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    United States Avalon Member thepainterdoug's Avatar
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    Default A homeless drifter in my town

    Is the most interesting person I observe in my upscale figured out town. I have watched him for about 25 years. He sleeps on the side of the road, pees and poops wherever, never speaks, smells like hell. I have offered him money, food, coffee, he just stares.

    I ,as well as others leave food for him. In winter he seems to disappear. Then there he is again the following spring. amazing.

    I ask myself, what is he thinking? what does he do all day? Does he mourn his plight or anything? is he happy, or is he not thinking at all?

    Did he have his colonoscopy that we are all feared into? Taking his vitamins, drinking filtered water? Well of course not. Yet year after year, there he is , seemingly health as a horse!

    i don't know, don't get it, don't get much of anything. When I see him I just sing to myself , the beatles "the fool on the hill " maybe he's smarter than us all?

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    United States Avalon Member Ayt's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    Did he have his colonoscopy that we are all feared into? Taking his vitamins, drinking filtered water? Well of course not. Yet year after year, there he is , seemingly health as a horse!

    i don't know, don't get it, don't get much of anything. When I see him I just sing to myself , the beatles "the fool on the hill " maybe he's smarter than us all?
    I would imagine he has attained peace of mind, which I truly equate with health, from observation.
    This can be acquired no matter one's station in life. I do try to keep this as my own foremost goal.

    (here's another tune)

    "Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk."
    "We're all bozos on this bus"

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    Avalon Member Mashika's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    Is the most interesting person I observe in my upscale figured out town. I have watched him for about 25 years. He sleeps on the side of the road, pees and poops wherever, never speaks, smells like hell. I have offered him money, food, coffee, he just stares.

    I ,as well as others leave food for him. In winter he seems to disappear. Then there he is again the following spring. amazing.

    I ask myself, what is he thinking? what does he do all day? Does he mourn his plight or anything? is he happy, or is he not thinking at all?

    Did he have his colonoscopy that we are all feared into? Taking his vitamins, drinking filtered water? Well of course not. Yet year after year, there he is , seemingly health as a horse!

    i don't know, don't get it, don't get much of anything. When I see him I just sing to myself ,
    Quote the beatles "the fool on the hill " maybe he's smarter than us all?

    When i was 14 or so, i went to live on a small Mexican town for a bit, through summer, and out there on the streets there was this guy walking barefoot, with a beard from like 2/3 years and all dirty and stuff. He would just sit out there on the street corners and watch people go by, then suddenly he would talk to kids and ask them if they were doing well on math and other stuff, and then go into a crazy session where he would explain very advanced math and physics concepts and start writing on the walls with chalk to explain his stuff

    Cops would come by and take him away, then 2 days later he would be back out there LOL

    I was very interested in that guy because he was very weird, always silent then suddenly talking non stop about equations and what not

    Turns out, from what i learned, he used to be a great math and science teacher, extremely well educated and college professor. But he had developed bad schizophrenia symptoms when he got close to his middle age, and his family pretty much threw him out of his own house and forgot he existed :/

    I guess this guy could have an incredible story as well, but no one can tell in the same way as i thought that guy was crazy but actually he was just "thinking" all along but unable to be himself as he was, so he could express what he was actually thinking all that time.
    I don't need a reward system for what i do, i'm not a puppy :P

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    United States Avalon Member raregem's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Years back there were two characters who were homeless. I say characters because each person had there unique and memorable personalities. Leslie, as he liked to be called was a very small framed, skinny male figure who would dress up in thigh high boots and a women's bikini swimsuit. He would be downtown just a few blocks from the state capitol building with his makeshift "home" on a bicycle. Rumor had it he was "kept" by a few rich men. Who knows. He was still a character for many years downtown until one day I heard he had passed away. The second man, Jennifer, was tall and large (not overweight). He prefered to wear women's dresses, padding and makeup. He had a sweet disposition. He would ride the city bus and the bus driver would stop as often as Jennifer wanted so Jennifer could place leaflets on the telephone poles as he was running for mayor. He died out in the bitter cold one winter. There are those who do need to be on meds as they exhibit schizophrenic type behaviour. Occasionally, some verbally attack and charge. Generally, most are complacent and hold up funny signs for money. Some for years. I offered a homeless man a temp job for cash to do what he was doing but for advertising a company. He said yes and he did not show up for work. I was only a few blocks from his "corner". Just never really know what the homeless really want. This might be their shackles or be their true freedom in life.

