Texas prayers from a child native
I passed through Brownsville, Texas on a Greyhound bus in the early eighties and wound up in Houston a few hours later; staying at a downtown hotel that seemed to be populated with the poorest of poor, drug addicts, hookers and pimps and me and my buddy who had traveled from New York for the promise of work.
It was crazy there. If you left that room and walked the halls to get out of the hotel you had to avoid eye contact because every eye contact held a question about whether you might buy. You also had better take everything with you because it might not be there when you got back. I found that out as we were entering our room and a scuffle was going on in the hall over a room break in.
I hit the streets and began looking for the place I had come to work. I found it, but the jobs were already filled and so I hit the street again looking everywhere for work.
I walked for hours and hours and never left the presence of downtown, tall buildings, concrete and asphalt. It was a hard place and a hard place to be: But what I was reminded of today as I saw images of Houston flooded completely was that there are hard places in every major city. I have been to Manhattan and found them there. Rochester New York, Mobile Alabama, Washington D.C.. Unfortunately hard places are a side effect of the way this world runs.
What struck me today was the walking I had done. I was there for several days before I found work and I walked the heels off my boots, but I never ran out of city. That has only ever happened to me in Manhattan. Seeing the flooding, seeing the destruction it was impossible to believe knowing I had walked many of those areas. Just impossible…
My sister, my baby brother and I were partially raised on Galveston Island. My youngest sister was born there. And as I noted above I have tried to go back there more than once in my life because it has felt like home. My prayers are with Texas…