Thursday, July 23, 2009

Aint No Love in the Heart of the City?

Ok, so I haven't done too bad keeping up with my "Thought for the Day", but enough is enough. I've been told one too many times that I'm slacking on my blogging. Quotes just left me an out, allowed me to feel like I was still contributing in some form or fashion. So.... here's a major update. Major. Meaning here are a few things that have been on my mind, but I didn't blog about. Let's do this in reverse chronological order.

1st off: Yesterday as I was walking up to my building (WAIT. I just decided I'm bout to do mad blogs, while at work-now, cause these topics are all so different)... as I was saying, I was walking up to the building I live/work in and there was a man laid across one of the benches/tables in the courtyard. There was a heavy odor, smelled like shit just to be honest. But I hadn't determined if it was coming from him or some random dog that had an owner too lazy to collect it's bowel movement.

Whatever the case, I had a plate of food left over from lunch with a friend. The plate was hers, not mine, but she didn't want it cause she had gotten full eating my french fries. Again- whatever the case, I was passing the man on the bench so I decided to ask him if he was hungry (thinking he was homeless). Upon closer inspection, I realized that he had pooped/peed on himself and was sitting there just laying in it. When asking him if he was hungry, he replied that he needed someone to call 911 for him. He had a tumor, ulcer, and hernea. I'm not sure which of the 3, but one of them popped, and he was throwing up/had defecated on himself.

So, I come inside and tell my coworkers there's a man outside who needs someone to call 911 for him. They tell me to call the police to transport him so that he won't get charged with an ambulance fee. I call the Temple Police, and they say they'll "assess the situation", which didn't sound like a definite means of transportation if you ask me. Needless to say, I was already bothered.

Most people in Philly (forgive me for this major generalization) seem so numb to what's happening around them. Death. Poverty. Ignorance. None of it bothers them, because they're used to the frequency at which it happens. Like, it becomes ok to them. Anywho, I decided to wait for the police to come because I didn't want them treating the man poorly since he was (assumed) homeless. Either way, he's still human and possibly in pain.

So, the police take their time (which bothers me more, cause God forbid I called because I was in danger-I would've been dead by then), and when they get there I'm slightly excited because it's a black female officer. I thought she might be a bit more compassionate.. or something.. I don't know. She asked the man very generic questions regarding his name, age, health, and home ownership (or lack thereof).. a polite way of figuring out if he was homeless. Though she seemed to be patient, I could just sense that she really could care less. Things were only solidified when she asked me what color toenail polish I was wearing. Unimportant, much?

Then, when the paramedics get there she lets them question him to death as well. The same questions she asked (supposedly) so "she could tell the paramedics once they arrived". Then the paramedics commented that the man was the same man who they picked up two days earlier for the same thing. Apparently, he's been passing out. Either way, they get him on the gurney and load him in the emergency vehicle. Did I mention they took forever to actually pull off? Furthermore, there are 3 hospitals in proximity to my building. He mentioned a preference for 2 of 3 because he was treated rudely at the other. I mentioned this to the police and paramedics, as did he. While they were walking off, I heard one of them say that they were taking him to the hospital he specifically said he didn't prefer.

I dead ass walked into the building, made it into the public bathrooms downstairs, and started crying. Blame my Southerness or my sensitivity, whatever you choose, but damn.. really? Like, I could care less if that man was homeless. Something was clearly wrong. He wasn't drunk or under any type of influence that would give you reason to treat him in a manner that would indicate he couldn't think for himself. Just, ugh. Stuff like that bothers me.

It's just like the time a few weeks back when there was a bunch of blood on the ground a block from my building, one of the people I was with thought the police should be informed. We walk up the street to tell a cop parked in their car, and they asked us "what we wanted them to do".

Ugh. Hello. Do something. You're parked in the middle of the street for no apparent reason. Be of good use. My friends point was that it was an exceptional amount of blood which could possibly be there from some violent act. And if that's the case, it needs to be taped off. At the least, the blood needs to be removed from the sidewalk. The cop didn't really get the point in either thought. Times like this make me so over Philadelphia and have me wishing I was in the South. Just makes the stereotype seem all too true.

Don't get it twisted. There are other things about North Philadelphia that remind me why I'm here... random cyphers on the sidewalk, murals placed throughout the city- ghettos and surburbia, alike, the poetry circle, etc. I just wish people weren't so numb to the problems in the city. Death, poverty and ignorance are everywhere. It's not like Philly is the only place experiencing these things. It just seems like Philly is one of the places where things like this can be overlooked.

Did I mention a few weeks back while at McDonalds, these people rode by and shot a dude standing in the middle of the street after a party? Like it was nothing.

Not Defeated Though,

p.s. With that being said, the thought for the day is the one posted at the top of my blog:

"I write to revive the heartbeat of a generation gone numb."


  1. This really saddened me. Deeply. So deeply that inspiration burned hot on the inside. I can't imagine my actions ever resembling that of an indifferent people. It's time to wake people up.

    Oh. And fuck the po-po.

  2. :/

    That didn't make me anywhere near close to being excited about going back to Philly. I do miss you though... Sadly enough as I started to read this story I expected them to act like a**holes. Maybe one day the PPD will prove me wrong...or not.

  3. Sigh...I gotta say...I love my city. Yet, it's a thin line between love and hate. Philly, as I remember it was always bittersweet. For every good thing you love about it, there's something 20 times worse. It's crazy how death and violence are just as normal to everyone there as breathing. I often forget how I have to be on my guard in Philly whenever I come to visit. I'm often suckered into giving beggers change and lending helping hands to strangers whenever asked...yet my family often snaps me back to reality with their indifference. Being that I've been away from home so long I often feel torn as to which to claim...the north or south. So, I've resolved to claim both. The north has taught me much of what the south never will, yet and still the south reigns in its generosity, kindness, and humility. Gotta admit too, I love the open spaces, the air-quality, the freedom, and those southern boys. Well wishes from Charlotte....where the grass is greener and the sun is shinin'...I'll be sure to blow a kiss to her for ya! ;-)