My Hobo

 

My Hobo

 

I didn’t know that when the curbs started looking cracked again I was falling out of love.

Books got more interesting.

Fault lined streets jutting tectonic plates after a quake, are old and droll again. Plunging in, jutting up, crags of street twirling streaks of tar don’t dance to me like before. Weeds growing out the unruly wild sidewalk seams, depression, not mighty, mini jungles to me.

A few weeks ago they where a sign of life of loves stories, an oasis’ in the desert concrete. When I looked at them I knew: Life, worth it beautiful, no matter what.  It all says nothing to me now. A week of street perfection ago, I had smiled a wave walking through these same sidewalk jungle weeds. Imagining my hand waving as I passed felt like an actual friendly salute to this magnificent life. For the sake of possible onlookers, or myself, or for both, my inner life does it, just like I do to human people but on the inside.  Waving, and nodding as I passed these green people felt natural.

From the bus window, today, they are all strange, out-of-place, depression sprung up and taking over all the way from East to Downtown.

I vaguely miss something. Like missing a friend. Empty, an echo of a vague longing, about something familiar. Something. What?

The wait for the connecting bus at Sixth and Brazos is stupid. My connection bus goes by two minutes before this bus gets there. A daily near miss. It’s on the schedule that way. This is not well planned. Sometimes I catch the connection if it is a minute or two late, or mine is just that early. A few times the bus driver flashed those special lights to flag it down. A square moving continent stops just for me to get on.

The driver smiles waving me on enthusiastically. Go on!

I skip a smiling gait all the way across the street to the hissing door re-opening for me.

Some people are nice. That stranger in a bus driver uniform saved me that dreaded forty minute wait.

Sometimes though, I just know not to bother the driver’s day any more than it already is. I try for myself to catch it. Sometimes, the hope and the possible, and the being overlooked and passed up, is too much, and too much effort, so I’d just not think about it.

I feel like some of the drivers, like not bothering with my day by trapping that bus. If it it’s there, I’ll go for it, if not, I’ll date my books. That and homework time is the bus stop. I’m slow at assignments. Completing them takes up all my time. Trying to figure out math and how to cram my thinking into small tight structures that when I squash it in one side it pops out the other is brain damaging. I’m back in grade school which I never attended anyway, feeling pretty stupid doing math, structured assignments. I work it till I get it done, mostly. It takes up all my time, at school and at tutoring though. I need this bus stop time to read, and take notes-the easy parts.

The bus stop and Sixth and Brazos, is not inviting. The bench is empty. The trash can next to it is full. This stop is one of the ones that needs a pressure wash really bad. It’s been dirty since I’ve taken these classes.

I always sit on the bench without casting around a disgusted look first. I walk up to it like it’s as safe and clean as my living room couch and plop daintily down getting comfortable, hoisting my back pack to my lap, I pull out the text-book without a second thought to the hobos standing around, right behind me.

I acknowledge them as a group, like a friend entering their parlor when I walk up. After that all homework. I’m an intense student. Usually, I talk to people wherever I am unless it’s finals or I’m lost in thought. Here, though, well, I’m gonna have to spend a lot of time. If I get friendly I won’t be free to choose what I want to do, after that. I’ll always have to say hi, then manners then small talk, not just nod and acknowledge, the way I do every day so far. They are chatty. They were carrying on the first time I walked up. I know, I need this time to study, or for myself, so I just don’t want to get into the swing with anyone. Therefore, not one word.

Summer school is almost over now. I’ve sat on this bench a few times a week this whole semester. The same people are here every day, like I’m here when I can’t catch that elusive non-connection.

People are passing, people come and go from the bus stop. Sometimes an old infirm woman or man will sit next to me. Mostly though, everyone stands away from the dirty smelly place-as far away as possible. Yeah, the place stinks like pee. Or the people do , I don’t know. It always just smells, beer and dirty and body odor.

