He had parked himself on the sidewalk resting up along the wall of the local Starbucks. I sit in my car for a few minutes to observe from afar. I notice that all he has in his hand is a sign. A simple one that reads….Hungry. Latte after hot latte, I see that no one has stopped to help him. Some have actually taken the long way around him as if they had no care at all.
I exit my car and approach this man who to me needs some assistance. We strike up a conversation and I sit myself down next to him. He tells me his name is Steven, but to most he is known as Monster. He takes today as it comes, and most probably he will do the same tomorrow according to him.
Steven tells me that he has been on the streets since 1980, after he was discharged from the army.
“When I was 14, I thought it was cool to get high, and I was able to live that way…high. The most important thing then for me was to get high. Today however, if I get high, it’s only a temporary fix”.
“At one point, I got sober for 5 months, and was able to go back home to Rhode Island to visit my family. That was a good thing. Then I went out and got stoned again…maybe I’ll go back and get sober”.
I asked him how he feels when he gets sober. “I feel like this is all strange, and when I get strange, that’s all……strange”.