Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ruthie In Portland, Oregon Update

My Boot

Photo By Ruth Rader

A photographer from a street newspaper took a slough of shots of me last night. She swung her big camera around and I was preserved, frame after blessed frame.

I was okay with it.

She wanted photos showing how homeless women adapt to the shelter situation in the winter. After roaming around for awhile at the warming center (Bum Barn) last night, I became her prime candidate.

However, what she didn't see was the way the other woman behaved in the room that I was trying to sleep in last night. Nope, she didn't get the opportunity to record THAT.


Most homeless people NEVER get enough rest.

This morning that same woman came up to me and sincerely apologized for her behavior. I was stunned. Then I smiled and we let the matter drop.

Then when I went to the common area to get a cup of coffee and a breakfast bar, a guy walked right in front of me. I had my full pack (a $65.00 Coleman Max) on my back and I was leaning on my cane, with a cup of hot coffee in my other hand.

It was not a good moment.

Two nights ago, another guy, without thinking, goofed off and I ended up with a full cup of hot coffee in my lap.

So I'm rightfully sensitive about that.

And I told the guy not to walk in front of me like that when I'm holding onto a hot cup of coffee.

He barked at me and one of his cohorts chimed in just before the staff person backed THEM up.

I stood my ground and let them all know it before turning around and heading out the door.

There it was again, the yin and the yang of homeless life in Portland, Oregon.

Some of it makes sense and some of it doesn't.

I have no idea how it will all play out tonight. But I have every intention of not being burned by hot coffee, getting a good sleep and being treated with respect.

Do those sound like unreasonable expectations to you?

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