You a tough, rugged individual able to pull yourself up by the boot straps and make your own way in this world? Chances are you are lonely and other people find you grumpy and unknowable.
My Nephew just finished his second year of college and is doing quite well, which pleases me a great deal.
I remember when he was just a kid and his dad and mom dropped him at my mom’s place so they could go somewhere for a few days by themselves.
This is when I happened to be in town for a week or two after another life’s failure. I was off to Florida after that.
One morning he came upstairs and asked me to help him button up his shirt. In my great wisdom I decided he was big enough and old enough to button that shirt by himself. I showed him how and he was able to do it. I felt proud of myself, but he just looked sad.
I quickly figured out that he was in a new house and was a little unsure of himself. His mom and his dad helping him with his shirts was, I assume, a little bonding ritual they had developed and if I had just swallowed my pride and helped him, he would have felt a little more secure there and safer with me.
I may have been out on the range a little too long as a homeless man. It did allow me to grow very much closer to God and for a while I figured it was all I needed. I wrote a little metaphysic that went like this: It may be nobody in this world loves you, except God, but that is more than enough. Now that may be the truth, but that is a tough road to go down.
We need each other folks, well at least I need people and feel blessed to have a good girlfriend and lots of people to hang out with and call my friends.
Now it is hard for me to trust another living soul, and I think that can happen when someone you trust breaks that trust and harms you in a big way. Unfortunately that has happened to too many us at one time or another. It takes courage not only to love people again, which I must say I have been pretty good at. It may take even more courage to let them love you back and let them help you out once in a while.
I drive a friend around, she is older and from India, never learned to drive and lost her husband several years back. Every time she goes into a store she doesn’t even bother looking for what she wants, she walks right up to somebody who works there and asks them to show her where everything is. You would think the employees would be mad or something, but they love it. She has many very good friends in the places she shops.
We can also become lonely individuals and stop asking others for help when we realize those we are asking attach a lot of strings to the help or make you feel bad for asking. It can make you feel ashamed to ask any more.
I got a buddy in town who was homeless for a while and just one small step away from being there again. I see him every Sunday out at a community feed and have found him to be a very kind man.
He drinks too much at the moment but that don’t bother me a bit. He is alone you see, but also pretty good with the ladies. He will have a trailer mate girlfriend for a couple of weeks, then get a little too drunk one night, wake up in the morning and find he has been taken fro some cash or a phone or anything of value that isn’t attached.
He does a lot of free work at the homeless day shelter which is also where he finds his community. We have bonded pretty good over the several months my church has been feeding out there. He doesn’t ask me for much, but on occasion he will need some help getting something that is too big to carry on his bike.
He needs some propane and asked me if I could take him tomorrow. Well my truck is broke down right now but I told him to go ahead and call me at work anyway. “Oh man I don’t want to bother you,” he said. I said, “It doesn’t bother me, you are my friend.” It was an emotional moment for the both of us, because we both knew it was true.
The urge to flee is strong in me and I have found myself living in many different parts of these United States. I am in my hometown again and just may stay for a while as I am starting to trust that some of these people actually like and care for me.
I work hard to be a good friend when my natural inclination is to be a guarded cynical asshole, but I think my heart would die that way if I didn’t risk opening up to people again.
Hobo John here. You need a friend? You have one in me, no string attached. You also may try letting someone help you on occasion even if you don’t really need it, like my nephew.