It's Saturday today and the sky is overcast. I'm in Ontario, on a beautiful farm, and next week, on Saturday, I'll fly back to Thailand. Different worlds. I've "crashed" on six different households in three weeks. Everywhere, everyone, wonderful. But I feel like I am imposing, and I am imposing. And I don't like imposing.
In Toronto I was walking down Yonge Street and suddenly I was desperately in need of a toilet. A homeless guy was sitting out in front of a shop holding a paper cup in search of spare change.
"I need to pee," I asked him.
"Across the street," he answered quickly, understanding the urgency. "The restaurant. Ask them for the key."
I made it to the toilet, and when I came out i crossed the street to give the guy a dollar. A nice guy. But when i got there i found myself asking "can I sit down here?"
"Sure," he said.
And then we talked a long time. And at some point we got up and walked south down Yonge. His hostel at night costs fifteen dollars, so I gave him a twenty.
He was a very good guy. Finally he needed to part company with me, so we said goodbye. He was Irish, forty something and handsome. Not at all dumb. "Why is he living on the street?" I wondered.
For cash he "services" men on Bay Street, men in expensive suits and trench coats.
I don't like feeling homeless. I don't think anyone likes feeling homeless. I'm ready to get on the plane.
[I wrote this blog in April of this year, but never posted it. I'm not sure why. The day before I was scheduled to fly, I went back to the city from the country. On the small street where I lived for twenty-four years I asked three different people if I could sleep the night on a sofa, needing to leave for the airport at 5 a.m.. They all, in one way or another, said no. Probably, I thought to myself, they're worried that I might somehow "pollute" their million-dollar homes. I slept the night in the back of my van in a busy well-lit parking lot downtown. Early the next morning a wonderful young person drove me to the airport. Leave it to young people.]