A story for Earth Day, not the typical kind for earth day, but it makes sense to me...
Travis owns a pair of expensive green jeans that I like. His walk makes me jealous because it's smooth and graceful, part spider and part tree. A long legged guy who works down town at a converted coffee shop that was once a theater for girly girl dancing and boxing matches in the early 1900's. Last night, during our late dinner at a corner bistro he found because of the ambiance, a Frenchy kind of place with tiled floors and rich smells of curry and garlic that maybe the smoking woman with the black boots and skimpy dress cooked, he told me a story I wanted to die laughing about.
He had been feeling a need to stay away from his house after a long day at work so decided to walk in the park and take a nap. Right there in the grass! Who knows how long he had slept but he woke to the sound of about seven third graders whispering and pointing while calling him a hobo. "Look! It's a hobo!" They thought he was a cool find and he lay there listening to their comments. "Is he dead?" "Eew, it's a hobo and he's dead!" Some of the kids said they thought he was a man while others called him a she. Female or male, it didn't matter to their after school teacher. "Stay back!" she said while the kids went on with their observations. He was scary if he was a dead man but if he was a girl, they were sad. Then one in the group noticed his shoes and said, "Look at his shoes! He's a rich guy." By this time, Travis sat up and they screeched because now the hobo was alive. When he walked to his car, they really had a time of it and couldn't believe the hobo had a car. "He has a car! The hobo has a car!"
In such a short time, Travis had been labeled dead, alive, female, male, rich, poor and those kids were confused as to why he would sleep outside. I had to laugh, 4:30 p.m., that would be bum nap time, right? How do nine year olds know what rich people shoes look like?
By the time he finished telling the story, our waiter brought our bill for the meal we had shared. My heart had a shift, the smoking lady looked overworked, ready for bed and I wanted my bed too. Walks in life's park are full of colorful people and things, all sharing the same air. Dropping the labels would be the same as Mother Nature teaches when she stands near the Oak tree that's nestled between the Elm and Dogwood above many wild flowers and crawling insects. The leaves don't point and laugh at the others so I won't either. Happy Earth Day 2012 to all!