home sweet home

Well, good morning!  Today started off like usual with the neverending struggle to get out of bed.  The score was almost Bed - 1, Lori - 0 but I came through at the last minute and made it to the gym.  I made the mistake of getting back into bed shortly after I got home, and the effort to get up had no more motivation behind it than the first time.  Finally, I forced myself up and at em to deal with my mess of a hair day and throw on an outfit of black and gray to mourn my return to work on a Monday.

When I get to work our maintenance guys are outside and there seems to be something going on.  Rufus is saying "you have to go" and is looking toward the ground.  Being optimisitc, I immediately assume there's a dog outside and he's shooing him away and I prepare myself as I approach for a 5 minute pre-work day cuddle session with this stray dog I have imagined in my head.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but only if you have never met Rufus.  Rufus is an older, slightly awkward but really sweet older man.  You can't NOT like Rufus.  His kind voice clearly is the type voice I'd use with a stray dog.  I might even add that the cleaning lady came up and was taking a picture with her cell phone as I approached the situation... and that really convinced me one of the Puppy Bowl stars was outside our office for a pawtograph section (yep, I went there).

Nope, homeless man.  A homeless man half asleep/drunk with a bottle of listerine and a bottle of vodka.  A little hairy like a puppy but not cute and not energetic.  Rufus looked at me and said "go right on in you're gonna be fine," like he thought I was afraid or something, and I went in to go up and get my coffee.  My coffee, in my warm office (warm ish... Linda needs to turn the heat up) after struggling this morning to get out of my comfortable bed in my apartment stocked with plenty of food even if it is grocery day today.  I complained about getting out of bed this morning and this guy slept against building 4515 on Falls of Neuse Rd. in the cold.

I've always struggled with my compassion for the homeless.  It isn't that I don't care, but it is more of the fact that so many people are just playing the public with a show, that it is hard to know who really needs help and who is setting you up for a scam.  Most of my "homeless" experiences are just those people- the ones you see asking for money on the side of the road.  The ones you see with a dog that doesn't look malnourished and who sometimes walk down the street to get in their nice car after a day of free cash.  Those kind of people.  This morning was different for me because I have no doubt this man was homeless.  I don't appreciate the fact that with the little money he had, he spent it on listerine and vodka... but I couldn't help but be really sad knowing that he probably bought those things to numb himself to reality. 

I don't know what happened after I went upstairs and I will never know what happens to this man, but it was definitely something to open my eyes to be grateful for what I have and show a bit more compassion for others.  I may not have as much money as I would like, but I have enough, and I am very happy.  I can only hope and pray for him that one day he is happy, too.


  1. i have the same dilemma with people i see at major intersections asking for money. i never know if they are for real or not. you have a compassionate heart, my dear. thanks for sharing your story.


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