Homeless now less fortunate
The following is a reflection from good-intentioned soup kitchen employee Kurt Collins, who accidentally delivered the Valentine’s Day drop-off to Ithaca College students rather than the expecting homeless shelter.
“It was nearly the end of the day by the time I headed to the Ithaca Community homeless shelter. The size of the meal has brought it national recognition and numerous awards; the most recent award was from Homeless Housing — it can found under all the popular newspapers.
When I arrived, I wondered why everyone seemed so surprised — it was as if I had interrupted a strange party ritual. The building reeked of a stench too unbearable to describe. Cans and bottles littered the lawn — obviously soda — and I’m pretty sure there was someone, or something, hanging off the balcony. As I reached for the doorbell, a most strangely dressed creature pushed passed me into the building; it looked something like a slutty version of the red Teletubby, but I couldn’t be sure. I knew the less fortunate have a limited wardrobe, but really?
I saw their thick, grimy hair, shredded jeans and gritty shoes. I had no reason to think I had the wrong building. I mean, I’ve been to half-way houses on the back streets of Binghamton, but I just kept thinking that none were as horrifying as this! They eagerly helped me unload the rather large quantities of Valentine’s Day dinners and loaded them onto a beer covered ‘pong table’. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure why I didn’t realize I had made a mistake sooner.
The figures eyed the meal, slowly circling the carcasses. One of the larger things, most likely their leader, pounced in for the roasted chipotle chicken, which started the rest of them off. A heavyweight, who I thought had found someone’s old football jersey, sounded a roaring mating call then proceeded to lunge off the second floor staircase into the mess of food. Several of the female-looking members were fighting over a box of candy while the slutty Teletubby quietly gnawed on a chocolate heart in the corner. I was deeply disappointed that no one stopped to thank me for the special candy hearts I had added as a special touch.
With my ignorance of the their true identities, I was surprised when one of them began sniffing my coat for more food. It looked me in the eye and uttered a growl under its breath. I didn’t have any more to give — I had to get out of there before they all realized. As I was leaving, they moved on to the dessert — pink-dyed sugar cookies. The thing that had occupied the balcony was now motionless on the ground outside of the house. As I left the building, I remember hearing the faint sound of red solo cup in the background
On my walk back, I passed a lone homeless man holding a spare-change cup. I almost mentioned the homeless shelter, but assumed the man knew about the delivery so I decided to keep my two cents and walked on.”
Zach Briggs is a freshman IMC major who thoroughly enjoyed his surprise Valentine’s Day feast. Email him at zbriggs1[at]ithaca[dot]edu.