A Strange Awakening
Today is a brand new day! People will still complain even so, I know I do, you might have noticed.
What happened this morning revealed a whole new perspective on things. We regularly get vagrants, where I live in downtown Hamilton, that pick through refuse. I never would have believed that today, in this country, I would see people rifle through garbage to find…anything of value. I’m not talking about scrap metal or bottle/can collectors. I mean tearing open a garbage bag and pulling out the contents kind of garbage picking. That started happening a few years ago.
A sound drew me out of sleep this morning, a plaintive voice, calling out steadily. It took me a little while to realize what it was, but then I quickly got up as I thought I’d heard a cry for help. It was just last night that my wife and I discussed the worry we have when people enter the giant dumpsters that grace our neighbour’s parking lot for the last half-year. It isn’t safe to do so. I opened the back door and called out into the darkness,
“Do you need help?”
The voice answered in the affirmative and added something unintelligible.
“Shall I call an ambulance?” I asked.
“I need a Chapstick, my mouth is so dry,” was the response.
“You’re calling out for a Chapstick?!” I asked incredulously.
I closed the door uneasy with my thoughts. Who knew the needs of Hamilton’s poorest were so trivial? So small a request, and still I couldn’t help him. I wondered if I really just didn’t hear him correctly. Is he waiting for me to call an ambulance? I heard him again a little bit later and opened the door, and he quit his swearing. Well at least he’s trying to be polite. I went back to bed, unhappy for him, myself, and Hamilton in general.
If you don’t vote, then don’t complain they say. In my own defense, a corollary might be: I’m running for office, its my job to complain! Here’s what I will leave you with before you go out there and cast your ballot: If you want this town to become a little Toronto, go ahead and vote for Eisenberger. If all you need is Chapstick then maybe Sgro’s your man. If you want to step forward into the twenty-first century as an ambitious city, willing to actually make a difference for people and the environment, vote for me, Henry Geissler for mayor, and build the NSLRT.