I made great friends that night.
An Indecent Life!
An Indecent Life!
I was thinking of life and how lucky I was to have all these good things, a nice house, beautiful clothes, and money. The almost daily sight of the disabled, winos, the mentally ill and forgotten children, struggling to keep alive, tormented my soul. However, did I really know anything about the pitiful and hopeless life of these people that society threw away? I'd never experienced it. Would I be a better person if I felt the raw ugliness of their plight?
The following morning I phoned my office, telling my clerk that I'd be away for a week. I didn't trim my beard for a few days, it looked wild. I slashed my jeans and used ketchup, soya sauce and various stains so it appeared dirty. I did the same with a white shirt and an old torn jacket. I dyed my hair gray.
After putting all this on, it was a perfect tramp disguise. I poured some scotch into a flask and drove to the seediest and roughest part of town, ensuring my car was safely parked. I slugged back some of the scotch as I approached a large fire burning in a metal container. A group of tramps and winos huddled around it, trying to keep warm in this cold night.
An old man with a million lines on his thin face, pointed towards me and said,
"It looks like we have a new neighbor, my friends."
Another man in the group, stocky and younger, said,
"Who are you? We've not seen you here before."
"My name is Pete. I was living in the streets in another part of town, but the police pushed me away so I came here. I'm happy to meet you guys. I'm so hungry."
Another fellow in the group, short, and thin with piecing blue eyes came towards me, with a smile that showed a lot of missing teeth. He said,
"Look Pete, we've got a few opened cans of beans from the garbage. We'd love you to have some, old friend."
My heart beat wildly and my eyes were wet. The kindness of these men overwhelmed me, and I was even more surprised when they laid blankets on the ground next to the fire, so I could keep warm in the chilly night that was about to embrace us.
A thought kept buzzing in my mind, 'in poverty, suffering and distress, we become true brothers, helping each other survive the cruelty civilized society inflicted on us.'
The next morning I quietly made my way to my car. When I got home, I sold my house and bought a hostel for the homeless. Now, every night when I come home from work, I'm no longer lonely as my old vagrant pals and I laugh over some nice beer and stew.
I've learned a lot from these so called "losers" of society. They are God's children! They taught me comradeship, kindness and decency!