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    United States Avalon Member thepainterdoug's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Raregem/ its kind of you to offer him a job. these people are real people, a part of us , a part of each other, and yet we look and feel, that can't be me . I think our shackles and our freedom are indistinguishable at times.

    mashika/ the problem with my homeless man is that he never speaks. he never asks for anything which is amazing to me. i know he knows how it works, he sometimes will stay near a coffee or bagel shop knowing there is food there. almost like a cat who sits quietly near the food dish. where a dog will be jumping up and down for what it wants. the cat just sits.

    I just think to myself what a long day it is for him. from the early morning when all head out, bizzy doing all till the day ends into the night, he's just still doing the same thing. standing and staring.

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    I grew up with a boy, Bobby, who went to St. Paul's private high school which was our "brother" school. For those who were bought up Catholic, you'll know what this means.

    Bobby was what we used to call "simple". Some people made fun of him. I did not. When he would get overwhelmed, he would hold his head, move it side to side and say "I feel like my head is about to explode."

    Fast forward many years later. I saw Bobby doing someone's lawn on my street and spent some time speaking with him. I was tickled to death to find out he had his own landscaping company and was quite successful. He was also just a happy person.

    I, on the other hand, was working three jobs and stressed out all the time. I suddenly asked myself "Well, just who is the simple person here?" Him, happy and content or me, stressed out and not making ends meet very well.

    I had a good laugh over it and never forgot that lesson.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Once, way back in my 20s, I was driving along a remote little country road in Somerset, SW England. (I lived very near Glastonbury then.) I drove by a tramp (a hobo), and as I was passing him, I caught his eye. On impulse I stopped, and offered him a ride.

    He was really grateful. He said he almost never got rides from anyone. I asked him what it was like being on the road like that.

    He told me his house had burned down, and he'd lost his wife and children, who had died in the fire. He was so destroyed by that, he just started walking down the road, and had been walking ever since.


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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Val so true, yet somehow we know what our path is. and sometimes its one you wouldn't choose, but wouldn't give up . But happy for him .

    Bill/ yes all the terms, drifters, hobos, tramps , over the years. what a hard story, hard to know how someone could endure such a thing.

    in my opinion , anyone ,no matter who, no matter their station in life that lives out their time here, is a true hero!

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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    When I was 16 my parents let me go visit my girlfriend at her summer home with her mother in Owen Sound, Ontario. I took a bus up there and spent a very nice few days with her.

    On the way home I lost my wallet. All my cash was in there and my bus ticket from Toronto to Montreal. I did not want to call my parents for help the very first time they let me go away alone. So I put my bag in a locker and walked the streets thinking about what to do. I had friends in Toronto who had moved the year before from Montreal so all I had to do was make it through the night. Thus buoyed, I went back to get a coat out of the locker only to find the station was closed for the night!

    Cold, hungry and a bit scared, I improvised. I waited for dark and found a protected spot in a basement stairs to the TD bank headquarters in downtown Toronto. Then I collected some dried out branches from some nearby trees and made a small fire to keep warm by.

    Later on a homeless guy came by and stopped by my fire. We chatted. I told him my story. He asked if I had any money so that at least we could get something to drink to pass the time. I said I only had enough money for a coffee in the morning. He said that was enough for some mouthwash. I didn't like it much but he did.

    I made it through the night with my new-found friend. He was gruff, not very talkative, but he was company.

    The next day I called my friend who called her dad who met me downtown. A few days later they got me on a bus back home...
    Forget about it

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    United States Avalon Member Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Folks like that are often in liminal spaces of being and can say the most amazing things to you in the moment. I've had numerous instances where perceptibly homeless people have come up to me and made comments that had meaning in my life, even though they apparently were not aware of such, acting as channels for higher messages. For folks who don't believe in coincidences every interaction has meaning, which gives another cast to these interactions with those who have fallen through the cracks of society purposefully or by dint of hard circumstance.

