I’m like Steve Martin in that movie about the guy who invents a handle for his glasses. What was that movie called? Hate it when I cain’t remember something so easy as that. Stupid mind. Used to be smart. Smart enough. Livin’ out in the elements ain’t so good for your brain. Or your heart. My heart’s ok, I guess. Hope so anyway. No way I’m going to no doctor anyway. Ev’erbody’s all up in arms about health insurance these days. I wouldn’t go in there even if I had all the insurance up to my neck.
My granny told me she din’t ever see a doctor. Ever. She said she wanted to see a doctor twice. Once when she was born and then again when she died. And that’s not a bad plan if you ask me. Really.
I don’t need nothin’ or nobody. Like old Steve. Stupid jerk. I don’t even need a lamp or a tennis racket. Nothin’. Long as I don’t get robbed or get sick, I have a pretty good life out here. Hard to believe, huh? I know. But it’s the God’s honest truth. No appointments. Don’t gotta rush anywhere or act like I give a damn. Used to read a lot. Cain’t do that so much anymore because my eyes’re goin’, but when I could read easier I went ev’erday to the libary. Long as I didn’t gt too hungry, I could read all damned day. Specially in the summer. One a really hot day, I used to sit in there all day. Woulda slept there if they’d a let me.
But I’m set up pretty good here now. I got a tent and ‘lectricity. Can boil water’n heat up a can of beans. ‘Tsall a man really needs if you think about it. I can charge my phone and stay in touch with the world. Just last year I finally learned how to use a computer. Man at the library told me I could do all this crap if I just got some damned email. He was right, you know. All he said was true.
Got an email and then for a while that’s all I did there on the computer. My brother has a computer too, and he and I sent those emails back and forth to each other. He lives on the other side of town, but we don’t never see each other. We get along ok. I think it’s better when family stays the hell out of your life. Best way I can see it workin’. Thanks to email, I don’t ever need to see him and his family no more at all. They always invite me over there for holiday, but I know they don’t want me there. Probably heard in church that they should reach out to the unfortch’nates and I was the first thing came to mind.
But holidays are the best time to be a hobo. People forget you the rest of the year-don’t even see you, then Christmas rolls around and they’re just lookin’ for somebody they can do good things to. And for some reason I attract ev’er damned one of them do-gooders. Jerks.
I’m just minded my own business today. Sittin’ down by the VFW hall sippin’ some tea out of the lid of my thermos, and these people come along. You could tell they was do-gooders. From a mile off. And the questions these people ask. In the first thirty seconds you can tell they think you’re some sort of wild animal. Like they’re human and those of us out here on the street are some kinda sub-human.
‘You have enough to eat there, Sir?’
They always call you Sir. Makes ‘m think they’re showing you respect. Does the opposite, actch’ly. You think that man ever says ‘Sir’ to another adult in his life. Except for talking to homeless people, he han’t called no man Sir since he was in short pants. I told him I had plenty to eat and didn’t need no help. He just wouldn’t let it go. Kept at it.
‘Could some clothes help out a bit? We have a box of clothes in the back of our car there.’
Now, I knew he didn’t mean me no harm. But I was tryin’ to enjoy my damn tea. So I lost it a little. I asked him, ‘You know what you could do for me, SIR?’, I asked him.
Ooh, that wasn’t the thing to say. You could see him get all warmed up. I could a nearly had him down at the next Utotem or Stop n Go getting’ me a cold one. But I told you last time-I ain’t no drinker. ‘Cept for this tea. Not a drunk. Oh no.
So I wanted to run this ol’ boy off and said something to do just that. ‘You have any tea?’, I said. ‘I’m ‘bout to run outa my loose-leaf tea out here.’ Could see by the look on his face that was the last thing that man thought I was gonna ask for.
He said one thing back to me and then he left. That’s all I wanted. For him to just get out of here. All he said was, ‘No. But we can get you some. We can go get you some tea.’
Like I really believe that man’s gonna go get tea and bring it back here to me.