My Black Coat

It wasn’t just any coat. While probably not too expensive, it didn’t belong on the street.

While homeless, the one thing I relied on the most was my coat.

It wasn’t just any coat. While probably not too expensive, it didn’t belong on the street. It was black, mid-length and fur lined. It kept me warm on the nights I had to spend outdoors and served as a cover for my time at the Travelers Aid.

On one particular night I going to the Rhode Island area. I stopped in Connecticut and managed to pay for a week’s shelter at the International Hotel. But knowing full well my destination was Rhode Island (where I was from) I decided to leave my paid-for room and continue my journey. I was going home. That’s where my family was.

I reached my home state and I went to the Warwick Mall. Things became difficult and I became upset. The police were called and they informed me that I could “stay outside.” I crossed the street and decided to bed down at the abandoned greenhouse. 

Needless to say, my black coat with its padded materials, kept me warm.

On the night I stayed at the greenhouse, I needed to use the bathroom. I leaned back, and much to my surprise, the door to the building opened. I went in, and used the bathroom. Later I discovered that I had left my tennis shoes behind.

Other times I would avoid the cold in hotel bathrooms or hidden in the basement at my daughter’s apartment.

Sometimes I had to look inward for warmth, so I would compose and sing songs to myself.