In working with people who spend the night on the streets or in a shelter and depend on food stamps and vouchers, it is easy to lose perspective. In fact, I may be writing from a lost perspective now.
I am in a world in which cigarettes hold more value than milk and employment is menial and miserable. The kids are frequently reported for bruises and bed bugs. There are no healthy relationships, it’s use or be used. A survival of not the fittest, but the most street smart, the most savage and aware of the systems from which they must either decide to manipulate or leave for the unknown.
Those who stay breed the next generation who are certain to take up their parents’ torch.
It’s a dark realm, almost like an alternate reality that is better kept a secret, in the underground, or for movie settings from which an impoverished savant is able to rise from dregs of society to that of the rich and famous.
Only in that case, the fictional or the legendary-once- in a lifetime situation, is it an interesting place and the desperation is palatable for the rest of the world, knowing that there is a light to shine from the darkness, a ray of hope for those who have nothing other than plastic bag of raggedy clothes and a headful of lice.
The lost perspective.