They are all always over there, so who knows. If I sit on something nasty and smelly, that would be better than treating the people who I’m gonna have my back to, like they stink or are dirty or the bench they sleep on at night has cuties. I got to be able to relax to study. I figure they will have my back if I respect them. No faces about the smell. No scowling at the trash, or checking if the bench is clean enough for my royal butt to sit on. More than anyone, these people, I sense, need their dignity. I guess, I know how they feel.

I look up, at them, then sit down. The bus had been in sight and I ran for it. One of the bums had stepped up and hailed it for me. Drivers seem used to ignoring whatever drama is going on at my lively bus stop. Why would anyone driving a bus or otherwise think twice if a hobo runs after them shouting waving them to stop? He is insane, drunk, high, joking or dangerous, and stinks.

I felt sorry that he had exposed himself to that loss of dignity. He didn’t seem to notice. I looked a thank-you at him. He ignored me. They were always doing random things. Sometimes a hubbub, bantering, sudden laughter. A shriek of dainty mini-tag and arm bumping. Compared to the passers-by, all on their way to somewhere they have to be, their minds there already, their, bodies trying to catch up, these homeless folk with few teeth and ragged clothes held up with dirty rope, these people have a life. They feel alive, more real than the shadows floating by circling at an uncontaminated distance. A man on a phone rushes by but not to fast to watch his back on this side. People cross the street before they come to this corner if this is not their stop. Mostly, across the street phantoms are floating by, somewhere else.

The life is so different on this corner. At first I hadn’t noticed. This was like the corners in small towns and cities in Mexico, where people stop to talk and hang around. Oh, that’s called loitering. Oops. I remember the way I’d pass through the usual loitering men, on my way home from work, in the dim street lights late in the evening. I lift my body to my tallest-regal body language, look straight ahead, fearless, sweeping a gaze that catches everyone who looks for a second. Small nod. Mona Lisa smile. What cat calls?

I missed the life on the street. People just looking, noticing, talking, watching the slow crowds move conscious of each other. I had an unspoken missing of the cat calls, too, though I won’t admit that to, myself.

Don’t guys think I’m pretty anymore? I know, it’s this culture. The stupid disrespectful huddles of cat callers I so hated felt like thugs back then. But goddamn, even dolled-up the casual onlooker usually lets no response escape around here. Everyone just ignores you, or barely acknowledges you. Often they turn away on purpose. No one shows any open admiration even in the smallest glancing. When they do a double take, they re-write it like they didn’t. Sometimes it looked like it was almost just there, but not. Such relief riding the bus feels like now since when you smile, people smile back. They look again just enjoying. Not on the street though.

The hobos, there were about eight men and woman in all, they are aware and engaged with everything, in their little world, noticing the flow of everything around them. We don’t talk. But we are aware of each other and engaged. Cheerful snippets of conversation sometimes uproarious laughter ripples through the smell. Mini arguments, intense complaining, anecdotes. I noticed they tone it down when I show up and take a book out. After a while it made me smile. People. Life on this corner.

I’d show up, nod, looking up, sit down on the side of the bench closest to them, and the trash can, take out a book or a pen and notebook. I enjoy this.

One day when I showed up four police officers were giving orders to my hobos, in their own hobo spot. It’s like the cops are in my neighbor’s house, conducting an illegal search or something. Some hobos were hanging their heads and not responding. One was in a quiet firm stand up with them. He kept that defending more pleading less defying stance in front of the cops when everyone else backed off, sorta behind him. He is standing up to them. They aren’t having it. Like a giant blue python, every time he breathes out his words they wrap tighter. I see the authority winning bit by bit from across the street.

I’m seeing this from where I get off the bus walking over to our community. I see the SS rounding up the scum taking them to concentration camps to clean up the streets. Those asshole officers harassing my people, putting cuffs on the one with spirit. I stop imagining my usual routine stopping at the bench, noticing my peeps. Not making sure the cardboard on the bench isn’t dirty, turning and sitting down on it, nearest to the life on the sidewalk. My mind marches straight up to the badged assholes.

