Socks & So What?
So the 1st frigid day of homeless supposedly being forcibly removed from the street has come & gone. I’m sure there are many of them to come.
I did not see any “homeless snatchers” on the street but I did see a lot less homeless on the 5th. Were they hiding? Were they caught? Did they get the memo that this mandate was to take place? And then that got me thinking, the people I see out requesting help, if they can produce an ID of some sort w/an address, does that get them exempt from being snatched? There were a few I saw straggling around, right at the freezing mark, 30 degrees, and 28 degrees. And you’ll see yes there were a couple I gave socks to that day right at the freezing mark & below when I do the current donations list next. When another frigid day occurs I will be observant again.
-1/5 5:40 pm University Place between 8th & 9th street Caucasian woman 30s extremely mentally ill 1 pair of socks 32 degrees
6:48 pm Astor Place Latino man 30s He was extremely bundled. Exclaimed, “Yeah, Alright!” at being given socks. There were 2 ambulances near, not trying to take/help homeless. 1 pair of socks 32 degrees
9:50 pm Union Square subway entrance by Whole Foods Caucasian man 30s He looked sad & tired He nodded yes at being offered socks. He was covering himself with a blanket. 1 pair of socks 28 degrees
-1/6 11:50 am Brooklyn bound R train African American man 60s sleeping 1 pair of socks
3:57 pm 10th Street & 5th avenue Caucasian male 30s He was laying on a grate 1 pair of socks
5:37 pm 14th Street between University & 5th Avenue Caucasian male 30s He had a sign reading, “Not feeling good please anything helps” 1 pair of socks
-1/7 11 am Manhattan bound 2 train African American man 60s Came on the train asking for help. Saying he was embarrassed to ask for help since he’s a vet. Upon being offered socks he said, “Yes it would help. You should see the socks I got on! God bless! You’re a saint.” 1 pair of socks
9:28 pm 9th Street Path entrance Caucasian male 30s. Response to being offered socks, “Absolutely thank you darling thank you God bless” 1 pair of socks
When I began this project I said I have no end date in mind for this & that’s true. Because earlier I wrote how I was concerned about the homeless putting on/keeping on wet socks & getting skin infections. But other times of the year, such as now, they also serve the purpose of having warm dry socks helping to prevent frostbite.
I want to end on something akin to another item I brought up prior. I wrote how I’m convinced how everyone is capable of something in terms of helping. I also wrote how I’m not pretending to save the world but why I do this & why I think it helps.
There are lots of reasons why one would choose not to. But I think one of the reasons is people get weighed down with what they get down about in their own lives. & they think they can’t pick up & be of any positive use. & they get paralyzed.
It may be oversimplifying things but to quote Warhol:
“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what.”
“My mother didn’t love me.” So what.
“My husband won’t ball me. So what.
“I’m a success but I’m still alone.” So what.
I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.”
I apply that by not allowing what could be considered a negative occurrence, attitude, whatever, towards me weigh me down. Just let it go & keep on. Because you can’t please everyone no matter how much good you do. Once you put it down then you’re weightless.
Keeping that state of mind lets me know nothing can stop me.
Person pictured was a socks receiver