Spare Change News
I’d forgotten how cruel and unfeeling life on the streets can sometimes be.
In the years when I was on street, I would sometimes see myself as a hero. The good guy. The knight in shinning armor. Sometimes it played out well, but more often than not everything blew up in my face.
When you play the role of hero on the street someone eventually takes you for a ride, and you suddenly find out that the people you thought were your friends are no such thing. You also find out that the one person you trust and are willing to go to the ends of the earth for is nothing more than a fraud.
You’d think that with all that knowledge I would have known better this time around. And for a while I did. I mostly kept to myself, not wanting to get close to anyone. I sealed my heart off to anything that would come my way. When you open yourself to others on the street, you also open yourself to chaos and more drama than you can shake a stick at.
Now before any of you think it’s always that way, it isn’t. I’ve made some lifelong friends from the street; it’s really just a small percentage of people who cause drama.
But sometimes you gravitate toward those people, or at least I tend to. I’m a loner by nature, but even loners need attention every now and then, and sometimes we will take what we can get.
Well, guess what? I did just that. I won’t get into the details. I just got involved in something I never should have. I didn’t go into it blind. I was warned by people who truly care about me. I saw the train wreck coming, but I didn’t get off the tracks.
As I usually do, I ran on what was in my heart instead of what was in my head. The outcome? Well, let’s just say all hell broke loose, and those that truly cared about me no longer do, and that someone I got involved with is out there somewhere laughing at me.
I don’t always get taken for a ride, but when I do, it hurts a lot. I get this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that downright makes me sick. I want to run, scream, cry and lash out in anger, but in the end I sit somewhere by myself and just hurt.
And that is what I’m doing now as I write this, hurting. OK, did I learn anything? Yeah, that some things on the streets never change and that I am still an emotional human being,
When I began this journey homelessness eight months ago I thought that side of me was buried. If you saw how I reacted when my relationship of 12 years ended, you would have thought that, too. Then again, maybe this pain that I feel is a delayed reaction. Nonetheless I may go back to being a loner, but I will never ever change my emotional side. Even out here.
JAMES SHEARER is board president and co-founder of Spare Change News.