“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
The bell hop placed the luggage by the bed and turned towards the door, hesitating a little in his stride. I reached for my wallet and looking inside seeing that I only had $50 bills, I thought, why not, and handed one to him. He looked at me with an ecstatic smile and thanked me profusely. I waved my hand in a self depreciating manner and saw him to the door. I turned and surveyed the large, magnificent hotel room and sighed contentedly. I reached for the champagne bottle and poured a glass. I then transferred some of the chocolate covered strawberries onto a smaller plate and carried both the champagne and the strawberries into the bathroom. I ran the whirl pool bath to exactly the right temperature. Ten minutes later I was immersed in the bath, my body relaxed, my eyes closed, sipping champagne. This was the life.
A hand gently shook my sleeping form , ” You’ll have to move on, the store opens in half an hour”. I slid out of my sleeping bag and proceeded to roll it up and place it in my back pack. I paused for a minute in the stores entrance, sheltered from the wind and rain. Exhaling sharply I stepped out onto the sidewalk and rushed the one hundred yards towards the MacDonald’s restaurant to use their toilet facilities. After relieving my bladder, I approached the sink and splashed water on my face, rubbing vigorously. Staring at myself in the mirror I tried to plan the day. I had five dollars in my pocket to buy myself coffee and a breakfast biscuit. I could linger over that for a couple of hours and then I’ll head over to St. Mathews for lunch, and the city shelter for supper. I just had to struggle through the day seeing to the needs of my body knowing that twelve hours from now, when I slept, I would once again be enfolded in luxury.
I’ve been reading about the tent cities in California and watching some videos on YouTube. I couldn’t help making the contrast between the $millions made by the Hollywood film stars and the lives of these tent people.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the migrant caravans moving through Mexico towards the U.S. wondering about the motivations and dreams of these migrants. The conditions they are enduring and the logistics of sleeping, eating and waste disposal.