As I write this, you should know that I am really, really angry! I am angry as I witnessed and was even an unwilling participant of inflicting yet another injustice on one of our less fortunate. Less fortunate, yes. Less fortunate because he becomes so easy to pick on, to blame, to push out of the way, hide somewhere where we, the general public, don’t have to see him. Hide him somewhere where we don’t have to see his poverty, smell the stench of his pain and suffering so that we can walk by, not knowing, not caring.
Harry was just sleeping. Of course I knew that he shouldn’t be sleeping outside of OIM’s office door. I knew that it might upset someone, someone who might prefer not to see him there, might feel that it would be better if he slept somewhere hidden, but really, who was he hurting? He wasn’t hurting anyone and it’s not like he can go home to sleep. Home to sleep behind the garbage cans in the back of the office building or in some store’s doorway somewhere. So, he slept, next to our office door, waiting for our drop in to open. He wasn’t hurting anyone but he bothered someone and I got the call to wake him up please as he’s bothering me, him sleeping outside your office door.
Harry didn’t like to be woken up and he was angry, angry at the injustice of it all but he left his “comfy” sleeping spot, groggy from lack of sleep and went outside, away from eyes that really did not want to see him, did not want to acknowledge his poverty and pain. Instead, he went outside and promptly fell asleep outside our building door, on the sidewalk, amid the cigarette butts and spit but not out of sight of the general public and the injustice of it all.
So, instead of sleeping inside, he slept outside – still in view, still in need, and still a commentary on our inability to look after the most vulnerable. Maybe it’s time that WE woke up.