Scenarios test themselves.

Couldn’t find anyone your own size to pick on today, officer?

So, you found a great place for him to live, then? Well, then, why doesn’t he want to go?

What the fuck is going on here? This is a free country isn’t it? Oh, wait. I’m wrong. It’s not a free country.

Absently comments: Wow, look at this. Cops harassing the poorest citizens. Hmmmhh Observes, intense and obtrusive, scribbles notes. Watches, scribbles notes.

Putting my late night loitering danger gear on, I remember: What cat calls?

That’s it.

Poor bastard cops. They don’t know any better. They are no better off than the street guys. So, I don’t hear what they are saying or acting like, anymore.

I walk up. My usual deference to the occupants as I’m entering their space as a guest.

Oh, I see you have other guests as well, today.

Other guests, hello. I stand there among them. A guest at a cocktail party, Mona Lisa-ing to other guests, being present on the inside , observing on the outside. I feel like a hobo, and a cop. I might have run the hobos off, or been run off by the cops, or just been right there.

Then, everyone without further anything, just headed off in different directions. The hobo went away in handcuffs, but it didn’t seem to feel serious to anyone anymore. I had a book that needed reading, in the empty silent space. Didn’t see anything going on, after that. But a feeling of loss lingered. No more hobos for me.

I’m not looking at the words I read.

This phantom street lifeless again, had a dull inevitable thud to it.

When I get off the bus on this lifeless street the next week, I scoured for my bus praying it would be there this time. Be there, so I can just keep on going. It wasn’t. Walking dazed, following my feet with my eyes, following the feet of the person in front of me heading in my direction, I don’t have to look up for myself. Looking down at the street just feels more comfortable right now. The differences, I’ve no interest in seeing what it has now become. Just thinking it will never be the same again or something. It’s changed, it’s not safe anymore. It’s uninhabited. So, I’m going to check if there is any gum on that bench before I sit, way the hell away from that trash can.

Then, I walk into a dream. All of my hobos are here, brighter than ever. I look up at them gazing longer than usual. I smile. They carry on. I don’t look for gum, or green spit wads. I cozy up on the far side of the bench so I can turn and face more in their direction, I’m not letting the cops sneak up on’em again, while I’m here.

Sat for a while wondering, got out a book to stay in character. I usually just space out thinking between bursts of reading, anyway. This time, no reading. Why are these people here anyway?

If I looked the part, someone would be shooing me off this bench, too.

Why them, not me?

Why am I here?

Why are they there?

Why not them here, and me there?

Shock hadn’t worn off. A daze prevailed over my mind. Why are there homeless people at all? Why not just not?

Why are we so stupid that we have homeless people? I imagine a world without homeless, just people.

It gave me the creeps.

No! no! We need homeless people, this overriding protest counteracted the creeps.

What the hell? Not having homeless gives me this horrid creeppies? I’m not understanding my own mind. Not that I usually do, but it’s still uncomfortable and still takes me by surprise every time, weird illogical shit starts saying itself, or more, feeling itself. I remember a feeling in an incomprehensible short story by Ursula K LeGuin, from last semester. It had given me these creeps too.

I’d written an essay on it that I didn’t understand myself, trying to understand why I was saying “Walking Away From Amelius” was just as creepy as staying in Amelius, were they tortured one person so everyone else could have a great life. Both are freaken creepy. For once, in an English class, the story meaning had eluded me. Suddenly, it’s relevant. Why still escapes me.

The homeless situation before me is not okay. There just never being homeless, that is not okay either. Not okay and not okay…So, my mind descended into madness. In this thick breathable liquid homeless are essential. There could be nothing, as we know it, without this position filled. Like baseball without a pitcher. No homeless, no game. And I love this world. Oh, holy crap. They love this world. They love it. Way more than I do. No one forced them to be homeless. It needed to be done. Someone had to do it. No one wanted to, really. So, he volunteered.

Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll go. Send me.

That one who had stood up to the cops. He was right there in my mind’s eye, reasoning with himself.

