Saturday, February 04, 2012

Among the Missing

Among the Missing by Morag Joss is not about homelessness. The three main characters might be considered homeless themselves despite worrying about "...them, homeless vagrants wandering out from the shelters they'd made under the bridge, high on drugs, in gangs."

The story was hard to follow due to author's use of first person for all characters.

A chapter begins: "I watched her sleeping." The next chapter: "My name isn't Annabel", followed by a chapter that begins: "I woke her...", the next starting:  "You weren't at the trailer when I got there."

I would think the person watching someone sleep is a person not called Annabel, except that when I began the chapter I thought it was the male character watching "her" sleep. Was Annabel the sleeper? Who was not at the trailer when who got home? Very confusing. Some times two chapters in a row were told from the viewpoint of the same character. Other times it might go like this: Guy, girl, guy, Annabel, girl, guy, girl, Annabel, Annabel.

That same technique was used in A Long Way Down, except each chapter was titled: Jess, JJ, Maureen, Martin, so it was obvious who was talking at chapter's onsets.

It has been a while since I read Among the Missing; I think other notes on second side of notepaper came from the same book. One is that author wrote something about homeless people becoming dirty, but being able to wash off the filth, but not the loss of pride that they became thus. I did not put quotation marks around any of the words, so may be exact quote or may be paraphrased.

I will add quote marks for this note: "each day blended into the next with no destination and no distinction," and "It was only the knowledge that he had gone slightly mad that was keeping him sane," and "..results oriented without the patience for the process to get me there."

I can relate to being able to wash off the accumulated dirt while street living, but not being able to wash away the stigma of homelessness. My life now is with no destination, no distinction and do not have patience for the process of applying for some type of reduced housing aid, that will give me a desired result: getting away from two juvenile neighbors who are ruling my life due to their misbehavior.

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