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10 March 2019

Similar Experiences Tinted Differently

by Andrew

Bums are a decrepit lot. I was walking passed—Berekely, main-street by the university, Sunday morning. We were nearly the only people out.

But there's beauty that can be found in this life certainly—& the freedom! to do as you please. (To practice your art, is my thinking.) But those so often cast into this life, they completely lack this artistic ability—or vision, or whatever. They don't see the advantage—or, the opportunity. (I have no idea what word to choose for what anymore, they're all the same, varying only in degrees of individually perceived connotations generally accepted—or, so it's believed.)

For a bit over 2 weeks, now, I been back to sleeping outside. It sounds ridiculous. It is. Some been out here years, though. And it shows. So, maybe it's that. My thinking turns. I'm like a pseudo-bum, un imposteur. I use it to my advantage. When my money gets low, I have options—to get outside, to stretch my time, to selfishly keep it to myself, practicing, till I can get money by the sparks from my finger-tips. Otherwise, I'm only wasting time, getting money anyhow else. But I never see myself as stuck. Which some—most!—clearly do.

They got tents lined on the side-walks. It's 9 o'clock in the morning, & there's a group already sat squat outside a shop, singing absurdedly, nothing really doing—asking passer-byers for money. There's another guy with like 3 shopping carts full of junk in the median of a street, wrapped in sleeping-bag & tarp, still sleeping.

The more light-weight bums got only a bag—a back-pack, or something. They'd blend in a bit more nicely if they weren't so dirty. (Which I'm getting, here, myself. Though I know of a place—I scout immediately after a sleeping spot—that I'll have to go see about as the temperature is supposed to warm, here, this week—a lake. Or else I'll mosey on down to the beach for a quick dip in the sea—baptisms & such.)

But even in these more light-weight bums you see this lacking. Their eyes are either blood-shot or jaundiced. Their teeth are missing, nicotine-stained. Their hair is nappy. It's the crazy meth-heads you have to watch for most, & those in yellow-brown Timberlands & jeans, usually across the street from some drug-addict begging. This lacking because it's all about the money.

As a bum, the most pressing concern, however, is indeed your lack of money. And so, it's first on your mind. And you see it. Some have just given-up—the lot sitting, squatting, side-walk sleeping out in the open. Or the others, who are scanning the streets like hawks, looking for any touch of money that can be sniffed out. You see how we're such slaves to it.

But life like this—outside, homeless—sucks. Hey, Love. Want to come back to my camp-site? It doesn't work like this. There are much better things in life to be had. But it doesn't have to be this violent pursuit of money either—which it otherwise is, or isn't—

...I don't know what I'm saying. I've missed the mark—eternally, eternally. A fine line to toe. Because certainly there's this violent urge to get me some money. I'll do as I must, in proportion. But,...I do it differently, let's say. I bring beauty to this life—to any life, if even this, among the lowest. Which I'll use as an excuse to why my own art is so lacking—because a big portion of it is focused into actual living. My life is my art.

Last week, I finished typing & formatting a book—homeless, in a library. This week,—or these passed few days—because that book was so hideous, I've began another, writing in coffee shops between cups of cappuccino & espresso. Sempre como os Português.

I'm walking an hour to where I sleep now, and 1,000 feet (300 meters) up, up, up. Sure, I can crawl into some nearby bushes anywhere too. But this is a part of it, the whole experience. Why not enjoy it then? So I got a secluded spot to sleep, zero fear of being disturbed. (Besides by cougars—possibly—& reindeers already.) The grass is soft. It's quiet. The bugs are chirping. The pines & eucalypti steam aromatherapy between the rise of Venus & the Sun. I pay $5 to sit in a cafe & work half the day. Or else I go for free to the library. When I'm tapped-out, I go explore, go for walks round this place un-familiar to me, etching yet another scenery into my memory—similar experiences tinted differently.


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