Okay someone has to clean out the sewers. I guess I could do it, since someone has got to. You guys will have a great sewer system. Enjoy your lives. I got your back.

Hey that is familiar. Oh shit. Okay, he hadn’t died for me. But this is even worse. Way, way worse, he is being a hobo for me. This guy is way more Christ than even Jesus.

No miracles, no followers, no hope, no lucky early heroic death, while knowingly obeying His Father with a purpose, while he is still handsome and has all his teeth.

This guy, hand volunteered for indefinite hopeless scorn without purpose. Just to keep the balance of things unbalanced. He did it so everyone could live. So I could live here, now, and sit on this bench wearing these heels, smiling in my makeup, snug in these fantastic fitting jeans, on my way to school, in just this world. This perfect world. This perfect Hobo world.

Oh my God. Holy shit. Magnificence strikes me. Tears whelmed up on the inside white rushing forcing through an irresistible desire, a need to bound toward him like an ecstatic  puppy and bow down at his feet. To kiss his feet would be even better!

Lucky for me, I run scenarios:

I rush forward, overcome with worship, falling at his feet. Smelly dirty shoes not a part of anything I see or feel. The relief is instantaneous. Like a lover’s arms. I just need to be right here in this moment, worshiping my Hobo.

All the time, I’m staring ahead into space, semi seeing him standing there with his fellows, just being. I smile all over thanking Life for sending Him to serve me, and him for doing it willingly without asking anything in return. No guilt needed. Swaying a deep swerve into love with my life, all of it just as it is, a gracious gift from my hobo. My hobo is standing where he always stands. There on the sidewalk, the victim down cast look, defensive, roving eyes, he is shooting the shit in rags with his forlorn friends, the bottles in little brown paper sacks stashed more effectively today.

Then, my Hobo, without a word or a thought or change in his usual, walks to the curb. Without looking back, he steps onto a bus.

Books got more interesting.

Fault lined streets jutting tectonic plates after a quake, are old and droll again. Plunging in, jutting up, craggs of street twirling streaks of tar don’t dance to me like before. Weeds growing out the unruly wild sidewalk seams, depression, not mighty, mini jungles to me.

A few weeks ago they where a sign of life of loves stories, an oasis’ in the desert concrete. When I looked at them I knew: Life, worth it beautiful, no matter what.  It all says nothing to me now. A week of street perfection ago, I had smiled a wave walking through these same sidewalk jungle weeds. Imagining my hand waving as I passed felt like an actual friendly salute to this magnificent life. For the sake of possible onlookers, or myself, or for both, my inner life does it, just like I do to human people but on the inside.  Waving, and nodding as I passed these green people felt natural.

From the bus window, today, they are all strange, out-of-place, depression sprung up and taking over all the way from East to Downtown.

I vaguely miss something. Like missing a friend. Empty, an echo of a vague longing, about something familiar. Something. What?

The wait for the connecting bus at Sixth and Brazos is stupid. My connection bus goes by two minutes before this bus gets there. A daily near miss. It’s on the schedule that way. This is not well planned. Sometimes I catch the connection if it is a minute or two late, or mine is just that early. A few times the bus driver flashed those special lights to flag it down. A square moving continent stops just for me to get on.

The driver smiles waving me on enthusiastically. Go on!

I skip a smiling gait all the way across the street to the hissing door re-opening for me.

Some people are nice. That stranger in a bus driver uniform saved me that dreaded forty minute wait.

Sometimes though, I just know not to bother the driver’s day any more than it already is. I try for myself to catch it. Sometimes, the hope and the possible, and the being overlooked and passed up, is too much, and to much effort, so I’d just not think about it.

I feel like some of the drivers, like not bothering with my day by trapping that bus. If it it’s there, I’ll go for it, if not, I’ll date my books. That and homework time is the bus stop. I’m slow at assignments. Completing them takes up all my time. Trying to figure out math and how to cram my thinking into small tight structures that when I squash it in one side it pops out the other is brain damaging. I’m back in grade school which I never attended anyway, feeling pretty stupid doing math, structured assignments. I work it till I get it done, mostly. It takes up all my time, at school and at tutoring though. I need this bus stop time to read, and take notes-the easy parts.

