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This is my true life story. It starts with my being down on my luck in Los Angeles and ending up homeless for 3 1/2 years sleeping in alleyways, the subways, homeless shelters, in abandon buildings, and just on the sidewalks of Los Angeles.
One frigid night I was trying to sleep in between some office buildings in the city of Toluca Lake, but because I had not eaten in three days, I could not get to sleep. I was suffering so much, and I was so hungry that I said to myself that if I didn't get any food today, I was going to get it over with by killing myself.
So I got up around 6 am and hid my sleeping bag in the bushes, and it also was a very foggy day. I remember thinking to myself that if I could just get $3.45, it would allow me to go over to the red building breakfast place on riverside blvd and breakfast to eat, but where and how could I get the money. $3.45 at that time in my life was like trying to get $1,000.
I started walking down the alley in the thick fog, and out of nowhere and an older man with a cane came walking toward me, stopped, and said hello. I speak back to him, and then he turns towards the direction he just came from and tells me that there is some money by the tree in the direction that he just came from by the red bricks on the left side of the alley. He then tells me that he can't get the money because he can't bend down due to his bad back.
I was so excited that I started walking pass him about five or six steps, and then remembered that I didn't say thank you, but when I turned back to say thanks, he was gone. I tried my best to find him by going up and down the alley, but he had just vanished. He was walking more slowly than an old Turtle with that cane, so how could he disappear like that.
So I went to the location that he told me about and found the tree in someone's front yard. I walked over to the tree and looked, and looked and nothing was there at all, so I gave up and walked across the street, but a little voice in my head told me to go back to the tree and try again.
So I turned around and went back to the tree and got on both knees. On the ground spread all around the tree were those red woodchucks that people put down, but as I looked again for the money, I saw nothing. That was it, and I had made up my mind, today was the day that I was going to kill myself.
Weak, tired, cold, and still sleepy, I got up and made my way across the street again. But again that small voice spoke to me and said, go back and try one more time, so I turned in the middle of the street and went back for one last try.
As I made my way back to the tree, I had a quick vision of myself jumping off an office building somewhere or of jumping off the freeway overpass in Burbank.
When I got to the tree again, I got down on both knees and looked, but saw nothing. But just then that small voice said to me, why don't you take your hands and move some of the red woodchucks out of the way, and so I did, and to my great surprise, there were some coins.
After quickly garbing up the coins and heading across the street to count it, and to my happiness, the total amount was $3.45, just enough for my first meal in three days and saving my life!
Ray: United States