Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 21 of Homelessness

Hester Prynne is infinitely braver and more likable than anyone else in The Scarlet Letter. Reverend Dimmesdale is physically and mentally very weak, and of course ends up doing nothing for Hester and their daughter despite his complicity. Rather than owning up, he abandons them and dies of shame. That Hester bore the full brunt of the Scarlet A and vanquished it is even greater testament to her character. Of course, you could argue that the Reverend had farther to fall. Not having very far to fall has always given me more latitude to do idiotic things, or at least seriously contemplate them. Latitude my father, for instance, would never have been afforded.

But I finished this great story and moved on to another: The Jungle, which I was also undoubtedly supposed to have read. My life as a homeless person is a cakewalk compared to how these people lived; sleeping mattress-to-mattress in one filthy room; working in dangerous and horrible conditions at the Packinghouse. The prospect of being crammed together in one room (at a shelter) is why many of our homeless prefer to sleep outside, no matter how cold. The latter is certainly what I am opting for tonight.

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