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A Walk with the Invisible Man

Updated on January 27, 2015

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

The darkness arrives, rendering me invisible.

It surrounds me, ethereal Kevlar protecting me, bone, tissue and blood, walking among the living and yet seen by none of them.

I gather up my belongings and dump them into the abandoned grocery cart with one wobbly wheel, a fitting metaphor of my life. In it is my sleeping bag, a few spare shirts, a rusted can-opener, a Bronze Star, and my old scout’s knife. I begin my rounds.

The first discovery is a cigarette butt with a good half-inch of un-smoked calmness. I fire up the Bic and inhale, the smoke caressing my lungs and giving me ten seconds of bliss. I close my eyes, but there is no comfort there, only memories of days deserted, hopes rejected and dreams shattered.

This is my world.

This is my life.

Will you join me?

Night falls and the street people arise
Night falls and the street people arise | Source

I’ve Come to Talk with You Again

Can you hear me?

Most nights I can’t hear the voices in my head. They are drowned out by the cacophony of street sounds, the horns of impatience, the screams of misery and the groans of surrender. I am fine with that, for those voices only speak of recrimination, and it gets tiresome kicking my own ass while maintaining a façade of bitterness towards others. Silence is my friend when that fickle bitch embraces me, but tonight she is nowhere to be found.

Stray dogs, some the real thing, two-legged, four-legged, scavenge the alleyways for a leftover, root through the dumpsters for a meal, and when all else fails, dine on the misery of others who are clinging to the last threads of hope.

I am the invisible man. The upper-crest cannot see me. The middle-class avert their eyes and choose ignorance over compassion, for to recognize my existence is to admit that what can happen to one can happen to anyone. I walk among them and yet I am not there. How is that possible when the cops can see me, the hookers, johns, pickpockets and junkies all see me, invisible to some, Technicolor reality to others, how is that possible?

Two hours on the street corner nets me five bucks, and five bucks nets me a fifth of rot gut, mad dog nirvana in a paper bag, and I scurry with the rats into the shadows to drink my liquid medicine in relative peace and quiet.

Dinner is served at the Dumpster Diner
Dinner is served at the Dumpster Diner | Source

‘neath the Halo of a Street Lamp

Delightfully wasted now, I stumble down forty-fifth to Beacon, and glancing into the smog-covered night I see Debbie, manning her post under the red light. What’s the haps, pops, she says, nothing I say, just keeping it real, Deb, and fighting back the heebie-jeebies with guns blazin’ and hopes sinkin’. Quiet night she says, no soldiers looking for a twenty buck blow, no restless husbands desperately seeking respite from married bliss, just that goddamned cold seeping under the door and through the windows and say, how about sharing that bottle? Give old Deb a drink now, soldier, and I comply, cuz’ Deb’s good folk, she’s paid her dues on her knees, on her back, and straddled from behind by self-righteous church-goers who will trade all the Bible preaching in a month of Sundays for a half-hour of carnal pleasure under stained sheets and a dull street lamp.

Walking on I salute Kingfish, torn asunder by a desert war and spit out by the machine to fend for himself. Semper fi he hollers back, and salutes in turn, and shuffles into the shadows hoping to regain the guts, the glory and the meaning of his youth. Semper fi indeed, as if those words have any meaning in the underworld. He’s a good man, that Kingfish, as long as the crack isn’t feeding his veins and then watch out, that man can be mean, don’t mean nothing by it, but watch out all the same.

And Lilly and Mark, Bobcat and Tajuan, all visible to me, all shucking and jivin’ their way through another night, picking up and discarding, lying their asses off and telling the cold hard truth, that the “land of opportunity” are true enough words as long as the lottery of natural selection spits out your number for a winner’s bonus. If it doesn't then, well, you be screwed.

And in the Naked Light I Saw

Fires in the trash bins, anything to stave off the cold and keep us alive one more night. For the most part the cops ignore it all, oblivious to the underbelly when more hours need to be spent on the housing developments keeping the suburbian dream safe and sound. They cruise the streets bordering the shopping malls, keep the sidewalks clear where commerce breeds, and leave the alleys and gutters to the winos, the addicts and those with one foot in a grave. It’s a division that works for all concerned, and as long as everyone knows their part and plays their part, all is well.

