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Gimme Shelter

December 21, 2012

I finally saw my regular doctor today, and it is 100% certain that the shelter diet is the cause of the gout, in addition to it running in families (my father had gout shortly before he died).  The recommendation was a diet low in meat and high in low-fat or non-fat dairy, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.  This is not something I can do much about.  I can go to other places, such as soup kitchens, for food, but as long as I am in a shelter where I am prohibited from storing or preparing food, there is little can can do to have much say in my diet beyond choosing to go hungry or using food stamps on prepared foods, which tend to be the most expensive at the store, and these prepared foods cannot be hot, or food stamps cannot be used to purchase them.

I tried the soup kitchen at St. Luke’s Lutheran, which is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2 PM.  Tuesday was meatballs, which surely didn’t help my gout.  Thursday was a turkey dinner since it’s the last one there until January 8.

I met a really nice girl there named Jessica (I didn’t get her last name, but I wouldn’t post it here if I did, for obvious reasons).  She is a bright, intelligent young woman, probably not yet 30, who was coming to a soup kitchen for the first time and surprised to not find soup, which she wanted for a cold.  She was trying to find a women’s shelter, but said that she was told that they were full.  I always wait for people to volunteer their stories, so I don’t know what caused her to become homeless, but the little I did get suggested that it was entirely because of the job market, or lack thereof.  If she had taken abuse from anyone but a low-wage employer doing normal low-wage employer things, I could not guess.  I’ve met surprisingly few young women in the soup kitchens, particularly those without children in tow.  One girl who shows up regularly at St. Francis Xavier’s soup kitchen seems to retouch her lipstick a lot, and she seems to have an attitude that she is being hit on by every man there.  Jessica wore no makeup or jewelry, but was smartly dressed, and was kind and cordial with everyone.  She told me that her grandmother was humiliated when she got gout and vowed never to eat steak again.  I suggested her grandmother might have read Benjamin Franklin’s essay on gout that I had to read in high school, and she seemed to know what piece I was talking about.  That essay makes gout seem as humiliating as venereal disease.

I was hoping I’d see her at the All Souls Unitarian Friday lunch that another man recommended to her, but I did not.  I did see Jason, a rather negative figure who is a St. Francis Xavier regular who got the ire of many people by squeezing his name onto the Chiropractic for Humanity list when the very thorough Dr. Danielle Partain was the only one on duty.  When I first met him at Christ United Methodist’s soup kitchen, he seemed thoroughly convinced that there was no way that I’d ever get a desk job, because some rich guy’s 26 year-old daughter would always be in my way.  I’ve tried to avoid him ever since.

My friend, Jonathan, who drove me to Bellevue’s intake shelter back in May after letting me sleep in a room of his mother’s house for a couple of nights, recommended All Souls ;last night when he took me to Thailand (a Thai Restaurant on 9th Avenue) because he had worked the soup kitchen there.  They had really nice macaroni and cheese, chicken parmigiana, and sandwiches and cookies for the road.

HealthFirst, my Medicaid-backed health insurance plan, tried to prevent me from taking the medication that Dr. Akwuba prescribed for gout, which he told me to take right away as soon as I got it from the nearest Pharmacy, a Walgreen’s on the next block, insisting that I’d already gotten it from Rite-Aid and would need to wait until January 12.  I swore up and down that I’d never taken Allopurinol ever before in my life, and finally the pharmacist got the insurance company to take the block off.  Dr. Akwuba was hoping to get a CC of fluid from my gout, but all he drew was blood, and the shot he gave me at the time was very painful and ineffective, so he gave me a different one to make up for it.  I probably won’t need to use my cane to walk tomorrow.

  1. Jessica permalink

    Scott, it was great meeting you. I hope you find a job soon, although the situation looks bleak. With Obama pushing us off the fiscal cliff and spending the country into oblivion, the job picture probably won’t improve soon. I don’t know if I’ll be back to St. Luke’s or not. My boyfriend decided to let me move back in. He rocks! Gotta go – Fox & Friends is on.

  2. Jessica permalink

    Scott, I thought we made a real connection, why are you doing this?

  3. Jessica permalink

    I dont know who that girl is Scott, but let’s not fight. I thought we had so much in common, you know being homeless and hungry and all. Maybe we could meet up?

    • Jessica Catherine de Bourgh permalink

      Get lost, biznatch!

      Scott, that girl is an imposter. I’m the real Jessica! It was a pleasure meeting you at the soup kitchen. Hope to see you again real soon!!

    • Jillian, Jessica and I talked some politics, and I also mentioned your depraved post calling for euthanasia for the long-term unemployed. She would not have said “With Obama pushing us off the fiscal cliff and spending the country into oblivion”–two factually false statements that prove what a pathological liar you are.

