"Everyone was always well toilet-trained."

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Dante, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Dante
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    **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
    material is distributed without charge or profit to
    those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
    this type of information for non-profit research and
    educational purposes only.**
     
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    -------Forwarded published opinion-------

    Friday, December 28, 2001
    Boston Globe <http://www.boston.com/globe]
    [Boston, Massachusetts]
    Editorials/Opinions section
    Opinion/Oped
    A homeless man's gift
    <http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/362/oped/A_homeless_man_s_gift+.shtml>


    By Elissa Ely, 12/28/2001

    ONE SUMMER DAY, a man with a diamond pinkie ring drove up in an immaculate
    old Cadillac without license plates. ''I am people's bad dream,'' he said to
    the clinic receptionist.


    For eight months, he had been living out of his car - washing in a pond,
    purchasing the balanced four food groups at the Store 24, and nursing The
    Wall Street Journal through the day in parking lots throughout the city.

    How had his life come to this? Over the next few months, the immaculate
    Cadillac glided up to the clinic every Tuesday. Bits of history were
    surgically removed from him, and the story, once amputated, sounded so
    painful that it was easier not to believe.

    He had been a white-collar professional, he told us, in the sciences. His
    children went to private school. His daughter sang in a state choir. Then he
    began to realize that he could make his neighbors sit and stand on his
    silent will. It was a terrible power, and he was resented for it. First his
    boss antagonized him, then his coworkers antagonized him, then everyone
    antagonized him. He got into many white-collar fist fights. He lost his job.
    His wife left. ''I became a marked man,'' he said. After that, the only
    strategy was to avoid human contact. People could not be trusted.

    Each week the Cadillac waited patiently outside my office window for 50
    minutes. It was like his better half, a miracle of management. From my
    window I could see shirts folded on the back seat, and water bottles stacked
    on the floor where soda cans go to die. I wondered about the trunk and glove
    compartment - a microwave? A wine cellar? - but looking out the clinic
    window felt like peering through a shower curtain. The curiosity was too
    personal.

    On a fall day, the city police caught him between parking lots and
    discovered that the car that had no license plates also had no registration.
    His better half disappeared. So did his closet space, his refrigerator, his
    bed, and his family room. He was officially homeless now. It began to leak
    into his appearance. He stopped shaving. His jeans smelled. He sat in the
    office, diminished and mostly wordless. Where were the folded shirts? How
    did he get from here to there? Where did he sleep? He wouldn't tell.

    Thanksgiving came. He refused to consider a shelter - too many people.
    Besides, he had accommodations, he said. He wouldn't tell us where.

    December came. On a morning with frost, when we worried out loud, he finally
    told us that he slept on the steps of a certain church every night and
    stashed his sleeping bag and a suitcase in the shrubbery during the day. He
    would not tell which church it was, though.

    Christmas arrived. He brought the receptionist a floral arrangement and
    enough Eternity to fill a tub. His appointment was his only party. We
    explained that we could not accept the gifts. It defied policy. He thought
    for a minute, ''What about a fruit basket?'' he said.

    That afternoon, on his way out, he made a decision. Looking around to the
    corners of the room for unwelcome ears and to the ceiling for technology, he
    lowered his voice and named a church on a nearby side street. It was a
    larger gift than the fruit basket.

    A storm began the night before New Year's Eve. I was at a dinner party. Snow
    fell so sweetly outside the warm windows that some overseeing director
    needed to shout ''cut'' before it slid into caricature.

    I started to think about him during the appetizers. I could picture him, now
    that I knew where he was, sitting on his church steps, cobbling together the
    four food groups from the Store 24, and peering at NASDAQ values in
    snowlight.

    By the end of the first course, an inch was on the ground, and by dessert,
    the storm was the most important guest at the table. People began to talk
    about the road conditions and gathered their coats. A plough hummed outside.

    I drove home by feet instead of miles. When it was time to turn right toward
    my house, the car skidded slightly and turned left toward the church near
    the clinic. He had trusted me with his address. No one else in the world
    knew where he was right now. He might be freezing. Driving by was not like
    peering into the shower curtain of his car; it was an obligation of care.
    Men with special powers died on nights like this.

    I didn't know what I would do when I found him. I couldn't let him sleep in
    my car. The clinic was closed. He wouldn't go to a shelter. People were his
    enemy, and hospitals were frightening. There was no plan. I would need to go
    on inspiration.

    I skidded past the church once, twice, three times. The place was pure with
    snow, entirely undisturbed. There were no footprints and no shapes under the
    bushes. The steps were not only empty, but much too narrow for a bed. It
    would have been impossible to sleep there in any season.

    The following Tuesday he arrived for his appointment in a bitter mood. A new
    year was nothing to celebrate.

    ''Trust no one,'' he said. ''There's no such thing as a friend.'' We sat
    together, thinking about it.

    Elissa Ely is a psychiatrist.


    This story ran on page A27 of the Boston Globe on 12/28/2001.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
    material is distributed without charge or profit to
    those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
    this type of information for non-profit research and
    educational purposes only.**

    --------------------------------------------------------

    -------End of forward-------

    Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
    Morgan W. Brown
    Montpelier Vermont USA
     
  7. Dante
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    The side of us we don't like to see

    By Elissa Ely | July 30, 2006

    RECENTLY, IN FRONT of a bread bakery that carries an excellent semolina....A van with Southern plates and a half ``Gone Fishing" bumper sticker was double-parked next to my car. I waited...
    ...

    ``It's gonna be another 30 seconds. You can't wait?" she said.

    ``I can't get out," I said.

    ``You're so important?"

    By double-parking in front of someone in a bakery, instead of someone at the start of a double feature, she had run into bad luck...
    ...

    Under similar circumstances, a Zen master might have laughed at...you don't want the world to see you buck naked.

    Elissa Ely is a psychiatrist. The side of us we don't like to see - The Boston Globe
     
  8. ibnujusup
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    ibnujusup Rookie

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    what are you trying to say???
    i dint get it,, all you have said is that people always well tailored train??
     
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  9. Dante
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    :eusa_shifty:
     

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