I know my part and I play it with subdued gusto. My family is gone, blown with the wind to all corners of the earth, my sperm shared by four and where are they now is a mystery that will never be solved. I know I’m alone and yet my true brothers and sisters are all around me, solitude in a crowd like youth in a bottle, a fabrication at best and a miserable lie masked with truth at worst.

The fire dies down, the cold wraps its tentacles around my bones, and the time has come to find shelter from the winds and rains. First come first serve at the Mission, and all cots are taken but that’s all right, I’m not in the mood to praise Jesus and promise my soul to him. I ain’t that desperate tonight though I’ve been there before, I won’t lie to you unless, of course, it benefits me, then I’ll spin a yarn that will make Hemingway stand up and take notice.

Shuffle on down to the train tracks surrounded by woods. Lay my bedroll underneath the boughs of a big old fir, pile cardboard all around me, and my own personal five star hotel is ready for the night. All that’s missing is room service, and I laugh at my own joke, take a last gulp from the paper sack, and then howl to the moon, howl to the gods, howl to the forsaken and lost on this cold hopeless night.

Deluxe accommodations down by the railroad tracks
Deluxe accommodations down by the railroad tracks | Source

Disturb the Sounds Of…….

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, just another baby in a manger as the coyotes and winds howl in harmony. Good night John Boy, good night Mary Ellen, as papa and momma ruffle my hair, pull the covers up to my chin, and kiss me good night and sweet dreams, but they’ll be no sweet dreams on this night, or any night for that matter, and that’s just the way it is.

The Invisible Man signs off for the night.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

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    • Nils Visser profile image

      BOOK REVIEWS 2 years ago from The Low Countries

      Sublime

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nils. i can live with "sublime." :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Aww, Bill what I can say just beautifully written and shared! Just stopping in before I will inevitably be outdoors cleaning up from this blizzard at some point today, plus the kids are itching to go play in it and yet it is still coming down. But wishing you a wonderful day in your neck of the woods, too :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. I'm glad you are safe and have power. Stay safe, stay warm, and have fun.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent story, Bill. Sad, but so well-written. I love the song lyrics that inspire these tales of fiction. Unfortunately, there are too many out there who live the tales in a non-fictional world.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      You have captured the words of the song in a new way that brings tears to my eyes. Up and awesome, billy.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      My God, Bill, it should be illegal for someone to be this talented. Your characters are so real and the simplicity of the plot provides a palpable contrast for their personal situations. Outstanding.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Sha, and it is in their honor that I write this. I don't particularly enjoy writing about this topic...too close to home...but it is necessary. Thank you for reading.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      My God, Bill, it should be illegal for someone to be this talented. Your characters are so real and the simplicity of the plot provides a palpable contrast for their personal situations. Outstanding.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop...I appreciate you taking the time to read my musings.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Zulma, thank you so much. That means a great deal to me today as I battle with my inner demon of self-doubt....you just gave me a gift. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and a bonus gift! :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      The invisible man, told like only one who knows how and has walked the walk. Just my kind of writing, superb. It hit all the right spot today, thanks Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Sally. This kind of writing is where my heart feels at home. It's nice to know it is appreciated.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I was right there with you as you walked down those streets. Amazing! You not only capture the sights and sounds but the feelings of despair and danger.

      Brilliant writing highlighting a terrible plight. Will the world always have the homeless? I hope not but I fear it will. Just been watching some of the blizzards on the East coast of the US; how frightening to be homeless when the weather blasts you like that.

      Love the soundtrack of course and your words fit it so well.

      Enjoy your Tuesday, bill.

      Ann

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm sitting here with tears welling. Bill, you put me right on the street with all the invisible people. I could feel their pain. This is one beautiful piece that will stay with me for sometime...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Ann, and thank you so much. I can't imagine being homeless in weather like that...and many will not survive...only to be replaced by many more. Sad? Tragic!

