Friday, July 31, 2009

frazel dazel...

hmmm how do i start. well im defiantly bailing on working 7 nights in a row...i was thinking on ride home that even tho right now i feel like i could just keep working, in fact im so much in the mode that i feel like i could work the next 2 weeks straight, that its good fro me not to. Funny how once your in there you just become adjusted to the swing of it, work that is. That its easier in the eye of the storm then on your way through it. The ride home was super lovely, right now the weather affords tank top and warm breezes at 4am. One of my most favorite times to ride my bmx home..its like you own the time stopped..or the world ended..or i guess in reality everyone is sleeping..but i prefer to think of it my own concrete jungle were i run stoplights and ride on the side walk..helps with the come down...of work.

Tonight proved to be less then expected. Not as busy a little more high pun intended... per individual. I think as the weekend rolls along when tempers and tantrums and tired takes over. Sleep dep completely is the worst free drug out there.. most of what people see on the street when others are totally flailing about is lack of sleep...Onyl one overdose tonight..but a defiante life was saved, he went down hard. He came in right prior then left because he lost his flap, he bought a new one came back in and od'd. I wasnt present for itbut we almost had another later on...sometimes people come out of it once they have had enough oxygen, which is good because it is was less stressful to already compromised bodies.

I worked the front desk for the beginning..i was thinking baout how you could actually describe what its like up there, especially when it get s crazy..I had a vision of standing in front of a hail of bullets...but the differnace being im not dodging them, more like catching each and everyone..imagine how satisfying that is. I have mastered an art of multi tasking..k in the same breath the phone rings, 8 people walk in, one wants into the chill, one wants a garbage bag, ones picking up supplies, 4 want on the list and are fighting about who was first, one of those are barred and imon the phone trying to tel lthe, while pouring a glass of water and grabbing a garbage bag. i hang up the one, buzz the door, it rings again, i have everyone down on the list 6 more people come in, one leaving a message for someone else..another person is looking for someone and runs into the waiting room to try t o get into the chill, i have to get up tell them to leave with remembering the 4 poeple that are on the list on my way back they want to know the order while i realize im out of rigs and i phione back to the ir to get some, in the same moment someone comes in to see the nurse ectectetctetcgetc6tetcs w"HRFwoihfwpkihf;kwiphfkwihnfkwlif.....and all of this is the MOST IMPoRTANT THING!!!!!!!!!!!

and that doesnt even come close to describing it... can you beleieve i actually like AND THRIVE IN THAT KIND OF CHAOS.. well most times, if im not onpoint i dont want to be up there because i dont believe the other people should suffer from my intolerance.

Otherwise had some nice heart to hearts..seemed like the topic of the night was the end of the world, Armageddon, global warming, were all the bees and birds have gone>? global warming? Man there are some people i love down there with all my heart.

Talking to this one women who ive built a relationship with..i dont like the way that sounds, this women...hmm one of my favs..?love her..anyway she was having a tough time and she was telling me how she felt like she had no way out, couldnt see it, defiantly couldnt feel it. sometimes when i have those conversations i really dont know what to say...and i realized a bit more that i dont have to say anything, i dont have to find an answer for her or a light at the end of the tunnel, i dont have to do anything but listen, most of the time thats all anyone wants..unless she asks me specifically? or directly..and of course i might make light suggestions, she knows we have a detox upstairs and i would encourage her to go but for the most part she just needs someone to listen. Thats a pretty liberation thought from my arrogance of having to solve the worlds problems. Anyway tangant but we were talking and she says "i have to get out of here, wait you have to get out of here too..why do you work here? dont you get attached to all of us?"...
im like honey, are you kidding me, of corse i get i come home sometmes and cant shake the shit but no word of a lie working down there has afforded me the opportunity to practice loving people in that exact moment, loving them knwoing that tomorrow they may tell me to fuck off,loving them while they tell me they want to die, loving them not knowing any sort of result or outcome intheir lives, loving them with no security or guarantee of return, loving them not knowing if they will live or die the next day..real talk...learning that and then taking it into the same world that i live in. That , only now retrospectively is one of the reasons i most defiantly work down there.

Think thats it for me tonight...night off tomrrow!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

photo below

coworker...i will call this photo "pop-squat and serve"..left over coffee from the chill...on any other given night there would not be leftovers..handed out to passerbys..nothing goes to waste down there

all around magical evening

bets cheque night i have ever worker by far, i think the concept of this blog really has had an effect in the level of stress at my job. Tonight was completely manageable. About 4 overdoses, 2 heroin, i morphine and 1 cocaine and two other cab trip to the hospital. The fireman that came to each one would leave and sayz'see you in a bit", which they would... i think htere might be some strong heroin going around, that and people have the cash . My favorite fireman has a huge gash on his forehead, last week i enquire on how he got it...saving a kitten from a tree perhaps or a child from a burning building..nope..going down the fire poll and smashing his head on the second florr...amazing.

spent the first part of the night in the chill lounge conserving my energy, last night killed my canckle in the IR for 7 i took it easy at first considering that no one cares much for coffee or juice with the money flows. took an early break, this is actually week 4 without smoking at my job, a pretty big deal i think. I some how built up quite the connection between smoking and working in that environment, it really can be justifiable. The air is obviously full of comspumption, i still even tho not smoking feel as tho i need to be consuming, coffee, water, gum whatever...perhaps i just notice it more.

