Finally Got to Talk to another Homeless Woman!

I stayed at my friend M’s house last night.  She lives near the beach about 20 minutes from where I park.  It’s so nice to be down here.  The air feels good.

One thing this area is known for is how good they treat homeless people.  So they flock here and are always in evidence .  I’ve know this for a while.

This morning I went to a convenience store to get a coffee and there she was.  She looked like one of the people of Walmart.  She had on a crazy wig, covered by a black and white skunky looking hat.  She had on some kind of hollywood dress with a coat on top.  After talking with her and noting how she was dressed, I believe she fancied herself some kind of celebrity.  She wore combat boots.  She was talking to herself.  She looked White (although I later found out she is a hybrid of European, Amerindian and Jewish).  And I knew I had to talk with her.

First I had to get past my anger.  To see a White (looking) woman in her condition, buying a big bottle of alcohol at 7:30 in the morning made me feel ashamed.  We rarely see Mexicans, Asians, Blacks etc. behaving this way (although they certainly have their own unique problems).  It’s a disgrace.  I don’t like it.  At the same time though, I have compassion for her.  After all, there are people in my life  who would be ashamed of me for living in my van if they knew, including my own mother.  And I have not walked in her shoes.  I don’t know what drove her to the condition she is in now.  Perhaps someone really hurt her.  Perhaps she made mistake after mistake after mistake.  All I know is, if I’m going to follow the golden rule, I have to care (while still being cautious, of course).

I also know that recent immigrants to the United States have not been subject to the same brainwashing that Americans have.  We’ve had decades of evil programming aimed at us using television, movies, schools, etc.  It has changed, ruined our culture.  It has made ALL of us a bit mentally ill.  Gosh, most of the middle class women I know have taken or are currently taking anti-depressants for “chemical imbalances”.  What a load of crap!  It makes me SO angry.  But I digress.  The point is, it appears to me she’s one that has survived the brainwashing physically but lost her mind in the process.

I probably had a judgmental look on my face when she first saw me. She was rambling away to herself, glanced my way and said, “hello, goodbye” as she moved away from me.  Hysterical!  Have I mentioned I’m fascinated by mentally ill people?

Next I paid for my coffee (and donuts…what?  I was stressed out!  I needed donuts!).  I waited outside for a bit so I could decide what I wanted to do.  I know homeless (and crazy and alcoholic) people can be dangerous sometimes and I imagine she could be, if she was pushed in the wrong direction.  I decided I wanted to meet her anyway.  When she came out of the store I offered to share my donuts with her.  She said she was “full”.  I can believe it.  Like I said, there are a lot of compassionate people down here.  I think I used to call them bleeding hearts.  I asked if I could walk with her and so we talked a little.  She talked really fast so she was hard to understand but if she’s telling the truth, she’s lived there by the beach her whole life.  She knows a lot of people there.  She knows a lot of the history of the area.  She was probably in her 60s but I could see the remnants of a pretty face.  I’ll bet she was a gorgeous girl in her youth and from a wealthy beach family.  One of those girls I might have been envious of, at one time.

And now it has come to this.  Out in the elements most of the day (I’ll bet she has somewhere to sleep at night AND a place to shower…she didn’t smell bad), just wandering around scaring people.  And I though I was leading a lonely existence.

She didn’t want anything from me and we said goodbye.  I left feeling grateful for my life, as such experiences often do.  I hope she makes it through the winter.  I hope I see her again.




About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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2 Responses to Finally Got to Talk to another Homeless Woman!

  1. B says:

    You probably made her day. I’m guessing people mostly stay away from her. Blessings to you, for offering her a friendly conversation!

    But do be careful talking to mentally ill people. You don’t want to find yourself alone with someone who happens to be in psychosis … they’re entirely unpredictable and there’s a slight chance they’re potentially dangerous.

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