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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Shifty's Story. (Part One)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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A homeless man goes from place to place. This is his story.

Hey, people!  My name's Shifty, and movin' 'around is my game.

Don't got no home to go to.  Always goin' from place to place.  I done lost my home when I got swindled by a so-called friend; he took everythin' from me and now I got no place to call home.  I'm homeless.

Okay, okay, I do got a home, but it's on the mean streets of Cleveland, Ohio.  I go anywhere I can find some semblance of shelter: in a doorway, under bridges or overpasses, in the park (before the cops run me outta there, that is), and in shelters, that is if they're not full up (which they often are, especially durin' these cold, snowy days of winter).

My real name is Duane Osgood, but most people, they call me "Shifty", 'count I move 'round so much.  Just can't find a good place to lie my head or think; if I do, it isn't long 'fore someone chases me (or "my kind") away from there.  It really makes me mad!!

I am 40 years young (but at times I feel more like 90).  I got arthritis of the knees and hips (sleepin' on a cold, hard ground don't help), and I walk with a beat-up ol' crutch that I found in the Dumpster one day, but hey: a guy's gotta use somethin' if his hip or knees bother him, y'know?? I had a family, but they done abandoned me when they found out that I got homeless; don't hear from 'em no more.

Christmas was especially hard.  I missed hearin' from my family.  We used to be so close; then I became homeless, and it's like they don't want to have anythin' to do with me.  It's like they're ashamed of me, and it hurts.  It really hurts!!

Thank God I have friends like "Charlie-The-Crazy", "Tigre'", Medusa, and others ... if it weren't for them, I would have fed myself to the dogs long ago.  Nobody deserves to be treated like you're a piece of shit:  I'm a human being too! Just 'cause I don't got no home or a job doesn't make me any less than they are: I just happen to fall upon hard times, and I ain't risen above it yet.  Am tryin', but nobody is willin' to help me or give me a chance.  It's really frustratin'!!

I been poundin' the streets, lookin' for work, but nobody don't wanna hire me 'cause I'm disabled, over forty, live on the street ("no address"), and have no transportation.  I'm sorry: I didn't ask to be like this.  I mad a bad deal with a so-called friend, and now look where it got me.  Homeless.  

So I spend my time havin' endless conversations with m'self (or the brown bottle), and somehow, that makes me feel better.

Well, I gotta go.  Gonna try to get more shut-eye; until later, this is Shifty signin' outta here.  Take care; talk t' y'all laters!

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Reviewed by H. Lena Jones 1/12/2011
I think the poor and destitute are here to test the rest of us "normal" folks: do we have the compassion it takes to help these folks? Do we share our wealth with them? Do we stop and buy them a cup of tea or a bite to eat? Do we even stop to say "hello" and offer a word of hope?
Your story creates awareness of the plight of the homeless and tests the compassion level of the rest of us. Well done!

Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 1/11/2011
Its sad when we treat people worse than we treat our pets, heartbreaking really, well done story though
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 1/11/2011
Such saddness we hear about, you wouldn't see an animal out in the cold and hungry yet there are so many people out there. Sad Karen. A Great write dear.

Newfie hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 1/11/2011
How sad it is for all of the there is a problem that this country should try and correct, just one of many that need attention.
peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/11/2011
Heartbreakingly penned, Karen, you bring us into Shifty's uncomfortable world. There, but for the Grace of God, go I ... well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 1/11/2011
This is such a sad story, Karen, and it represents so many poor people who are homeless. During these cold days in the past month I have often wondered how those homeless folks can survive out there in freezing weather. This is a sad but great write.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 1/11/2011
Nobody deserves to be treated like you're a piece of shit: I'm a human being too!

You certainly are, Shifty, and there are certainly far too many homeless people in our nation today. And very horrendously, many of them are even military veterans.

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