As I walked to work today, I noticed the car of the local homeless man was gone. The car had shown up one day, weeks ago. Its older trim and tan exterior reminiscent of times past. In some ways, I was surprised he had made it this long, living in that little 4-door sedan behind a Bank of America. This wasn't the first place he stopped his car. And it wouldn't be the last.
Each morning I walked by, I would see his head or feet from the side window of the car. His body contorted in the least uncomfortable way that particular day.
I ran into the tenant a few times. Mostly at night. I don't know where he was during the day. Maybe he had a job. Lots of homeless people do nowadays. He would lay on the lawn sometimes at night, tired of being cramped in his car.
He laid there in the grass, smoking a particular stinky brown cigarette without a care in the world. Once he even had a little party. Some people came over and watched TV on his little CRT style TV. Who knows how he powered the thing.
I saw him awake once or twice in the morning. One morning he bumbled around the car, perhaps drinking too much the night before? Perhaps not. That is a stereotype. I guess I'm pretty clumsy in the morning sometimes too.
Another morning as I walked by, a cute young woman jogged by. The man stared without the slightest bit of shame. I was a little surprised at how pervy he was OK being to the world. Then again, I'm sure he didn't have that much to do while in that little car. Finally, he had something visually stimulating. He probably doesn't really care what people think. He was invisible to many and perhaps a stain of some sort to others. Without doing anything but existing, he was already disliked. So why even fight it? And she did have a nice butt.
It will be strange now, to walk by and not see the cluttered car. Cushions and stuff filled the car in the day. Sometimes I'm not even sure where he fit in with his mess. The TV was perched in the car, along with a bowl and a container of supper soup, you know, the big bowls of ramen noodles.
I saw him eating his evening meal once. Lays on the grass. He had a container of SunnyD with him and leisurely ate some sort of crackers.
He surely didn't have the best diet. But what can you do. With no refrigeration and no way to cook, I'm sure he ate a lot of processed food. He surely isn't unique in the bay area either.
There are others like him. In fact, some of the cities in the bay have been pressing for bans on campers and alternative living arrangements. I'm not sure how anyone part from the software engineers can afford to live here. Myself included.
I sometimes thought I should talk to the man. Learn who he was, what kept him going. Treat him like a neighbor, like a person. Although, I don't really talk to any of my neighbors, so I guess I did just treat him like any other neighbor. I guess I will never learn his story now. I guess this story will have to due. Until next time friend.