• Michael Noctor

taking advantage of the mildness

I went for a walk with my friend last night. It was a very mild evening.

While we walked along Grafton St., I noticed three homeless people sitting in a doorway directly opposite Brown Thomas. There was music coming from somewhere – loud, but without being annoying – and I realized the somewhere was the Brown Thomas store, which is decked-out with Christmas lights. I looked over at the three homeless people, one was an older man, I didn’t look or stare long enough to make out the gender of the others. They were sitting with blankets on their laps. They had woolen hats on and looked not just cozy, but due to their laughter and smiles on their faces they looked happy.

Like I said, it was a very mild evening.

Their high spirits lifted mine. I’m not advocating homelessness. I think I’m simply commenting on how these three people looked like there was nothing wrong with their world. I said to my mate, ‘Did you notice the homeless people?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ ‘They’re taking advantage of the mildness,’ I said.

There will be colder nights ahead.

I was lying in my warm bed later. I got to thinking about one night in the car when my circulation was bad, and my left foot was like a block of ice. That happened long before I lived in my car. I remember my ex-girlfriend’s foot would sometimes tip off mine and she would shriek. It really was like a block of ice. I’m trying to think of the Adam Sandler movie where his servant John Turturro – love that guy – drives some sort of big iron bar through his foot, well, my foot was bad but not quite that bad.

I would scrunch down in the car and do my best to get the blood flowing, but there was nothing that was going to heat it up. I knew I’d be awake for the next couple of hours, at least, when eventually I’d sleep from exhaustion. In 840 nights sleeping in the car this probably happened less than ten times, possibly less than five.

On the milder nights I’d have to push off the blankets.

In case this blog is interpreted as flippant in terms of homelessness, here’s a little bit of balance:

Homelessness, even on the mildest of nights, is ugly.