Do you work in an office? Well, right now I am and the air in here is stale. By the time you finish reading this story you should know who I am writing about. This man’s office has an abundance of fresh air, non-stop people traffic and is located in the heart of downtown Port Coquitlam. Yes, he refers to his spot outside the liquor store as his office. He’s been there for years and on most occasions he’s very well mannered except when he drinks too much Colt 45. It wasn’t always like this though, years ago (I don’t know how many) he was beaten very badly and has been disabled ever since. He was a successful man with a wife and kids but after that incident he began drinking a lot and family and things disappeared. I asked him once about life on the street and he says it’s getting worse with young people getting violent toward him and others but there’s no place that will take him as a tenant as he will not quit drinking. In the winter he goes to the shelter every night but returns to his “ OFFICE “ every day as he has kept it open for many a year. I recall him telling me once that he was being robbed every night for a week straight and in every case he would scream out at his assailant “DO YOU THINK IF I HAD ANY MONEY I WOULD BE LIVING ON THE STREET!” He has a lot of friends that live on the street and they try and watch out for him as best they can and I and my partner, well, we try to stop and visit with him at his job, share some laughs, give him some food and check out his health. Oh, one final note that keeps me sane is he refers to his shopping cart as his Winnebago.
by Darren Charuk