Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Man Is an Island

Just outside our fancy (HA) three star hotel is a sandy cut through leading to the beach road.  For the last week, this man has been camped out on this log.  I'm assuming he's been there a lot longer than a week.  

Day or night he is there, no protection from the elements outside of the multiple layers of clothing and his gnarly hair and beard.  No shoes, not even flip flops.  No visible signs of sustenance (although obviously a lot of empty bottles???).  He's always seated.  Always facing away from the road and water.  Usually he has nothing in his hands and is still.

A curious mind and a lot of down time have allowed for much surmising about his circumstances.   First, I assumed he was a homeless man (which he clearly is, to some extent).  However, he does not beg and I haven't seen any other similar characters around the peninsula.  He does smell horrendously and mutters to himself quite a bit, lending to the hypothesis he is likely mentally ill.  

But despite his situation, he appears to be in some form of decent health.  He must be consuming water to a life sustaining degree and he does not appear to be starving, or even hungry.  The other night he was smoking.  

So my empathy has waned.  Now I'm imagining he's someone on the peninsula's husband/grandfather/uncle who has been shunned from the family household for some salacious reason.  I'm uncertain lucid conversation is possible with him, but an interpreter would be interesting. Although I bet most the neighborhood knows his story.  I need to find more English speaking peeps, as my French is nonexistent, Merci.

Regardless of how he got there or why this log is now his home, it's interesting he's allowed to stay there and that all his basic needs are being met.  

He's also a great marker for our turn to the hotel, as there are no street signs or lights out there!  

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