27 October 2006

Proof of My Heartlessness

I came home a few days ago around 9pm, pretty normal for me. As I opened the door to the stairwell, which leads to the door to my apartment, I heard snoring. Really loud snoring. I turned on the light, looked down the stairs to the next landing, and saw a man sleeping (i.e. passed out) on the floor. I had two choices at this point. I could either open my apartment door, lock it tightly behind me, and go to sleep, or I could try to get rid of the guy sleeping on the floor, a mere 10 feet from my home. Any guesses?

Of course, I didn't relish the thought of waking this guy up & asking him, in my less-than-perfect Polish, to please find somewhere else to sleep. So I went across the hall to my neighbors - you remember them, the ones with the vicious dog that likes the taste of my knee. I managed to stumble through something about there being a man asleep on the stairs, at which point my neighbor (someday, I have GOT to learn their names!) checked it out, said he would call the police, and told me, under his breath, "He's probably homeless." Um, thanks, I had a hunch.

About 20 minutes later, I heard the door to the stairway close, and the muffled sound of someone waking the guy up. I assume they escorted him out of the building. Regardless, he was gone in the morning & hasn't been back.

So here's my question, which I know no one can answer for me - why didn't I just let the poor guy sleep it off on the stairs? I would have been perfectly safe behind 2 locked doors, and he would have had a warm place to sleep for the night. Although, having had a warm place to sleep for one night, what would have stopped him from camping out there all winter?

OK, maybe I have my answer. But I still feel some of that middle-class, liberal guilt about the whole thing. I really do believe there should be shelters available for the homeless. I have no idea if such facilities exist in Poland. However, I don't want the stairwell of my building to be one of them.


Aaron Fowles said...


The Wendy Lady said...

I have no idea what that means.

Lisaopolis said...

"Not In My Back Yard" (or: the official motto of the PacNW when it comes to urban/community planning...)

Hanna said...

Yes there are!! There are actuallu quite a few shelters for the homeless within the city limits in Poznan itself, so don't feel bad. And after all this guy could have just gotten drunk and tried avoiding coming home drunk, who knows?