Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
Plotting My Escape
November 11, 2008, New York City:
It’s that time again.
The air is cold and uninviting, and my mood—lamentably somber.
The leaves are falling, people are coughing and constantly zipping their liners in and out of their coats; I have the urge to shutter myself away somewhere where no one can find me, so that I might find myself again, because, frustratingly, I’m feeling lost.
And my buttons are falling off again and the cuffs and collars of my shirts are fraying too, but this time—I’m not as inspired to fix them.
Things are in flux everywhere.
There’s a promising transition to power in place that has people dancing in the streets.
Yet, there’s also a looming concern that has people looking over their shoulders, worrying a little more than usual, being all-too-easily irked by strangers pushing against them in crowded subway cars, and fretting about the future—of our jobs, our homes and our disappearing retirement funds.
And yet, we are the lucky ones.
Because there are also a lot more people sleeping in the streets and in the doorways of empty retail spaces and under scaffolding and on top of any warm grate available in cities all across the country.
I recently went to Miami for a few days to try and relax, but instead I just became more restless. To relieve the boredom I took to taking photos in the streets of the night crawlers passing homeless people and hapless drunks sleeping on the sidewalks or in storefront nooks. I couldn’t help but notice that there were a lot of them.
Chelsea recently told me that the bums that come in daily to the hospital are complaining, “There ain’t no more spots anywhere, anymore” and that if they leave their spot to come into the hospital, its gone by the time they return.
A phenomenal number of foreclosures (over 2 million this year alone, almost double last year’s), the highest unemployment rate in 14 years, higher food and medical care costs, and decreases in social welfare programs over the last 8 years have all led to an “alarming” increase in homelessness across the nation, according to a recent article by USA Today.
Thus, my somber mood.
Thus, this lament.
Thus, the yearning to cloister and fall off the edge and into the fire, so that we may rise again ,renewed.
Alas, I am no Phoenix, I am no Christ, no Joan of Arc.
But, I can fix buttons.