Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Because Linda Asked...



I have reactivated my account on facebook. And many of the people that I am sharing with are memories from another lifetime. One of those faces from the backside of forever is Linda.

When she checked-out the posts on my blog today, she asked me: "Why are you doing this?"

Linda nailed it.

And that is why this post, in this five-year-plus long blog, is going to be for her.

We never knew, all those years ago, that the wide, flat road out of the Soo would reveal so much harsh reality.

But it has.

Linda wants to get away...that's what she posted on her facebook page yesterday.

I want to go home.

And it is obvious that she and I are at opposite ends of the socioeconomic scale.

But in an amazing, cyber-mystical way...she and I have connected again.

I wonder which will be easier...her leaving or my coming back?

I assume that she is safe and physically warm tonight. I bet that she's eaten even though her profile photo doesn't look like it. And Linda has the power of choice because she has all the money that I don't.

Which makes me wonder why she wants to leave. What more does she want out of life than what she has now?

I've traveled all over North America, as you, my devoted Campers, already know. I wonder what Linda did?

Is she as satisfied as I am?

Because I am, you know.

I just want material security, a published story, a screenplay and then I'll consider my cookie baked.

There aren't enough homes in the United States that are affordable. Many of the residential offerings are the brick and wood equivalent of garbage in and garbage out.

And many of the people clamoring for them are ahead of me on achingly long lists.

Yeah, all the parolees, ex-druggies, recovering alcoholics and every other Jerry Springer-wannabe is willing to take those hovels.

I'm not.

And all of those people are represented.

I'm not.

Hell, I can't even get a bed in a shelter for three months!

And I mean a place where I don't have to hand over my laptop, Walkman and cell phone when I walk in every night.

I don't want to be in a shelter where if I'm exhausted, or sick or in pain or hungry or thirsty my condition is ignored.

If there is one thing that I have learned, it's that nobody is willing to ever fall on a sword for anyone else in a homeless shelter. It's a cutthroat, competitive bullshit farce and really lonely, sometimes, too.

Oh, my dear Linda...if you were standing beside me when I was turned-away into the night in Eugene, Oregon last night...would you have understood?

Who is responsible for putting his or herself in my place?

Do the keepers of the home-fire flame ever see me walking down a dark road late at night?

It was my choice to wander as I did. I have no regrets. On the contrary, I'm grateful that I had the chance to do it.

And the lady in Pennsylvania agrees, which is why she gave me this laptop.

And perhaps the kids in Eugene saw a glimmer of the truth, too...when they put me to bed in their ancient VW bus with a bowl of hot soup last night.

But there is no one but God to hold my hand tonight. As he always has.

I will walk down a rural road into the cold night with an empty belly.

But my heart...for all that has happened...for how much I have lived life...will be full.

My heart is full.

And that, Linda...is why I've done everything.

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