The paper was brought to Erickson, huh, this was something new. The route was supposed to be from North West to South East, this was big news he knew and could change everything. He was to pass down the quarterly to Mr. Browsky in the south pass off state street promptly as possible. Confusion spread his thoughts although his demeanor didn’t show. These changes weren’t supposed to be made without the proper feedback of the others, who does this guy think he is – no, there must be a complication.

Randal was sitting in his car struggling to sleep that night, Thomas was feeling tired. Tired of being forced to ride the bike all day long to stay out of the car, tired of Randal always making plans to drive away to another town because of a new disability check, or a new church donation, or his sister loaning him money, always when Thomas wanted to sleep at the mission. Of course the money would be spent half way through the month on coffee, and gas. He was tired of being alone. The world was crashing down, Dwight and Dave were not to be seen. Before he knew it was 6:00 am. Time to get on the move. They sluggishly rode their bikes over to a bench by the main highway as they did every day off and on until noon. The heat waves of the road were giving Thomas a headache so he turned his face to look at a hawk circling. Sometimes he whistled with the song birds to humor himself, he wondered only if the dumb birds flew above the tree line or if it was the courageous bird proving his leadership and mate ability to soar new heights. Either way it is a gamble. The hawk appears swiftly out of nowhere and usually captures the bird, the birds the hawk couldn’t capture; maybe the hawk remembers that particular bird. Thomas laughed to himself about the time he saw a pelican with a fish half way in its mouth, screaming “Hey! Get that  out  of  your  mouth!”  the pelican dropped it and stared back. .!: Thomas turned back to the road – tap, tap, he felt on his shoulder behind the bench was a man shading the sun “Do you know anything about how to route a computer?” Thomas gasped, and didn’t know what exactly to say, he wasn’t expecting followers this early. “Yes, if you have the wires.” Thomas said, this was the stupid code they had agreed on, if one felt the need for usage. This man moved so his face was no longer dark, obviously he did not take the lucent talk seriously as he had a scraggly goof faced display of a smile. He put out his hand. “Hey I’m Buddy,” I shook it “Thomas.” He stared at me for a minute as if evaluating, “Well it’s too bad I don’t have any wires,” he chuckled “That is some code you boys came up with, I spect you are the one I came to see.” When he began this trip four weeks ago, every town they stop in they would eventually make friends of other homeless or street stirs they like to say. “Yes, what town did you come from?” When they find someone who has lost all hope or could not afford to stay at the shelter and has no one, one of the two street stirs eventually will meet them and give directions, a map of the next town where they can find hope. Then equipped with the code, or just casual asking of where one was from they might be able to keep traveling until something better. “I came from Makin. Talked to a guy from Tifton, who said another couple of guys before him were traveling west to Waycross and then Savannah. Said enter through the main route if you weren’t at the shelter. Y’all would be wearing them hats so as I’d know who to talk too. The guys at the shelter with hats had no clue about computers,” again the Buddy chuckle, then asked for a light for his cigar “Sure enough here you are though. Ain’t that something, don’t smell bad either” he said as he lit the cigar and directed my sight to his armpit, with a wink.. “helps the smell” and it actually did. “I’m with another guy Randal, he’s at Micy Dees.

He just couldn’t understand how this had happened, he had tried for the hundredth time to convince people in the other towns how much better it was to use email as a contact requirement as opposed to calling on limited time cards and track phones, or randomly showing up as many did. Thomas also could not thoroughly understand this, this failure he was sure of, where was this feeling of hopelessness coming from and when’s it going to end. Of course the street stirs went to the library, used the computer, got on  youtube and watch videos, but for the life of him he could not convince them to use twitter, social media, or email. All but a few have the ability to type fast and believe it’s not too confusing to set up an email message.

 

Buddy, was funny, and looked slightly like his father. Thomas didn’t know how Buddy had done it, all he knew for sure was that he didn’t smell stench from Buddy all that day, even after the cigar smell was gone, almost as if he had burnt the smell up as he lit the cigar. Stupid, these are the stupid thoughts for a person with too much time on his hands. Randal had filled Buddy in on the two missing out of our group and inquired about his friends in Makin. Buddy you could tell was a good speaker in his own way. “Jail, both of them got caught trespassing; luckily I was fishing at the time, and hadn’t really wanted to continue on with them at the time. I figure if it was worth risking jail time in an unfamiliar place, maybe there is some hope in it. Decided to see how you have come along.  I don’t like going up north though and that was where them buzzards were heading, hear me?” This, Thomas was sure the point of trajectory of his moodiness originated, the inherent risk and possible jail time associated. Almost laughing to himself, had a clean record and that was the only reason. For him there was still hope of having a job and a life, for most others that was not possible. With proper precautions this could be avoided. Judgment must be used; all must be spoken in secret, because people become afraid of the poor not knowing the depths of human disparity and what a desperate person is capable of. This was different, this was hope, not a riot or a march or a gang. However, this man, Thomas thought didn’t look hopeless.

 

Sadly most people would be happy to have homeless traveling out of their area. This was different, this was hope, not a riot or a march or a gang. However, this man he had talked to all day, Thomas thought did not look hopeless or as if he ever had been. Randal, seemed distant and flakily cheery toward Buddy. After a few laughs and jokes Buddy said, “So I have to ask” Buddy paused “Who is in charge of this master plan.” Having already thought about his being only in his twenty’s, and having thought of the routes by himself with input and ideas of others there was no one in charge per say. The initial spawning idea was from Thomas, yes, however he could not suffer the challenges in leadership and was not socially able to do so this he was sure of.  So he began “There are leaders of each group, I am one of the leaders, we each travel very small only meeting at certain spots in groups larger than five or six, and can only take up to three new travelers from each small town. The bigger towns we plan new routes and meeting points, leaving members to wait and give direction to others.” Buddy put his hand to his chin, “hmph, well that sounds enough for me. Where exactly are we going with this.” Randal shrugged, “He does not know any of that, he’s just a kid.” Irritated, seeing this problem, inextricably mingled with the bases of Randal’s challenge of authority to Buddy Thomas knew what he would say, and what he would always say. “I receive notification from the leader through the internet at libraries I go to, his name is James. He says knows of beautiful land and that when we are ready we will be able to live on that land comfortably, peacefully, and happily without prejudice. The place will be so awesome, and we will be able to accomplish what no other people like us have ever been able to accomplish.” Buddy tried his best to hide his skepticism. “Seems like a tall order, but I like your spunk, well anyway what’s plan right now?” Just then the phone rang.


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