hi everybody else.
good thread digby, nice idea.
I hope everyone can stay warm enough.
here is a little , true story, rather fitting for ATS i think... lol
I remember years and years ago when I lived with my mom,
I was about 17 or so.. and my girlfriend also lived in our house (her mom was on another planet, mentally) lol...
and one night we were driving to a friends house, and were going through the "downtown" area, near an intersection of bridges...
it was the middle of winter , and very very cold out, and we saw a person walking down the street with no jacket on, short sleeves, and carrying a
large , empty box from a nearby appliance store...
We had a couple of our friends in the backseat also, and I told them I was going to ask him if he needs anything, and if anyone had any objections
they could get out until i was done talking to him. ... no one objected,
So i drove up to him and asked him if he was "ok",
He said that yes, he was ok, but there was just allot of wind and difficult to carry the large box..
I told him that he shouldnt be out in this weather in shoirt sleeves, and that he should take my jacket..
he said he had a long flannel shirt that he had on , but took off because he started to sweat carrying tthe box, .. SO I had a hooded sweatshirt in
the backseat and told him to take that if he wouldnt take the jacket...
he did take the sweatshirt.
So i asked him why he was "out here" and if he is alright, and does he need anything...
and he began to tell us how he has lived under this particular bridge for awhile, and pointed out which bridge, and said thats where he was taking
He said that sometimes people come down to the river, near the bridge and "stone" him... and throw things at him.. and a couple times he said that
people had lit his little shelter on fire with all his belongings inside.... and wished he had some way to protect himself.
anyway.... we told him we would bring him some things if he wanted us to, and he said that would be nice if it wasnt too much trouble... so we
went back to my house, and got a nice pocket knife, a jacket, a few blankets, a sleeping bag , and as much food as we could get from my house that he
could use. lol
we took this stuff to him, and saw where he was actually living... and it saddened us deeply... he seemed to be "ok" with it, and had accepted
and we would go visit him 2 to 3 times per week, and bring him things, and just sit and hang out and talk with him, sometimes for hours at a time, in
he turned out to be absolutely brilliant!! His name was Mike.
He taught us how to tell time with the stars, and carried on some of the deepest, most insightful conversations that i have ever been a part of, to
and one time, my mom had a broken foot, but where it was broken wasnt yet known... and my girlfriend and I told him about it, and described how it
looked and the pain she was in....
and this man drew a diagram of a human leg and foot, with every muscle, tendon, bone, everything.. and pinpointed the area that was the problem with
a circle on the drawn diagram...
we gave it to my mom, and she couldnt believe "the homeless man" that we sometimes visited had drawn it.
She took the piece of paper to her doctor next time she went, and he wanted to know who the medical student was who drew it.
She told hiom it was a homeless man, a friend of her sons, and he almost pooed. lol
One night we were hanging out with him at his "home", and had a small fire going in a metal barrel he had down there, and a fire truck came down and
told Mike that he had to leave, and could no longer "live" there, and he had 1 day to be "out"
well, he asked them where he should go, and they said " we dont care, go down 4 bridges and your out of our jurisdiction".. wtf?
he told them hed been down there and there was no kind of place for any shelter, but they said he had to be gone.
this is when we learned that he may be a little "out there" ... lol
I told him that i had a cool mom and a decent sized house, and that he could prolly stay with us if he needed to, until he could find somewhere...
he then started to tell us how he gets claustrophobic indoors, and that sometimes, within walls, and within the concrete pillars of the bridges that
he slept under... he would hear "clicks" , and it was the government trying to listen in on his thoughts, because he had some 'formula' from when
he was a 'professor' , that "they": want, and have been trying to get for years.
in retrospect..... knowing what goes on in this world...
he may have been telling the truth!! lol
but back then, (like 13 years ago) , we thought. " whoah.. hes kinda nuts" lol
anyway, to make a long story a lil bit shorter...
he eventually came back to my house, and stayed in our basement (where he preferred) , it was a finished basement, but he didnt want to sleep
anywhere but down there.
he wo0uld take baths for literally, hours at a time , and he would draw the most intricate diagrams oif the solar system, the human body, other
animals bodies, and drawings of nature that ive ever seen in person.
he stayed with us for about 3 weeks, maybe a month,.....
and one day we woke up, Mike was gone...
and there was a letter from him on the stairway banister...
it was a very, very nice letter...
and the most surprising thing was.......
he had left 10 $100 bills in an envelope, ($1,000 dollars) addressed to me and my mother, thanking us for our kindness... and with it, a long
explanation of his financial situation, letting us know that he was rather...
"comfortable" , and had plenty of money, but money wasnt the issue...
he also said he "wished he could ;leave more"?
he didnt explain much further on that in the letter,
But it was an interesting time..... and even more interesting now that i think back on it... lol
Have never seen the man since. and I looked.
Wherever you are, Mike, I hope you are well, and warm, my friend.
I still have a pic of you with my dog, Sam, and myself. lol