I accompanied my girls to the Hotel door and wished them a fun evening and ventured over to the lobby bar of the 1 Hotel with my book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” as my wine and cheese dinner companion. I am sure less than an hour went by when I decided rather than sit and drink SOBE overpriced wine, I’d head over to Lummus Park via the Boardwalk. My book still in hand and off I went. I passed the life filled outdoor club of the W Hotel and all its glamour of cars with price tags of a minimum of $150,000, took a right on the boardwalk for the ocean side glimpse of the splendor of people dining on the patio of The Ritz. The Four Seasons was still filled with more drinking than eating as the 3 piece band entertained.
Within steps, I was there, the foot of the park outside Starbucks. I was wished a nice evening by two men sitting on the retaining wall. I asked them how they were doing and if they would like something to eat. They said they had had something already so I suggested perhaps a coffee (I learned that the homeless appreciate coffee and will tell you why in a later post) One of the men replied so fast with perfect honesty and told me “Ma’am, Thank you but we don’t want coffee, we’re alcoholics!” With that he and I had a good laugh. The three of us got to talking and one, an American Apache Indian of decent, told me he had had a house up in Massachusetts. I asked where because I lived there as well before I moved to Switzerland. It turned out we were almost in neighboring villages near Peabody. I have come to learn that this a familiar story, people losing their homes and in time, the desperation moves them to the warmth of dream filled Miami where their dreams don’t seem to come true but their bodies at least, are not cold. I thoroughly enjoyed these two, their humor, their laughter and mostly their honesty with me.
At the end of our time together, the American Indian asked me if I had bus money for him to get to the Hospital in the morning. His wrist still wore his information bracelet from when he was released from the Hospital the day before. He had fallen, admittedly after drinking, and hurt himself. I do not give money, but I made the exception and gave him the exact $3.00 he asked for the fare. With that, as we said good-bye, he left me with an Apache prayer to which at the end, we danced to shake up that prayer to get it “activated”
Note Bene: A large percentage of homeless I have met have told me that they started to abuse alcohol since being on the street. It is not something that I condone, but in all fairness, it is something I can understand.
I am now off to hit the Walgreens on the corner of Collins and Lincoln. And the girls you ask? They’re still out, the night is young. There are a few more travels until I meet them back at the Hotel so it won’t be just yet that I can tell you about their night as I had planned ;).
Till then, travel a sweet dream,
my upload skills are not up to par…obviously 😉