Seattle pros and cons: ‘She spent more on oxy than on rent’

Your View is a recurring series of opinion pieces from members of The Evergrey community. To share your ideas, goals, and work about with the community in a Your View piece, please submit it to [email protected].

What would you attack about Seattle, and what would you defend about it? Members of The Evergrey Writing Group sent in their thoughts.

‘Died without shelter’

22 people died without shelter outside on the street without shelter from December 2015 to February 2017. Hypothermia one of the most common deaths.
Take a few moment to put yourself there:
so cold your body has gone from miserably cold to chattering frozen to numb to dead
in a corner of a doorway.
OH! YOU WOULD RATHER SHOP at Barney’s or at Nordstom’s, spend a few hundred or
a few THOUSAND on “fashion” than sacrifice your FIX on luxury than help the sick.
Your reply, “They are drug addicts, they did it to themselves.”
“Some,” I reply.  So does it make a difference if they had cancer and that was the road to addiction? I met a woman who had been diagnosed with cancer five years ago. You can understand the disease of cancer is painful? So she took painkillers.  Her tolerance grew rapidly.  In five years she spent more on oxy than on rent.  She lived at a shelter melting black in a stolen spoon.  When she was so thin she was barely there she went away to die in a charity hospice program.
The finest clothes are no longer her concern. WHAT ARE YOURS?

I would like to share a poem I wrote about the bay and homelessness:

I lay my heart upon the bay
in depths
and depths
of silence …
I return to the surrounding,
comforted, separated from the world,
Yet following me are haunting echoes of footsteps,
cored by abandonment,
I lay my wounded heart upon the bay.

‘I love the bay’

I love the bay, it is why I chose to stay here.

I often sit in a quiet, out of the way spot and ponder on its depth. The water movement draws me in and somehow feels my spirit. I wonder what the bay was like ten thousand years ago. My mind is blown when I think about how the whales used to swim through to Lake Washington. Sad, they do not anymore.

So many questions come to me. What would it be like to be a baby whale playing, rolling, diving, finding hidden sea shelves. I imagine the baby whales learning how to migrate through the islands to the ocean. I wonder how different the movement of the water feels swimming from bay to ocean.  Is it refreshing to be able to dive even deeper?

The bay has a nurturing gravity that pulls me closer to my own inner depth and soothes the parched and lonely hollows of my heart.

Editor’s note: “Claire Justice” is a pen name for this writer. We granted her anonymity because she has experienced homelessness and prefers that her identity not to be tethered to that struggle.