Monday, March 05, 2012

City of Whispers

San Francisco is the city in City of Whispers by Marcia Muller. It seems I like to torture myself reading about San Fran. The title intrigued me; read first page at library, checked it out. Did not know that homelessness plays a big part in the story.

There is the man living under a bridge compared to a troll; homeless cat arrested for assaulting a police officer when cops were removing homeless from an encampment; a very wealthy young woman who volunteered at shelters and soup kitchens, befriending homeless people and upon her death, having no heirs, her will stipulated setting up a trust for homeless causes.

Said of potential witness to a crime: "The police knew how homeless people sometimes established territories; they'd find them if it was at all possible." The homeless men had been sleeping under trees, taking off when police arrived to investigate the crime.

I wrote about that when telling my homeless story; would seldom see a Lincoln Park person at Alamitos beach or an Alamitos beach person at the fountain or any of them at MLK park. Scherer Park people seldom ventured downtown; ditto other areas of Long Beach, such as Belmont Shore or Bixby Park. Homeless people I met did move from one location to another, even moving to an Orange County town or other Los Angeles cities; some hopping from state to state.

Most, however, stayed in their territory, fiercely protective of it, distrustful of newbies or strangers.

"Strangely for a city with such a homeless problem, there were only two shabbily dressed men curled on the marble floor with their bedrolls; a woman, face turned up to  he sun, sat outside with her back against one of the Corinthian columns." Strangely this quote instantly brought to mind a park I (and other homeless) hung out at in Phoenix, Arizona.

If I had an address I could use, I would start taking bus trips, so that I could again visit places like Phoenix and San Francisco. I do not know how well my body would take to sleeping on a bus or napping in parks anymore. Yet I would be willing to chance it, just so that I did not have to be kept awake nights listening to John's noise; ditto, listening to Chris' and John's daytime noises daily.

Could break up a longer trip to east coast, stopping at places like Grand Junction or Chicago, having money to rent a cheap room, due to no longer needing to pay rent; and, get to visit my daughter, son, grandchildren whom I have not seen for six years. Daughter, Dawn was in Long Beach twice; once for a business trip, the other for her father-in-laws wedding. Even though I got to see her both times, the visits were short due to her other obligations. C'est la vie.

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