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November Rains

November Rains

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Published by Jon Vincent Deacon
What is the worth of a homeless person to society?
What is the worth of a homeless person to society?

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Published by: Jon Vincent Deacon on Sep 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/07/2012

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November Rains
 
Rain started to hit the window forming little clear specks distorting the vision in the coolair. She liked how the beads always seemed to be clearer when the air outside was cool. She wasstill looking out it. She was standing about a foot from the glass with her arms folded across herchest. She was staring through the beads of water in total silence. She was standing, looking outthe window in the dim light coming through the window. She had been staring for some timeafter getting home. She was upset with him and he knew it.
“I said that I was sorry,” he offered breaking the silence.
 Bill had been sitting on the sofa watching her look out of the window. He looked at herstanding in the light coming through the window. He sat in the darkness of the room thinkingabout what he had done; how he had turned her from being happy in the morning to this.
Problem was he wasn’t sure what this was.
 He just sat and looked at her standing by the window. He thought as he saw that hiswords had no effect on her. He wanted the silence to end. He wanted Sue to talk. Only then hewould know what exactly was bothering her and only then would he know how to fix it or atleast try. In her silence, she held all of the cards. This however, did not bother him the most. Itwas the idea that he had done something that had upset her. He wanted to fix it. He needed to fixit. He needed to get her to the state of happiness she was in when they left the apartment to go fora walk.
“I said that it was okay,” she said just as he was about to repeat his apology.
 
He heard her. Bill didn’t believe a word of it.
Her true sentiment was expressed clearly inher tone. As did
Sue’s stance at the window
which told him differently. Arms still crossed, eyesfixated on the world on the other side of the glass, hardly blinking, one leg straight supportingher light frame and the left leg moved forward as if she was about to take a step towards thewindow, s
he hadn’t
even turned to look at him when she replied. He had seen that she had closedher eyes when she had spoken. She just continued to stare out the window.
“I know that you may not understand, but
I did what I thought was right,
he said fromthe sofa with a strong desire to have not just said that.She shook her head slowly without taking her eyes off the wet world beyond the glass just as a sudden downpour splashed against the window. He could feel the tension in the room,her anger, her frustration. He could only know that he just threw gas on a smoldering ember. Hismind raced for an extinguisher. It returned as quickly as it left with an empty, unchargedcanister. His mind fluttered around in an urgent state in the pursuit of the answer that would
 
return them to the earlier time before their walk, before they ran into him, when they werewrapped in warm delightful feelings of being alive.His mind struggled to find the exact moment that those wonderful feelings took anosedive. His thoughts struggled to gain altitude but stalled as he sought to reconstruct themorning events. It all pointed to the moment they met him, the old man on the street. Billthought as he pictured the timeworn, dirty face peering at Bill through the dirty, greasy forest of white hair and beard. Memory of the intense odors of old dried sweat of a long hot summer thatpermeated his tattered clothing came back to Bill. Bill had never seen one in person, only on thetelevision and movies.Sue had suggested the idea. November rains were on their way and the overcast morningwarned that this could probably be their last chance to get in a good walk. It could be the lastchance to feel the crisp autumn air and actually enjoy it before the days of endless drizzling, coldrain. Bill had wasted no time accepting the suggestion.They both loved long walks about their town. It was an old town with roads leading off inmany directions. It was a town speckled with beautiful parks and tree lined avenues. They lovedto head off into a different direction each time exploring what was to be found in the narrowcolonial streets. They thought it grand to come upon a new store, restaurant, or club tucked awayon a new path. Sometimes, depending on how they were feeling and the time, they would stepinside to shop or dine. This was to be a day like all of the others.
But somewhere Bill erred. Sue’s mood like the day turned sour. He had an idea that it
was meeting the old man. He knew that it had to do with the meeting, but he thought that he hadknown this young woman very well and could not pinpoint the why. He just looked at her hopingto spy a clue. She just continued to stare at the wave of water battering the window. He wantedher mood to change. He needed her to talk. He needed to get to the bottom of the matter anddecided to venture an attempt.
“I thought that it was the right thing to help him out?” he asked in a timid whisper.
 Sue turned to look at him with death laser for eyes. He knew that he had hit pay dirt. He
knew that he was on the right trail as he remembered how Sue’s whole personality
changed afterhe assisted the man.
“There are organizations for that,” said Sue just as a gust of wind rattled the window.
 They both looked back at the old window shake in its worn tracks. Bill had thought thatthe timing of the gust had created a major effect for the delivery of her words and he had had alook of surprise when she said them as the gust slammed into the pane. Sue decided that maybe itwould be good to move away from the window just in case the window turned out to be olderand weaker than what they both had thought.
 
Swirls and ripples in the glass which tended to distort the scenery outside as it passedthrough the crystal indicated that the pane was of an older variety that was handmade. It was aheavy pane. Its frame, with its chipped, cracked white paint which they liked for the rusticaesthetics, was heavy as well and had felt very sturdy. However, the way the wind had justrattled it had startled both of them. Sue chose the chair in the room furthest from the window.Looking back at the
now silent window, Sue began to finish her thought in a kind tone, “I
 just feel that when people help them on the street it encourages them to beg. The organizationsare staffed with professionals who have been trained to take care of these people, to give themthe guidance they need. You and I pay for it with our taxes. We both have done fund drives and
given to charities. We take the tax credit for it every year.”
 
“So, you’re saying that we should just ignore them?” asked Bill with a look of disbelief.
 
“No, I’m saying that when you help them out like that, you are just encouraging them to
beg. That is why it is better to let the professionals help them. They know what is best to turn
them into productive citizens,” finished Sue just as the window started
up again.As quickly as it started to rattle, it came to a stop when Bill who had joined Sue in
turning his attention towards the complaining glass, started to state his thoughts, “Are you sayingthat they add nothing to society? Like a common parasite?”
 
“Oh, com’on, they are hoboes. All they do is create a nuisance on the street for hardworking people like you and I.”
 Both turned their attention to the rattling window as another gust laden with watersplashed into it. When it stopped this time, they both continued to look at it.
“Quite a storm for this time of the year,” said Bill still looking at the window.
 
“Yeah,” answered Sue slowly turning her attention back to Bill.
 
“I just think that most charities are bullshit. I think that we give them our respon
sibility
so we don’t have to deal with it and they make millions.”
 
“They are
nonprofit
organizations.”
 
“Yeah, that’s their legal definition, but for nonprofit organizations they make some huge
salaries for the big wigs. Not so much for the people that actually make it all happen. They aremostly free labor. Hell, a friend of mine that spent a week at the Water Street Rescue Mission
told me that if you work, they keep 75% of your income. If you don’t work, they put you to work 
for long hours in their facilit
y.”
 

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