Monday, June 27, 2005

Hot Snacks: A Dream

I dreamt that I was part of a scheme to get eastern European guys off of the street. A lot of them were arriving at regular intervals and either they would stumble through the shelters expecting an uplift mission or they 'd get involved in some petty crime thing. Guy from their own country that could speak their language and relate to what they were going through would talk them in and get them involved with the mob; the promise of big money.
We worked with the police because so many of these guys were either homeless or they had committed some misdemeanor like sleeping in a doorway.
We had some guys that knew the way organized crime gets its hooks into guys like that; the secrecy, promise of a better life opportunity even the hint of easy money and honor. But it's not easy work we would tell them. There is a price to pay. Some people would look down on them. They'd have to get their hands dirty.
so we'd pick these guys up just after they were processed or while they were in line aty the shelter you could spot them right away. The old world coats stood out and the way they hunched over in shame not like the proud perps who expected to walk away scot free or the usual 'gimmies' that waited for a hand out.
The ski masks were definitely a part of it. The drivers usually wore them. Hey, it was fucking cold at night. I don't know what's going on with the weather but it seems like every winter it gets colder. We had no heat in those vans mostly bread delivery trucks with benches put in. We made the masks ourselves, they were cut out of stretchy Lycra type material that skiers wore. They were shiny blue of green material meant to be tight and streamline the body but after we cut the eyeholes and the mouth and stitched the seams with thick black upholstery thread they looked kind of brutal. There was usually some one getting fitted when we brought some new guys in mostly knots of five to ten. The place we used was a old store front like it used to be a kitchen or a bakery.
Then we would show them the stuffed zucchini and baked squash. The cheapest vegetables you could buy, but with a little cheese or a spoonful of sausage they made a decent hot snack. We could set them up with a cart with some canned heat and they could make enough cash to buy some new shoes or fix up their cart and go into business for them selves. Guess that's why the cops were involved: they should have had permits for selling food on the street. It was cold but not so cold you had to wear a ski mask. But if you had one, they knew you were one of our guys.

The eastern european guys came from an old episode of "Crossing Jordan," which was playing in the background While I read an encyclopedia entry about the first Zen patriarch, BodhiDharma. The Ski mask came from a photo of my Uncle Jim and Grandfather Allen. And Masha told me that she had thrown away, "something that might have been a cucumber," which she found in the refrigerator. That would have been the zuchinni. I ate the other one fried with sesame oil and an excess of minced garlic.
A good friend of mine spoke to me recently about the immenant eviction of her parents from their condo. Her two doctor brothers refused to help them out with the annual maintenance fee. My friend is on a disability income with Lupus and possibly MS. Her husband is appealling the denial of his disability and awaiting a liver transplant. His liver seems to have failed under the ravages of Hepatitis and the interferon used to treat it. Sadly he contracted the disease while working as a nurse. My friends parents had paid for them to live in a nice appartment and a cleaning service, as they realized that she could barely care for herself. with her brothers managing family affairsshe will have to find a smaller appartment. She fears that she may become homeless. She was frantic the last time that I spoke with her. She had not slept in three days. She seemed relived when I shifted the subject to string theory and Stephen Hawking's cosmology which both interest her greatly.She fell asleep while I prattled on about tiny nothings vibrating in a formless void.

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