Deep Spectrum

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Joshua, 1977-

“All sorts of people living out on the street. . . there are the poverty stricken, the mentally handicapped, rainbow kids, dirty kids, humbug junkie, Nazi punks, skater punks, gangs, hobos.”

There are all sorts of people living out on the street, it is a deep spectrum. There are people stricken with poverty. Drug addiction is probably the most common cause of sane homeless people. Then you have the insane, without medical support and the family is unable to take care of them. Take this gentleman across the street, he refers to a man standing, screaming to himself at the corner of a building. He is probably mentally handicapped, stopped taking his medication, and he yells at things and other people. But he is a good person, I guarantee you, if you talk to him. Unfortunately, some of them are too far gone, God bless them.

There are hippies who lived in forests or the mountains, in RVs, roaming gypsies; the modern European gypsy. They are more the travelling kind, they move from place to place, maybe three or four places during a year. They may get a job for a while, but they are transient, and don’t spend much time in cities.

There are the Rainbow kids. Those are a continuation of the hippie culture from the 60’s. Have you heard of the Rainbow Gathering? They meet at different places since the 70’s. There is an old Indian Hopi myth that there is going to be a tribe of rainbow children, a tribe of all races, of all ages and sexes, that is going to carry society through a dark period.

Then there are dirty kids. Often ran away from home, they are train hoppers, some of them drink or smoke pot, but they are against hard drugs. In some respects, they are like the rainbow kids, all races, all sexes, they take care of each other, like brotherhood. They are the one who are super-dirty, wearing dark and patched clothes. They are nonconformists, anarchists. They are not punks, though.

There are gangs, Nazi punks, skater punks. The skater punks have some hippie in them, rappers, and country kids in them. There are the junkie humbugs, young kids, kicked out of their parents’ house, or had an apartment and job and lost it, they use drugs and will do everything they can to get their next fix (stealing, shoplifting).

There are hobos, they work. They may have a house somewhere, or a buddy has a house somewhere, and they ride trains. They are not so much homeless because they have access to houses, but they will sleep anywhere, usually through transit. And a lot of them are homeless, they live around railroad tracks and train yards.

There are the travelling heads, like me, a spiritual nomad. I am here on a spiritual quest because I feel that God told me, though the bible. Others are trying to find themselves or get centered. Some of them will not even touch alcohol or smoke cigarettes, they had a little money and they are on a trip.

You can break it down into crazies, drugies, and spirituals. Those are your three basic groups, and from there it breaks down further in many ways. Deep spectrum, as I said.



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Yuppie Life

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Joshua, 1977-

“It was very stressful, I felt I was just trying to get to the weekend so I could reset, and then do it all over again.”

I lived it for seven years. Made money with my drywall business, had a line of credit, a van. I was juggling probably 30 to 40 thousand dollars a month, in an out of my bank account. My late wife and I started travelling; Canada, Jamaica, Costa Rica. Then the housing market fell, and that last year I earned $15,000. Next thing we knew, we moved to Iowa to look for jobs. She found one at Blockbuster, I found at Poncheros, a Mexican fast-food chain.

We drank and smoked a lot, feeling sorry for myself for not earning all that money. Once you make a lot of money, you get addicted to it. It took a while to cure myself of that addiction. At first I liked having my own business, but I wasn’t happy. I had the van bill, insurance bill, employer insurance bill, credit bill, cable bill, parking bill, homeowner association bill, just bills and bills and more bills. It was very stressful, I felt I was just trying to get to the weekend so I could reset, and then do it all over again. At some point, I realized that I was doing the same things every day to make sure that I can do what I did yesterday tomorrow again. It made no sense to me.

She passed away, and I moved on from the Yuppie life, never to look back.



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Road Dog

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Joshua, 1977-

“It’s almost like a marriage, without the crap of sex”

He is like a brother, we share everything we have. If I got a hotdog, it is cut in half and he gets it. He has got my back, and I’ve got his. We travel together, wherever we go, we do it together. It’s almost like a marriage, without the crap of sex, he laughs. A road dog can be a woman or a man, but they’re a necessity when you travel. On the road, if you get lonely, you get lost. The next thing you know, you’ve been in one spot for two weeks, bruises on your arms, and you are so far gone that you don’t even know what you are doing. So yes, travel with a road dog to keep each other safe.

‘Yo, you want coffee?’ he calls out to his friend and hands him his half-filled cup of coffee.

Usually, the only difficulty in the partnership is deciding where to go. He may want to go this way, and I may want to go that way. Sometimes, just waking up with a smelly butt too close to you. ‘Dude, go over there!’ he feigns disgust in jest. But mostly, that’s about it. I met him that way, points at his friend, sitting away waiting for him. I was travelling through Sacramento and met him at a truck stop just outside town. He had been homeless for two months, living out of his car and did not know much about living on the street. ‘Ditch the car and let’s go,’ I told him. His parents towed the car home, and we went and got him a backpack and a sleeping bag.

Sometimes when you separate from a road dog it is the last time you see them. But more often, you run into them, find them on Facebook, or use the Bong Express, asking someone who is heading someplace to relay a message. Even if I never see him again, he is my brother for life; all my past road dogs are my inner most connected family, right there with my mom and my wives.


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Ignorant Hate

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Joshua, 1977-

“If there is an energy bubble, a little bit of it gets sucked up, and now your bubble is smaller. It is hate out of misunderstanding.”

Giving without being asked, not for brownie points or feeling good about yourself, but because you see a need; to me, that comes from God. Do I experience acts of kindness? Absolutely, all the time! The best ones are when I need something, or someone else around needs something, and somebody sees it. They see the need, that person isn’t asking, there might not even be evidence of a need, but they come over and ask, ‘Hey man, are you alright? Do you need anything?’ And they give the person what they need at that moment, and there is no greed behind it, no excess about it.

Unkind moments? People yelling at you, ‘Get a job!’ or ‘You bum!’ or ‘Dirty piece of shit!’ And it hurts, it takes a little away from you. If there is an energy bubble, a little bit of it gets sucked up, and now your bubble is smaller. It is hate out of misunderstanding. I am sure if I sat down with most of these people and they knew what I was doing, they would stop. I can understand hate if somebody hurts you or your family, that is an entirely different hate, but ignorant hate is the worst.



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Hippie Lifestyle: Defined

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Joshua, 1977-

“Hemp Rope | Books | Showers | Frisbees | Pie”

His hippie lifestyle cardboard sign reads:

Tie-dye
Anything Shiney
Munchies
Hemp rope
Books
Stikers
Buttons
Beads
Pants
Pets
Chinese Food
Rides
Trim
Markers
Gadgets
Marijuana and accessories
Non-approved medicines
Hats
Fabric
Socks
Sunglasses
Bus vouchers
Free drinks tokens
Sandals
Shorts
Frisbees
Guitar or any musical
Showers
Pie
Proof of E.T.
Get out of Jail free card
Tabaco
Stuffed animals
Bus Vouchers



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