February 28, 2016 – Journal Entry
I was sitting at the computer, typing away on my new snake book – “Is That Snake In Your House Dangerous?” and I saw him on the sidewalk across the road. He’s right outside my window every day. Usually, he makes an appearance at 5 pm., or shortly after. Today he was there at 6:07 pm. and it was great to see him, but I had to hold my face in check because everything tensed as I prepared for what might end up a tear-streamed face. My six-year-old daughter was right behind me and I don’t cry in front of her. Not yet, anyway.
And he walked up in the same way he always does, toward the big blue plastic trash can. Head-turning this way and that, watching cars and motorbikes pass the busy street. He walks and stops and looks. Walks a bit more, something catches his eye, another vehicle perhaps, and he stops again, twisting and turning. Sometimes he smiles and nods his head as someone passes. Sometimes he just smiles.
He doesn’t wave to anyone though. I’m sad that nobody else is waving to him, this brave young man with half-a-mind.
So I wave to him, and my daughter waves to him, every chance we get. If I’m on the Yamaha, and I see him in time to stop, I’ll stop and ask how he is. I gave him money once. He asked for a cigarette once. I considered buying him a pack and thought better of it.
He always wears a tattered t-shirt. He probably need not, his house is decent, just down the cross-road connecting to the road I see him on. Not sure what his family does, but he is left to his own devices throughout the day.
I told you before, he walks around in the morning with a man that works on boat engines. The man walks his bull and my buddy walks behind him with a big 50 kg. rice bag with bull shit in it. He collects it as the bull shits I guess, scooping it up. I don’t know whether he holds the bag to the bull’s ass, or somehow scoops it off the road. I haven’t seen him carry any scraping tool.
I don’t want to know.
So he’s there in his t-shirt and board shorts. Short cut hair and now gaps in his teeth. Does he brush? Did someone hit him? Did he fall?
I don’t want to know.
He must be thirty by now. Eight years I’ve watched him walk up to the trash can to collect plastic bottles he must sell for a couple of Thai Baht.
Sometimes I think I want the answer from Oz… WHY IN THE #*!*?
Other times, I just don’t want to know.