Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Update: Nothing new with the Italian, although there’s a cute little, straight, bartender at the Mix bar that I’m becoming friends with. The weather has been cold with a bit of snow, and I’ve been camped out in my apartment in front of the space heater, reading bad mystery novels and watching Deadliest Catch.
As you know, I’ve been a bit traumatized by the number of homeless people who live in the city. As I interact with them each day I’ve become less traumatized by the fact that they’re homeless, and more bothered by the seemingless hopelessness of it all. So, I decided to try my hand at helping.
There’s a street paper here called the VOICE. Homeless people can buy copies of it for a quarter, then they stand on the street corner and sell it for whatever they can get. Each monthly edition includes a vendor profile, where readers get a first-hand look at the life of that homeless person. I met with the editor of the VOICE last week and agreed to do some pro bono stories for the paper. My plan is to impress her with my stories, then have her refer me to other editors who can afford to pay me.
So, next week I will be writing a vendor profile for them. I’m both excited and hesitant about the assignment. Excited to help the homeless share their stories with the world, hesitant that it may just be very depressing.
However, my second assignment I’m quite intrigued with.
It’s called “Dumpster diving for dinner.”
Yup, that’s right. I’ll be following the homeless, and some who do it by choice, to expose the art/trials/tribulations of digging food out of dumpsters to stay alive. There’s a group of mostly young people called “Freegans,” who have declared that as Americans they have the right to live free. The streets are their home, and disgusted with American’s gluttony and wastefulness, are proud to “recycle” the discarded nutrients of others. While they do it out of choice, others do it because they have no choice—they’re just hungry.
I’ve already fleshed out many facets of the story, and questions I want to have answered, but truly there’s only one question that sticks in my mind.
What is the criteria for the food being edible? We’ve all discarded the occasional piece of bread that shows the smallest sign of mold, yet I’m sure we’ve all cut the white edges of beginning mold of our block of cheese. How do they decide what they will, and won’t eat?

March 4, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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