JIM RAD
DEON

life on the street is extremely hard. It’s a haven for vice and many of the kids who live in its realm come face to face with serious problems, problems like: violence, drug/alcohol abuse, neglect, and rape. Every one of the kids have I worked with has his or her own personal story of how the streets have been cruel to them. But amongst all these poor souls, there is one child who has seen the worst of what the streets have to offer. That soul is my sixteen year old friend Deon. A broken spirit with a ghostly face filled with scars from knife fights and chemical burns. A face with dull and lifeless eyes and yellow teeth rotting and stained. A poor kid with a face I had trouble looking at for a very long time, because it over whelmed my senses.
At a very young age my friend Deon saw what no one is ever supposed to see. He saw his parents get killed by his uncle… His uncle shot deons father in the head, and wounded his mother just long enough for Deon to hold her for a few moments until she passed away. The way Deon explains it is as follows. “I held my mother in my hands and prayed to god to save her. I was crying and my arms were covered with blood. My mother could barely speak and she was moaning from all the pain. I held her for as long as I could.”
Now he walks through life very quiet and numb. At times I think his soul has just vanished and left his body to struggle on its own. But beneath his face and tortured soul, there is still a fire waiting to be rekindled. I have gotten to know Deon very well and at times I see some brightness radiate through his gloomy eyes. He might share a smile or even a laugh. I tried to give Deon love and a friend and things were going really well until a few days ago. Some of the other kids starting calling Deon ugly and disgusting and he just flipped and pulled a knife out. He tried to stab one of the smaller kids, and a volunteer who tried to sedate him.
That was the last time I ever saw Deon. He left with teary eyes and threw a brick in deviance that nearly hit someone. He has been known to be suicidal and some rumors are flying around that he has finally ended his life

a night with those frozen bars

Utah had been good to me but I was time to leave. I packed my bags and headed for a better place.
In a few hours it was just me and a lonely road. The sky was restless and the clouds promised a storm not far away. Occasionally through the haze, bursts of lightning would excite it all. But despite this spectacle of nature, the overall pulse of the drive was slow and dull. My iPod tried to keep me alive but my eyes felt heavy and weak. My mind started to drift and it led my car into the opposite lane. I looked up through dreamy eyes and almost died. The horn of a large semi-truck made me know how close I had come. I was too tired and numb to feel aroused, so I continued to follow the trance of the late night highway.
Somewhere, around a steep corner a deer had been hit. Its blood and guts decorated the right lane, and time was too short to stay clear. I heard the thud of my tires rolling over its legs and I felt sad. There was nothing I could do, so I kept my foot down.
In a while I greeted the storm. It shared its rain and its hollowing wind. Its rhythm was violent and tranquil all at once. I felt very uneasy in my stomach and my iPod continued to shuffle peculiar songs. I took a drag from my little blue friend but I didn’t feel much better.
I pulled over to a nearby gas station to refuel my concentration. I grabbed a cold red bull and it tasted sweet and refreshing down my thirsty throat. I still felt strange and a mounted deer head reminded me of the bloody road. The clerk in the corner must have sensed my restlessness because she leaned very close to me and whined, “Watch out from them critters you hear?”
She was a very old lady and incredibly ugly. Her hair was ghostly white. Her teeth were rotting away and admitted a foul odor of whiskey and hick.
Through blood shot eyes I thanked her but never took her seriously. But little did I know, the road had something waiting for me.
I jumped in my car and put my hands on my steering wheel. My car felt foreign to me but u shrugged it off. Through the window I could see the old women looking at me with concern and pleasure. I backed up and wanted desperately to leave that small town forever, as I drove, I started to feel a little bit more alert and felt better about the next two hours ahead of me. But just when everything seemed to be going my way a drunk Indian came running out of a local bar. I tried desperately not to hit him but it was too little and too late. His body flew over my hood and up my windshield. . I pounded my breaks and his body rolled onto the street. He removed himself from the ground slowly and stumbled off into the darkness. I called for him but he was gone. Not long after, Johnny Law joined the party with warrants and hand cuffs. He found a lot of weed and was pleased to throw me in jail…. hours later I was in the cage with drunk men who snored and farted as they slept. The toilet was filled with shit and piss. On the walls blood had been smeared across various places and the boys in the blue suits drank coffee and smoked cigarettes on the other side