The oldest of the group where I’m at is named David.
He looks like your stereotypical homeless person. Dirty, scraggly hair, no teeth, shuffles.

But, if any of what he says is true, he’s happy where he’s at. He doesn’t want to live indoors or with someone else.
He has family, and land, and access to money. His family sends him $1000 a month, if I believe him, which I don’t have any reason not to yet. And it’s true that he does have money when the food stamps run out.

I asked him what he used to do.
How much of this might be true in some form or other I don’t know but I didn’t want to push too hard right away.
He said he used to teach philosophy and that after that he was a preacher. I didn’t ask where he taught or what branch of religion he taught.
I’m not sure I believe that completely but I do believe him when he said he had a degree in philosophy and a second in comparative religion.
When you got him talking his vocabulary spruced up and he knew what he was talking about. At least enough that showed he’d studied it somewhere at sometime.
I asked him why he quit. He said he lost his belief.

I imagine the real story is a bit more and a bit less but I’m willing to take his version as truth for now.

He seems like he wants company, but not too much. He was perfectly happy to sit and chatter or not.

He ogles the young clerks, I elbowed him and told him to be a bit more subtle about it. He said “I’m trying!” I laughed. He’s got a good sense of humor when he’s not drunk too much.

And it seems that he watches out for his own group, taking into account his handling of the drunken Steven.

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  1. Alyce Aber

     /  October 31, 2011


  2. Of course. 🙂

    But the best thing to do when in a new situation like this is to find a social group and become a part of it. Loners don’t survive as long as those who are affiliated do.

    Plus, these men have been living out here for years off and on. I can learn a lot about what works, what doesn’t; who to avoid, where to avoid.


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