A friend of mine who recently took a job upstairs at the detox told me that since he doesnt work at downstairs anymore when he comes in he can completely feel the energy. Clearly that makes sense that somehow the vibe must infiltrate our bodes and go somewhere ? do something?

wow i feel super neutral writting its really another day in the park, not even close to articulating some of the events, that people would have totally died had they not done their drugs at insite. I guess it just seems so obvious to me when really there is a world of people that it really isnt that obvious to. Sometimes i lie and say i work at a clinic or a shelter just because i can smell the ignorance and cant bear to engage, but then sometimes i do engage and it becomes a very enlightening experience, and very important i believe to educate people on my experience and what iknow about working down there. I defiantly dont claim to know all the answers or solutions but i feel very satisfied to be involved in something that at least is taking a chance were no one on this continent has takenone before.

Working so closely with people this last year down there really has put a face , A real sense of humanity to addiction/homelessness/mental illness and multitude of other issues, even someone like me who has lived there own hell inthat relm, its really given me a chance to see the realness in people across the board. now my only challenge is to take the compassion that i feel for them and apply it to EVERYONE..with the same openness..thats a fucking challenge. See if im just as tolerant to someone dialed up in Ed Hardy...i defiantly have along way to go but tonight i think i will sleep well knowing we did our job well..


one last thing...poor kid man...well in my eyes anyway, i helped this guy at the front desk who was down sick and one of his friends had given him a point of down in a rig.. turned out he gave him the wrong rig and it was crystal meth..kid chewed all his fingernails..4 of them completely off, never seen anything like it, i bandaged up his finger tips. thats straight up harsh.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

a slow build

i better count my lucky stars..i really anticipated this week to be alot crazier..but again im sure it will ive up to its reputation, im already plotting to take friday off. So tonight, slow for the most part. Usually direct deposit welfare cheques go through anywhere from 1am to 230..thus we get a rush around then, i took my break at one and cruised the block for streetzia( street pizza) and the buzz was in the air, line up around atms, dealing around line ups, abundance of lighters and butane being bought in the convient stores. Nothing major to report, had one guy almost OD, spent a good 15 min with him and a nurse reminding him to breath everytime his oxygen went to slow, eventually we put a mask on him and he was ok. Pretty standard story when people eget out of jail and maybe there tolerance is low or they do more then they normally do because its been awhile. Defiantly felt for the guy, by the end of the night he had misplaced his jacket , his bag and his wallet which i found later one wit hjust his bank card left. As we were closing and i walked him he was super thankful for us helping him, at one point he came back into the IR and didnt remember that he almost od"D 45 min prior. I suggested that maybe he "sit this round out" and he did, he tried to give me his watch as a token of his appreciation.

Asides from one of my clients telling me i put on weight it was a pretty tame night. Oh vanity, i really could be breaking up a fight between two extremly angry and intimidation guys and be completely calm, but drop a comment like that at the wrong time of the month and shit flys inside my head. Of course i didnt say anything because i really think that he was trying to be nice? like i lokk healthy? ha really tho? Its one of those things you really straight up dont say because last time i checked i was defiantly NOT mal nourished and in need of "healthy" weight. yup vanity will get you every time.

Right back to work...see how i can side track so easily to talk about myself talking about myself talking about myself......

tomorrow will be busy. I have a swollen canckle..aka tendentious in my ankle..maybe he saw my canckle and thought that i had gained weight>????


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

smooth as butter..

i was thinking about how the fact that i decided to blog this week may perhaps off set the entire normal way of life in the DTES. That maybe by claiming that my job is chaotic and insane might actually have some reverse effect , tonight woulD BE A PRIME-TIME EXAMPLE By far one of the nicest smoothest nights ive had ina while. A touch of fatigue followed by a splash of irritablitaly but for the most part super uneventful. It would be nice if my hopes of an alternate DTS reality were anything close to the truth but the reality is i knowthat the calm monday before the storm is pretty natural. At least one shift down in the seven. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with some of my favorite clients..and i know idealy i wouldnt have any favorites at all but it happens and you build relationships with people, Alot of them i see more then my friends or family...

Tonight i had a moment of trying to rap my head around cocaine phycosis. I mean i well into understanding the nature of addiction no doubt about that, sometime though i am just more i guess blown away at how powerful it is based on what people deal with when they get high. sorry run on sentence...super bagged. But especially with cocaine, tonight i had a client then whenever he uses he is 100% sure that there is a snake in his jacket and it torments him, as much as i tell him i cant find one, try his jacket it on, make suggestions that maybe to put the jacket away untill he comes down, he really feels it and knows its there. He knows this when he is "sober" before he takes his hit that this will happen at soon as the drugs hit his vein yet it doesn't matter... thats pretty powerful and as well a little more mild then some of the more severe cocaine phycosis. Like naother that is sure people are coming up behind her with knives to kill her. As if anyone would rationally choose to do that repeatedly to themselves without being completely powerless..

And like i said i get it, but there is a real tangibleness with that specific reaction that really hits home for me. Its hell, its complete purgatory. hmmmm 5 more minutes of writting...

sooooo unbelievably tired, my goal this week asides from day to day sanity is to not rely so heavily on chocolate to get me through the night.

thats it

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 1

For some reason i ended up switching my shifts to have a week off on the exact week of welfare day. For most people it means nothing, for alot of people it means everything. For my coworkers they get it and are perhaps desensitized. For others it may be interesting. For the most part im doing this for myself. Many a night i get home completely wired from the nights actions only to lay in bed trying to sleep, still working ,still thinking... Maybe this will help. I think if anything it makes me somehow justify this week that i can at least have a creative outlet because of it. Justify the storm, one day at a time. Tonight i anticipate anticipation, Tuesday alot of people in the DTES get direct deposit..Its hot in Vancouver today, maybe nothing will happen at all.