodka, crack, or heroin. If you had a bottle of vodka in your car, would you have handed it over? Why not, since you've done all but this. I can tell you that the money will certainly be spent on the same.

How do I know this?

Because I've seen it. I've worked in the ERs where the homeless come with the same regularity as they come to the curbs. Where they come for help. So before you call me an unfeeling bastard, let me tell you that I've helped them more than you have - even if you gave that guy a hundred dollars. Because all you did was buy him 1/10th of his next bottle or bag.

I've stitched them up after they fall down. I've incised and drained their heroin abscesses. Not a good smell by the way. The abscesses fill up with a black thin liquid - and it can shoot amazingly far. I've waited for them to come out of their alcohol comas, tried to keep them out of alcohol withdrawal, and treated their seizures. I've heated up their food. I've given it to them. For those interested, I've set them up with shelters. I've organized and negotiated Byzantine social work logistics to keep the psychotics and diabetics medicated. I've helped them.

One thing I've never done, and will never do, is give them cash. I'm not going to enable more self and society destructive behavior - all so that I can feel good about myself for a few hours. Why not? Because I wouldn't feel good about myself for being a fucking idiot who keeps the homeless on the curb as the SUV I drive guzzles gas, hurts the environment, and helps Middle East states fund Islamic fundamentalism.

And neither should you.