R.I.P. 1 – Musical Interlude 2

I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s like a settin’ sun.

– Neil Young

I heard through the grapevine, which is every bit as accurate as the Media, that there was a fatal overdose at The Shep’s last night.  A 19 year old kid.

Death’s not uncommon in the Jungle but it still takes its emotional toll, and the street is such a tight knit community that every death is like losing a family member, albeit a distant relative most of the time.  Doesn’t matter if you beat the crap out of the guy last weak.  Tonight he’s your brother.

Each of the main shelters in Ottawa — The Mission (where I’m staying), The Shep’s (where I worked), and The Sally — hold services for those who die without family.  The Mission buries the lion’s share because of it’s Hospice — palliative care for dying street folk.   Each name is engraved on one of the dozens of bronzed plaques lining the wall of the Mission chapel — 162 names since the year of the New York bombing.

My third night at the Mission I was sucking back smoke and shooting the breeze just outside the Hospice entrance.  I didn’t take much notice of the paramedics showing up.  It’s a pretty common occurrence.  A few minutes later, however, the paramedics returned pushing a powder blue body bag on a gurney.  No one even turned to look.  It is what it is.


About Drakakis

Street Poet scribbling to your tired, your poor, your huddled masses; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, the homeless, tempest-tost ...
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