Street Life: The Edge

Street Life: The Edge

by Ricardo Taylor
Streetvibes distributor Ricardo Taylor Photo: Aimee Willhoite

‘Living and dying are the same: it just depends on the opportunity.’

Ah! How often does one feel as if they are not living, or that death may be a better choice? The essence of life: or program, if you will, presents that dilemma, or at least some idea of such. Life can be, and does have points, where it doesn’t seem worthwhile at times, and the capacity to reason questions whether or not it’s worthwhile to continue? So, the thin line between life and death becomes marred to the extent that one doesn’t know if they are alive or dead!

Now, you don’t have to give any rebuttal to the metaphor; it’s not about having thoughts of suicide, but the frustrations of one’s existence. This gives conceptualizing for many people of the street, as often as not their lives border on a sense of insanity. It’s not so much that they don’t savor life, or that they don’t give a ‘hoot’, but they often find themselves in the dilemma of a supposed survival! Thus unhealthy lifestyles become a necessity for fitting in, or for, creating that place of comfort, which brings about ease/escape. The reality is ‘I must survive at any cost.’

When living in despair, hopes are rare. Life is lived by the moment; no future, no past, every thought, every act is predicated on the now. Too, often the reality becomes flawed, and the individual gets lost in supposed needs. We get lost in the idea of doing what we “gotta do” when the truth is we ‘need to do what we need to do’! A simple line, with even simpler choices; we find ourselves standing on the edge. Needing to maintain a perceived status we neglect the true necessities of a long and healthy life. Life’s major maintenance schemes become secondary. ‘I don’t have time to sit in the doctors’ office; I don’t have time to worry about safety concerns, I need to take the chance! ‘It’s now or never’, ‘I gotta have what I gotta have!’

Always on the edge, treading forward without direction or concern for any, as long as you can teeter without slipping into an abyss you believe you are heading in the right direction, that path which will lead you forward in your struggles. For many it’s the plight of life, that for which they exist, their very essence is right on the edge!