Living in the Bible Belt

 

Here I am. Back in Fort Worth, Texas after leaving for 19 months to go live out west. I actually never made it all the way out west. I settled in Phoenix, Arizona. The cost of living was lower than California and it was just as scenic. I still miss the mountains and the palm trees, even if they are planted.

I have been going back and forth from Texas to California since I was a teenager.  I remember back in the ‘90’s when Phoenix was like a #17 market, while Dallas was #5. Now Phoenix is right behind Dallas and getting very overcrowded. The west side is like one big drug rehab and mental hospital with the mentally ill running around. I enjoyed riding the rail but Phoenix was the one town where the train had to stop because some drunk Indians fell off the platform.

I am not saying this to pick on them. Just stating a fact. I actually have compassion on them. But unfortunately there is nothing that I can do for them. Good thing my tax dollars provide a wide array of resources with the local homeless shelters and community agencies. Too bad many of them don’t take advantage of them. Although many of those people are not even in touch with reality; however they always manage to find the loan for the food at the shelter and the line to check in at night to get their bed.

There is one advantage to living in the desert, especially when you are homeless. You can check in to the shelter as late as 9pm and even sleep outside in the courtyard. There was no excuse to have to sleep on the streets. Also while it gets hot during the day (dry heat though), it gets really cold in the middle of the night.  Granted if you have a sleeping bag, you will not even notice. Don’t ask me how I figured this out.

I was briefly homeless and got used to this lifestyle. I would check in at 9 and out at 5am and then go to the local Labor Ready for day labor jobs. My perspective on the homeless population changed from this experience when I discovered that many people chose this lifestyle because they grew weary of playing the game and chasing after the dollar in the rat race.

I found my calling as a writer and as long as I had an outlet via my blog and other sites, I felt fulfilled whether I made any money or not. I could have gotten used to this lifestyle. However I was driving cars at the local auto auction for Labor Ready and this is what I credit to helping me get my ambition back. I was getting envious of all the Lexus’ that I drove. There was also that 2012 Maserati which was by far the nicest car that I ever drove.

All in all I enjoyed the experience out west. I still think about moving back. But I have to admit that Arizona, for some odd reason, reminded me of an extension of West Texas. There is nothing outside of Phoenix and nothing in between Phoenix and Fort Worth. Arizona is still part of the south even if it is in the Southwest.

Currently I live in Texas and about to become a resident of the state again if I don’t get out of here soon. It is a major part of the infamous “Bible belt”. I would not consider myself a religious person, even though my basic beliefs make me a Christian (I hate labels). But sometimes I wonder if they call this place the “bible belt” because if you are open-minded enough to question their religion, or anything about the Republic of Texas for that matter, they will whip your ass with their theological beliefs and all other assorted dogma.

E Bishop Wooten is the creator of the Liberal Conservative Blog at http://dailyevotionals.wordpress.com; a wellness blog that promotes humor and spirituality.

Published by E Bishop