The Beat: True Stories From the Streets
Page 24 by Harry Martin
Artwork by Jaynee Levy-Polis
I look around our house, a modest row house, and what do I see?
It’s shabby, just a cluttered artist’s and writer’s house. Nice people
live here with nice children, but there’s more. I see dear friends,
people in need of new appliances and appliance upgrades. All or mostly
all our funds go to our beloved son who now and then speaks nicely to us.
His education and all the accoutrements that are needed to provide for
a child, has made life for us, one broken appliance at a time. Doors
that lock need repair and replacement. Electric shuts off because
it’s overloaded and we need a new electric line. Rugs have no nap;
they’re without color, and in some places they’re just about worn through.
The kitchen and bathroom sink have faucets that leak. Thank God our
kitchen overhead light fixture was finally replaced by my electrician brother.
My treadmill, which I need to use everyday to keep my diabetes in check,
speeds up and has me running for my life. I also need a new leather
coat because mine looks like Swiss cheese. Our water tastes bad because
it needs a new filter. Brian complained his room was too hot because
his computer overcame the strength of his air conditioner. We bought
him a stronger air conditioner because it really was hot. Our washer
and refrigerator are both over 18 years old. Please let them last
until we move someday, I pray. Brian’s little car, which we need
him to have so our old car won’t go south is falling apart and we need
to help him get a more reliable one. Then as I look toward our tired
furniture, just about everything I see around me reminds me of its overwhelming
need for replacement!
Copyright 2002 by Harry Martin Polis
Look around, dear readers and
see your fellow man (or woman). Do you notice how empty people seem
today? People live, it seems to me, for money or material things.
Where is their spirituality? Where is the goodness—God-ness—that
people are born with? I get so mad when I see parents who will not
help their children, with money or just to physically help them survive--giving
your child a home or hand up, so that the child will not be homeless, like
someone I know personally. I try to help when I can. It is
written in the bible, “He who saves one person saves the world.”
I have tried to help people for most of my adult life whether it is a place
to stay, or to feed someone, or even to buy someone something they need.
I have been there. Money to me is a means to an end. It’s a
way to extend kindness in a harsh world. I wish I could tell you
some of the things I have seen parents do to screw up their kids.
Mean, rotten things that I hope come back to haunt these miserable people
who pass for parents. Children need love and nurturing, caring, concern
and guidance. All the things we read about in the self-help books
go to waste on people who aren’t interested in the first place. I
read them and take the information to heart. I try to gently pass
along what I have learned.