The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part V

Thomas had reached the very pinnacle of the West City Bridge .  His tears seemed to freeze before they had barely rolled out of his tear ducts.  It must be a wind chill factor of less than zero, Thomas thought.  He had climbed to the top of a rail about six feet from the outer walkway for pedestrians.  There was no one on this bridge but him tonight.  Thomas looked down into the frozen ice floes below.  Jumping from this distance into that frozen water would be instant death.  Thomas had been a failure at everything that life has to offer.  From romance, to marriage to education and to family, all his endeavors had ended in complete, utter failure.  Maybe leaving this earth will be the one good act he could bestow upon all those who loved and cared about him, Thomas pondered as he continued to look at the ice below. All my life, I’ve only cared about my wants, my needs and whatever suited my fancy, Thomas berated himself.  “I never thought of others!,” he cried out into the ice covered bridge. So to mask his failures, Thomas dived into the drug culture of Las Vegas, his hometown.  That provided him with a ticket to prison in Nevada.  But, even drugs got to the point it didn’t help his mood, his outlook on life in general.  Thomas stepped closer to letting go and just ending this miserable, sorry ass life he had been brought into without his consent.  Enough of this punishing myself, Thomas decided.  It’s time to meet my destiny and to see what the next world, if any, has to offer.  As he leaned forward to let go in the darkness of the West City Bridge, the white Pigeon, with the blood spatter on it’s wing appeared miraculously before him…and sat on a steel girder watching him.

Continue reading “The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part V”

The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part IV

Thomas tore open the tarp in one swift kick.  The tarp immediately started rolling down the sidewalk and into the street.  The wind had picked up overnight.  Jack must be suffering with hypothermia, Thomas thought.  “HELP! HELP! I NEED HELP HERE! MY FRIEND IS IN NEED OF HELP!”  -Thomas screamed, as he carried little Jack as fast as he could toward the Mission House.  The wind in Thomas’s face was like a blow torch with the 21 degree temperature.  He probably was going to suffer frostbite.  What a stupid decision I made to not stay at the Mission House, Thomas thought as he noticed a police cruiser turn the corner at a traffic light.  “Hey, I need help officer!  Please stop!” Thomas pleaded with the officer in the cruiser.  The police car slowed down to within 15 feet of them. Thomas could see the officer smiling at them as he sped up and away from both men.  He must have thought we were both drunk, Thomas, reasoned.  No one would turn away from people who need help, even the homeless of the area, would they?  Thomas sobbed as he struggled once again to get Jack to the Mission House.  Jack was a little guy.  But, he was dead weight….and then Thomas thought how inappropriate that thought was as he saw the display of the Mission House in sight now.  “Somebody, ANYBODY, please help me!!!  I have someone in desperate need, please!!!” Thomas again screamed.  Thomas could make out a man’s form step out from the Mission House which was about 500 feet away now.  The man came running toward them.  It was the Mission Captain Jack had spoke to the day of Miss Betty’s death.  “What’s wrong with him?” the captain asked.  “I think he’s suffering with hypothermia.  Would you please call an ambulance?” Jack pleaded.  “Let’s get him in the shelter and see if we can revive him first.  I’ll notify my supervisor to get an ambulance from City Hospital here ASAP!” the Captain yelled at Thomas.

Continue reading “The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part IV”