      • Jessica Catherine de Bourgh permalink

        Yeah, Jillian, it was so obvious you wrote that post. Did you really think you could fool an intelligent and discerning gentleman like Scott? He knows that I am the real Jessica. Scott, I’m heading over to St. Peter’s shortly. They’re serving minestrone today – yum! See you there!

      • I don’t think you’re the real Jessica, either. There’s no St. Peter’s on the soup kitchen list, for one thing.

      • Jessica Catherine de Bourgh permalink

        Good catch, Scott. I actually meant St. Paul’s. I’m always getting those two confused. After lunch, maybe we could go catch a movie? Nothing like warn popcorn and good company on a cold winter’s day!

      • St. Paul’s serves only 8 AM breakfast. I’m not stupid, Jillian.

  4. Jessica permalink

    Scott dont listen to that liar, I am the REAL Jessica. We shared a meal and had a good talk, I was really hoping to get to know you better. Perhaps we can put all this behind us and meet up? I’m the only gal you should be eating soup with! Can I ask you what happened to your teeth?

  5. Just another Beggar permalink

    some ideas for you………………..

  6. Robert Little permalink

    I don’t want to be rude or disrespectful, and I certainly don’t want to start an argument, but there are mischievous carousers in our midst. First things first: If Life is going to talk about higher standards, then it needs to live by those higher standards. Life has recently been going around claiming that we can all live together happily without laws, like the members of some 1960s-style dope-smoking commune. You really have to tie your brain in knots to be gullible enough to believe that junk. This brings us to the dark underside of Life’s long-term goals, the side that’s known to yield this country to the forces of darkness, oppression, and tyranny. Life always sounds like it’s reading a prepared speech. And here, I assert, lies a clue to the intellectual vacuum so gapingly apparent in Life’s protests.

    Life exists for one reason and for one reason only: to provide the worst kinds of laughable practitioners of materialism there are with an irresistible temptation to encourage a deadly acceptance of intolerance. Whereas Life claims that freedom must be abolished in order for people to be more secure and comfortable, I claim that the space remaining in this letter will not suffice even to enumerate the ways in which it has tried to win support by encapsulating frustrations and directing them toward unpopular scapegoats. Every so often, you’ll see Life lament, flog itself, cry mea culpa for seeking to ruin my entire day, and vow never again to be so predatory. Sadly, it always reverts to its old behavior immediately afterwards, making me think that its latest manifesto, like all the ones that preceded it, is a consummate anthology of disastrously bad writing teeming with misquotations and inaccuracies, an odyssey of anecdotes that are occasionally entertaining, but certainly not informative. Many people are convinced that if you spot a bumper sticker that reads, “Mumpish social outcasts like Life are all alike,” you’re probably looking at my car. I can’t comment on that, but I can say that its hypocrisy is transparent. Even the least discerning among us can see right through it. Does Life have trouble living with itself, knowing that it justifies its violent nature by denying that some heinous bimbos don’t have a clue? Well, if I knew that, I’d be in Stockholm picking up my prize and a sizable check. There is nothing Life wants more than to irritate an incredible number of people. Sure, it sounds cannibalism-oriented. Blame that on the worst types of lackluster desperados I’ve ever seen.

    To add another dimension to this argument, let me mention that I suppose it’s predictable, though terribly sad, that nugatory mystics with stronger voices than minds would revert to careless behavior. But I, not being one of the many bloody-minded hatemongers of this world, can’t possibly believe Life’s claim that it can achieve its goals by friendly and moral conduct. If someone can convince me otherwise, I’ll eat my hat. Heck, I’ll eat a whole closetful of hats. That’s a pretty safe bet, because Life has been trying for some time to convince people that it’s inappropriate to teach children right from wrong. Don’t believe its hype! Life has just been offering that line as a means to scorn and abjure reason. I challenge Life to point out any text in this letter that proposes that plagiarism is a be-all, end-all system that should be forcefully imposed upon us. It isn’t there. There’s neither a hint nor a suggestion of such a thing. To put it another way, once you understand Life’s treatises, you have a responsibility to do something about them. To know, to understand, and not to act, is an egregious sin of omission. It is the sin of silence. It is the sin of letting Life make its manifestos a key dynamic in modern irrationalism by viscerally defining “phenolsulphonephthalein” through the experience of despicable pharisaism. Life tries to humiliate its opponents rather than win their understanding. From this anecdotal evidence, I would argue that I shall not argue that its newsgroup postings are an authentic map of its plan to dismantle the guard rails that protect society from the socially inept elements in its midst. Read them and see for yourself. I think I’ve dished it out to Life as best as I can in this letter. I hope you now understand why I say that anyone who thinks that the cure for evil is more evil is not living in the real world.

  7. Robert Little permalink

    What I’m saying to you brother is you are a loser , get a job.

    • Please explain how one does this. Applying and networking haven’t helped over the past seven months. The job I got came from simply having my resume up on Craigslist.

      As you are someone who can’t construct a proper sentence, I find it amusing that you call me a loser.

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