I had the most incredible surprise.
An old friend, whom I haven’t seen in probably 15 years, came knocking at my door. You see, she had bought a copy of my book a few weeks ago, it was delivered, she read the whole 590 pages in one evening, then used my return address to track me down and pay me a visit.
It will be cataloged as one of the most beautiful moments I’ve had in a long. Her smile was still just as grand, her spirit just as vibrant, her heart still just as warm as I had remembered.
We only shared about 20 minutes of time, but it reinvigorated me, as she had always done before, back when I was but a wee thing yearning to find his place in the world. Her talent is finding value behind dust and coal, wiping it off, showing the world how brilliant you are. She always treated me as a better man than I treated myself, coaxed me into my craft, reminded me on every occasion that I was worth more than I had dared to think of.
And it reminded me of so many days before. And how this city really is my home, it has my history, it has my memories, it has my friends, and my future. Orlando is where I belong.
Our conversation turned to my homeless days. I’m reticent to discuss it at length, which is why I wrote a book. And there, in the depth of our friendship being reborn, I was deciding to move forward on this path. I heard my heart talking.
I’ll wake one day and the memories of being homeless will be once and forever more nothing but memories. There will be no more fear of being asked to leave, there will be no fear of keeping a bag tucked in the closet that holds enough food and water and pocket money for Mario and I. There will be no more holding onto the paranoia lingering from yesterday, for I’ll be solidly sitting in my own kitchen, cooking food, asking each of you to come join me. I’ll wake one day and have sold enough books to have that little home of mine. I’ll wake one day and my dream will be real.
I’ll be sitting here writing and knitting into the sun breathes a touch of his smile through the windows to make it happen. For all I want is a home. A permanent one. One that I can snag this little cat, toss her into a pillow case and say, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. This is the LAST time we have to do this. We’re going HOME.”
And my friend looked at me and smiled and said, “You’ll get it. I know you will.”
There are worst things served by a man’s ambition. He can crave greatness, totalitarian leadership, demanding respect, unlimited financial resources. But, these things pale in comparison to the simple desire of a home filled with the security of loving, caring friendship…of bad memories of the past overshadowed by good memories of the present.
I will wake one day, and it will have happened….
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