Tagged: writers

Rain: Good for Reed, Bad for Anthony

Photo: John Tlumacki
Photo: John Tlumacki

Yesterday was a good day for me. Despite a sluggish start, I managed to get three pages written. Although I feel I’m allowed to give myself some credit when I have good days like today, I’m also a realist and recognize that perhaps the nonstop drizzle that coated us yesterday might have contributed to my discipline. Nobody wants to sit at your computer and write when it’s beautiful and sunny outside!

There is something about the rain and the cold that seems to just fuel your pen. Perhaps that is why Ireland has produced so many damn good writers – or then again maybe it’s just the Jameson. Who knows…but it gets me in my writing mode – the Jameson that is.

Now for the depressing part. As I sit here in front of my fireplace with a blanket over my legs and a warm cup of English Breakfast tea soothing my throat I’m jolted by the thought of Anthony. Not only is he probably cold and wet, he’s certainly not selling many papers in this drizzle. It’s actually worse than a full on shower. At least then you have an umbrella and you can go on your merry way. No, yesterday was that miserable cold spitting that is just enough to allow you to run out without an umbrella but not enough to get your head out from dry sanctuary of your coat collar so that you can see more than just the sidewalk in front of you. If Anthony was out there – we’d probably have walked right by him.

 

Setting out on our journey

ReedAnthony.jpg
Anthony and me on the first day of the project (photo: Reed Sandridge)

This story begins on February 19th, 2010. I was out of work – I was laid off at the end of September of 2009. The country was spiraling into the deepest depression since the thirties. Anthony was homeless. He sold the Street Sense newspaper to make enough money to get by each month – but not enough to leave his small patch of frozen sidewalk behind and get into an apartment.

Our lives crossed paths that day because of a personal project that I had embarked on. After being unemployed for about two and half months, I did something that most people would consider crazy. I started giving away money every day to a stranger. I wasn’t giving a lot of money away, heck, I didn’t have a lot of money to start with, but I did the math and had just enough money to make it a year (in case I couldn’t land a job) and still have a bit left over to fund a $10 a day project I called the Year of Giving.

The concept was born largely out of inspiration from my mother. She had passed away Continue reading