August 10, 2010

Can you say "Boundaries?"

With perpetrator at my backyard, my homeless neighbor William* has been active at my front door. Luckily I was out last week when he rang the doorbell and my v-e-r-y tall friend Tim* happened to be here, house-sitting, in fact, because I was traveling.

I'm glad Tim answered the door, because folk need to know that lots of people are coming and going in this place I call home, and we abide no trouble here.** Yesterday when William rang, I answered the door, and for the second time ever, gave him the money he asked to borrow --no more and no less: $0.50. If he asks for fifty cents, I'm not going to give him a dollar. Sometimes a homeless person will ask for something like a quarter, and if you give it to them, they'll say, "Do you have more?" So I stick with the first request.

Anyway, when William rang the doorbell again today, I did not answer. And don't plan to for awhile when he comes to my door. He's been stopping by just to tell me that he's going to visit relatives in Tennessee or Kentucky for a month. Yesterday he needed $0.50 to get to the bus station. Dunno what he was going to say today.

I love houseguests and had so many this past weekend, that a few opted to sleep on my deck, just above the door that was kicked in this morning. I warned my 20-something houseguests (age, not number of people, although we did reach double digits in body count!) of their vulnerability out there, sleeping out-of-doors in the city; how just about anyone could come up the alley and shimmy over the fence and shoot them, or something.

I wonder how differently things would have turned out if this morning's burglar had awakened them and he and they would all have surprised one another. I'm rather glad not to find out. The Supreme Court finally overruled Chicago's decades-long gun ban, but in some ways, the ban had only encouraged burglars to pack one, knowing law-abiders couldn't carry = Advantage, bad guys.

So cute when they're sleeping, yes?

*Yeah, their real names, no pseudonyms today.

** A friend wrote today, "One would think word on the street for your place, by now, would be 'Home during the day, stay away.' Hmm, criminal communication must be down."

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