Yesterday, another afternoon walking around the city, and then a couple hours nap on the lawn outside St. Paul's Cathedral. Late afternoon I got a real hankering for an orange Slurpee. I stood outside a 7-Eleven for an hour, trying to work up the guts to ask someone if they could spare $2 change... but I couldn't do it; and I used to be a 'cold call' salesman! Ha. Back to the drinking fountains. Last evening didn't seem as cold (at first) and so long as I kept walking I was ok. At 10:30pm I went to Flinders St for the soup van, and to meet other homeless people, but there was no-one there, so I guess I got the timing wrong. I went back to the arcade I had been the night before, and there was no-one else there, so the top of the steps were free; upgrade! But after a short time the temperature dropped further and it was too cold to sleep - or I wasn't tired enough. Walking up to Melb Central I saw another homeless person sitting on a bench, I wondered where he might end up that night, and waited to see, but I got too cold standing still, and moved on. Around 1am I decided to head to my 'retreat spot'. My 'retreat spot' was back at the house in Clifton Hill I used to share. They had an old garden shed out the back where we had thrown my old mattress until hard rubbish night came up again. They said I was welcome to drop in and use it anytime. So I started the long walk out of the city, a little bit of activity in Brunswick St, and almost got there when the back strap of my sandal broke. Doh! I fumbled into the shed and went to sleep.
I got up this morning feeling better (thanks to the mattress), gaffer-taped up my sandal and headed back in. I walked by St. Mary's drop-in center, and stopped for a look. There were a few people there and I would have stayed but I wanted to get to the St. Vincents Hospital Mass at 12, and so moved on. I went to the mass and had a chat with the priest there about my situation. He had done some living on the street himself as a part of his priesthood, but he said it was much better (or should) to do it in pairs, so you can encourage each other along the way. So if anyone reading this wants to join me... :)
A friend emailed me about a booklet (Helping Out - from the Town Hall) listing all the city support services in and around the city, which I have now picked up, so I now know where to go to check things out. Thanks. And thanks to everyone else that has emailed me a message.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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