Story inspired by the idea: ‘While you’re judging the homeless vet, what if he’s judging you back? What if he doesn’t like who he sees?’
LAS VEGAS – When most people see someone begging at the side of the street, their first thought is often some version of “Get a job,” and rarely do their thoughts of that homeless person linger further than the street corner.
But for author Greg Allen, writing as Miles Felony, his curiosity in 2003 about a local homeless man did linger – past that street corner and past that day.
Felony was working as a painter on a two-week job. Every day on his way home from work, he interacted with a homeless man who was begging at the side of the road.
“Sometimes we would talk, sometimes I would give him money if I had it,” he said. “Then one day I was having a terrible day at work, and I was in a negative mood, and I began judging him, thinking, ‘This guy is always out here. Why doesn’t he just use this time to get a job? Then he wouldn’t have to rely on us.’ Then what I was doing hit me like a ton of bricks. … Never judge a man until you’ve walked in his shoes.”
Already looking for inspiration for a story to tell, he knew right away that that would be his story. With a twist, of course.
A fictional tale, “Beg4Mercy” tells the story of the Bible-quoting Charlie Doyle, a homeless Vietnam vet who turns murderous. Through his writing, Felony aims to not only entertain, but to also shine a light on homelessness, how society treats its veteran population, and mental illness (specifically bipolar disorder and PTSD).
Review copies of the book are also available.
For more information, visit milesfelony.com or at facebook.com/AuthorMilesFelony.