The bus stop and Sixth and Brazos, is not inviting. The bench is empty. The trash can next to it is full. This stop is one of the ones that needs a pressure wash really bad. It’s been dirty since I’ve been taking these classes.

I always sit on the bench without casting around a disgusted look first. I walk up to it like it’s as safe and clean as my living room couch and plop daintily down getting comfortable, hoisting my back pack to my lap, I pull out the text-book without a second thought to the hobos standing around, right behind me.

I acknowledge them as a group, like a friend entering their parlor when I walk up. After that all homework. I’m an intense student. Usually, I talk to people wherever I am unless it’s finals or I’m lost in thought. Here, though, well, I’m gonna have to spend a lot of time. If I get friendly I won’t be free to choose what I want to do, after that. I’ll always have to say hi, then manners then small talk, not just nod and acknowledge, the way I do every day so far. They are chatty. They were carrying on the first time I walked up. I know, I need this time to study, or for myself, so I just don’t want to get into the swing with anyone. Therefore, not one word.

Summer school is almost over now. I’ve sat on this bench a few times a week this whole semester. The same people are here every day, like I’m here when I can’t catch that elusive non-connection.

People are passing, people come and go from the bus stop. Sometimes an old infirm woman or man will sit next to me. Mostly though, everyone stands away from the dirty smelly place-as far away as possible. Yeah, the place stinks like pee. Or the people do , I don’t know. It always just smells, beer and dirty and body odor.

They are all always right over there, so who knows. If I sit on something nasty and smelly, that would be better than treating the people who I’m gonna have my back to, like they stink or are dirty or the bench they sleep on at night has cuties. I must be able to relax to study. I figure they will have my back if I respect them. No faces about the smell. No scowling at the trash, or checking if the bench is clean enough for my royal butt to sit on. More than anyone, these people, I sense, need their dignity. I guess, I know how they feel.

I look up, at them, then sit down. The bus had been in sight and I ran for it. One of the bums had stepped up and hailed it for me. Drivers must be used to ignoring whatever drama is going on at my lively bus stop. Why would anyone driving a bus or otherwise think twice if a hobo runs after them shouting waving them to stop? He is insane, drunk, high, joking or dangerous, and stinks.

I felt sorry that he had exposed himself to that loss of dignity. He didn’t seem to notice. I looked a thank-you at him. He ignored me. They were always doing random things. Sometimes a hubbub, bantering, sudden laughter. A shriek of dainty mini-tag and arm bumping. Compared to the passers-by, all on their way to somewhere they have to be, their minds there already, their, bodies trying to catch up, these homeless folk with few teeth and ragged clothes held up with dirty rope, these people have a life. They feel alive, more real than the shadows floating by circling at an uncontaminated distance. A man on a phone rushes by but not to fast to watch his back on this side. People cross the street before they come to this corner if this is not their stop. Mostly, across the street phantoms are floating by, somewhere else.

The life is so different on this corner. At first I hadn’t noticed. This was like the corners in small towns and cities in Mexico, where people stop to talk and hang around. Oh, that’s called loitering. Oops. I remember the way I’d pass through the usual loitering men, on my way home from work, in the dim street lights late in the evening. I lift my body to my tallest-regal body language, look straight ahead, fearless, sweeping a gaze that catches everyone who looks for a second. Small nod. Mona Lisa smile. What cat calls?

I missed the life on the street. People just looking, noticing, talking, watching the slow crowds move conscious of each other. I had an unspoken missing of the cat calls, too, though I won’t admit that to, myself.

