KingMidget's Ramblings

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Feeding the Homeless of Malibu

One of the things I liked about our vacation was traveling along roads I’ve never been on before.  After a couple of days in Arroyo Grande (just south of San Luis Obispo) we headed further south.  From Los Olivos, we got off 101 and took the Chumash Highway to Santa Barbara.  What a beautiful stretch of road and I have no pictures to share.  It’s the hazard of being the driver and also, well, there’s this.  I’m not one to slow down and smell the roses, or take pictures, when we’re on the road.  I’m more concerned with getting to Point B than with what’s between A and B.  It’s a part of me I’m working on changing.  What’s the rush?  Right?

The Chumash Highway runs through the coastal mountains.  Oak trees everywhere.  Horses running free.  A lake.  Lots there to see on the ride.

At Santa Barbara, we got back on 101 and kept going.  At Oxnard we stopped for lunch and, to avoid the traffic as 101 heads into Los Angeles, we took Hwy 1 down the coast, first through Port Hueneme and then right along the ocean’s edge for miles.  It’s dangerous having me drive near the ocean since all I want to do is watch the waves.

On the southern edge of Malibu, we stopped and walked along a beach for a few minutes.  My wife deposited our lunch trash in a garbage can.  While I took pictures, a homeless man dug the bag out and enjoyed the remains of our food.

I’m pretty sure the remains of the three rice bowls in the bag provided him with a decent meal.  It’s just a shame he has to eat that way and that we throw away so much food.  Even in Malibu where the uber-wealthy live and play, we can’t find a way to care for people like this guy.

I work in downtown Sacramento, where there are plenty of homeless people.  Many of them mentally ill.  Many are not.  Every time I walk by one I puzzle over what it says about our society that there are so many people who live on the streets.  I don’t expect that any society could ever completely eradicate homelessness, but it certainly seems to be one of those areas where we have completely failed.

3 responses to “Feeding the Homeless of Malibu

  1. oliviaobryon June 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    When we lived in Berkeley, it was standard operating procedure to leave any uneaten food on top of the trashcan lids. Everyone did it and the industrious homeless had good food to eat. It got me into the habit of saving my leftovers for them. Still no life for anyone. So many very, very crazy people. It’s funny, I was actually thinking about writing about all of the types of crazy homeless people I used to encounter on my walk to work each morning, (prompted by my visit to Berkeley earlier this week). Even though they sometimes managed to scare me, I still felt sad for them. I don’t know what the solution is either, but I find it comforting to know that you’re not one of those people that becomes enraged by seeing a homeless person go through the trash.

    • kingmidget June 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      I have my moments and it’s what inspired me to write K Street Stories … a partially completed novel that’s one of the tabs at the top of this blog. A few years ago, I was in line at a Mexican restaurant on K Street when a homeless man came up behind me. He was talking to himself, he stunk, his jacket was unzipped and he was shirtless. I mumbled to myself and took a step forward. On the way back to my office I chastised myself for my reaction. It’s too easy to slip into annoyance at people like him. I decided that day that I would write his story. Not his true story, but my own version of it, giving him a reason he ended up the way he did. That stretched into K Street Stories, what I hope to be an interconnected series of stories about a group of five people (or is it six?) based on people I’ve seen during my time downtown. It’s in a bit of a hiatus, unfortunately, as I finish other projects, but I’m going back there some day.

      • oliviaobryon June 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

        I’ll have to check it out. And, I definitely know what it feels like to be frustrated by homeless people, too. I’ve had homeless people tell me they murder young women, call me racist for looking at them, tell me I’m dying of anorexia (I assure you, I’m not), tell my husband he has an ugly soul, defecate and urinate in front of me… The worst was this one guy we’d see everyday that my husband took to lunch, listened to his whole story, and then a week later he was so cracked out that he screamed at us, calling us racists when we walked by him, completely forgetting the kindness of the lunch. So, I understand irritation, I just have a harder time understanding why some people automatically hate homeless people because they’re “freeloading.” I am very curious to check out your tab and your take on what gets someone there.

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