Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Getting Ready

Strange picture to see isn't it? I know. However those shirts are a mile stone. They rank right up there with the paper dolls that the kids gave me for Christmas and Thanksgiving, not to mention the sweat outfits.

Those shirts are I think the last thing I need to finally have all of the props when going for a job. Sure I had some suits. But you know and I know that an ill fitting shirt makes it seem like a person is not used to wearing a suit or that he is not accustomed to an environment where suits are worn as a requirement in wardrobe standards. I have worn suits since puberty-military uniforms and then the gray slacks,blue blazer, school tie standard dress on thursdays and fridays after that. It is not surprising that I feel more comfortable in a suit than any other form of dress.

One must feel it. One must project what they feel. I must that if I had these shirts a few months ago, I would not have worn the shirts. The shirts would have worn me. I was not ready yet to have them. I am now.

We talk of the trash that litters the Skid Row streets. Indeed, everyday, piles of trash and garbage are a standard part of the Skid Row landscape. You learn how to live with that.

It is however a little harder to live with the clothes that drape the streets and sidewalks all throughout of Skid Row.

At the end of each day, when the buses take back people to other shelters from different locations in the city(and by the way, those people leave the most trash. They litter more on skid row than anyone else. Most of the people who come and litter and leave at the end of the day do not live on Skid Row. People do not know that) and county. They leave all kinds of trash.

At twilight, a different kind of debris begins to cover the sidewalks and street curves---CLOTHES. Clothes of all types litter the streets. It starts about 5 when the other people leave. You come across a pile of clothes left behind. Sometimes people still the bags of other homeless people who have not checked them in at the VOA drop in center or other temporary storage locations in the area. They carry them everywhere. You see more luggage on Skid Row, than you see at Los Angeles International Airport. Most people walk so much that they have their luggage on wheels, rolling the bags with a tiresome look in their eyes.

The clothes go through a process when they are on the ground. Like snow, when it first appears, they are fresh and are in a neat pile. Someone, most likely, dug in a bag, took out what they wanted or what they could use, and left the rest. They become more dirty as time rolls on. They pile loses its tidiness as well. The clothes start to get dragged along the street or side walk. They are symbolic of the lives that are torn apart, and torn every which way. You can feel the agony in the souls of those that have left the clothes behind.

Piles of clothes like that dot the landscape of the neighborhood. You never see them in trash cans, only on the street. Each pile has a unique story of how they arrived to that location. I have often wondered how many times ownership of those clothes changed. Were they stolen, were they given away or did someone take them in leu of payment for drugs or a sex act. Those stories are a mystery and each morning hundreds of piles of clothing appear like mushrooms after a rainstorm.

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