Stop Complaining. Life Could Be Harder.

As I sit on the edge of the bed my first morning in my hotel, I can see a homeless woman outside moving about her morning. We are located in an industrial area near the airport and I am on the 4th floor, able to look down into the surrounding area. She is bringing a black box the size of a file box to the back corner of the low building next door. She sets it on the ground against the wall of the building and under a bush growing there. She walks back to the side of the building and disappears in the brush, only to return moments later with a 2-wheeled grocery cart full of posessions. She wheels it to the area I first saw her disappear and rolls her cart into the bushes. And disappears again.

She next comes out from the front side of the building with something in her hands and walks towards a sewer grate in the middle of the little street beside the building where she deposits what was in her hands. She walks back to the front of the building and is out of site. Moments later she walks out again and heads down the street out of my sight.

I’m quite curious about the things she’s hidden and deposited. Wondering if I’ve taken a glimpse into her “hideout”. It also makes me theorize that an infrastructure of support exists for the homeless invisible to the rest of us. I don’t mean an infrastructure as created by any social service organization, but a network of utilitarian features the homeless have adopted for their needs. The hiding places around the building. The sewer grate. Abandoned spaces and crevices for shelter. The industriousness of the homeless seek them out. My naive eye sees this homeless woman and wonders what her life is like and what it used to be. And how she got here.

I am reminded of how fortunate I am. I can’t complain. And the little card on the nightstand instructing me to place it on my pillow when I want fresh linens makes me feel a bit guilty.