Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fortunate Son

There is a homeless character in Walter Mosley's novel, Fortunate Son. The young man pushes a shopping cart along the streets of Los Angeles, collecting treasures ~ discarded books, brightly colored sones, bits of glass or pieces of broken costume jewelry and odd-shaped twigs or branches. Long before I lived on the streets, I did that too, albiet without a cart.

On the streets I often saw a woman that never spoke to me that kept her cart filled with similar objects. To a lesser extent, I still piciked up stuff while living on the streets. Could not bring an interesting piece of driftwood home for decorating purposes when one has no home. I was not a shopping cart pusher ~ everything owned was on my back, weight of backpack a constant concern.

The book's character thought: "He forgot so many things in his days on the street...", reminding me of how I had the same problem, losing memories of large blocks of times as if hours, days, weeks had not passed me by. "...but he wanted to remember the kindness." Me too. He recorded each act of generosity and caring given him by the homed, in a notebook he found in the trash so that he would not forget them. Me too.

Mosley often includes homeless people in his novels. I wonder if he conversed with any street people, or just imagines how it is not to have a home to go  home to.

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