Don’t guys think I’m pretty anymore? I know, it’s this culture. The stupid disrespectful huddles of cat callers I so hated felt like thugs back then. But goddamn, even dolled-up the casual onlooker usually lets no response escape around here. Everyone just ignores you, or barely acknowledges you. Often they turn away on purpose. No one shows any open admiration even in the smallest glancing. When they do a double take, they re-write it like they didn’t. Sometimes it looked like it was almost just there, but not. Such relief riding the bus feels like now since when you smile, people smile back. They look again just enjoying. Not on the street though.

The hobos, there were about eight men and woman in all, they are aware and engaged with everything, in their little world, noticing the flow of everything around them. We don’t talk. But we are aware of each other and engaged. Cheerful snippets of conversation sometimes uproarious laughter ripples through the smell. Mini arguments, intense complaining, anecdotes. I noticed they tone it down when I show up and take a book out. After a while it made me smile. People. Life on this corner.

I’d show up, nod, looking up, sit down on the side of the bench closest to them, and the trash can, take out a book or a pen and notebook. I enjoy this.

One day when I showed up four police officers were giving orders to my hobos, in their own hobo spot. It’s like the cops are in my neighbor’s house, conducting an illegal search or something. Some hobos were hanging their heads and not responding. One was in a quiet firm stand up with them. He kept that defending more pleading less defying stance in front of the cops when everyone else backed off, sorta behind him. He is standing up to them. They aren’t having it. Like a giant blue python, every time he breathes out his words they wrap tighter. I see the authority winning bit by bit from across the street.

I’m seeing this from where I get off the bus walking over to our community. I see the SS rounding up the scum taking them to concentration camps to clean up the streets. Those asshole officers harassing my people, putting cuffs on the one with spirit. I stop imagining my usual routine stopping at the bench, noticing my peeps. Not making sure the cardboard on the bench isn’t dirty, turning and sitting down on it, nearest to the life on the sidewalk. My mind marches straight up to the badged assholes.

Scenarios test themselves.

Couldn’t find anyone your own size to pick on today, officer?

So, you found a great place for him to live, then? Well, then, why doesn’t he want to go?

What the fuck is going on here? This is a free country isn’t it? Oh, wait. I’m wrong. It’s not a free country.

Absently comments: Wow, look at this. Cops harassing the poorest citizens. Hmmmhh Observes, intense and obtrusive, scribbles notes. Watches, scribbles notes.

Putting my late night loitering danger gear on, I remember: What cat calls?

That’s it.

Poor bastard cops. They don’t know any better. They are no better off than the street guys. So, I don’t hear what they are saying or acting like, anymore.

I walk up. My usual deference to the occupants as I’m entering their space as a guest.

Oh, I see you have other guests as well, today.

Other guests, hello. I stand there among them. A guest at a cocktail party, Mona Lisa-ing to other guests, being present on the inside , observing on the outside. I feel like a hobo, and a cop. I might have run the hobos off, or been run off by the cops, or just been right there.

Then, everyone without further anything, just headed off in different directions. The hobo went away in handcuffs, but it didn’t seem to feel serious to anyone anymore. I had a book that needed reading, in the empty silent space. Didn’t see anything going on, after that. But a feeling of loss lingered. No more hobos for me.

I’m not looking at the words I read.

This phantom street lifeless again, had a dull inevitable thud to it.

When I get off the bus on this lifeless street the next week, I scoured for my bus praying it would be there this time. Be there, so I can just keep on going. It wasn’t. Walking dazed, following my feet with my eyes, following the feet of the person in front of me heading in my direction, I don’t have to look up for myself. Looking down at the street just feels more comfortable right now. The differences, I’ve no interest in seeing what it has now become. Just thinking it will never be the same again or something. It’s changed, it’s not safe anymore. It’s uninhabited. So, I’m going to check if there is any gum on that bench before I sit, way the hell away from that trash can.

Then, I walk into a dream. All of my hobos are here, brighter than ever. I look up at them gazing longer than usual. I smile. They carry on. I don’t look for gum, or green spit wads. I cozy up on the far side of the bench so I can turn and face more in their direction, I’m not letting the cops sneak up on’em again, while I’m here.