      Have a splendid Tuesday, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, that is music to this old writer's ears. Thank you so very much. I was hoping it would touch people.

      bill

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      You have learned well, your life's lessons. Who would have thought, that any good could have resulted from those days in question? On those nights, sleeping with

      the enemy, you draw a vivid picture and

      give us a compelling truth. It begs to question; could you speak with an imperative voice, had you never danced with the devil?

      This is an amazing piece of work, my friend.

      DJ.

      Up and awesome

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I am convinced that creativity can come from pain...in fact, there are days when I think it is impossible to have without a history of emotional pain....but then, what do I know? :) Thank you for your kindness and loyal friendship.

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      You really gave me chills. Whether or not you meant to, your story conveys the point that there is a reason for some people being homeless. Lying in the bedroll by the railroad track taking a last gulp and howling to the moon reminds me only too well of our homeless friend, Fred, who took one gulp too many and thought he could stop a train. Everyone who knew him did everything we could to help him. So sad. I just hope the homeless are provided for during this bad winter blast on the East Coast. What can we do?

    • profile image

      Lawrence Kitzmann. 2 years ago

      Again sir I salute you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What can we do, MizB? Not much, really, but as writers we can always raise awareness. It's all I can think of at the moment. Thank you for your thought, my friend, and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 2 years ago from Fresno CA

      This is so moving and awesome. It almost sounds like you have personal experience. I get so incensed when I see people talking about some homeless person as if he or she is bothering them by standing there asking for money. But for the Grace of God all of us could be there.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Larry, you don't have to salute...bowing will suffice. LOL Thanks, buddy, I do appreciate you being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paintrdrips....1989 I was homeless...it's not something you forget, and I'm sure it colors many of my writings with a coat of reality. Thank you for caring and for your kind words.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 2 years ago from The Desert

      Beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Emese! I appreciate that, my friend.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I love how you wrote him so invisible he didn't even have a name to remember.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      As one who has seen to some small extent the plight of the homeless on the streets of Seattle, this is powerful. Nice work billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. I'm glad you noticed that I did that. Very observant.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lori. I wanted a powerful message delivered...I appreciate you saying that.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 2 years ago from United States

      This is an awesome story that touches my heart for all the homesless people and it is like they are almost invisible, which made your story that much more powerful. I believe you got your point across very well, as usual.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Pamela. I'll be by to visit your new hub shortly.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      this is one of your best. Great use of tone. You depicted the inner and outer life of the people who live on the streets. I'm voting up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Catherine. This one was special to me, and I'm glad that showed in my work.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      After all the gold you've produced these past few years, you still doubt yourself? I don't know what to say. I mean I doubt myself all the time but then I don't have the constant pats on the back you always seem to get. How can you possibly still question yourself? Sorry, I didn't mean to come over all preachy; it's just really surprising to you say that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I'd like to meet a writer who doesn't suffer from self-doubt. There is a raging cauldron of insecurity inside of me. I suspect it will always be there. :) And you didn't sound preachy at all, my friend. Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Poignant write Bill and with one of my favorite songs!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you very much, Audrey.

    • profile image

      Smilealot 2 years ago

      The part where you describe his family as being lost was where I began to really feel the sadness of someone living in such circumstances. This was extremely sad, but it was very well written:-))

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Smilealot. No, it was not a happy write, and that's the main reason I don't do too many of these...but occasionally, I just feel like it needs to be said.

    • profile image

      suzettenaples 2 years ago

      Sad but true in many cases. Well written!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzette. It's a complicated issue for sure...and incredibly sad.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Excellent! Excellent! Pictures take it over the top. This is so good!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Beautiful writing Bill. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, Dora. I really appreciate your kindness.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Jamie. That means a lot to me.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Aw, yes, when I lay down to sleep on my soft pillow and comfortable bed, I do think of those out in this world, whose bed is asphalt with a concrete pillow. I know it could be me in an instance no doubt! I have met them and looked them in the eyes ... you have brought the reality of it here. Well done!

      Peace and blessings always

    • bigj1969 profile image

      John Marshall 2 years ago from glasgow

      Superb story,loved every word.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith and for sure, there but for the grace of God go I.