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Ernie/ great story to share, on just one night, really can shake you up.

    and thanks Rahkyt i feel all that brush thru our path is meant to be . its amazing that this drifter person i see in town has no idea he has enacted a discussion on this forum. you can never know the impact your life has on others

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    United States Avalon Member James Newell's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    I have counseled people of his type. They are of all types, some are quite wacko, some are just druggies, some are at peace with the lifestyle.
    My theory is that the complex lifestyle of today eg. bills, taxes, modern living is far too stressful for many. So a simpler style is preferable. Go camp out in the deep woods for a week and after the cold and hard ground get more comfortable, it is much less stressful than the modern lifestyle we strive to teach our kids to become part of.

    A great example of a person doing this is Mick Dodge who has become quite famous. https://www.kiwireport.com/behind-life-mick-dodge/

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Quote Posted by James Newell (here)
    I have counseled people of his type. They are of all types, some are quite wacko, some are just druggies, some are at peace with the lifestyle.
    My theory is that the complex lifestyle of today eg. bills, taxes, modern living is far too stressful for many. So a simpler style is preferable. Go camp out in the deep woods for a week and after the cold and hard ground get more comfortable, it is much less stressful than the modern lifestyle we strive to teach our kids to become part of.

    A great example of a person doing this is Mick Dodge who has become quite famous. https://www.kiwireport.com/behind-life-mick-dodge/
    Yes. Dave Paulides often mentions this when discussing his bewildering Missing 411 cases, stressing that if any person wants to 'disappear' (i.e. totally escape from their own life for reasons of their own), this is never a crime.

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    These are people who have been crushed by life's inevitable blows and have given up, sometimes in not so positive ways. Whenever I encounter a homeless person I always like to chat, at least briefly on how they are and how they got here, where they are going. Unlike many people I have had the misfortune to work with I have never walked away from these people feeling belittled, irritated, patronised, exhausted or chastised. One way I get a sense of perspective is to remember many of the obviously unhappy rich people I have known. Rich men who were flabby, unhealthy, dissatisfied and cheating on their wives. And their wives, who all had sour, discontented faces and mean-looking eyes that many rich women inevitably have. You feel when you look at them that you are being judged, analysed and evaluated. I know this much - if the working class poor are unhappy, the rich are miserably unhappy.

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    I worked with a guy once who said he'd once been jobless and homeless (live-in girlfriend kicked him out). I asked what it was like. He said, not bad. All stress was gone. All he had to worry about was getting to the mission to sleep, and he had no pressures. Made me wonder.
    Also reminds me of the old joke: What do you call a musician who breaks up with his girlfriend? Homeless.

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    I remember a drifter in my hometown, skinny as a rail, but always clean and well-kept. He would incessantly walk the streets during the day, not sure what he did at night. I was intrigued by him, actually I find all drifters and hobo types to be intriguing. I tried to talk to him once or twice but he just kind of grunted.

    Yeah, maybe he had mental problems, but don't so many of us, in our cars and mortgaged lives? Yes, he walked up and down with no seeming purpose. But don't we walk (drive) up and down and back and around with very little idea of a real purpose?

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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    i don't know, don't get it, don't get much of anything. When I see him I just sing to myself , the beatles "the fool on the hill " maybe he's smarter than us all?
    I truly believe that we live in a world with no coincidences. Our interaction with people (all people) has some meaning no matter how insignificant. Many times our communication (even if it is one way) has some meaning for the other person and we are just an unwitting messenger. At times our presence could be profound or it simply serves to give them a nudge in the direction the universe needs them to go. Sometimes looking for meaning makes us the "fool on the hill." (Of course, I mean this in a nice way).

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    United States Avalon Member Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    I can see how the life of a drifter might be appealing. There's no responsibility, no expectations. Only a burnt out tranquility maybe..at best.

    But in this life, meaning is found in responsibility. And you cannot give up responsibility and not forfeit meaning as well. That's the trade off.

    The homeless men and women here in the West are not asthetic monks..and ive never assigned that type of romanticism to them. And as unfortunate as their luck may have been, if you listen closely to their stories you'll see that they are almost always responsible in some way for their predicament(with the exception of the mentally ill perhaps).

    There are endless jobs out there. More than enough. The only scarcity is in the jobs *people really wouldn't mind doing*. So there's no excuse in not finding a job. There might be some challenges along the way, for a homeless person, but if you really want one, you can get one.

