California Is Not Always Gold

Riding my bike to work this morning I was caught off guard by the chill in the air. The faster I rode the colder I got. I was still closer to home by far then I was to work, when I started thinking to myself, that soon I would either need to invest in more insulated riding gear or put the bike up until the spring. It was about 50 degrees this morning which I am sure to some is not cold at all. But, here in California we get acclimated to the warm summer and early fall heat wave so when the first chill comes we are all caught by surprise. I was still debating the idea of going home and changing into my long riding pants, when I passed a couple sleeping on a discarded pissed stained mattress lying on the side of the path. Bundled up to their necks with what looked like an old burnt sleeping bag. My heart instantly felt so bad for both of them. How cold they must be laying there in the chilled morning air with nothing but discarded bedroom supplies to keep them both warm.
I turned around right then and rode home. I changed my pants quickly and scrounged around my house for a few minutes and headed back on my way to work. When I got back to the path I was happy to see the couple on the mattress was now awake. I rode slowly up to them and jumped off the bike. The man was sitting up against the brick wall dividing the path from the shopping center just beyond it and he had no shirt on. He sat reading a paper from four days ago and with each breath you saw his used air come out of his mouth and wash away into the universe. The woman looked less awake as I am sure she wished she had some coffee to hold on to and help wake her quicker.
I apologized for my intrusion, since I felt I was walking into this strange couple’s bedroom without permission. I handed the woman a bag of food I had gathered from home, fresh Apples and tomatoes from my dad’s garden, left over from last night’s dinner and some juice. Then I took my 90’s snow coat off that I have been too cheap to part with, even though it is not my style anymore and gave it to the woman. “Please keep warm”, was the only other thing I said to them, before I jumped back on my bike. They were both very surprised and thanked me, which was so nice to hear and made it all worthwhile.
As I was starting to ride away, the woman pulled out a cigarette from her pocket and her man who I then realized was holding a crack pipe, started to smoke it. I was suddenly faced yet again with the cold hard realization that sometimes our addictions are more important than just being warm, and isn’t that sad? How many cold nights have these two faced already? How many more will they experience before they either die or seek help? If I had asked them trade me the crack pipe for the jacket do you think they would have taken me up on my offer? I don’t know but I found myself to be both sad and irritated as I rode away. How do we except that we can only help people so much, before they need to help themselves?
Just another day in LoLa-Land, just with one less coat

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jdwiesch
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 13:23:04

    You are lovely. I have coats for you. 🙂

    Reply

  2. LoLa
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 23:33:19

    Thank you JD I will gladly except a coat or two from you. Thank you

    Reply

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Coloring Project – The Frog

Frog

2010 Summer Reading List

Sookie Stackhouse, the complete stories A touch of Dead
Finger Prints & Facelifts
His First Wife, Gracce Octavia
The promise of happiness, Justin Cratwright
Silk & Shadows
Wifey
The Honey Thief
The marriage
Ya ya Sisterhood book # 3
The Other Boleyn Girl
Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
3 book flower series by Nora Roberts
The Kept woman
Twlight book # 4
twlight book #3

Coloring Project – The Swan