      Blessings my friend. Sleep well tonight.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you bigj1969...I appreciate it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very touching story and a great piece of writing, Bill. Thank you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's too much moving and touching to my heart. So emotionally immersed in it. Very beautiful description.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Hi Bill.

      A head spinning writing forbidden to my simpleness to comprehend.

      As I spotted you walking, my determination was following your invisible footprints lost in initial reading. This time wasn’t clear to me if we are in real world or in fictional downtrodden human family ambiance making fun of Jesus or taking him seriously.

      Theoretically, we all have the same chances for perfection unattainable on our own. Do we differ from each other gradually or it’s only imaginary line dividing the chosen classes of social standards, rich and poor, sharp or dull, bright or those to whom chances to shine have been denied . What odds would be knowing where am I going after this ?

      To the same degree we all are taking risk every night going to sleep not knowing of “my" chance waking up in the land beyond the horizon of my dreams.

      I want to know, because I need to know what happens after my meeting the Prince o Peace returning from the empty grave.

      Sighing.

      Voted interesting.

      Blessings and good night my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I appreciate that. Thank you for taking the time to comment tonight.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, thank you so much. I'm very glad that it moved you emotionally.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Another wonderful hub from you. Your story touched me deeply and so well-written.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      This really tugs the heartstrings - feel helpless, hopeless, how can this happen in 2015? So much sadness, so many stories of despair. So touching and in a way confronting. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sometimes I wish they were all invisible to me. But they have names and I know too many by name. The last few blasts of our winter weather will take a few. Come spring we will know who made it. Thanks for the reminder that it is time to buy a few more blankets.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      "There, but for the grace of God..." Sometimes the kind of situation described can be closer than we imagine.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, eloquent thoughts you share, and I have no answers. I can only live life to the best of my ability while I still have time left on this planet. I only know that love is the key, and so I dedicate my life to love.

      peace and blessings to you and yours

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE. I am happy that my writing touched you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maj! I have no concrete answers but I know it is wrong. Something must be done.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric. I agree, knowing their names is difficult...makes them more real...and by extension it is more painful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, dahoglund...very true indeed. Thank you!

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 2 years ago from The Desert

      Bill, I know I commented on this when I first read it.... I just wanted to add that this piece stayed with me, it is so well-written and moving, emotionally filled.

      Word choices matter, and you are great at finding the right ones.

      Making a difference as a writer also matters and you did it with this piece. You are raising awareness, and as a writer that matters so much!

      Is this invisible man a character in one of your books? He should be. He is so real, so... human. Unfortunately what you describe is reality, there are many like him, but there are very few writers who can make him visible the way you do. I would love to follow him, see what becomes of him, and hope to see the process of him becoming "visible", at some point in his life.

      Again, thank you for this great read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Emese, thank you so much for returning and sharing more of your thoughts. This is a compilation of people I have known over the years. He does not appear in one of my books, but there is a good chance he will be in the next one. :) I really appreciate you coming back.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      Who will help the homeless? How on a vast world like this can someone be homeless....sigh....too much guns...too little food....why are these people not given a shelter, they were never born homeless.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Clive, I don't have answers to those questions....we make choices as a society and sadly, the homeless are a result of those choices.

      Thank you for your reflections.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Such skilful writing. Unfortunately your fictional world is a clear snapshot of the state of our real world now. The priorities which seem prevalent certainly aren't the ones which should be. The pursuit of Capitalism has a lot to answer for.

      Your characters brought the pain and issues to life perfectly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, thank you very much and yes, unfortunately, this is a bit too close to the truth. Capitalism may well be the figurative death of our society and humanity.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Billybuc your reflections are so engaging.. remarkable share... you give a genuine look at cultural capitalism in the USA...

    • profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago

      Wow. I am freezing cold reading this because of the impact of your words. I could feel it all. Your descriptions are off the charts! Homelessness is a great tragedy and thank you for the profound stories you write because the result is awareness. I think I shared before That I have encountered a homeless man twice in the last year. The second time that I took him a muffin and coffee and money I asked him what your story? He lives out of his car and tries to get money for his granddaughter. He has cancer of the esophagus. I said to him I will pray for you he said I will pray for you too. I asked him what's your name? He said "my name is Bill"

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Totally awesome Bro. So much life in the first part: moving, touching all the way and with a 'cool' ending. Absolutely brilliant!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank! I'm just trying to make sure the forgotten people are remembered.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, thank you for sharing that story. Wherever Bill is now, I send him blessings, and a big old hug to you for caring so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita....I'm just writing from the heart, my friend.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Yes, Bro,

      As you know, I like this style more than the 'writing pieces' which are also excellent and done from a point of necessity that you have already expressed in the past. I understand.

      The pieces of the 'heart' touch me most; I suspect it does you, too. You also seem to write them effortlessly or let's say they seem to me, to flow easier. I feel their pain as well as their joys. Much love, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, of course I love this writing the most...sadly, it takes much longer to do....perhaps when I cut back on the number of Hubs, I will only write this type and no writing ones. We shall see, my friend.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Yes, Bro,

      You don't need to speak or write it. Many of us here know that you give a 'hell of a lot!' Carry on carrying on with your blessed capacity.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita....blessings and love to you this fine Thursday.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      You are a gifted writer, Bill. What you did so great in this article is sharing the feeling of despair and surrender in the same time.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      You are a gifted writer, Bill. What you did so great in this article is sharing the feeling of despair and surrender at the same time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buildreps. That means a lot to me and I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and thank you again, Buildreps. :)

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Oh Bill, I see it's a double one. That must be a hiccup of HP. Feel comfortable to delete one, and it's OK to delete this one too. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No sweat, Buildreps. That happens occasionally. I'm just glad you stopped by.

    • leiannscheible profile image

      Leiann Scheible 2 years ago from Alliance, Ohio

      As I sit here pondering everything my life has to offer, everything that's wholesome and sweet, i stumble upon this piece if work. I've always felt so bad for people down on their luck and feel they can't get back up. I thank God every day hes kept me safe with three children this far. This is a brilliant piece of work that grips your heart like a lightening bolt.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      leiann, I thank you so much. I know these people...or people like them....it wasn't that long ago I was their neighbor...so this one was fairly special to me.

    • leiannscheible profile image

      Leiann Scheible 2 years ago from Alliance, Ohio

      Your very welcome. Ive been reading your work. By far, you have been places! Im very happy for your success. Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading more!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much Leiann....interesting spelling of you name. :) Anyway, I look forward to reading your work as well.

    • leiannscheible profile image

      Leiann Scheible 2 years ago from Alliance, Ohio

      Thank you! And i think we have something in common. Im adopted as well. I were private adoption. Adopted at three days old!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Leiann, it's always a pleasure meeting a fellow adoptee. It was nine months of foster care for me before I won the lottery. :) Anyway, it's a real pleasure meeting you. Now, when are we going to see your some more articles from you?

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      Leiann Scheible 2 years ago from Alliance, Ohio

      I had a chiropractor appt, a appt with something else that took two hours, then picking up little bits from school. I have something in mind, i just have to develop it. Im going to get something to eat and let my creativity flow soon :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leiann, if I read your profile correctly, you are a single mother of three? I don't know where you find the time to write, but you have my admiration and respect. I was a single father for fifteen years, but I only had one. Three might send me over the deep end. :)

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Amazing hub, Bill! You really bring out emotions with your words.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. I really appreciate it.

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      Leiann Scheible 2 years ago from Alliance, Ohio

      HOw do you upload pictures into your stories?

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leiann, while in edit mode, put your cursor just to the left of your text....you'll see a blue arrow...click on the arrow and you'll see a menu pop up...on that menu are all the different capsules you can add to your hub. One of them is photos...click on that and follow the instructions that pop up. You can only do it at the beginning of text or at the end of text....but you can add photos to the middle of your story by breaking up your story into sections....do one section and the add another using the same blue arrow and the capsule "text." That's how most writers on HP do it...they break their stories into several different sections with a subheading for each section; then they can add photos to each section. If that doesn't make sense, email me at holland1145@yahoo.com and I'll walk you through it.

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      Leiann Scheible 2 years ago from Alliance, Ohio

      Thank you!

