Down But Not Out

Photo by Chad Lyons

Photo by Chad Lyons

It’s a typical Seattle day, rain.  Feeding time is 5:30 at the Union Gospel Mission, but there is no need to rush down to 2ndAvenue.  The usual suspects who live in the streets surrounding the mission will be in rare form today.  The rain not only brings out a case of the crazies but the potpourri of urine, rotting food and ripe people are more than I can stomach.  No one willingly chooses this lifestyle, but until I stop putting a needle in my arm, it is what it is.  My time management skills from my previous life still come in handy.  I know where and when to score.  I know where and when to eat.  I know where and when to sleep.  The only woman I am concerned with is Mother Nature and right now she is a raving bitch.  If you pass me on the street, you wouldn’t give me a second look and even though I am looking at the curb or wall, I see you.  Because I used to be you, in my clean clothes, walking with a purpose, living a meaningful life.  I see the look on your face, the same one you might make if you happened to eat a bad peanut.  But it doesn’t bother me, because whatever you think about me, I think even worse about myself.  So in a way, your backward glance is almost a comfort, at least you looked at all.  My life is suspended in time with the other lost souls of the street.  Evaluating my peer group which currently consists of alley cats, shopping cart specialists, pan handlers, the criminally insane and sewer rats, it can’t get much worse.  After watching life pass by for months, I realize, we are all creatures of habit.  I see the same people at the same time in the same place day after day.  Even in this urban jungle, we are predictable, rats in a maze.

I encourage you to visit and follow Chad Lyons blog at  and his portfolio at


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