The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part III

As the ambulance slowly drove off, Thomas noticed a white pigeon fly over the vehicle carrying the lifeless body of Miss Betty.  Thomas thought that was strange.  Most of the pigeons he saw around town were ring-neck pigeons.  To make this even more peculiar, this pigeon has a small red dot, almost like a blood spatter on it’s left wing.  It was flying that low.  He thought there was some significance in this scene.  Maybe it was a kindly pigeon saying farewell for the peanuts that Miss Betty would feed them from time to time.  Jack was amazed by the sight.  “Look at that pigeon, Thomas.  Ain’t that something?  He’s saying goodbye to Miss Betty,” Jack said.  Thomas smiled at his little friend.  What would become of Jack if something happened to him, Thomas thought.  Thomas was amazed he had survived the past three years on the streets.  At least, that is what Jack told them.  Jack got confused a lot.  Numbers, time, even colors confused him. In his world, they just didn’t have much relevance.  Hence, his inability to hold a job or seek gainful employment.  He needed medical help like many, if not all of the homeless people in Louisville.  Jack was small, weak-minded and far, far too trusting of people.  He didn’t have any possessions when Thomas came into the community.  He now has a tarp, cart and warm blankets due to Thomas.  Everyone knew to leave Jack alone.  They had preyed on little Jack for the last time.  “What say we go to the Salvation Army to see if we can find some blankets for tonight.  It’s supposed to get down in the twenties tonight. The blankets you have now are showing a little wear and tear,” Thomas said to Jack.  “That sounds good to me, Thomas.  You take care of me good, don’t you, Thomas? I will remember that down in the twenties means it is cold and that is bad,” said the innocent little homeless man.  Jack had the body of of a man approximately in his mid-thirties and the mind of a ten year old boy.  “That’s very good,  Jack.  You remember that.  Now, let’s go see what they got,” Jack said.

Continue reading “The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part III”

The Redemption Of Thomas Gordon – Part II

Thomas sat back down on the wire crate he had been sitting on prior to his brief encounter with Dallas.  He watched Dallas gather all his belongings and place them in a shopping cart he had taken from a local merchant.  Shopping carts are a must item for the homeless.  You can’t live without them just as most people can’t live without a car in the normal world.  Thomas watched Dallas slowly gather what he had and started back down the sidewalk to his next homeless community.  Thomas felt a bit of sympathy for Dallas, as strange as that may sound.  Like so many homeless people, Dallas had psychological problems.  It was true that most were alcoholics and drug addicts whose families could no longer deal with them.  But, state mental health facilities had failed most of the people Thomas had met in his time on the streets.  It was a sad commentary on healthcare in America.  For his part, Thomas lived this way because he didn’t want to bring any further shame and embarrassment to his family.  He tried living with his brother three years ago.  That lasted about 48 hours after he had a run-in with his sister-in-law.  Maybe, just maybe he should try living on the terms of others instead of his own for a change.  His anti-social behavior had been a problem all his life.  “Thomas, you want to walk over to the Mission House with me?  They be having vegetable soup and bologna sandwiches today.  That’s my favorite, ya know?” said Jack, his only true friend in the community.  Thomas smiled up at his slow-minded friend.  “Sure, Jack, I’ll walk over with you.  Just give me a minute to load up,” said Thomas.

Continue reading “The Redemption Of Thomas Gordon – Part II”

The Redemption Of Thomas Gordon – Part I

Thomas Gordon was having a tough day. Well, let’s just be honest, every day was a tough day for Thomas Gordon.  Being homeless is not just a day to day struggle.  It is an hour to hour, minute to minute struggle.  Fending off poachers who want to steal your meager belongings is a constant battle and worry.  Going  somewhere when nature calls, you have to take everything you own with you.  Some people in the homeless community will slit your throat over a can of vienna sausage.  In fact, Thomas Gordon had seen that take place just two months prior.  It’s bad enough fighting the heat of summer and the bone chilling winters of Louisville, Kentucky.  But, the constant fight to maintain a form of shelter from the elements was nerve wracking to say the least.  Thomas was accustomed to the homeless life.  Having been homeless for the past eight years, since his release from prison and then six months in a halfway house, Thomas knew who he could trust in the homeless community and who he could not.  The latter was a long list of names.  One of the names, on that long list, was a man known simply as “Dallas.”  It was Dallas who was responsible for his long day.  It wasn’t even noon and Dallas had already started two arguments with Thomas about a raincoat that he said belonged to him.  Thomas wasn’t having any of that.  It was a common tactic, among the homeless, to make false claims on property.  The strong would prevail in times such as this.  The weak would lose.  The survival of the fittest was in play here as it is in the animal kingdom.  Only these were human beings involved in the lowest common denominator of life.

Continue reading “The Redemption Of Thomas Gordon – Part I”