2,900 calories; 300 more than necessary to maintain hisnrelatively inactive 170 pounds.nWillie wore a very colorful ski cap, a T-shirt advertisingnCoors, two long-sleeved shirts, a brown nylon jacket withnfour big pockets (in one of which was a pair of blue cottonngloves), two pairs of pants, three pairs of socks, and a pair ofntwo-toned leather loafers with built up hard-leather heels.nAll the clothes and accessories were given to him, mostnwithin the last few days.nThe Mission, the Sally, Storefront Ministry, the churches,nEast Nashville Co-op, Ladies of Charity, and MetronSchools Clothing Room supply clothes free. Willie has beennto most of them. The SFM has a “clothes person” as theyndo a “food person” and a “shelter person.” There is morenclothing than anyone realizes — churches play musicalnclothes, calling on the places they think might need them sonthey can get rid of the stacks and hangers and mountains ofnclothing in their basement and make way for the nevernending flood of apparel from caring parishioners.nThe deluge begins in subdivisions and rural areas wherenthe clothing is collected by agencies and churches, bundlednand moved toward bigger towns, filling basements andnstorage rooms, growing and collecting until it all flows intonNashville. Here all the clothes, large and small, tops andnbottoms, new and old, are sorted, bundled again, and takennto the dispersal points where staff and volunteers hand themnout. At SFM the needy are signed in, lined up, andninterviewed by the “clothesperson” before getting their newnclothes, in first come, first serve, take-what-you-like fashion.nAnd so the output of the clothing manufacturers here and innTaiwan, South Korea, Mexico, and a host of other countriesnfinally passes into the hands of Streetniks. The clothes arenuseful again. But not for long.nThe remainder of the journey of the suit that Willie gets,nonce worn with pride and care, is the saddest period of itsnlife. After its owner outgrew it, either physically or fashionably,nhe carefully took it to the church when they had thenClothes for the Needy Drive. It had been handled with carenuntil Willie got it. Like the Commandant at Dachau to hisncharges, Willie is likewise expected to apply the FinalnSolution to all his clothes. The suit stops here. As do all thenclothes Willie and his fellow Streetniks receive.nThere are no washing machines. There is no soap fornwashing. Streetniks are not allowed to bring them back tonthe agency that gave them away. Indeed, they are expectednto abuse all the clothing and then discard it, much of itncleaned just before distribution. The suit and shirt and thenpants and the gloves and the stocking cap will be worn for anwhile, quickly become filthy, and then be thrown away,noften for someone else to pick up and dispose of properly.nThe men’s room in the federal building, alleys, bathrooms,nstreet corners, just about any place downtown in any largencity is littered with discarded clothing. After years ofnpuzzling over where all our apparel finally winds up —nsomewhat like the search for the elephants’ graveyard—Infound it in the garbage cans of Nashville. Hie jacet jacket.nAt Holy Name Catholic Church I suddenly realized thatnall the homeless were not actually homeless if you countnpickup trucks with campers as homes. As I was loiteringnaround the steps waiting to go into the parish hall, I saw thatnthe folks who were getting out of the pickup-camper — twonDispersalnby Peter ForbesnNo good at leaving, though I always try:nUpheaval leaves me clinging to a spar;nHow soon my protestations turn to wrynAdmissions that departing leaves a scar,nA calloused bark no yearning can rescind,nOr roll time backwards till a chestnut baresnIts glistening birth-leaves to the drying wind,nOr candles overload the branching stairs.nBeneath the hob-nailed armour, beauty lies,nUnimaginably perfect, resting there,nAwaiting that which only others can supply:nRich soil, fresh light, uncomplicated air.nWhile I can pocket nothing but a stone,nIts ripe potential burnished but unsown.nwhite men and a white woman—were coming to eat also.nThen I remembered that I had seen (but not registered)nother Streetniks and cars. On Saturday as I was standing onnthe corner of Sixth and Demonbreaun, by the Mission, Innoticed a nice looking car parked in the lot across the street.nTwo black men stepped out of it and went into the Mission.nIn a few minutes they came out with another black man, gotnin the car and drove away. Later I saw all three of them innthe chow line at the Salvation Army. So there are cars — andntrucks — available to some of the Streetniks if not actuallynowned by them. I rather suspect that some of the streetncrowd is made up of locals, without work and responsibilities,nwho come and go with the Streetniks. They pass thentime, eat, get whatever is being handed out free that dayn(and there is a lot of that), and generally enjoy themselves.nWith cars they can be wherever the action is.nAfter the men and the woman went in the parish hall Intoured the parking lot. There were six cars that appeared tonbelong to the folks inside; four were later driven off byngroups of the satisfied luncheon crowd.nThe hall was ready for us. All of the tables, except for thenfour in the very back, had from two to six people alreadynseated. There were three rows of tables running from frontnto back of the hall. They were big tables with whitendisposable paper tablecloths, each seating eight persons.nCoffee was in a large urn on a table to the side of the doornwith the usual “fixings” scattered alongside. A stainless steelncountertop separated the hall from the kitchen. On this then”volunteers” were placing the big pans of food that wouldnsoon be passed out. The first worker in line was stacking anhuge pile of serving trays. These were of the old-fashionednkind that had different shape and size cavities, which thenservers filled with solid and semiliquid food.nI got a cup of coffee and sat down. The coffee was of annunusual color. I chose a table with a lady at one corner andntwo very bearded men at the other end. I sat across from thenlady who appeared to be copying from a book into annotebook. I took a sip of the strangely tinted coffee andnexclaimed to my tablemates, “What kind of coffee is this?”nnnAUGUST f 988 / 17n