Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hello, my name is Ricky. I’m 43, single, no children, 5’ 11 ½”, 185 lbs. I love to cook. I like quiet walks in the park. I like to travel. I like contemporary art. I read romance novels. My favorite books are A Tale of Two Cities, and The Rise and Fall Of The Zulu Nation. I listen to 80’s soft rock, Rick James, Barry White and Marvin Gaye. I write poems. I am homeless.

In the countryside of North Carolina, I grew up a country boy who loved the city life. As a teenager, I fell into drugs and alcohol and dropped out of high school at the age of 17. Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I used and sold drugs and eventually became homeless in 1992. Not only did I lose my home and my fiancé, but most of all I lost myself. My world began to spiral downward. It was like the streets had a spell on me. Drugged out every day, I lived on the streets with no care for myself or others. I made my money working at labor halls, but made most of my cash street hustling.

I’ve made some poor choices and some bad decisions, but I still hold my head high. A while back, people once asked, “Do we get our 40 acres and a mule?” I say, Hell no! You get your 40 hours just like everyone else. If you work hard for your dreams and your children’s dreams, you know what you get? -Fulfillment; a satisfied heart and soul. I’ve been blessed to meet some wonderful people in my life who actually care. I’m working hard to start a new life. I’m not poor or rich. I’m not white or black. I’m a child of God.

So the next time you turn the corner of a street and see a homeless person, remember they’re a human with hope. And the dollars and change in your pocket may last them to the next corner, but a kind word and a change of heart may last my street brothers and sisters a lifetime.

I don’t want a hand out. I want a hand up. I’ll see you again on the corners of Rick’s Street Life.


Laura said...

Very cool, Ricky. It is interesting to get your unique perspective. Keep writing!

Church Lady Chronic-ails said...

You may discover some things you didn't know about yourself through this- keep writing from your deepest truth