Friday, September 12, 2008

The homeless terrorist

A friend of mine is an Iranian-American who has had a run of back luck-- car accident, lost job, lost apartment. Somehow, through it all, he's kept his cheerfulness and innate optimism. He's no fool; he knows social injustice when he sees it, but he believes that change is possible. (He knows when to get out, too, leaving Iran when the Ayatolah Khomeini took over.) I usually see him in a suit and tie, job hunting.

Recently he's been staying at Springfield's Friends of the Homeless shelter on Worthington St. I'm getting the rest of this second-hand, as he spoke to my sister Liz at Arise, but apparently he felt that a staffperson wasn't treating the homeless people who stay there with dignity.

"You have to treat people like human beings.," he said.

"What are you, a terrorist, now? You want I should call the police?" the worker said.

My friend is now sleeping in his sister's car. Given his past experiences, I'm sure a little paranoia seems not unjustified.

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