Thursday, September 4, 2014

Homeless Encounter #1

I suppose it's expected that when you move to Venice Beach that you will encounter a few homeless people but i didn't anticipate it happening while i was on the beach.

Since i live close to the beach i frequently take bike rides down to the ocean and take time to relax on the weekends from a busy week. I like to go mid morning because most people are still in bed and not many like to be out because it's usually cloudy, which is my favorite time to go because you are almost alone in the sand. However one weekend i was gravely mistaken to think i would be able to lay and listen to my music and read my book in peace.

I had set out my beach sheet (Yes! take an old bed sheet to the beach, not a towel,  you will thank me for this later) and had laid down on my back, put my headphones in and started reading my extremely none thought provoking novel about vampires (No, it wasn't Twilight, my taste in books isn't that bad). As i am enjoying the solitary time i hear a man say, "Hi friend." I of course assumed that this greeting was meant for someone else as any friend of mine would have called me by name and not by "friend" so i made no effort to acknowledge him. A few seconds later i hear again, "Hi friend." And i see out of the corner of my eye a young man standing there in a hat, jeans and no shirt. I quizzically look at him and he continues, "Hi, remember me? We met a few weeks ago." "Um, I don't think so.........i haven't been on this beach in a couple months." "Well I'm Ben, so now we can be friends." "Um, ok." "Can i sit on  your blanket?" "Uh...........i guess"

Now i realize i should have just told this kid No and that i have a highly contagious disease and he should probably stay away unless he wanted to catch a rash that would make his skin itch for months. But i was caught a little off guard.

I  don't remember the details of our conversation, because i kept reading my book while he assumed i was listening to him ramble but here are the bits i do remember.

He had moved here from Nevada and couldn't believe the chief wouldn't give him a job as a life guard, to which i responded, "well it's not tourist season and that's the only time they have life guards at the beach." He at some point ran around the Santa Monica library naked, i wasn't sure if this was inside or outside but in any case he thinks everyone should just walk around without clothes. He studied some school but "it just wasn't for him" although he was really interested in aerospace and said that he intended to build a flying car. He met some girl from Mexico and apparently had a romantic rendezvous in which they "smooshed" with each other and he hoped he could find her again. He really liked my ipod, phone and water bottle and wished he had some of his own.

The only conversation we really had was when he asked what i did for a living and i told him construction management and he asked if i worked with solar panels and i confirmed that indeed my company did sell solar panels for residential homes. He said he had an uncle in Michigan that had his own solar business, "Oh really? Why don't you work for your uncle?" i asked, "Uh............" was all he could muster.

I finally said i had to leave and meet my boyfriend but that didn't stop him from giving me his phone number in the off chance i wanted to hang out with him. Interesting he didn't have a place to live but yet still had a number. "Hey yeah girl, let's hang out you can come by my place under the pier." "Awesome sounds like fun, maybe we can hope to catch food as people drop it."

I haven't encountered any more homeless on the beach because those that are really homeless tend to hang out near the boardwalk and on the grassy hills because their shopping carts are really hard to push through the sand.

But check out this funky fish. It comes with lipstick already done up.