I get a strange thought passing through my psyche every once in a while. Now I am sure some of you are saying “John, John, John, please tell us something new”. At any rate I was out smoking last night and had the thought, “stewed tomatoes” which is odd, because I am not a big stewed tomato fan; they are a little too acidic for my taste.
I was down rummaging through garbage cans at the car wash this afternoon. I found a whole bunch of good eats: a full back of potatoes, some oatmeal, beans, pasta, and as you might have guessed by now a can of stewed tomatoes.
I tried chasing the money and career thing when I first came off the streets, but everything I did from lawn care to reporting for a local radio station seemed to die of quick deaths. Some good things have come from not being a full time hobo. I am very comfortable, now, with people that are not hobos, and I have made some peace in my heart with my family.
There are a couple of older crusty guys that drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and BS in the front of the gas station by my house, down where I found all that grub. I asked if they had seen me on the news advocating for a homeless shelter. They had not. One guy made me laugh pretty hard actually, when he said, “They don’t need a shelter, just build some more bridges.” They didn’t seem that impressed with my stewed tomatoes story either.
Our town seems hell bent, through the use of zoning laws, on making it impossible for an organization I volunteer with, to build a needed homeless shelter. The first thing I said at the last council meeting was come get to know some homeless people. I think you will find them to be every bit as human as you are.
The thing about hobos is that they can’t hide their pain. The rest of us are in just as much pain, but we put on some fancy clothes and go out for a nice meal in some swanky place and pretend we are not lonely and dying inside. Most people don’t want to look at homeless people, because it reminds them of the pain they carry inside and do not want to deal with.
I was kind at this last meeting but if things continue as they are I may bring out the fire and brimstone. Say something like, “Have you no fear of God? Do you want to tell him, yes I did everything in my town to help the rich get richer and drive the most vulnerable members of our community out of town?”
When I first found the food with the can of stewed tomatoes I had the thought, “All you need.” Now I am not sure if that means I can have all I need as a hobo or just all that I need in general. But it doesn’t matter too much, if you are reading this, you are digesting the thoughts of a happy man, who wishes and prays for your happiness as well. I am learning you can fight city hall and be happy as heck doing so.
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