When I decided to leave the Florida Keys, well I thought my life was over for the most part, funny thing is a kept waking up the next morning having to face myself and my situation.
I remember when I finally got a ride back to the mainland it was in the back of a pickup some long haired fella was driving. He was blasting music and the song Sympathy for the Devil happened to be playing as I climbed in back; which I took as a very bad sign indeed.
With no plan and no direction I just kept hitching North. I figured I had never really seen the East Coast, so why not. Thing is, it was winter and although I had been homeless for over a year, I still was not admitting it to myself. I had no bags or change of clothes, no hygiene stuff; just me myself and I so to speak.
Well one night I got dropped at the border of South and North Carolina, it was snowing a little, and pretty cold. I took refuge in some amusement park, those lonely plastic rides and figures creeped me out some, and provided very little comfort.
Well some kind bastard did not mind the stink and got me clear across the north top of Florida in his little pickup. He had a lot to say too, trouble was his accent was so thick and foreign to me I could not understand a word he was saying; although I am pretty sure it was English. I just kind of nodded my head and smiled when I thought I should.
He either dropped me in Tallahassee or Pensacola, I can not remember which, but it was ugly weather; sleety, wet snow and cold. I just kind of wandered up and down the boulevard trying to keep warm. I looked homeless and a half. My long hair was matted so much it kind of had a Rastafarian feel to it, my clothes were held together by dirt mostly.
Several folks were offering me quite a bit of money so as to get a motel room, but I was prideful and kept holding out, I had always slept outside. Finally through God’s grace alone I accepted a 50 dollar bill, even though I started kicking myself for it immediately. I got a room and ordered up a delivery pizza.
As I was devouring the pizza, I had a thought that gave me some courage. God has a way of breaking through the self abusive mind chatter and giving you a helpful thought now and then. This one was, “You are stronger than you know,” which looking back, turned out to be the case. I will say the same to you folks in case you are hurting, depressed, and thinking maybe things ain’t worth it. You are stronger than you know.
Take heart good people, brave the storms, for God is the captain of this adventure and will see you to safe port, if you but allow it. I love you with everything I have; that is my motto, my mantra and the truth of things.
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