Conversations with a homeless man

About a week ago, I started carrying a blog notebook in my purse for whenever inspiration hits. I am really glad I did. Inspiration hit in an unexpected and touching way last night and it had me filling up quite a few pages.

An older homeless man walked into Starbucks when I was working alone. He let me know right off the bat he was homeless, and he simply bought a cup of coffee and went to the corner to charge his phone.  I, as usual, had to pee.  Without thinking I left my purse with all of my money and cards in visible sight. When I returned the conversation went as followed.

Homeless man: Don’t ever do that. (points at purse)

Me: Don’t…ever do what?

Man: Leave your stuff like that. Don’t ever do that. I told you I’m on the highway. You don’t know me. Don’t ever do that.

He was was actually angry with me for being so incredibly careless. I found it heart warming and a little amusing too. I followed up with a question I already knew the answer too.

Me: Well, you didn’t take anything did you?

Man: Nah. No, I’m old school.

Five minutes later, he repeated my rhetorical question and had a long,hearty laugh about it. We continued making small talk; He let me smell a candle he bought himself for the night and voiced his concern about the raccoons getting to it.  I told him I was married and he got a big smile on his face, asking me question after question about me and my husband, and smiling the whole time through. I learned he had a girl he was interested in outside of Texas and tomorrow he would be leaving to find his way to Alaska. He didn’t ask for anything from me but to watch his things, he payed for his coffee and was was on his way. However, he left me with a lot of thinking to do and a million questions racing through my head.

I’m naive. I can be pretty stupid. I think it says something when a homeless man yells at you for your stupidity. There’s a lot of bad people in the world, I know. But I can’t help but think that this proves there’s more good. It may be dumb to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I do. Trusting and believing may be something you should use with caution, but I never really have. The homeless man who had the chance to steal every last penny from me? He could have. Statistics say he would have. But he didn’t. Instead, he taught me that I’m glad I’m stupid.  That yeah, okay, maybe I do need to watch out for myself a little more. But if you don’t go out there with an open heart; if you don’t look for goodness in people, how will you ever find it?  If we always have our guards up and our noses up our asses, think of all the good conversations and truly wonderful people we’re missing out on. If we’re not hoping and believing for the best in people, there’s so much we’re losing along the way.  As for me, I met a pretty cool dude last night and I hope he finds exactly what he’s looking for. And as for me, I’ll take being naive and trusting over being bitter and safe anyday.  I’m sure it will get me in a lot of trouble and tremendously screwed over time and again, but what I’ll be getting in return? I learned last night, It’s worth the risk. Though for the sake of not being yelled at again, I’ll probably take my purse to the damn bathroom next time.

22 thoughts on “Conversations with a homeless man

  1. haha I like the ending.

    My guard is up and my nose is up my ass. I don’t think I’ll change for awhile, but I will say having conversations like that is something I’d like to experience once in awhile. Homeless people interest me….I mean, he’s going to try and make it to Alaska for love. Pffftt that’s freaking awesome!

    • :). i think most people are like that. my mom trained me (you can see from her latest fb comment lol) to be more guarded and a lot less trusting so it’s not like it hasn’t been instilled in me. maybe i just rebelled? odd thing to rebel against though. “i think i’ll love everyone and be really trusting!” ?!

      okay done rambling.

    • I’m really iesseprmd with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

  2. Meg says:

    awww I love that. Where was he staying I wonder =/ and how did he bring up he was homeless? Just like “just a grande coffee please…thanks, I’m homeless so I’m gonna charge my phone over there” ?

    • hee. actually pretty much like that meggie. he laughed when i asked if he wanted his receipt and explained he was on the highway and what not. he seemed happy though. robby said some people choose to be homeless, which i find really hard to believe. however, this guy was pretty clean and had a nice phone and people calling just while he was at target!? so i’m not sure. dude made a big impression on me though.

  3. I love these kind of strange encounters, they make life so interesting. And I agree with you completely about being trusting, throwing oneself into things. Paranoids, I think, don’t enjoy life very much.

  4. That is such an interesting experience! The world is such a scary place in reality, but oftentimes we can’t help but be a little naive: sometimes we lose, but other times we gain a lot of wisdom. But I agree, don’t leave your purse out the next time!

      • , if a thing is true, and I would talk about it if you were here with me, then it’s ok to post about it….It is a scary reality…people who have wokred hard all their lives are losing everything…unbelievably, it can happen in a flash…I looked at so many photos and youtube videos on homelessness yesterday I spent a lot of it crying…there were many more gritty things I could have put up….I don’t know how to change the direction of things… reaching out in anyway we can to help in our own communities…letting the awareness in that all is not so good in this land of plenty…and maybe at some point we will become outraged enough to turn our attention to Washington and say enough…and mean it…..and maybe it won’t be too late.Happy Thanksgiving to you too beautiful spirit..hug, hug

  5. I swear I freaking love you!!! HaHa!! I leave my purse in the cart and then truck my happy ass down the isle to get something I remembered that I forgot! I only forget because I lose my damn list before I get into the store but whatever!!! I’m naive bordering on callow!!!! 🙂

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