Sunday, March 11, 2007


This is actually someone's home.

This is one of the bus stops where I waited for a bus every morning for nearly three months. Rain or shine, a lady slept seemingly undisturbed by the constant arrival and departure of buses and people walking by.

The first time I saw this, inside of me, I wondered what that was. Once I heard a female passenger talk about how a lady actually slept bundled up under the umbrella. How could something like that be possible, I thought to myself.

Many times I saw the umbrella, surrounded by a metalic cart and bags of different types, filled with only she knew what. Pages from old newspapers taped to some of the bags with religious-type messages. Never actually saw her. Yet she slept in there and attempted to protect herself from the night, the winter and the noise.

Another morning, a police officer on a bike rode past the umbrella but made a sudden U turn on the side walk, slowly circled around the bus stop shelter, staring at the sight, as if trying to figure out what to do with it. But he said or did nothing and left. A male passenger just looked at him with a hint of bitterness as he rode away and said, "What do they know?".

The very last day I took the bus, I finally got a chance to see her. An old, frail lady attempting to sleep in a sitting position, bundled up, surrounded by all those bags, except... there was no umbrella. Where was her umbrella? What happened to it? A man sat on the bench right next to her as he coughed loudly and constantly over her shoulder. I heard her mumble angrily as she tried to make him quit. He spit at his own feet and laughed, then took a drag from his cigarette. Didn't move an inch.

This stuff happens in our city. People do sleep in the street, in dark, dirty corners where sometimes drunk, homeless or just ordinary people actually urinate and spit. This really is someone’s home, in the middle of the night, during winter rain, among city noises... as morning merciless arises.

Where do these people go when morning comes?