Waiting at the bus stop (forgoing bicycling due to rain and lack of appropriate gear) I am approached by a woman who asks me if the long house (homeless action center) is still open. I do not know the answer to her query.
She asks me to remember her name, in case something happens to her tonight, because "people are trying to kill her". I tell her that I will write her information down and retrieve my small notebook.
As she writes her information alongside the lavender I have pressed beneath its pages she says, "I danced on campus today, and I was at the starry plough...so a lot of people saw me. Usually I would go to people's park but with things like they are...I might head over to the hospital and 5150 myself". I ask her what I can do to help her and what to do with the information she gave me. She says, in case you hear of something happening to me you will know.
As follows is her information (date of birth, social security number, California licence number withheld)
I hope that you found a safe place Annette Mara Gearlds whom I last laid eyes on at the 18 bus stop at the intersection of woolsey and Shattuck at around 10:55 pm on April 24th, 2014.
She thanks me although in have done nothing but be a witness to her human existence, recognizing her presence in a space and time that we both shared. For her I will work towards the creation of safe spaces to sleep, for heaven knows we all need them.
[edit: idea to create art pieces in public space that can be used as safe spaces to spend the night/enjoyable to climb, explore, spend time in. coming home late at night, biking under freeways and overpasses, I cannot help but imagine this underutilized space could have hammocks with a large net hanging below]