Thursday, June 11, 2009

Homelessness' thin line

When I found myself walking behind a Wal-Mart this morning, with no home and no car, telling my dog not to eat trash, I had to take stock. We were servicing a-ticket this morning at the RV store and thought it a good opportunity to get new tires and an oil change for the truck. That was we-still-have-an-apartment thinking.

So, Lauren and I found ourselves walking our dog out in the sun looking for wifi and dog-friendly patios. A local coffee shop graciously let us bring chairs outside and we passed the time quickly. How quickly one can go from shopping the newest hotel room in town to filling up water bottles for your dog in the bathroom sink of a service station. To be sure, we're not poor. This post isn't a solicitation for charity. I'm just astounded at the fine line between adventuring and passers-by dropping change in your ukulele case.

Our truck would be ready first and, as we had been walking in the sun and fatiguing, we considered taking a quick nap in the spacious Suburban. That's when we realized we were proposing, now that we were without a home, to sleep in our car.

I felt like a homelessman (pronounced homelessmun, quickly, like Friedman or Letterman) and said so outloud to my dad on the phone, which turned out to be embarrassingly insensitive as a true homelessman was walking by with a five pack of tallboys in a grocery sack. He had a measured gate and a leathery face shading deep set eyes that quickly admonished my ebullient self pity, my temporary inconvenience for what it was: a brief look at another's life through a window sweating with condensation from my chilled coffee drink.