It is a fairly complex mystery of which even Hercule Poirot would probably have a difficult, if not impossible, time trying to solve. It has baffled me for years and has boggled the minds of so many others. Why am I still single?
This mystery’s depth was only highlighted this morning by a lovely couple up on the train tracks. I was doing my usual bit by waiting in my usual place for my usual train when I saw this couple. A couple clearly very comfortable with themselves and each other and didn’t seem to mind that everyone else on the train platform could see them as well. And we could see everything. All their dirty laundry was on display. Literally.
This lovely couple is homeless and they have been living through the nights behind one of the train shelters on the platform. They have their clothes laid out to dry in the sun. They have a whole area blocked out for their shelter and seem to be getting along quite well despite the occasional train roaring by at all hours. I have seen them there for the past week or so and they look pretty well moved in. I wonder if I should get them a no-house warming present.
But I digress; their homeless plight isn’t really the point of this piece today. It’s really about this young couple. I shouldn’t say young couple, but then this man and woman are of rather indeterminate age due to their hard scrabble life. They could be anywhere from 30 to 55 years old. But again, that’s not the point. The point is, they have each other and they seem quite well matched as homeless couples go. They are both even blondes. But again, they are clearly together and seem to be there for each other in the most normal and human way possible. It would be quite lovely if they weren’t in their dire situation. (Although I’m not exactly sure how dire it is.)
When I boarded the train the blonde homeless couple was just starting their day. She had woken him and he put on his pants and shoes. They were starting to gather some of their things together. He even carried her bag for her. Homeless chivalry is alive and well apparently. As the train pulled away from the platform the homeless Ward and June Cleaver started walking down the train tracks to destinations unknown.
I couldn’t really understand it. Why does this homeless guy, homeless gal, have someone special in their life and I don’t? What does this homeless guy have that I don’t? It’s not a contest I know, but still, I have a rented roof over my head, some food, an income, I can be compassionate and caring, loving and doting, a bastard at times like everyone, but overall I’m not too terrible. I’m not too hard on the eyes either. I’m not some Adonis but I’m not Jabba the Hut, I’m just normal; with the occasional bouts of crippling depression and anxiety, but otherwise, completely normal. One might say I am a “catch”. And yet I wander from party to party, event to event, holiday to holiday without a plus one.
When I arrived downtown I got off the train and started walking to work. Near one of the underpasses by the train station is a young homeless couple pan handling for your change. They both seem quite able bodied and I’ve seen them both at times reading different books as they beg for a little something to help them get by. They are together and I often see them engaged in conversations about this, that or the other thing. They appear to have been together for a long time and are also quite comfortable with each other.
As I pass I am hit by their unbelievable stench and their curious togetherness. It’s just a damn mystery that these two people have each other in this hard luck world and I don’t have the same kind of love in my life. In some ways, it makes me feeler poorer than these homeless couples do.
That’s not to discount the love I have received in my life. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have had the opportunity to love and be loved by the finest of people. I’ve had people want to take care of me and want to be around me. Unfortunately I may not have felt the same way about them, thus rejecting them, like I have been rejected so many times by those that I am crushing on. It’s the circle of life, which brings me back to the present mystery.
How is it that no less than two homeless couples have found in each other what I have been sorely lacking? They have love in their lives, at present, and I go home to a refrigerator filled with hot dogs and half full jars of salsa. I water my plant. I ignore the pile of dishes in the sink. I let stuff pile up on the dining room table. All because I don’t feel like there’s any reason to keep up with the house work or groceries because I never expect any company. I may have a roof, a job, a wonderful family support system, and a comfortable place to sleep at night but I don’t have that particular woman to answer my mystery.
The mystery of why I am still single. I mean, it probably takes some guts to admit to a woman that you’re homeless and you’d like her to join you in your on the streets adventure. And it must be one heck of a woman to take that man’s hand and say, “Crack,” and go off together to live in ten minute bliss and then spend nearly every waking hour together. And yet I don’t have the right woman to let me sit quietly and ignore her while she reads a magazine about celebrities.
Am I poor tempered? Do I stink of rot? Am I just a walking corpse? Do I intimidate? Am I scary? Do I have too much baggage? Do I expect too much? Or not enough? Do I not make enough money? Is my zip code wrong? Am I that much of a bastard? Am I too particular? Too picky? A Snob? Snarky? Creepy? Dopey? Sneezy? Bashful? Doc?
I think I should start a homeless dating web site, HomelessHearts.com. I bet you I still couldn’t even get a date with the right woman. It’s just a damn mystery, without any detectives working on it but me. This might take a while. I hope these homeless couples find what they are looking for and manage to hold on to these relationships well into prosperity. I’ll probably need their financial support at some point while I stew in my own juices at the retirement home and try to remember where my damn teeth are and for some reason the answer will be “California”.