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Real Thoughts in Life

Updated on July 25, 2012

Sit back and enjoy....

I welcome all to come along as we travel in this journey we all call life. Here is where you will find thought provocative experiences and who knows they may have also crossed your path as well. So sit back and take a walk with me into life's thoughts and experiences.

Everyday something is going on somewhere

"Invisible People, a day of loneliness"

Its 6:00 in the evening and its the end of another long work week. People are on their way home to dinner or catch happy hour at one of the local bars. Yes, life as it seems in Grand Forks is all pleasant except for some lost souls who have nowhere to go or no one to be with. They are people who have no one to go home to or drink with, hell they don't even have a home. They wander the streets looking for shelter at times to escape the harsh winters or the heat of North Dakota, sometimes a safe haven from those pestering mosquitoes who seem to always be hungry. They watch as teenagers ride by with ungodly sound systems blasting away as they go down the street with bass echoing off the walls like a low rumble of aftershocks that come after an earthquake. They are the ever watching shadows that no one ever talks about or always looks past for they have seen sights and events firsthand without them being seen themselves. Their stories are vast and their time on life is long because that's all they really have to call their own.

"Excuse me there fella, can you spare any change? A man hasn't eaten in a few days."

"Huh, yeah I think I have some to spare hold a moment."

Reaching into my pockets I pull out a few singles, I could have given him some change but what could that do on today's shaky economy? I handed him the money and noticed the smile that came across his face.

"Here you go. Hope this can help you by the way what's your name?"

Looking puzzled he replied, "Jake."

"Relax I was just curious I know you don't have a home, but you at least have a name."

Jake seemed to sense there was no harm replied, "Thanks, this could be a hot meal for tonight. There aren't many people who give a damn about folks like me. They just walk up and down the street with their noses stuck up in the air like we don't exist!"

Jake seemed bitter at the current situation that he was in and pondered on what to make of me. Looking at him I could see that he was really bad off. His clothes smelled like old stale urine and were heavily soiled and worn. His dark blue eyes set out from his grayish brown hair that was matted down on his head as if he had been wearing a hat for the few weeks without ever taking it off. His beard had streaks of gray in it also not to mention some old food stuck in it along with some grass. He was in his mid forties with a husky build. There was a presence about him that would intimidate people if they never knew anything about him, but seemed to be an okay person overall.

"Must be tough living out here on the streets alone wondering what will happen next, sort of reminds me of the homeless people I've seen back in the streets of New York city going through the same hardships."

Thinking to myself, "I guess everyone is destined to fall back to earth in their own way."

I suppose this is some sort of philosophical lesson aperson should know in he situation of riches to rags

"How did you end up like this, may I ask?"

From this point on I had to watch not to overrun my boundaries as my question seemed to have struck a nerve. Jake pauses a moment to think about how to answer me or why since this wasn't really my business at all and no one wants to talk about how they fell upon hard times.

"To make a long story short I was once a hardworking man who took on two jobs to make ends meet after my farm went under for the reason that I couldn't keep up the notes so it ended up being foreclosed. Debt kept piling, options were non-existent, and I pretty much had nowhere else to go. After awhile bill collectors started repossessing and I was thrown out on the street. Most of my family live in South Dakota and haven't heard from me in years, as far as I'm concerned they probably think I've moved away or dead."

"Sorry to hear that, you must really have it hard out here." I said solemnly

"Don't be," he said. "I can't let pity or sorrow control my life, I have to take each day as it comes regardless of the outcome."

There goes a squad car rushing by with siren screaming, wonder who they're after now. They tend to get a little action out here even though others think is a hick town. It has cooled off some out here and the breeze has picked up, could be a chilly night. Looking at Jake I saw a scene of him curled up wrapped in an old blanket or newspapers trying to keep warm and get a nights sleep.

"What do you do when the weather gets bad?" I asked.

"Oh I just find some empty building or abandoned car and camp or see if I can get a cot at the Salvation Army or local shelter. I make out the best I can, because people tend to be more friendly when the weather gets really bad."

He seemed to have it all worked out on how to survive out here and that was a good thing, hell he could have given up on life all together and just be another unknown face that they bury. I was proud to hear that because no matter how bad it got his spirit tells him to keep going.

Jake stared at me and said "Look out for yourself and your family in this day and age as anything can come along and screw it up, but whatever you do don't ever let it keep you down or break you"

"Same to you Jake, same to you," I smiled.

Sitting there we looked at each other as cars passing by thinking that today we both made a new friend. People were looking out their car windows puzzled about what I'm doing here talking to this homeless man. I don't really care since some of the people I've met in my travels don't posses half the mind that Jake has.

"Well Jake its time for me to head on out , the wife will be wondering where I am at. Its been good to sit here and chat with you a while.

I extended my hand and he glanced at it sort of strange, then clutched it and gave a firm handshake. He cracked a smile through his heavily stained teeth.

"Thanks for everything" Said Jake happily

I told him, "No thanks necessary, you're a person to me no matter where you live. You take care of yourself and keep your spirits up!"

Jake turned off and headed down the street, it sounded like he was humming to himself as he walked as though I had made his day. I hope I did because he made mine.


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