I just finished watching “Dark Days,” a documentary following the lives of a handful of homeless people living in an abandoned subway tunnel in New York City.  It’s left me feeling… rather mixed.  I actually have a book that is a collection of photographs and stories about some of the people living down there, but I hadn’t gotten around to watching this documentary until tonight.  Homelessness is such a sad thing, and the fact that the people living there are dropouts, crack addicts, possibly completely unskilled, some very clearly mentally ill, is such a hard thing to examine head on.

Watching something like that, I realize I live a very privileged life.  I have always had food, shelter, family.  I was never abused, physically hurt in any way, taken advantage of in any real sense of the phrase.  I’ve frequently felt “broke,” but I’ve never actually had Nothing.  I am capable, intelligent, have at least a little college under my belt.  I have lots of Stuff, things that make my life easier, more luxurious.  A washer & dryer, so I don’t have to haul my dirty clothes to the laundromat every week. Electronics, this computer I’m typing on, the TV I watched the film on. My cell phone.  My iPod, which I am using to listen to Mozart’s “Requiem.”  My stand mixer, sewing machine.  I have a home.  And so many people this the world, in this country, do not.  I wish I could sprinkle some magic powder over the world that would rinse away all the drug and alcohol addiction that cripples so many homeless people, keeps them homeless.  I wish I could cure or treat the mental illnesses that so many suffer.  I think of Old Friend.

I am extraordinarily grateful for the life I was born into, the opportunities I have had, the lessons I have learned.  I am determined to appreciate these things all the more for having gotten a glimpse into the lives of some of the truly unfortunate members of our society.

 

This weekend has been beautiful.  I was 10min late for work Friday because I stayed over at SMF’s place Thursday night, but I didn’t mind. No one at work noticed or said anything.  They know I’m reliable and not chronically late, so it’s not a big deal.  Saturday we went to Discovery Place to see the mummy exhibit.  The remarkable thing about this is that he brought his kid.  I honestly was not expecting to meet her so soon, if ever.  She’s 5, and simply adorable.  A very sweet and loving little girl.  She apparently took to me — she said later that hanging out with me was her favorite part of the day.

I was a little nervous about meeting her.  What if she didn’t like me? Or worse, what if I didn’t like her? Would things suddenly cool off between SMF and I? Would it be weird? Would she pick up on the chemistry between her dad and I? (we had agreed to refrain from any PDA around her)  I just wasn’t sure.  It went well, though.  I think SMF was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was with her — he probably doesn’t realize how much time I’d spent with all my sister’s kids.

After a few hours there we went back to his place and watched a movie together — sweet little thing even held my hand for a little bit.  Knowing how protective SMF is of her, I feel honored that he let me see at least a little of that part of his life.

Later in the evening after daughter was dropped back off at her mother’s, SMF & I went out for a couple beers, had a fun time just talking and hanging out.  I stayed over again. (He doesn’t like my bed, so we seem to end up at his place more often than mine)  After a nice slooow waking up late this morning, we went our separate ways to get done all the little domestic things we each had to do before the start of the week.

I think SMF is becoming more open to letting me in a bit more.  It’s still early, so early in our relationship, in our friendship, even!  We talked about that briefly this weekend.  It’s been maybe 3 weeks.  That’s nothing.  But we keep hanging out and we keep liking each other, so until that changes I’m just going to roll with it.

 

In other, OTHER news, I started and completed a homework (for work) assignment today.  I dawdled a bit, got off track a couple times, but I didn’t get that overwhelming shit feeling like I did for the last one.  This is a good sign.

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