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      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good evening, Billy; thank you on many levels. Having our characters tell our tales gets it out there as well. The feelings, thougths and attitudes were familiar even if the alley was different. ~Marilyn

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Leiann!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good evening, Marilyn! The alleys on the dark side of town don't change much from city to city. I just don't want those who live in the sunlight to forget about the alley residents. :) Have a wonderful weekend in Georgia.

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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      I love the song and your interpretation of the song, great hub.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again Vellur. I get a lot of inspiration from music, as I'm sure you do as well.

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      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. 'There but for the grace of god go I' Bill I can only wonder at the scope of your creative ability. This really is the very best of all the work on HB.

      Graham.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, thank you so much. I truly appreciate your kind words.

      bill

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Vivid images, edgy ... you should offer up more short creative pieces here on HP, Bill.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Flourish, and thank you. It's a time issue. It takes me a long time to write something like this, and I'd rather spend that time on my novels.

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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “The middle-class avert their eyes and choose ignorance over compassion, for to recognize my existence is to admit that what can happen to one can happen to anyone.” So hauntingly, beautifully written, Bill, with uncompromising clarity and truth. They avert their eyes for they see themselves, a compilation of their sins of indifference. This is a must-read for everyone…including some of those Bible readers who clasp their hymnals every Sunday, sing homage to God, yet leave what it means to be a true Christian behind amidst the barren pews. Sorry to be so negative, but this hits home for far too many. And it shouldn’t. Voted this masterpiece way up and beyond, and shared.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you! I wanted this to be uncompromising. We must do more for those of us who have fallen, and I consider it a sin against society that so far we have ignored this problem. I appreciate your compassion and I didn't think you were negative at all.

      Blessings, my friend.

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      Laura Schneider 2 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Awesome, billybuc! Definitely one of your best. Thank you for this tableau, with which readers of this hub are no doubt unfamiliar. Voted awesome. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Laura! I love it when someone says "one of my best." Makes me feel like I'm improving as a writer.

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      pennyofheaven 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Very powerful imagery in your writing. Evokes some very raw emotions. Love your style immensely.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Penny. I appreciate the kind words.

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Invisible to some, but not forgotten. I stopped to chat with a homeless man once in San Diego about 10 years ago. Amazing what he used to haven then he totally lost his will. Of course, alcohol didn't help, which he knew was the root of the problem.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, alcohol seems to be at the root of many a problem in this country. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      How ridiculous is it that any one should have to live this way in this day and age? Where are all the do-gooders when help is really needed? No man deserves to be forgotten, ever.

      Powerful Bill, true, and heartbreaking.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, it is beyond my comprehension that this happens in this country. I'll never understand how it is allowed. Thank you for your kind words and for caring.

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      Susan Sproull 2 years ago

      Bill, you always write with such compassion. I believe charity begins at home. It really irks me the charities that hire people to stand on the street and raise money for example children in Africa. No human should have to live in this world invisible.

      Wishing Bev and you a good weekend.

      Sue

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, thank you so very much. There are so many who need our help, and I understand we can't help everyone we see, but we can certainly do more.....and I'll keep right on screaming from the roof tops hoping someone listens...as you do.

      Happy weekend to you, my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Russo 19 months ago from Cape Cod

      You did it Bill. You made me regret rebuffing the foul smelling homeless man who tried to cut the line at the pharmacy.

      You did it Bill. You made me curse Dylan for putting electricity in his guitar and forgetting how to write.

      You did it bill. You made me tearful and prompted me to ask for admission to HOW - Humanity One World - a gentle little project that you started on Facebook.

      You did it all Bill, except for one thing. You did not teach me how to pluck words from my Webster and string them out in raw, elegant fashion to craft one of the finest pieces I have ever read. Reading?? Maybe you did teach me something. It was you, I believe, who said that 'to write is to read'. I think Stehpen King, that fellow closer to my Portland on the East Coast than your Portland, also said it. So for today, I do not write. I read! And who better to start with than Billybuc? We who are about to read, salute you!

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I am honored and humbled by your words. I don't know what else to say. Thank you, sir!

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