". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Distressed Homeless & Fat Squirrels

Walking along the usual route to the local supermarket, between the Manhattan Island New Amsterdam era botanical museum and the Community Garden, was a homeless man lying in the middel of the walkway between these tree and flower filled spaces on one side, NYU faculty housing and the Morton Williams supermarket on the other. No baggage, no blanket, no cardboard, no plastic. I couldn't tell if he was breathing or not. People are walking around him. Others are feeding the very fat squirrels. Nobody even seems to notice him, much less cares.

I called our local EMS-911 number. While I was waiting for them to arrive, two college guys walking their dogs started to encourage their dogs to pee on the man. I stopped them. They told me to get a sense of humor, frigid bitch.

Then, coming home after he was roused by the EMS people and ran away from them, though he couldn't walk, much less run, in anything resembling a straight line, a very young woman pushing a baby carriage with two small children begged me for money to take the PATH train to her mother's because she just had no money. This is the second time this exact conformation and request has been made to me in two days. Nevertheless I gave her 5 dollars of what I've got to live on this week, unless a check comes it (which is supposed to, but so often doesn't). How can you tell, things are so bad for so many.

Of course for those for whom it isn't bad at all, they have more money than ever. You see it all around us here.

1 comment:

T. said...

The detail about the people feeding the squirrels says it all. This is tragic. A failure of humanity, save for you.