Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Monday, January 07, 2013


It took a few minutes for my brain to figure out
   that the hulk of a person sitting in front of me
              was the same young street-wise brunette I knew 17 years ago.

I've spent so many late nights,
    comforting the dying,
that my memories are blurred.

  Then, Yolanda cocked her head,
    wagged her finger, 
   and vented her rage.
This kick-started in my brain cells. Ah yes, Yolanda.
Still homeless. Seventeen years.
Now she has new stories: marriage, a jailed husband.
A hospital screw-up. Body parts have been carved off.
“I have diabetes you know,” she informs me,
   between bites of triangular fried fish.
The midnight snack includes two pounds of Skittles, a jug of soda,
   and several other white bags of death, contents unknown.
I could not watch this display of denial
   -- so evident --
      without recognizing a bit of myself,
                     rationalizing my own poor choices.
And I’ve never been raped, abandoned, beat up, abused in any way
Like Yolanda.
God have mercy on us all, and grant us Peace.


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