The Urban Plunge

Today, we found ourselves at a senior center doing the cha cha slide….. yes, the cha cha slide.  The goal was to find a 45 minute activity that would entertain the seniors at Downtown Clusters.  This is a senior center that takes in the elderly population of DC for the day.  We met interesting individuals.  I a woman who suffered from Polio as a child.  During her time in confinement, she taught herself the piano by ear.  It was inspiring and admirable.

After lunch we embarked on an urban plunge in Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.  We split into 2 separate groups. My group consisted of Chelsea, Caroline, Steph and of course, myself.  We found ourselves navigating the Metro from Star to Dupont.  Given $2 to buy dinner for ourselves and another homeless person, we found ourselves overwhelmed.  Upon walking to the circle, we met a homeless man in a basketball court throwing free throws.  He was calculating the percentage of free throws he had made during the day shot by shot, no calculator.  He had tied plastic bags on the fence to determine when the wind was blowing.  We suspected he had Asperger’s syndrome He was quite the basketball player for someone who seemed to be over his 70s.  He had been a college graduate who had majored in chemistry.  We met several other homeless men and women each with their own story.  They had been more than happy to answer our questions regarding what it is like in being homeless in Washington.

How did we get dinner?  We ended up pooling all of our money (totaling $10).  We found a supermarket, a rarity in the circle, and bought a loaf of bread, slices of bologna and salami.  Under normal conditions we couldn’t afford that.  We had to somewhat haggle the storekeeper.  We made 12 sandwiches.  Instead of eating them, we felt guilt and handed them out to whomever we could find that could use them.

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