Probably the only two parter posting I'm going to do but there are two things on my mind currently so...
Part one :RAIN - Cirque Eloize
Ok folks. This show was just amazing. For those of you who have never seen a show put on by Cirque Du Soliel. Well ya don't know what you're missing. Forget whatever you thought a circus would be. No stupid animal tricks here, just amazing perfomers and truly amazing costumes, lights, music....If you hear they're coming near you RUN to by a ticket.
So this show tonight RAIN was sort of like Cirque, but smaller, more intimate. It's oddly moving in places. The acrobatics were phenominal and the ending when they flood the stage floor and actually make it rain on stage..well it was mesmerizing. I wish I could describe it well enough but I honestly don't have the words. The cast was maybe 15 people at most. Sometimes you didn't know where to look on stage because (I) you are afraid you'll miss something. I laughed, held my breath in places, got all warm and fuzzy feelings at the end. Just promise me if you see that it's coming to someplace near you that you'll try and make it to see this. Hell, I bought the soundtract and the program and I wanted nothing more than to go back stage and tell all the actors/acrobats how much I loved them for the show. YES dammit...it IS that good! (and dammit....now I have a crush on a Frenchman named Stephane Gentilini...sigh)
Part Two: The Homeless Years
I was reading another blogger's site tonight when he mentioned a homeless person he had seen. Made me stop and think about my own experience. I know I mentioned it that I had been homeless twice in my life. I wasn't kicked out or anything, just circumstances were such that I found myself with nowhere to live.
I doubt that anyone at BV knew I was homeless when I was working there. I was always on time for work, and sure, my car looked packed to the gills with stuff, but I'm kinda slovenly with my car in general. This was the second time and the hardest. Why? Because the first time I was homeless I at least had my friends putting me up for the night at several places. Couch surfing is pretty horrible, but at least I knew where I would lay my head at nights. BV times were different.
I had decided that I wasn't going to do the couch surfing routine. I wound up for a while sleeping in the crawlspace at the shop I currently work for. Hell, it was a place to lay down. Problem was, no shower. No shower, no tv, no videogames....nothing, just a place to sleep. (yes, trying to stay clean becomes an issue when you have no where to go) So, deciding that I was going to "make my own way", I wound up spending a great deal of money on cheap hotel rooms. Why? Well, because they had showers and Tv and I felt a little more like a person when I was there. That's the thing, you start feeling less than everyone else when you're homeless. It eats at you. Sometimes you want nothing more than to just "go home" and relax, but there's no "home". It becomes a concept that's almost foreign to you. Living out of hotels, you constantly worry about your stuff that you left in the room, and when you have to check out and will you have money for a room for the week, or is it going to dry up and you sleep in your car?
Funny thing was, I started drifting further and further away from people that I cared about. I found it harder and harder to ask for help because I felt more and more worthless. I honestly got to a certain point where I thought about suicide, and then realized that even that seemed pointless. The people that I tended to interact with on a daily basis were hotel lobby clerks and the occaissional person at the office. Otherwise, I tended to stay clear of just about everyone. I became so ashamed of my own life that I stopped even talking with some of my best friends because I didn't want to "be a burden" on them (this was of course silly because what I know now is that they would have been there for me 200% in whatever little way they could). Didn't help that I was miserable in the corporate world as well as trying to figure out how to get out of that situation. Life is a struggle to begin with, and I eventually pulled myself up and out of all of this by getting a pink slip at BV giving me the extra cash I needed to get a place to live.
My point is this; there are people on the streets that are homeless who are good folks in bad times trying to get out of them, and on the other hand, there are folks out there have sunk further down and don't seem to care about how they live anymore. Reguardless of what you think of them when you see them, whether you call them a bum or a homeless person, I think most folks can tell when someone is trying to get out of it. (I got hit up probably 5 times tonight by different homeless folks and only gave money to two) When you see the ones that seem to honestly be trying to better their situation...what's a bunch of pocket change really mean to you? I mean really. If I had a billion dollars, you better belive that some lucky homeless guy would be walkin away with a cash wad (and he'd have to make me believe he was going to use it to get off the streets though). I'm not talking bout the mentally ill folks out there...them, I have no idea how to help (and the druggies and alcholics fit in there as well).
So, just remember the next time someone asks you for change, it could have been me. They could be trying to get enough money for a room so they can be warm. Most importantly, treat them like you would any other person. It's a hard enough world out there without thinking that you are sinking further from being a human being.