Sometimes when I make a little money, I will go to the convenience store to buy a bowl of hot instant noodles; when faced with countless times of unemployment, I can only desperately find a way to find the next opportunity to make a living. Looking at the people on the road, it seems that they all have their own destinations, and looking back at myself, I can only wander like this in this life.
On 1/18, there are a few days left before the Lunar New Year this year, we are walking on the bustling streets of Mengka, looking for possibilities to make the drifting story more diverse.
In winter, the sun was too dazzling that day. I entered the supermarket and planned to buy a bottle of ice water to quench my thirst. When I was queuing up to check out, I heard that the customer in front of me was twenty yuan short of paying. Seeing the panicked appearance of this uncle, he took out the change and settled the bill for him. Through this opportunity, we had a closer communication with the uncle and learned that he is a street person here.
"Thank you for your willingness to help me. The residents here always regard us as a source of chaos and reject us thousands of miles away."
The uncle smiled kindly and said that whenever there is turmoil here, the street friends will be labeled as active criminals, even if everything is done by ordinary residents. I was surprised when I heard the uncle say that they usually have to go to work during the day. I thought the homeless people were all unemployed, so I realized that they are also working to make money, but most of them are temporary workers or sign bearers. Also, if there is no job and the help from society is minimal, how can I support it until now? And every homeless person has their own story. The uncle used to be a construction worker, but since he contracted lung disease, he has difficulty breathing and can no longer continue to carry heavy objects. He also knows that he has become a white-collar worker since he dropped out of junior high school. The chances for office workers are slim to none.
The family members around me passed away decades ago, and the savings on my body could not afford the monthly rent, so I had no choice but to start a life of sleeping on the streets.
A social worker came to ask if he wanted to live in a shelter. He vaguely remembered that the first time he was asked was when the cold snap hit. After hesitating for a long time, he agreed. The roommate at that time was an uncle with urinary incontinence, and the smell of urine and other peculiar smells filled the room. The shelter has also formulated many regulations in order to maintain order. "The access control and the prohibition of smoking and drinking are like prisoners in prison to me." The uncle's high-pitched voice expressed his desire for freedom, and finally chose to return to the street to live. For these vagrants, they have experienced all kinds of turbulence and drift in this society, and suffered humiliation and bullying. Pedestrians passing by on the road commented on the uncle in a sarcastic tone, and met several times when young gangsters drank alcohol to disturb their sleep, and even called them up to bully them with offensive words or hands and feet.
"I miss my family members who have passed away, and I really hope that I can earn enough money to be able to feed myself every day and give myself a home. I don't have to rely on layers of cardboard boxes to keep warm in the cold winter nights, but this society is always full of homeless people. Maliciousness, the job I applied for is always due to various prejudices, and I am often dismissed after two or three days.”
We bid farewell to uncle after buying some food that would allow him to get enough food and clothing for the past two days. In my impression, I preconceived that homeless people are as dangerous and lazy as the media and stereotypes, but after talking with the uncle, I found that they also really want to live and work hard to feed themselves.