Friday, November 25, 2011

An eventful day at Jackson's Square

I must say that living downtown certainly makes life very interesting.  I had been to the Hamilton General to visit a friend in the hospital who had fallen and broken her arm.  I stayed at least two hours which is unusual for me, but she appeared to want to visit so I stayed.

In the bed opposite, a young man lay.  Yes, that is correct, I said a young man lay.  I just cannot agree to having men and women in the same room!  This poor fellow had been shot in his own place by some unknown intruders.  Apparently he was brought in late at night.  I hadn't heard about that on the news.

There were two men and two women in the ward.  After the visit, I went back home, checked my email and replied to some, then took my walker and went to Jackson Square.  As I was explaining how I wanted my business cards done to the very nice young lady at Grand N Toy,  I heard a lot of swearing and turned to see a big fellow led out with his hands in handcuffs behind his back.  After paying for my order, I left and walked past the Royal Bank and heard another commotion.  This time I saw a man on the ground in the bank in some distress and making strange noises.  One older lady told me that he had a mental health issue.

Needing a little change from all this commotion, I decided to take my book back to the library and sit in the children's area and watch the market from above. I enjoy doing that for two reasons.  One is that I love being around children and two is that it is fascinating to see people walk downstairs in the market, poking their way through it.  I must have sat there at least half an hour before I left to go and get some fresh vegetables from the market.  I also bought some things at the drug store (food items) and now I am set for another week.

I am so glad that the drugstore has food as the nearest little food market is on James Street South, at Augusta.

Right now, as I write at this late hour of 12:50 a.m., I hear yelling on the street.  I think somebody must be having a little too good of a time!  It does not sound like a threatening noise so I assume some fellows have drank too much and are whooping it up.

Living downtown sure can be an interesting adventure.  There is one fellow who basically has taken over the bench in front of the CIBC.  He sits there with his hat extended or oftentimes he lies there but still with his hat extended.  A friend of mine, Eric, who also was a reporter, told me of his adventures with, shall we call him Richard.  He got a little too close to the bench and it must have disturbed his little nap.  Richard looked up and said to Eric "White devil".  Now Eric is a gentle soul, very kind and soft spoken.  It certainly was not a good description of him!  I spoke to the caretaker of a nearby Church who is downtown all the time and he knows this fellow and has seen him do drugs and drink heavily. He lives in a shelter on James North.  Unfortunately, his abusive behaviour has caused people to toss him out from various places.It is sad really to think of such an elderly man (at least 65 years of age) behaving in such a way.  Where is his dignity?

I often think what has caused people to take such downhill turns in their lives?  What circumstances have driven them to degrade themselves to this state?  Sometimes it may be bad choices, sometimes a job loss and no future employment opportunities, and sometimes it is a choice they make themselves.  I remember in Toronto when I did street work on Friday nights, there was a lady called Victoria.  She was always at the same corner, over the hot air vent.  We got quite friendly and I would go down and visit her.  A Toronto paper wrote up her story, her daughter out in Vancouver happened to see the story, came for her and brought her back to live with her.  However, Victoria did not like the confined life with its rules and regulations and returned to her street vent.  It was her choice. From what I understood from her history, she had once been a nurse at St. Mike's.  I don't know why she ended up on the streets.

Another time, again in Toronto, we found a young girl who had been forced into prostitution by a pimp who told her he loved her.  Unhappily she believed him.  The organization I worked with managed to get her safely away from him and back to her parents in the States.  That was in the 1980's.

The Salvation Army is out with the kettles already collecting for Christmas for the needy and I try to give something every time I go past them.  The Sally Ann does worthwhile work.

Well, on that note, shall close for now.  I am not able to sleep for some reason so went on the computer to amuse myself.

Thanks for dropping by and come again some time.

No comments: