Cloudy Thoughts

It’s cloudy outside this morning. I have nothing to do but distribute The Old Crow Book Club to street libraries. Luckily, I have help in this endeavor. The book is getting out through this mysterious, novel distribution method.

Dad continues to prosper in assisted living.

I contrast that happiness to a recent article in the Washington Post that chronicled the plight of the increasing number of elderly homeless across the nation, Blue and Red States alike. I count at least a dozen homeless men and women in my neighborhood who are well into their 70s. Almost all of them push shopping carts and baby strollers full of cans and possessions. The juxtaposition of a homeless senior citizen utilizing a baby stroller for survival is disillusioning to me. It is inconceivable to me how these people survive and how they came to be homeless in the richest country in the history of the world. Some of these people have almost no facial expression. They will not greet you if you greet them. They seem totally gone, beyond all measure of reversing their fortune. And their families?

How this disaster isn’t a top political issue is baffling to me. The Democrats in particular have totally failed on this point. The severe indigent status of millions of seniors in America, living on the streets and in the willows, should be a winning issue for the Democrats because the Republicans surely don’t care. They want to cut Medicaid spending for seniors in their latest debt ceiling terrorist negotiations. A third of all Medicaid spending goes for indigent seniors who need in-home or nursing home care.

I am writing this from a dive bar that has absolutely zero storytelling value. In fact, all you need to know is that a game show is playing with the sound on. I really don’t know why I come here.

I started a new literary project—a novel about the 90s set in a suburban Portland high school. Working title: James. It’s been forming in my mind for years and I feel ready to begin in earnest. Writing this novel will be the antithesis of writing about the homeless and I am certainly ready for that change, although I know I won’t stop writing about the homeless.