While driving our child of privilege to his school in downtown Seattle I am often left with the breakfast sandwich his mom makes for him that he doesn’t want, and that sandwich sometimes goes to someone who looks like they need food. One day last month a potential sandwich recipient was on the sidewalk near the QFC supermarket and appeared to be in relatively bad shape - barefoot, surrounded by trash, ranting and raving, that sort of thing. I gave him two bacon egg and cheese sandwiches wrapped in foil and still hot. When I looked in his eyes there was nothing - they were sunk as far into his head as possible for a person who is still alive. A victim of some combination of being discarded by our cruel society, drugs and mental illness. He resembled Jesus - like many 30-something guys with long hair and scraggly beards. When I came out of the supermarket and drove away I could see him enjoying the sandwiches.
Ramen: That’s money, dude
I recently dropped off a plastic container of donations to people sleeping rough on Beacon Hill. Bananas, plums, two cans of beer, canned goods, chicken stock, propane, ramen and even a cannabis vape pen (just because you’re houseless doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same things people who have places to live enjoy).
A guy came over and we started talking and soon the conversation turned to talk of covid conspiracies about how evil masks and vaccines are and whatnot. The guy was clearly delusional but I listened politely to his rant and didn’t call him out. You can’t reason with someone like this any more than you can reason with a born again Christian who lives their life based on the teachings from a book of fiction written in the pre-scientific era. As Thomas Paine said “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
You have to feel bad for someone who has teeth as bad as this guy - they were like black stumps. That alone can lead to serious health problems. Sadly, if he’s not taking precautions to protect himself from the virus he could end up very sick or even dead, and our society will do nothing to take care of him other than to bulldoze his tent and throw his belongings in the trash. If you think I’m being hyperbolic here, no. That is actual City of Seattle policy as implemented by our Mayor Jenny Durkan, who along with her partner is worth upwards of 300 million dollars.
The covid guy went immediately for the ramen. Of all the stuff I was donating, the beer, the propane - he went for the cheapest item, by far. And then I realized - this guy has probably spent half his life in prison, where ramen is considered currency.
Been really busy lately and have slacked off on the donations, but stay tuned as I continue to figure out how to bring folks food. There are plenty of mutual aid groups in Seattle doing this but at a much larger scale - you might consider donating to Lake City Hot Meals.
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