Seaton House

Seaton House is on George Street in downtown Toronto. It has the distinction of being the largest homeless shelter for men in Canada.

I arrived there after I left Maise and her grief. I called Seaton House,”Prison with knives.

‘Out of the fat and into the fire.’

I took a top bunk for perceived safety. It worked I guess. I didn’t suffer any physical injuries. I was there for 5 nights… the last night for me was New Years Eve 87/88.

At Seaton House that last week of December, every night seemed to get crazier and louder than the night before. Fights and assaults were the norm. I saw the first knife fight I ever saw. I saw a man attacked with a knife who disarmed and knocked out his attacker. It was insanity. I was fucking terrified. The rule was that if you wanted in from the cold, you had to be in by 8 p.m.

On New Years Eve from 8 sunrise New Years Day not a peep or sound was heard. All the Jackels and Hyenas and lambs   were silent. Each alone with our thoughts.

Anyone in a homeless shelter on New Years Eve had nothing to howl or brag about. Silence rained down upon the reality that anyone there was a loser.

I smiled and left on New Years Day.

Dennis Mantin

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