I was one of two female patrol officers out of 80 in the municipality I worked for. To be successful in that career as a female then, it took two things… It took getting through the academy at an age where I was on average 14 years older than most students there, (while they went out and partied every night, I stayed in my little dorm room and studied my ass off), and it took allowing the men on my shift to test me, to see for themselves that they could trust me to cover their ass in a bad situation, to be successful in my chosen career. I loved that job and I was good at what I did.
That was, of course, before my mental illness began to manifest itself.
While on patrol, I met a lot of people from many different backgrounds, many lifestyles that I could never have imagined until I began working with them. One of those people was
One night, I had stopped by city hall to drop off some reports and
Now we all have our pre-conceived notions about people, especially someone like Quincy, who was obviously homeless. We assume so many things as to why they are where they are in life. I had too, but
He pulled his old ragged bad from under the bench and pulled a sketch pad out. Flipping through the pages, he stopped at a pencil drawing of a woman’s face. I was just dumb struck. I asked if he drew the picture and he solemnly nodded yes. He then flipped through several pages, showing me more of his artwork.
When I questioned him about helping him find a place to live until he could get back on his feet, he smiled and slowly shook his head. He didn’t want to go anywhere. He was content.
He wouldn’t take money. I have heard more than one person say that, and I too had offered him a few dollars now and then. He would just shake his head and tell me thank you but I don’t need it. I had a friend tell me once that he was at a Burger King and as my friend walked by to go in,
Some fast food places would see him outside and take him a meal, which he would accept graciously. He would also take clothing or a blanket if it was offered to him, but never money.
This week, on a night that it was 18 degrees outside,
The local news channel showed a picture of
I cannot get his face out of my mind. I hear his soft voice as clearly as if I just spoke with him yesterday. I so desperately hope he will be okay, and that he will not suffer.
If he doesn’t pull through, I hope that when
God please take care of Quincy, and all the other Quincy’s in the world on this cold, cold night.