Manhandling Panhandlers

I am unsure of a world where if we extend compassion toward another who needs it we are reprimanded by a section in the corporate code of conduct.

I am completely untrusting of a society that discards it’s elderly, favoring a collected isolation where all our grandpas and grandmas can die around the television  playing canasta.

I am obviously not of this earth if when we see people who are unwell, vulnerable or in need we approach with severe apprehension if we even acknowledge them at all.

I am weary of seeing so much neglect for people who are just like us, with eyes, hearts, histories and ambitions. Just like us except that we have jobs, families, educations and the wherewithal to not allow poor decisions or questionable people dictate pivotal moments that affect our futures.

“Just like us“.

Just like “them“.

Those who have nowhere to go are more like us than we’ll ever know. Those who suffer beneath the discarded ends of our luxuries know this world in ways we petulant, privileged and mercenary swarms will rarely understand.


Red Light Green Light

You, who bang through intersections doing 55 in a 35. You, who goose your car the remaining 25 feet of street in an attempt to beat the red. You, whom I look both ways for every time I leave from a green light because it’s going to be you, blowing a solid red and blasting through an intersection who will kill me on a day when I’m just doing my thing.


There is a beautiful little freeway loop that circles the city of Portland and crosses the river twice over bridges that can fortunately handle hundred mile and hour motorcycles. Tonight, the clouds sprinkle little drops in one neighborhood while dumping a bucket in another but then leave certain stretches of highway long and dry, ready for a scream of adrenaline to careen into its night.

Like a warm mouth in the rain or clenched fists numb from vibration, riding in the night-time is the best time for the senses to be truly driven.

Screech. Thump.

They cross without even so much as turning their head, entitled and brash, their stride resembles the goading of a schoolyard bully, confident with indifference. Their technology isolates them and their seclusion gives them license to assume that every street corner is a crosswalk. There was a time when people who crossed streets were wary of automobiles. A time when large machines of steel caused children and adults alike to heed, when pedestrians were actually cautious of getting hit by a car. Maybe it was the solid chrome bumpers or the heavy fenders that struck fear in those who jaywalked, or maybe we’ve grown into such a coddling, caring, careful bunch of jellyfish that even slow Uncle Jethro with the fanny pack wearing socks and sandals isn’t afraid of getting run over. Nowadays people brazenly walk right into intersections expecting drivers to yield, rarely even acknowledging those behinds the wheel, casually thinking that everyone will stop for their little stroll. No matter how tolerant or civil we would like to be, even a hippie in a Subaru can kill a yuppie douchebag who’s walking in the middle of the street. Sometimes I imagine a rumbling Peterbilt flattening one of these ipod/bluetooth wearing, non-looking-both-ways-before-crossing-a-street grade-A imbeciles so that others like them will realize that things with engineswill always win over things with legs.

Fill ‘er up, sir.