If you look closely at the ecosystem supported by this bicycle you’ll notice some interesting details. See the two fishing poles? And the backup rims and tires? This system is set up to succeed.
The owner appears to be homeless. But he’s hellbent on provisioning as well as he can for himself.
This photo was taken outside of a local library. I live in an affluent area in the north end of Palm Beach County, so this is a well-appointed library. It lacks for nothing.
Large windows run down one side of the building to let the South Florida light spray in. There’s plenty of open and private spaces. Audio. Video. Books. Magazines. Internet. It’s a fertile environment.
For a few weeks when construction in our home forced me out of my home office, I worked a couple hours a day here.
This bike was outside almost every day. The guy who owns it is an older man — in his mid to late 60s — in good shape as you might imagine. What you may not imagine is how deftly he uses the library system as a way to stay safely out of the elements, while at the same time feeding his brain.
He has a tablet — or the library lends him one daily, I’m not sure. He plugs it into the network, pops on some earbuds and watches all manner of things throughout the hours.
This guy is resourceful. Fishing. Librarying. Finding cool air conditioned spots during the blaze of the day. Finding clean bathrooms. Keeping his mind alive.
I imagine he watches everything from Seinfeld to Ted Talks.
Since we live in an ocean community, he has public showers galore at the beach to use whenever he wants. (John Marshall
, who lived in a camper for 12 years, used the beach showers too.)
Does he wish for more? I have no doubt. Even so, this gentleman is an exercise in Emersonian self-reliance
in the modern era. He fends for himself, yet uses public facilities to make this kind of existence tolerable, even rewarding.
For you —
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Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within