Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley grew up in Los Angeles and moved to New York City. His novel Fortunate Son ,is not about homelessness, but a character lives on the streets. Thus I could post a couple of dozen quotes from the book regarding homelessness and street living people. Mosley knows L.A. and NYC and he knows his homeless characters. There is the schizophrenic, the shopping cart pusher, the collector of glass and other stuff found on the streets. There is the teen who ran away from home because her father raped her, the NYC subway dwellers, the guy selling stuff at Venice beach, the rummaging through dumpsters for food, the recyclers and so on.

There is a merchant marine, let go due to a blood disease, who has enough money to buy a house, but says living in a house would be "like spendin' your life in a tomb". He prefers to live outdoors and travel. I met a few of military veterans like that during my street living days. Interesting to me was when a homeless character recognized a former homeless person, though the young man was dressed in nice, new, clean clothes.

I decided this:

"...he realized...how close the physical heart disease was connected to the emotional heart."

...while living on the streets. Old Pat Benetar song: "gonna harden my heart" (blah, blah, blah). Seems the only way to protect oneself from abuse is to be hard hearted and that being that way ~ not doing the natural, instictive loving thing in order to avoid getting used ~ may actually lead to "hardening of the arteries", or the physical expressing what is inside.

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