"You're gonna be okay."
April 11, 2014 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Writer David Dickerson tells the first time he used the word "homeless" to describe his situation to a stranger, and what effect that stranger's kindness had on his life. Now he's trying to reach out with an open letter of gratitude in hopes that he can find the amazing person who helped him. [slyt | via]
posted by quin (10 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
A nice simple story.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:29 AM on April 11, 2014

Yeah, I can understand wanting to be like that bus driver.

It makes me smile thinking how many lives they get to touch, the line of work they're in.
posted by Mooski at 11:31 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Homeless dude with a PhD. There's something very ugly about a "superpower" that allows shit like this to happen with such regularity that it's not even shocking. Because that should be shocking and rare instead of becoming the horrifying new normal in the US.

I hope he recovers soon and in the meantime continues to run into people who will lift him up instead of treating his homeless status as a greenlight to ridicule/look down on him. There's a valid reason he wasn't using the term "homeless" before then, I'm sure.

There are a lot of caring, compassionate people in the world, and I hope he becomes a magnet for them. He seems like a pretty swell guy.
posted by heyho at 12:18 PM on April 11, 2014

This is astounding: I love the story, and I love the response of the bus driver, and I'm delighted that David Dickerson got his life together, all is well (he seems to be making a living, and using his skills to boot -- writing for NPR).

Like you, Heyho, what gets to me are the words "unemployed with a PhD in English", but I'm not responding in quite the same way. When you're homeless with 60 bucks to your name, you don't need to look for the best job, an academic job, or even an alt-ac job. You just need a job and an income. Sometimes there are buses that need driving and pizza that can be made, and you can do that for a year or so. The hierarchy of needs is important. The driver was telling him that truth, I think.

I hope the bus driver gets to see the card.
posted by jrochest at 12:28 PM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Ah, I missed the fact that he's recovered from that situation now. Good. Very good. I hope he continues to do well.
posted by heyho at 12:34 PM on April 11, 2014

Sometimes there are buses that need driving and pizza that can be made, and you can do that for a year or so.

Employers will not be bending over backwards to help out PhDs or multiple or advanced degrees, even those in a jam, especially not older people with such credentials. I hate to break it to you, but you can't put out the 'undeserving poor" card here. The overqualified thing would have hurt more in the immediate post-recessionary era of 2007-'11.
posted by raysmj at 2:34 PM on April 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Ugh. This used to be called "too poor to paint, and too proud to whitewash."
posted by Houstonian at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is Mefi's own Wordboydave. He once made a card for Matt.
posted by dobbs at 5:10 PM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Did I miss the part where he said he was rejecting jobs because they weren't good enough or prestigious enough for him? Because the video I watched didn't say anything at all about that, it just said he was homeless and trying to get back on his feet.
posted by Lexica at 10:42 AM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

He is so wonderfully good at expressing things. His book House of Cards, about working at Hallmark, is wonderful. I find myself very curious about his story and how he ended up in that situation, and how he got out of it.
posted by not that girl at 8:51 AM on April 13, 2014

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