Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

Clothes

In Keeping hope alive, Love, Poetry, Stories on January 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm

ballroom

by Paul Coleman

Seems so long ago
I know it wasn’t yesterday
I wore my mohair black pants
And black suede shoes.

A funky ballroom, Smoky singing
“Lum de lum de li ah”
Mrs. Brown’s daughter by my side
The Mashed Potato, the Twist
Claudine looking fly
In her tight skirt and white blouse
Filled to the brim.

 Oh we were perfect
Perfect in every way
On the dance floor
On the street.

Life was good and time stood still
Had to be back by twelve midnight,
A little kiss, a belly rub, innocent
And slowly strutting home,
Head cocked high
In my mohair pants
And black suede shoes.

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Me and My Big Mouth

In humor, Prose, Stories, secrets & dreams on January 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm

dsc_0048

by Bill Acheson

Germs, germs, germs. All over New York City. That’s what me and my big mouth are into these days.

Last week I had this little tickle in my throat that turned into a drippy, messy nose. The last two days, this cold has developed into a strong, oud cough. An inconvenience to me as I lose sleep, an inconvenience to other people as they feel threatened by my germs.

Comments from the cold front:

“Cover your mouth.” (But my mouth is covered, I thought.)

“Sorry,” I said.

“Cover your mouth.” (But my nose is also gushing and mess, and I am trying to find a tissue.)

“Sorry,” I said.

“Cover your mouth, bullet-nose!” (Time for me to move away fast.)

Others say nothing and uncomfortably shirt away. Still others have a bored, stoic response, as if this is normal in New York City—probably my response in their situation.

Soon this cold will disappear. I will have other opportunities to exert my right to be a minor pest to others as they return, in kind, their irritating behavior to me, in this hotbed of overpopulation.

Edward M’s Story

In how?, Keeping hope alive, Soup Kitchen Stories, The worst of times, where, Who on January 12, 2015 at 8:22 pm

edward-meares

Edward is a freelance commercial artist with an ample portfolio of comic book illustrations, some which he would like to use to develop a new video game. But, Edward’s been coming to the soup kitchen regularly this summer, as a second another round of economic troubles in the last fifteen years  has got him looking up to see bottom once again.

Edward developed a successful career when he first came to New York in 1975 as an aspiring freelance commercial artist. This came to an end 1999 when his wife was diagnosed with liver disease and he had to spend more and more time as her caretaker. By June of 2000, things had hit a crisis point with her health and for the next two months he wasn’t able to accept any work as he sat with her though her last days until she passed away in August of that year. Within a couple of weeks, while still dealing with the grief from that loss, he found himself out on the streets, looking for shelter. His wife had been the last tenant paying rent controlled prices in their apartment building. She had lived there before they got married, and it was her name on the lease. “I could have been put on an inheritance list but I didn’t know about it” Edward says.  With the primary tenant deceased, the landlord raised the rent and Edward found himself on the streets. That was his first time needing a hot meal and found one on a regular basis at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Edward’s spirit prevailed and by 2005 he was once again working, earning money and back on his feet financially. He had also fallen in love with another creative spirit, a massage therapist. The two of them were married and enjoyed the lucrative income of two successful professionals.

“But we got sucked right into the housing bubble,” he says, “she wanted to live near her family so we found a place in Connecticut, near a MetroNorth station, where I could still come into the city to work.”  Things were only looking up when the housing crash hit.

“They had told us they could ‘make it work’ when we signed the mortgage papers.” he says, “what that meant was a floating interest rate. I just signed the papers but didn’t really understand. Our rate went from 18% to 58% in a couple of months and we were suddenly hundreds of dollars behind.” The next thing he knew, he was bankrupt with a broken relationship, and actually in prison for several months because of missed payments.

With his marriage broken, assets depleted, and now a prison record, Edward decided to come back to New York to work on his art career again, which requires new skills in digital graphic arts. Today,  he is in a men’s homeless shelter and is once again coming to the Soup Kitchen for sustainance.

An old friend of his volunteers at the soup kitchen as a counselor and, on top of giving Edward some much-needed company, the two of them share a spiritual connection with Buddhist chants.