Cots That Would Be Beds


street bums





As I walked in I hardly noticed the beds at first. Truth be known, I didn’t notice them at all. 

I just went straight through the entry doors to the “greeting” area where I was met by one of the staff members there. It;s been so long now that I hardly remember if I was taken in first and processed or if I spoke with the priest who headed up the program then accepted in. Well, no matter. I got in was the important thing.


I had my white navy like duffel bag with most of my necessary earthly belongings and was taken to the induction desk. There was a guy behind the desk with a meshed screen behind him that kept us riff raff out and helped prevent theft. He started taking my stuff and got busy inventorying what I had the, he asked if I had been drinking. I must have smelled like the proverbial brewery. I told him, “why yes, of course I’ve been drinking. That’s why I’m here isn’t it, because of my drinking”. I had in fact finished off most of a six pack of beer in the one hour drive up to the old monastery. He asked if I had any alcohol with me and I told him I didn’t. Which was true and of course I wasn’t drinking at that precise moment in time. “Who knows”, I said, “I may never drink again… burp”.

He had asked if I needed to take a shower as most guys coming in off the streets of  NYC, were sorely in need of one. I told him no, I had already taken one when I got ready to make the trip. By the way, it was my older brother who drove me up. He’s dead now. The liver, you know ?The attendant was authorized to give me some medication to help keep away the D.T.’s, you know, Delirium Tremors, and they also helped in preventing seizures. They worked. For me. Homeless Shelter


I had asked him what do I do now and he said, “just go ahead and find yourself an empty bed”.

So, I went back into the dormitory like room set up in the old monastery annex and looked around. There were about forty cots there, pretty much filled with scruffy  old men, most in need of a weeks worth of  shaving and decent food.

I looked around and thought,”What am I doing here with all of these old bums” ?

LUCKY Shelter

It was then that I realized and said to myself, “I’m here because I am one of them”. So,I found an empty cot, layd down and went to sleep.

~ by Vinnie on August 23, 2009.

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