I watched as he walked. Carrying the wheeling package behind him. The only possessions he had in the world. On is shoulders was a standing sign that’s end in big white Helvetica “Love Life”. All caps too. Bold enough for every single car passing by to see it. He wasn’t hitchhiking. Just walking.
I turned from my window and looked at my closet. Full of clothing I was sure I didn’t need. Too much of it. I grabbed the garbage bag hanging off of my dressed and began to paw through the closet. Looking at every single piece I had obtained over my college career. Two garbage bags full later it still felt like I owned too much. I would paw through again another night. This time it was too overwhelming. Plus I hadn’t even counted the laundry sitting in my hamper.
I have too much in the world. I need to lighten up. Give it away. Let the world take it back so I can be free of all the things that I keep trying to carry with me. It’s just stuff after all. Why not have a smaller footprint? Why not be willing to have less? I plan to donate it all to a local thrift store. One of the ones owned by a pretty active church in the area. They usually get outdated clothing form estates sales that had too much left over. Why not give them a few prom dresses? Why not a few purses I don’t use anymore? Why not some old pairs of shoes that were a size too big anyway? What do I need them for?
Of course, I witnessed and did all this after shopping for some more makeup. Having spent so much already I wasn’t interested in keeping more. I do that almost every time I shop. I get rid of the things I’m looking to replace and put the new items in my closet. It’s methodically, but of course I usually drop quite a bit of money. The price I pay as offering to the retail gods.
Sad isn’t it?
A testament to my life. Living out of a suitcase, moving from couch to couch, guest room to guest room. It feels comfortable, to be so uncomfortable. To have no place to call my own. To be that gypsy nomad that feels so taboo in today’s society. That freeing irresponsibility that comes with homelessness. So few things. So little need for more.
Were I not diseased I would do it more. I would pass up jobs and render myself free from doubts. I would live to breath the freedom of having nothing to hold me in place. I would know the feeling of listless wandering. That beautiful apathetic freedom, not knowing where I am going, and not caring when I get there…or perhaps if I ever get anywhere.
I hadn’t seen her since she got back from vacation. My brain was racing as she recounted the story to me. What would I have done? What could one do?
“So what did you do?”
“I ran towards her and it veered off, and thankfully it didn’t fly off with her.”
“What would you have done if it did fly off with her?”
“It’s a Bald Eagle, there wouldn’t be anything I could do. I can’t harm it…can I?”
This baffled me. She was on vacation, and her daughter of 6 months old, was moving from her to her grandmother. A bald eagle let out a cry in the direction of another, the one who swooped down towards the baby. She saw it, and she was able to move quickly enough before it got to her daughter, scaring it away. She admitted, if that other bird hadn’t let out a call, she wouldn’t have thought to look, and it might have been too late.
You would only hope that if you got arrested that the jury would see you innocent. Or was it a large fine for killing an Eagle under such circumstances? Were there laws protecting you from this? Probably. I would hope. How strange of a situation for the Fourth of July huh? How strange for a parent to have to encounter! How oddly desperate for an eagle to behave, but then again, I have heard of hawks trying to take small pets from their owners arms.
Were it me and a baby….I’d just kill it. Just saying.
The water was quiet. The seagulls guffawed as the floated on its surface. The sun casting a purple and pink hue across the sky the evening was still. My ribs hurting from laughing and my face from smiling. This was it. The three of us finally being ourselves.