CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 40

CoffeeShop Blues changes of clothes and quietly made my way back out onto the London streets and into the wet night. The truth was I had no friends or nowhere to stay and I was pretty broke. I knew no-one else in London, well, that was not entirely true. I dialed Fedor. Fedor was a man who may or may not have been homeless. I knew he drank, wrote poetry and I also knew his telephone number. I called him. I explained the situation to Fedor and then asked the pertinent question. “So, umm, whereabouts do you ahh, stay?” “Well I am in a state housing apartment”. Wait, he wasn’t homeless? Hope sprung from its eternal well. “Would it be possible for me to stay with you? Not for long. maybe a day or two?” “Yes, O.K. I don’t have much. I live in a state housing apartment”. “Oh anything is great. Anything. Thank you so much”. I was overjoyed. I jumped on the train and headed his way. Here he was, an almost complete stranger, almost homeless, who at the drop of his scrungy hat, was going to let me crash at his place. I was elated by the generosity of his spirit and swiftly made my way through the oppressively wet night with a heavy but grateful heart. It was a sad day, but I had a roof over my head and so it wouldn’t at least be a sad wet night. I felt comforted. The state housing complexes rise up like soulless fortresses; plain brick facades upon plain brick facades. There was a call box type entry system that looked like it had been made by the same company that manufactures those phone systems in prison. It probably was. There was something of a penitentiary about the whole thing, a prison of poverty if you will. But at least this was free housing. People with little means had a solid structure and roof over their heads. That's a good society. Fedor buzzed me up. He was moping and melancholic but very hospitable. He showed me a room with a large patent-leather chair, with an old, synthetic covering scabby and picked at. The 40