Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blind Rage

Homeless or street people showed up in "Blind Rage" by Terrie Persons several times. Two mentions:

After a character mentions a basement smells like "a brick shithouse" the other character says: "Smells like one too. Homeless folks must have used the basement as a toilet for years before the building was rescued."

"Strange, she thought. Even the homeless folks would avoid hanging out in that park on such a frigid night." The park being on an island next to a Minnesota river.

Homeless people do camp or take up residence in abandoned buildings. I can not say if they smelled like toilets, but do know places where homeless stayed often reeked of urine. Used to hold my breath walking down the alley behind my apartment on Elm. I was not the only homeless person who complained about other homeless urinating on concrete where they slept, especially when there were port-a-pots a short walk away or dirt for the liquid to soak into. One homeless person explained to me the difference between recognizing dog poo and the human kind which was not something I ever wanted to know. The basement in "Blind Rage" did have cats using it for a litter box.

I shivered just thinking about finding a place to sleep outdoors in Minnesota. Long Beach nights are cold, especially when sleeping near the ocean or Los Angeles river. Always a constant breeze or wind blowing off the water. People who need air conditioned houses might tolerate that if they were forced to sleep outdoors. Both quotes show the author's awareness of homelessness realities.

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