Sat for a while wondering, got out a book to stay in character. I usually just space out thinking between bursts of reading, anyway. This time, no reading. Why are these people here anyway?

If I looked the part, someone would be shooing me off this bench, too.

Why them, not me?

Why am I here?

Why are they there?

Why not them here, and me there?

Shock hadn’t worn off. A daze prevailed over my mind. Why are there homeless people at all? Why not just not?

Why are we so stupid that we have homeless people? I imagine a world without homeless, just people.

It gave me the creeps.

No! no! We need homeless people, this overriding protest counteracted the creeps.

What the hell? Not having homeless gives me this horrid creeppies? I’m not understanding my own mind. Not that I usually do, but it’s still uncomfortable and still takes me by surprise every time, weird illogical shit starts saying itself, or more, feeling itself. I remember a feeling in an incomprehensible short story by Ursula K LeGuin, from last semester. It had given me these creeps too.

I’d written an essay on it that I didn’t understand myself, trying to understand why I was saying “Walking Away From Amelius” was just as creepy as staying in Amelius, were they tortured one person so everyone else could have a great life. Both are freaken creepy. For once, in an English class, the story meaning had eluded me. Suddenly, it’s relevant. Why still escapes me.

The homeless situation before me is not okay. There just never being homeless, that is not okay either. Not okay and not okay…So, my mind descended into madness. In this thick breathable liquid homeless are essential. There could be nothing, as we know it, without this position filled. Like baseball without a pitcher. No homeless, no game. And I love this world. Oh, holy crap. They love this world. They love it. Way more than I do. No one forced them to be homeless. It needed to be done. Someone had to do it. No one wanted to, really. So, he volunteered.

Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll go. Send me.

That one who had stood up to the cops. He was right there in my mind’s eye, reasoning with himself.

Okay someone has to clean out the sewers. I guess I could do it, since someone has got to. You guys will have a great sewer system. Enjoy your lives. I got your back.

Hey that is familiar. Oh shit. Okay, he hadn’t died for me. But this is even worse. Way, way worse, he is being a hobo for me. This guy is way more Christ than even Jesus.

No miracles, no followers, no hope, no lucky early heroic death, while knowingly obeying His Father with a purpose, while he is still handsome and has all his teeth.

This guy, hand volunteered for indefinite hopeless scorn without purpose. Just to keep the balance of things unbalanced. He did it so everyone could live. So I could live here, now, and sit on this bench wearing these heels, smiling in my makeup, snug in these fantastic fitting jeans, on my way to school, in just this world. This perfect world. This perfect Hobo world.

Oh my God. Holy shit. Magnificence strikes me. Tears whelmed up on the inside white rushing forcing through an irresistible desire, a need to bound toward him like an ecstatic  puppy and bow down at his feet. To kiss his feet would be even better!

Lucky for me, I run scenarios:

I rush forward, overcome with worship, falling at his feet. Smelly dirty shoes not a part of anything I see or feel. The relief is instantaneous. Like a lover’s arms. I just need to be right here in this moment, worshiping my Hobo.

All the time, I’m staring ahead into space, semi seeing him standing there with his fellows, just being. I smile all over thanking Life for sending Him to serve me, and him for doing it willingly without asking anything in return. No guilt needed. Swaying a deep swerve into love with my life, all of it just as it is, a gracious gift from my hobo. My hobo is standing where he always stands. There on the sidewalk, the victim down cast look, defensive, roving eyes, he is shooting the shit in rags with his forlorn friends, the bottles in little brown paper sacks stashed more effectively today.

Then, my Hobo, without a word or a thought or change in his usual, walks to the curb. Without looking back, he steps onto a bus.

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26 thoughts on “My Hobo

  1. Brandy Desiree Collins

    I didn’t know.

    That you lived in first person my once-not-so-long-ago life. That you saw what I saw, that your power of observation would land so perfectly and completely on the very same things that once struck me, sliced me open and left me raw.

