Letter: Challenges of homelessness

“Keith, you’d better get up, your tent’s collapsed.”

I opened my eyes. The very heavily snow-laden overhead of my tent was indeed only a few inches from them.

My friend Delbert likes to tell this story, to remind me I suppose, I was once a newbie to the all-season camping life.

I vividly recall as a young man observing the homeless or otherwise not very busy people on the grounds of the Phoenix Public Library. I empathically sensed that they had not planned to spend their days this way. Howsoever it occurs, a catastrophic loss or a relentless series of events that finally knocks one all the way down, and out. I had no comprehension back then however, of how incredibly hard it can be to get back up.

(Especially when one cannot restore a photo ID without a photo ID. Ah-ha!)

I am still trying to absorb the subject of some kind of an incentive program for the DMV to fast-track new arrivals in the country to IDs and licenses whilst I have been required to track down all 50-odd years of documentation.

On Friday, June 5, I once again returned to the DMV with the final document they had requested. As a nice man, “a trainee,” was processing it, the supervisor, not for the first time, sauntered over and flippantly stated, “That’s not an original.” Appearing mildly perplexed, he replied “It’s stamped on both sides.”

(Recorded in 1993, it had been on microfiche, as was everything else prior, I would guess.)

Lastly, I was told I must speak to someone in Denver, who had of course gone home for the day.

So as not to end on that particular note, here’s a pretty funny homeless guy’s pick-up line. (Or, “four-season weatherproof-challenged guys’ …”)

So, ya like to go campin’?

Keith Wayne

(Just outside of) Glenwood Springs

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