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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Shifty's Story. (Part Five)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Sunday, July 01, 2012

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Homeless Veteran Shifty (Duane) Osgood is trying to cope with the hot temperatures, the gnats, and other issues.

Image of fireworks (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

July 1, 2012, on the mean streets of downtown Fort Worth, Texas~

Shifty Osgood writing.  Thought I'd update y'all to let y'all know what's shakin'.

Not much is shakin', I'm afraid.  Life continues to be something of an enigma for me.  Everytime I try to better myself by getting a job, they tell me to clean up my act or get a home (or permanent address); they don't want me stealing 'em blind or poisonin' 'em with my stink.

I'm sorry.  I can't help it.  I am homeless.  I am trying like hell to find somewhere to live or to get some money to where I CAN get stuff to clean myself up, but when people chase me away like I'm some sort of rabid dog, then what on earth AM I supposed TO do??  Lie in the gutter and kill myself or just wait to die??

Seems that's what people want.  To most people I am nothing but a burden, a leech, a leper.  I know I smell. I know I'm homeless.  I'm sorry.  I can't help it.  Life has been cruel to me, but I still try to keep going, y'know??

Since it's been so hot here (highs in the upper 90's to lower to mid 100's), I have been takin' up residence in the  park, underneath the shade trees, or until the cops chase me out.  Then I go under a bridge and cry myself to sleep, or if it rains, I go duckin' inside a building entryway or in one of the dark alleyways, next to the dumpsters or trash cans.

At night, when all the nasty bugs are out, I try to find a shelter to shack up for the night, but they're usually too full, so I sleep on a street corner, underneath a bridge, or find a church that will allow me to stay for the night (or a few days, anyway).  Usually I'm not successful, but that doesn't make me give up trying.  There's gotta be some kind hearted people somewhere who are willing to help a fellow (disabled) Veteran who's down on his luck!

Don't help the city is readyin' itself for their annual Fourth of July bash.  I know it's free and all, but crowds, honestly, scare me.  I don't like people yelling at me or trying to run me off.  So I just stay somewhere and feel sorry for myself and see if I can find something to drink to soothe my poor, raw, parched throat.  Or I look in the trash bins for something that's halfway edible to slake my growling stomach and gnawing hunger pains.

I would love to see the fireworks bursting overhead, but again, the crowds prevent me from doing it.  I am claustrophobic anyway; maybe it's better I stay away; after all, I can see the firewworks when they bloom overhead like a bouquet of colorful flowers.  So it's not so bad.  Yet I feel I have nothing to celebrate except being reminded that I am not free from homelessness or people treating me like a pariah.

Well, I've done depressed myelf again, so I'm gonna go and see if I can find a beer to chug down and hang out at one of the local bars and listen to Hank Sr. moan the blues.  Heaven knows, I know how the poor guy feels because I have every reason to moan the blues, too.


~To be continued.~ 

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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/1/2012
Dang. Another sad one. No one should be homeless in the richest country in the world! Well done, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Budd Nelson 7/1/2012
well written on the plight of the homeless around a holiday.

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