One Thing Leads to Another


“Excuse me sir,” came the polite but firm voice of authority from behind.. “But we need to get something from under your table.”

It was the Sheriff’s department and as I have nothing to hide, and no shame, I simply wondered what the hell he was talking about.

Then I saw the girl behind him in the big blue coat and the woolen cap.

I had sen her in here before. This is the Starbucks near my work at 41st and Soquel. I am out here today because I am going to have a look at (hopefully) my new apartment/studio at noon.

“Can you just back away from your table sir?”

Um…sure (though it reminded me of the scene from Anne Hall where Alvy Singer, having a problem with “authority” tears up his driver’s license).

There is something menacing about the way they say “sir” to me.

The girl looked scared and after she got her stuff I overheard (straining) the telling her she could not come back in and stay seated anymore “just get your coffee and leave.”

Well I can tell you one of the first things about being homeless is NEVER look homeless. No one would EVER guess I was/am…and I came back into town with i pair of shorts, two pair of underwear and two shirts…

True, I had some Internet help from some friends…but I see others get similar elpp every day. if you let the need be known and pray…things happen.

They got her another coffee and she was escorted from the building. I wanted to talk with her but they wre arresting her.


Well one of the officers came back in to take a picture of MY table (same one you see above)…where apparently some druggy activity was going on?? I have tried to snort the table, but to no avail..I think I got a nose full of Equal, which is a much more dangerous drug than coke.

“Why the picture?” I asked innocently.

“We are arresting those two. It was drugs.”

“Drugs huh?” I said feigning bewilderment like some mid-level  software programmer from Oracle.

“Yeah, well they do drugs,” he confided, “then that leads to their homeless situation and then they come into Starbucks in the morning because it is warm. I mean one thing leads to another.”

“Imagine that,” I said sadly shaking my homeless head. “Well, have a nice day officer..”


Now there is some general truth to this. Supporting ANY addiction is expensive (perhaps the officer pulls OT occasionally to support his growing porn library?) and I have done the math (just for me) and having NO addictions to feed and working full time at a higher than minimum wage (quite a bit higher) job still leaves me fairly limited.

But solvent.

Just cigarettes alone can take that chunk out of much-needed rent money around this area.

Then ther eis just the fact that landlords discriminate against the Homeless – money or no money.

I met a man yesterday who has been walking around for 3 months with vouchers ($1600 a month) for a 1 bedroom place) but no one will rent to him and his girlfriend. He has talked to over 250 places.

Lovely “progressive” place – Santa Cruz.


I need to make it clear here that I am not the least bit better than anyone in an active addiction. I got lucky/blessed.

Lucky that I had a mental disorder that was treatable. Blessed that God lead me to a man (psychiatrist) who would see me for free (still does) and who had the right answers for my condition.

Otherwise I am a dead man. If not by now, soon.

I have explained this elsewhere and people either get it (quickly and fully) or they do not get it at all (and probably never will). No matter. The main thing is I get to live the next 25 years or so and be killed by something else…and my current homelessness came as the result of very bad business decisions last Spring and Summer…and other decisions prior to that.

Decisions that have simply been rectified for good by right action.

One thing does lead to another.

In my case, the right meds eventually led to stability and freedom. Out of freedom came new choices I did not feel I had before (and quite possibly really did not have…it is hard for me to say) but I certainly have now and have made. Those choices have resulted in change and new opportunities.

I expect the trend to continue.

Do I wish I could have come to thse new decisions earlier? Of course. But its like taking a trip to Europe. Yu may ant to “just be there” – but the reality is youhv to plan, pack an go through a ot of things – then TRAVEL to get there.

It is not as simple as “just stop the behavior.” We tried todo  that that with me for years (I tried harder than anyone I know) – and failed.

No. You change the person (in my case organically) – and then allow the other changes to be the fruit of that.

I wonder how many people could go free if organic problems could be addressed – it is only natural for ME to ask. The actual number may be very small. I dunno.

For me, it was really only a little over two years since Dr. A put me on the meds. That’s nothing considering the

As for the girl and her companion? Pray for them.

Daniel Burns and I have been talking. One of the key things about being of help to some people is to respond to those God has called you to serve – and just them. Just who God has put in front of you.

Just imagine if we all did just that? Just one or two people each?


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