less is more is homelessness

Sometimes I think the homeless got it all.

One morning while commuting to law school, looking out the back window of the Honolulu city bus, route number 85, with the sun rising in a most spectacular fashion, coordinating with clouds, ocean spray, and light winds to produce a cacophony of orange, yellow, and every shade of pink imaginable, I observed a middle-aged man rising serenely from a slumber behind a bench, as if Morning from Peter Gynt was playing in the background, and I thought to myself, this sucking guy’s got the whole day ahead of him to do just as he pleases, he’s got no deadlines and no papers to write, and he got to sleep in a whole hour and a half more than me.

Another morning I caught one of those stretch buses with the accordion part in the middle and I got hosed into the most awkward seat on the bus, the middle side-facing seat, where my eyesight can’t escape to the front of the bus without turning and straining my neck, no, here, in the middle, you’ve gotta sit put and stare and be stared at alike, but thankfully, a bright-spirited fellow on board, a tall, thin, disheveled man with a thick beard and a deep tan, decided that the early-morning-haven’t-yet-had-my-coffee-and-tinged-with-a-touch-of-gloom bus crowd could use a little cheering up and offered some humor for those who could spare the ear, “an ex-wife joke,” he informed us, pausing slightly and grinning broadly as if he were presenting a gift, “never scratch with your fingers- always use a brush!,” then he busted up laughing and gleefully bounded out the door and on his way.

Most mornings, from behind my cubicle in a large, castle-like building with great natural lighting (due to the lack of tall buildings around it), I see through a large window a woman with a shopping cart brimming with plastic bags, sitting in a bright green park across the way, beneath gently swaying coconut trees, quite possibly having a conversation with herself, and I think to myself, hey, wouldn’t that be nice, no work, no taxes, just carefree mornings shared with a flock of pigeons in the pleasant island shade;  one afternoon I took my sandwich into the park, determined to get myself a slice of that homeless peace pie during my one-hour lunch break and the pigeons approached — a leery platoon of dirty little men in dirty little gray suits — encroaching on my pilgrimage, periodically letting their hormones get the best of them like they weren’t even in public, and when the one who looked like he got strangled under oil-streaked water got near enough to make me gag, I decided lunch was over and returned to my office.