“Welcome to the 184th Post of the Zingcreed blog. This totally unique Christian/Atheist blog has no boundaries. It is my personal polemic, and in it I think aloud about religion and life. I hope you get something from it!” Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.
It was dusk in the West End and the pavements were full of people chattering as they emerged from matinee performances this October Saturday. ‘Clive’ had a good pitch for collecting funds but he seemed more interested in the novel he had his nose in. A brown dog lay at his side with a brown blanket over it. While I sat on the pavement next to him, two women came and stroked the dog and spoke to it, putting coins in Clive’s paper cup as they did so. Neither spoke to Clive himself. I asked him if having a dog helped him collect money. He thought about it a moment and said he supposed it did.
He told me he had been on the streets since his marriage broke up 7 years earlier. The house and most of the cash went to his wife, who also got custody of the children. He sold the business and most of the proceeds from that also went to her.
As the weather forecast was hurricane force winds and thunder for the next two nights, he was keen to raise the £15 necessary to get a hostel bed. At the hostel he would get a good meal and a bath too.
Although most people were OK he had once been attacked by “some young lads who were pissed up”. Result: 2 broken ribs. The police tended to leave him alone because they knew him, but “some of them were bastards” and kicked him for nothing. He was feeling down at the moment, because he hadn’t slept well for a couple of nights. He repeated that he really wanted to get off the street that night.
I gave him £2, wished him good luck and left.