Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Heat Wave

Published in 2009, Heat Wave is the first in NYPD Detective Nikki Heat mystery series written by Richard Castle. I had a strange sense of deja vu while reading Heat Rises, third book in the series which I read first. Since I track homeless mentions in books I read, I am sure I had not read it previously. Yet Heat's Captain sounded familiar, as if I had previously read about Detective Heat and her captain.

I had the deja vu feeling while reading the start of a paragraph; the story itself had no familiar ring to it. Strange. Perhaps I read a different mystery series with similar characters in them. I will be checking Naked Heat, second book in the series, out of library when I return other books. Perhaps I read that one, creating the feeling I already knew Nikki and her boss; who knows.

A "homeless outreach patrol" found a murder victim. As the name would imply, New York City was in the midst of a heat wave and the outreach workers were trying to get guys into cooling shelters. Other than that, no homeless mentions. Having seen homeless men sleeping on the sidewalk of New York since I was a child, it was not until I lived on the streets myself that I came to fully appreciate how hard it is dealing with the weather.

My mother and older sisters took blankets to a homeless man they saw sleeping in the cemetery where my father and brother are buried. I never saw the man when I visited the cemetery, just heard them talking about how sorry they felt for the guy. I did speak to at least one homeless man in my hometown. It was when I was living at my mother's cleaning up the mess of her house.

I would go downtown to rent Internet time to keep up a job search. I recall speaking to one guy sitting on a bench by City Hall, but do not recall if he was homeless, tho' my mind tells me he was. The other guy I met at a little park space where the Vietnam war memorial plaque sits, names of our cities casualty's listed. I also met two men, homeless in Long Beach, who had been homeless in my hometown. Small world, as they say.

Maybe my memory is faulty. I definitely remember thinking, as I set out to relocate to California, that I would rather be homeless in a hot place then cold. Money, money, money or rather never enough of it to survive was the reason for my concern about the possibility ~ that became a reality ~ of becoming homeless. Just rambling, I will shut up except to add a quote from Heat Wave for my consideration.

"We all try. And tray as we might to control things, sometimes bad things get in and it's not our fault."

My bad things were not as horrid as bad things in mystery novels, yet I berate myself almost daily. The way my life ended was my fault because I let the bad things get in. Or the things that directly led to my life on the streets.

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