Violent stories seemed commonplace in Atlanta. Local folks appeared to just shrug them off and go about their business. It was not the same for me. Not only was there a threat to my safety, but I wondered about the state of mankind in a world spinning toward normalizing violence. Concurrent to these personal local affronts, the first Gulf War was launched and images broadcast twenty four hours a day worldwide. It became difficult for me to detect blessings. One day my wallet turned up missing. After a search, I began the procedure one takes after losing identification cards. After canceling my credit s cards, and beginning to make phone calls to obtain replacement ID’s, a call came from a nearby day work center. One of the folks looking for work turned in a stack of my ID cards.
I hurried over. My wallet and money were gone but a bundle of all my important papers was presented me. The credit card was still cancelled but all else was intact. The man who turned in my papers showed me where he found them in an alley way nearby. Apparently someone found my wallet, rifled through it, kept the money and tossed out my identification cards. In gratitude for reporting his findings, I offered the young man twenty dollars. Later that same day, someone followed me into a restroom at a fast food restaurant, locked the door and stood near me while I urinated. He did not accost me or talk, so I finished and left, but felt unease and vulnerable. It gave me small consolation that escape and survival seemed to top the gratitude list. All this was whirling about me, while I attended to a man who faced a bleak future battling an illness that seemed to take no prisoners.