Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some Perspective

Standing on the back stoop of a house, caught in the flames of a small party, he told me about his life, how he scraped over here from South Dakota and lived homeless for a few years. I drank from a plastic keg cup and listened.

“You should try it.” He said.

“Being homeless?”

“Yeah man, it would give you some perspective.”

“Well, how would I eat?” I said. And he shook his head.

“Would you let yourself starve?”

“No, I guess I wouldn’t”

“There’s always a way.” He said.

As if a director and camera crew were on the breaking point of an overwhelming hush somewhere in the shadows of the backyard patio, he took a long drag from his cigarette and fixed his eyes on me while I processed his statement.

What Profundity! I thought. There’s always a way, always a way -- a man can get used to anything. I pictured it: noble philosophers in rags, ascetics perched on cornices in the fringes of understanding, and he nodded slow as if he knew just what was pumping through my head. He let it boil for a moment and said to me:

“Yeah dude. You just steal shit.”

Oh—“ I said, and took sip of watery beer.