Posted by: normanlgreen | August 21, 2011

Dream, August 21, 2011 homeless in Little Rock


dream, home 7:15 am

Homeless in Little Rock, AR, I have joined the others who live off a street assistance project that provides us with a daily meal.  We are each given our food on a heavy plastic tray so awkwardly shaped that no one would steal one for personal use.  The trays were injection molded in heavy gray vinyl 2 feet square with walls 3 inches thick and 5 inches tall.  The floor of the tray is a sieve, a screen formed by a grid of 2 inches squares — this is to ease the cleaning process — something like the tray for a commercial dishwasher.  The meal consists of a brown brick of protein, quick-fried and encrusted with kosher salt — too much salt even for my unhealthy taste.  We are provided the clumsy tray of food, but no place in which to eat it.  There is a requirement that the tray must be cleaned before it is returned, and it must be returned in order to receive the next meal.  In the same way that no eating place is set aside, there is no clean-up space.  We are to use our street wiles.  In the basement of the public library, there are some restrooms with a shingle shower.  These are for the library patrons, most of whom are homeless men, so there is a crush of activity down there after mealtime.  The staff of the library is not pleased, but they put up with us wandering the dim labyrinth — concentric square halls with unpredictable connecting corridors — where I struggle to keep a hold of my meal ticket tray as I open doors to see lines of unshaven men silently waiting for sinks, toilets or showers.

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