    If there is a shelter nearby, a homeless man or woman only needs to come up with a few bucks to get them thru the day. It's not terribly difficult...just a few hours at a busy street corner. It's much easier than working a formal job. And having gotten accustomed to this lifestyle, homeless folks begin feeling entitled to it.

    I think every adult has a moral obligation to take care of themselves..to support themselves. Because if you don't, someone else has to do it for you, and that's just wrong in so many ways. The romanticism of the drifter stops there for me. You can't give up personal responsibility without having another person or persons acquire it on your behalf. It's unfair. At the very least, we should shoulder our own burdens. We owe our fellow humans that much.
    Last edited by Mike; 8th November 2019 at 06:43.

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  37. Link to Post #19
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    It takes a lot less than most people think to end up homeless. The stories are endless.

    I personally have been on the brink a few times, less than 2 years ago was the worst. I came within 1 day of being evicted. But I lucked out and found a job that paid exactly what I owed in rent. If I had not paid the rent I would have been evicted and I would not have ever been able to rent again. Then what?

    No, it is far too easy to end up on the street, and there is no one not susceptible. My predicament did not happen over night. It took years of constant lay-offs eating into my savings and finally having to live hand to mouth for years. And two years of work and I am again laid off, my savings gone.

    I am OK until early spring but why should I have to think about how long can I go before I am homeless! It is a constant reality. I am sick of it.

    Here are my first three jobs before I was 20. Worked six weeks without pay, the sucker got off owing everyone at the hotel large sums. First real job in the trade - 1 year, laid off. Second year in the trade, laid off. Third job in the trade 2 years, laid off three times. Then no jobs for 2 years...That's 5 lay-offs before I was twenty.

    Add to that two failed marriages and I am at the end of my rope financially. The only good news, I guess, is that my parents called yesterday to say they had changed their will again and I am back in the will...but to count on my parents dying so that I get enough money to live out my old age with some dignity is hardly a safe and secure feeling.

    Guess I should have chosen a better profession, like coffee server or taxi driver/delivery person. At least they always have work...
    Forget about it

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  39. Link to Post #20
    UK Avalon Member
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    Default Re: A homeless drifter in my town

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    I can see how the life of a drifter might be appealing. There's no responsibility, no expectations. Only a burnt out tranquility maybe..at best.

    But in this life, meaning is found in responsibility. And you cannot give up responsibility and not forfeit meaning as well. That's the trade off.

    The homeless men and women here in the West are not asthetic monks..and ive never assigned that type of romanticism to them. And as unfortunate as their luck may have been, if you listen closely to their stories you'll see that they are almost always responsible in some way for their predicament(with the exception of the mentally ill perhaps).

    There are endless jobs out there. More than enough. The only scarcity is in the jobs *people really wouldn't mind doing*. So there's no excuse in not finding a job. There might be some challenges along the way, for a homeless person, but if you really want one, you can get one.

    If there is a shelter nearby, a homeless man or woman only needs to come up with a few bucks to get them thru the day. It's not terribly difficult...just a few hours at a busy street corner. It's much easier than working a formal job. And having gotten accustomed to this lifestyle, homeless folks begin feeling entitled to it.

    I think every adult has a moral obligation to take care of themselves..to support themselves. Because if you don't, someone else has to do it for you, and that's just wrong in so many ways. The romanticism of the drifter stops there for me. You can't give up personal responsibility without having another person or persons acquire it on your behalf. It's unfair. At the very least, we should shoulder our own burdens. We owe our fellow humans that much.
    If we lived in a tribe or in large family groups each person would be supported through their lives as and when needed. Today we tend to live singular lives. Each family unit separate from the other. Many singles struggling to pay enormous rents and bills. Old people dying alone. Sick people struggling to cope. Many people are overwhelmed. At some point in each person's life they will have helped another. Here where I live there are a number of councils taking in a few refugee families from war torn areas. They are given a house and meagre benefits and are not allowed to work for six months. They are also supported by a few in the community who speak their language. There are a minority in the local community that want these people to eek out their benefits to pay for all their things and those that without a second thought help them in every way possible. When you learn their stories you find that they lost absolutely everything..family members, businesses, their homes and their culture.

    Anyone and everyone can unexpectedly end up needing help. We live in a very unstable world.

    Trisher

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