Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Socialized Despair

Yesterday while cruising the city, I saw a lanky, young-ish guy in his twenties trolling through a trash can. He wasn't typical homeless meaning he either hasn't been on the streets for a long time or he isn't full blown schizophrenic or psychotic. Yet.

Living in San Francisco one develops a keen understanding of these matters: differentiating between the street dwelling newbies, old hands and "this person doesn't belong here" types becomes second nature.

My heart screamed and I stifled a cry of despair as he continued to pick unaware of my presence.

In San Fran or New York or Paris, okay.

But in my idealized memory of Holy Land Central (HLC) and its social system to protect all, this image of a young man wearing high tops, Bermudas and a preppy short sleeved shirt while sifting through garbage didn't gel. He was indicative of a larger looming issue here in HLC.

I recently supped with an old friend who bemoaned the country's poverty levels. He cited demographics and figures shocking to a city dweller such as myself who rarely travels to the peripheries. 5-person families living on the equivalent of $900 U.S. per month. Soup Kitchens. Hunger.

I noticed the pre-holiday food drives were a bit more driven than last year.

What's up, war withstanding?

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