By, Suzanne Button
Sal is my friend and he’s a lonely man who lives in the bushes of the high desert, he moves from bush to bush so he is hard to find at times. He’s been homeless for almost 2 years now and collects everything he can from the desert and from other homeless people that leave things behind, like, bedding, cloths, phones, tents, chairs, tables anything to Make a home for himself where ever he lands.
Oh and you wouldn’t believe the things he finds, rings, watches, televisions even batteries and inverters to watch the television shows on!!!
Blows me away some of his home bushes look amazing and even comfortable! He collects cans and bottles that others just throw out the window of passing cars and trash that is blown from other people’s yards and businesses from the high winds we have up here in the high desert. This is his spending money he call it!
He picks up jobs here and there when he can but mostly he really enjoys the outdoors and nature. So you may get the feeling of discrimination he faces by many I will describe my friend Sal to you. Sal is about 5’8″ tall with a strong build but not muscle bound, I’d say of average build like most men, he has dark brown hair, deep dark brown eyes, a very nice smile and is of Mexican descent. He’s funny, easy to talk to and seems to care about people and will help just about anyone especially those who show kindness towards him. His dress is tattered long pant, defiantly worn, his shirts are neat sometimes dirty but does try very hard to keep what cloths he does has as clean As he can, when he can.
Unfortunately Sal does have a slight problem, Even Sal himself is unsure of, that is Bob. Bob is Sal’s other self. You don’t see Bob very often but when Bob comes around Sal is totally different. For people who don’t know about Bob, Sal comes across as a paranoid skit-so, someone who is afraid of pretty much anybody, including his very own shadow because Bob thinks the cops are out to get him or everybody is against him or he gets so deep in to depression because he starts to think of his woman and his two children where he literally starts to cry and beg and plead to who ever he’s with at the time how he wishes he was a better man so he can take care of his family.
One of the two children was just recently born making him dive into a spiral weirdness and sometime frightening manner asking for help and advice on how to change to be the better man. People have given him self help tapes, books, and lectures on their way of seeing things. He believes he’s not a good man and doesn’t deserve this woman he loves or the two children she bore for him. That he can’t take better care of his family.
But in truth deep inside Bob/Sal, he wishes deeply that he could.
Sal comes around several times a month we all sit and chat and break bread with him, sometimes he stays the night to get out of the cold.
One thing I’ve noticed about Sal is every time he’s come over he always finds something to do, like take the trash out or fix something on my R.V that needs to be fixed. This R.V is my home and is shared with my son Dakota his girlfriend Challis my husband Joseph and myself, not to mention 2 cats, Mr. Grey and BeBop and our faithful dog Trooper. We don’t have a lot of room but Sal has always been welcome here.
A few days ago Sal came to visit and told me a horrible story of something that had happened to him. It seems he was very hungry he went to one of the local Walmart-marts and spoke with an employee and explained to her he was homeless and didn’t have any money for the food he was after but was willing to trade for washing the floors or stocking the shelves anything that they needed done he would do in exchange for a pack of hotdogs, a pack of buns, and a small can of pork-n-beans.
The employee answered and replied in a condescending voice, ” not for you.”
He then asked to speak with the night manager and noticed that the employee did not have a name tag on, so he ask the lady what her name was.
She replied again belittling Sal telling him again they had no work for trade with the likes of him.” Also she said, there is no manager on the floor at the time and that her name was Rose. (come to find out later the lady gave a bogus name, there was no rose working at this particular Wal-Mart at that time of contact.)
Of course he found out the hard way there really was a manager on duty that night.
Sal told me he was so hungry he couldn’t fight his stomach any longer, he said his stomach was very tight and it hurt because he was so hungry, so he went back into Walmart and stole the hotdogs, bag of buns and a small can of pork-n-beans. Unfortunately for Sal they busted him and had him arrested and charged him with criminal burglary.
WHAT, I said, why didn’t you come here if you were hungry? He said he couldn’t find us at the time and he was so hungry he did what he thought he had to do to get something in his tummy since the employee he spoke to, ( rose,) would not let him work to trade for some food. He said he was very embarrassed having to ask like that in the first place, but getting turned down, really embarrassed him he said the employee he spoke to wasn’t quiet about it either so others over herd the things she had said making him feel as if she was scolding him for being homeless and broke. That woman, ( Rose ) or who ever she was had no empathy towards him whatsoever and treated him like he had the plague or something..
How sad it is that the world we live in today there are so many people who just don’t care about their fellow human being. Their brothers, their sisters, even young children who need help with food, clothing, a place to lay their heads.
Weather a single person of the streets to great corporations like Wal-Mart, we have the resources , the land to grow and feed everyone.
There was no need for that woman, rose to treat Sal the way she did, nor did she have to act like it was coming from her very own pocket. Truth is, it’s coming from all our pockets who pay taxes.
With the farmers being told what to grow, how to grow it, how much they can grow on how much land to grow it on no matter how much land they may have is totally wrong to me. In my eyes, it is against our right to LIFE, LIBERTY and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS …
How can you gain and pursue these things if you can’t afford to buy food to help keep you healthy and strong..?
I don’t care what color you are or what religion you are or what race you are, Every living thing on this God forsaken Earth depends on food and water in order to live. Slowly the government is taking our rite away and most just look the other way and say, with there head bowed down, ooh-Kay …
not looking at the big picture of what is and probably will happen to most of us who don’t have a lot of money, or no money at all.
The Tierney, or the fear people feel , the loss of their homes and property even their children in some cases makes them afraid of our government.
Just as our farmers are abused by the loan companies like the FSA,USDA, the AFMF, they all take advantage of the farmers especially the local hands on farmers, in which there are so few left that will not give into the mass production of the fruits and vegetables they grow, or the mass production of the cows and chickens and pigs, also the horrible treatment of the animals that goes with mass production. Our government just looks the other way knowing full well that harmful things like, insecticides , steroids, hormones, antibiotics, and other things I can’t even pronounce are in our foods. All in the name of the all mighty dollar… The farmers are told they will loose their land, there tractors to plow and plant, there every thing, their world if they don’t comply with there rules. The color of authority and our governments have put the fear of God in these wonderful people who break their backs everyday for us, the people of this Earth to grow and produce beautiful fruits and vegetables and clean good corn fed, grain fed , field fed, beef or chicken or pigs….
Sal should have been given the opportunity to even clean and wash out a trash can for a damn hotdog. What would it had harmed anyway? Now, all it’s done was hurt my friend Sal. He’s now got a record and now facing his precious time, doing time in jail,
for being hungry. I think to myself, how pitiful it is to live in a world where there are so many people who just plain don’t care about there fellow human beings, people who treat others with disgust, greed and appalment towards others for no reason other than , that can. Or their so righteous they can’t see past their bank accounts, homeless or not.
I wonder what kind of world will it be when my children have children, or when their children have children?
When in 2017 all Sal wanted was a pack of hotdogs, a bag of buns and a sm. can of pork-n-beans what more will our descendants, our family’s, our generations to come, what horrors will they have to look forward to??????
This is a true story.