Disabled, Homeless Woman Finds Perfection in Silent, Snowing Night

snow falling on silent night perfection for homeless woman

As I write this, it is the last day of February. That makes me incredibly sad because I know that dreaded heat is returning as winter leaves without ever really getting started this year.

We only have two seasons left in this area of the Catskills in upstate New York. I call them summer and not summer. My medical heat intolerance requires cold for me to be functional, but my soul requires winter.

I am a winter baby, born on a snowy night in the sign of Aquarius. February is my birth time, but I used to love December’s snowy weather through the end of March and even into April when late snow might fall.

I mention all that because I just spent a half hour experiencing perfection.

Perfect moments are perfect because they are rare and never last. It’s why we long for them and why it’s important to savor, acknowledge, and be grateful for them when they happen. 

I sat on an old sofa on the porch where I was house-sitting. From about 1:03 am to 1:29 am, I experienced an eternity of bliss. It’s warm for me at 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is no wind at all. To me, that is perfect.

I sit and lean back and watch the snow fall silently. My eyes water up, not from cold, but from the emotional reaction to this gift of a perfect moment. No people, no noise, no foul odors, no dogs barking. At this moment, it feels like I am inside a snow globe.

I breathe deeply, inhaling the fresh, cold air into my nose, and try to remember what it feels like because, in very short order, I know I will not have this experience again for a long, long time.

The cold air feels so invigorating and refreshing. I feel no pain at this moment. I breathe again and try to experience the breath and beauty around me as I watch the woods turning white and the ground, too.

All around me is the magical quiet that only happens during snowfall. I move my head a bit and can see the tiniest light causing the snow to sparkle as if a little winter fairy had come by and sprinkled it all with magical glitter. In the daylight, it glitters with tiny prisms, but at night, the glitter looks silver. Tears streamed down my face as silently as the snow fell to the earth.

I could live in this moment forever. I could die at this moment in pure joy.

Eventually, my perfect moment was ruined by far-off snow plows with their loud backing-up noise. “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” as they backed up, and the loud scraping of the metal plow to the hard ground broke the blissful silence, magnified by the otherwise silent night.

I returned to the house, sat in front of my computer, and began writing this essay. I look up and stare at my plants mixed among the household’s plants. I guess they live here now, and I am so grateful they are safe. I know this is temporary, and that fact constantly haunts me, along with the fears about my van, which will not pass inspection once again.

If only I could bottle that moment outside and live it forever.

People tell me I must identify what I want and ask the universe to help me reach that goal. But after all this time, I’m exhausted from begging. I realize I really want to be released from all this suffering and pain. I want to fall asleep in deep snow in some beautiful setting, far from human activity, with the aurora borealis dancing over my head, on a windless night as fresh, gentle, silent snow falls to the already snowy ground. I want to drift away as silently as that snow, never to wake.

What a perfect ending that would be. If I could write my own ending, that would be it.

I lost my last place of residence in 2017 and have been floundering around ever since. I’ve stayed in my van, in a filthy 100-plus-year-old factory where merchandise was warehoused, in hotel rooms, and in the home of friends who were/are like family.

With no stability, I stayed in many different places and situations that kept changing.

The warehouse was quiet at night, and I could work on art there. The rest of the time, it was a nightmare with no bathroom except a public restroom and overbearing heat. Eventually, the building was bought by a greedy serial gentrificationist, and I had no choice but to leave.

The fact is, even before this happened in 2017, I had no real stability.

In my life, I’ve already moved 15 times! It’s exhausting, and I no longer have the energy for it. With no hope of finding a suitable forever home, I have given up wishing on stars and begging a malevolent universe for help.

Since childhood, it’s crystal clear that no one has been listening to my pleas. Nothing suitable to my needs is affordable. It wasn’t in the years before I lost the last place, and it’s only worse now in 2023.

You can’t even buy a tiny piece of land and put a big shed on it. All around the country, corporations buy houses to rent or use as Airbnb businesses. They gentrify areas and push out the poor. Meanwhile, those with money can own multiple dwellings, while elderly, low-income families with children and disabled people have to sleep in cars or tents outside. I know people far worse off than I am, having no one to stay with, even on occasion, and no van to lie down in or help from anyone. 

People tell me not to give up and that I am here for a reason. Other than suffering, I don’t know what it is.

I serve no purpose and have no value in a society that sleeps just fine at night, knowing that fellow human beings are sleeping in the streets or cars all across this country.

Sure, many good people care; if you are reading this, you are probably one of them. But I speak of society as a whole.

Whatever good I have put out into the world, I am glad I could. In some minuscule way, I still do. I really do try to help others anytime I can. But overall, given my disabilities and low income, and the lack of housing geared for someone like me, I think whatever energy I may have left should be put into cleaning out most of my belongings and praying that maybe I will get my last wish: To perish on a perfect, winter night in the snow. 


Homeless Loki

Homeless Loki

  

Homeless Loki is a disabled homeless person also on the autism spectrum currently homeless in upstate New York

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