Bare Feet and No Coat

April 26, 2009
By , Lake Forest Park, WA
It’s been scary this past year or so. I can’t really remember when it started. Sometime this month maybe, probably later than that. It’s something no one has not been effected by. Though more than a few try to ignore it. But who could?
It’s impossible.
~


I guess I’m lucky. No, I know I’m lucky. My parents lost investments, hundreds and hundreds of dollars, their 401k’s dropped enough to make my parents look like wraiths. My personal account looks dismal compared to even two years ago. But we’re all young enough to make it up again, I myself need to get a job. Something small, babysitting, paper delivery, anything they’d let a thirteen year old do. Help my parents a bit, not like I could make much, but money in any shape or form would be welcome. Everyone needs money now. Everyone scrambling over themselves and each other, to get one or a few jobs that barely pay. In my city, there were over hundreds who gathered just to get the parking-meter job. Only a few came out on top.

~


You walk down the street here and you see whole lines of shops out of business. On the way to the grocery store, the bar, the hair place, the tanning place, the tattoo parlor, the bubble tea shop, anything that people think can afford to fall through the cracks does. The place my mom gets her hair cut lost the ownership, most of the employees were fired instantly. This happened yesterday.

~


You can drive down anywhere and you’ll see a lot of homeless. My city was known for them before the bust, but now they fill the streets. In every doorway, in every alley, on every street. They walk by without a coat or shoes with no-one wiling to spare anything. They stagger on with their torn up feet and chattering teeth and unwashed hair because no-one will let them in. And their starving bellies and their aching heads and their sicknesses that they know no-one will treat. And walking on with all of that and still having those glares and whispers all directed at them, and knowing that it’s not going to end anytime soon or maybe ever for them. Because no one is willing to give ten cents or a sandwich to a poor old soul with a kid and dirty clothes. Everyone has their own stuff to worry about.

~


We go to Victoria for vacation. My mom needs a break and we can stave off our going anywhere for while after. Even there people still wander the streets with their hands out and asking in scratchy voices turned that way by the cold,
“Spare change?”
“A few looneys for a hot breakfast?”
“Socks? Shoes?”
“Can you nice ladies spare some change?”
“Please?”
But no-one answers, not with anything they need.
And if you look closely enough, you can see the many pairs of shoeless feet.
And if you listen, you can hear the voices strained with despair asking…
“Does anyone care?”

~


At dinner my mom says that they laid off the tech guy and a few substitutes at the school where she works. Where my dad works the budget cuts are looming, he says that everyone is in a panic, trying to look their best while retyping their resumes. Everyone running around like mice so they can stay alive. But dad says that only a portion of them will stay on anyway.

~


It sort of makes me wish that more people learned about this stuff before they got so greedy. Taking away money for yourself hurts you anyway, at least on this scale. You want to sell a house, no, a whole street for more than it’s worth? Go a head. Steal millions, go ahead. Anything always leads to everyone suffering, and unfortunately for you, everyone still includes the scammers.

~


I’d like to end this by saying that everything’s going to be okay, it’ll all be over soon, but then I would be lying. We’ll get better eventually, we have to, even if it takes however many years it’s gonna happen. But before it does, there’s still going to be a lot of people fired, a lot of businesses disappearing. A lot of death in many senses of the word. But if anything, try to remember what happened, for the future. No one wants to see any more bare feet in the crowd





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

ModernBoredom said...
Jun. 15, 2009 at 3:27 am
Thanks! It's good that you're actually doing something. There are a ton of people that just walk by, a little faster than usual. I've even seen someone flip a guy off when they were asking for food! Awesome that you are in a group, and thanks for commenting!
 
Kristin S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm
Wow, reading this article made me start to tear up. (In a good way.) When I went to a baseball game downtown recently, there were homeless people in the alleyways. I felt terrible that I didn't give them anything! It makes me feel really akward walking by, and all I can give them is a sympathetic glance. It's pathetic on my part. I have spare change, i have a few extra bucks, but I just can't bring myself to giving it to them...
That's why I enjoy helping out in my church com... (more »)
 
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