A while back I posted about a poor liveaboard named John that we befriended. He has a drinking problem, and makes poor decisions as a result. If you missed that post, you can read it here:
Now there is a bit more to the story. John knew he would go to jail for his latest exploits, so he found a homeless couple to live on his boat while he was gone. He didn’t want anything to happen to his home, and it gave them a place to stay for a bit. He’s like that. He is very sensitive to the plight of the homeless. He himself was homeless for many years.
He stopped by our boat one day to say goodbye. He had his medications and a few meager possessions with him. It was sentencing day. We wished him luck and wondered if we’d ever see him again. The judge sentenced him to 45 days in the Charlotte County Detention Center. He served 30 days, and was given one day of probation. He had to stay clean for 24 hours, and then he’d be completely free of his latest legal troubles.
He came to our boat again after his release. He’d been dropped off at a convenience store, at 2:00 a.m. with 20 dollars. He had no way to get to his boat. He walked the street until 6:00 in the morning. He staked out the boat ramp and got a crabber to give him a lift to his boat. The homeless couple was not happy to see him. They didn’t want to leave. John came to see us for advice. He said the argument had nearly come to violence. I told him to call the police. I strongly urged him not to get into a fight, even if he was right. He still had to make it through his 24 hours of probation. He calmed down some. Kim cooked him a meal because he hadn’t eaten. He spent his 20 bucks on beer and cigarettes. We talked or a while and he left.
The next morning he returned. He’d manage to lose his squatters without violence. He had a line on a job. He was taking his boat up the river to a restaurant where the owner had promised him employment. He was calm and lucid. He sounded like he had some hope for a better life.
We wish him the best.
I hope everything works out for him. It was nice of you and Kim to see the goodness in someone others would only see as bad.
I wish him all the best. It was really nice of you and Kim to see the goodness in a man that others would not have seen.
Talk about a great character for an upcoming book, or is there a shadow of John already somewhere in the adventures of Breeze? I have only read the first book so far, so I do not know.
In any event your compassion toward him, and your description of him is admirable and without judgment. I bet the “squatters” have something interesting about them, as well.
Your postings on John made me think, without basis, about the “cup of milk of human kindness overflowing”. I had to look that up, it’s Shakespeare from Hamlet, and it does not apply at all, but it still reminded me of this. So, why do I leave it here and not delete it? Because others may think of this, and not look it up, and they need to know it doesn’t apply.
Maybe I’m getting too deep here and should just enjoy your writing, so I will.
I like what you have written about John.
John is in the third book, Free Breeze.