    I didn’t know. That your heart beats to this same weary drum. That your feet catacomb the very same loneliness, experiencing the emptiness of a valley between two walls. Mountains of love, having never been climbed.

    Or maybe they had. Once or twice.

    I didn’t know, that being alone can feel so alive. Until I fell head first with you, by surprise, right by your side and unabandoning the loveliness you share with us.

    You make my mind come alive.

    Reply
      1. Waywardspirit Post author

        Only a mermaid could dive make a wave like Brandy. If you can sail to her island, she may share her gills.
        If
        Maybe you could fly there. She might turn you aquatic. Surreal!

        Reply
        1. SoundEagle

          SoundEagle even stopped the background music to read this post with greater concentration.

          Waywardspirit, you have intrigued SoundEagle about mermaid Brandy, whose blog will be visited as soon as time permits. Thank you.

          Reply
    1. Waywardspirit Post author

      You are a treasure trove.
      Borges huh.
      Now I’m fox eager to check this one out.
      What a title. What a name.
      I feel happy just to know these.

      No wonder you are mad.

      Reply
        1. Waywardspirit Post author

          Desiree

          A birthday cake
          A cupcake
          A cookie or two
          Cheesecake
          A pie

          This is a Wedding Cake or something

          Like evolving “weird appendages”
          To bake this up
          I don’t know why

          Reply
        1. Waywardspirit Post author

          Where or how did you come to these words, or what is behind them? Seems like the un-church-bound, universal, human, Christ experience in action.
          I’m guessing you are not church bound….easy guess….

          Reply
          1. Rhino House

            Cf. [1807 Mme de Staël Corinne III. xviii. v.] tout comprendre rend très-indulgent.

            It also appears in a poem by Nixon in the 1860s.

            And my religion is……. complicated.

            Reply
            1. Waywardspirit Post author

              “IF I KNEW YOU & YOU KNEW ME

              If I knew you and you knew me,
              If both of us could clearly see,
              And with an inner sight divine,
              The meaning of your heart and mine,
              I’m sure that we would differ less,
              And clasp our hands in friendliness;
              Our thoughts would pleasantly agree,
              If I knew you and you knew me.

              Nixon Waterman”

              : D

              Reply
                1. Waywardspirit Post author

                  “To understand all is to forgive all.”
                  Okay. : D

                  I just acquired a new bit of religion. Got it from my coffee shop chalkboard. Not the one that says: “There is no way chalk can describe how good our coffee tastes.”
                  The other one.

                  The one the songwriter who serves me a double espresso wrote on the welcome board:

                  “Buy or be bought
                  By any thought
                  That brings you
                  Peace of mind”

                  Brian Batch.

                  I don’t know if this is complicating or simplifying my religion.
                  Wait, yes I do! It’s way simpler now.
                  I love my religion.*sighs*

                  Reply
                  1. Rhino House

                    This better, if infinitely sadder.
                    “Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”

                    Reply
  2. Waywardspirit Post author

    Some comments come to bed
    Soft pillows
    No pea

    It did no good
    Reality-this one expands
    Fills all up the
    The inside space
    Stacks of Christmas
    To the roof
    Everything unwraps
    Outta room for all
    This grace!

    !!!

    Reply
    1. SoundEagle

      Excellent poem, waywardspirit! It seems that you can write poems on the fly, or live and breathe with poems.

      By the way, SoundEagle wonders whether the repetition of “the” in the two lines as follows is intentional.

      Fills all up the
      The inside space

      Reply
  3. Allison Wright

    I shall confess to how I read this story. I read it randomly. A paragraph from the beginning;a paragraph or two from the end; a few in the middle – in reverse order. Yes, randomly. I needed to see where you were going, and where you were coming from at the same time. I shall have to return to read in the generally accepted manner – and fill in the gaps.
    I think it is a great piece of writing. Some paragraphs I read twice, so rounded they were.
    I am following you now so that I do not have to get Wayward overload. 🙂

    Reply

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