état d’urgence day 2…touch


yeah…this “dreamemt sign” should give you an idea of my day today.

yesterday was the festive wonderment day where I spent hours holding a mirror. I held the mirror on my lap sitting opposite the guys so they could see how they looked as their hair was being cut. the hair stylist/barber took his time, he was thorough, he did a good job. I watched this barber, this man, touch another man’s hair, face, neck. I saw him bend a head down so he could carefully clip hair at the nape of the neck, I saw him curve an ear back so he could snip those long hairs that hide just behind the ear, I saw him tussle hair as a mother would tussle her child’s hair as he gave the final touch-up. all this tender touching and it was so beautiful the way the guys would close their eyes, relax under his care, allow themselves to be transformed.

and today the barber was not there.

and a certain excitement of something new happening had evaporated. and rain turning to ice covering the snow made it slippery to walk. and it felt grey. and I looked at everyone. many, many people. too many dispossessed people. and I was invited by atsa to give a conference about my dream project. and I felt there was nothing I could say. I had nothing to say. there was nothing to say.

but the mike and the sound system were brought in just for me. julie had been told to bring in the sound system and set it up so I could say something. I tried to talk. but I was so sad, and I was fighting the urge to cry. and fighting the urge to cry takes a lot of energy. so I don’t think I was sounding too professional standing up there with a mike looking at all the people who were trying to keep dry, trying to enjoy a warm coffee. it felt irrelevant and wrong to talk about me, what I had done, what I had hoped to accomplish. so I talked about being there. in the tent. feeling sad. after stumbling some words out and pausing and stumbling more words out and pausing a woman came up to the front with me and she said she could see I was suffering and what I needed was a hug. she hugged me, and then she went on to say as a street person she knows every street person needs this. this touch, this care, this concern. and she’s right.

left at: in front of Mario and his dogs squat, which is an amazing diplomatic feat for atsa as dogs are officially not allowed in this park (some would say in an attempt to get rid of homeless people as many homeless people have dogs,) État D’Urgence at Place Émilie-Gamelin, Sainte Catherine corner of Berri.


One Response to “état d’urgence day 2…touch”

  1. Paul Says:

    How quickly strangers diminish each other in value.

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