Today, I looked out my window to see a man picking through the garbage across the street. He frequents Riverside, walking up and down. He has a thick gray and brown beard and wears a hood over his head. I’ve seen him sitting on the benches in the tree groves on the medians.
He has a Mexican blanket. It’s brightly colored in blues, yellows and greens. There are vertical stripes around a sun pattern in the middle. He was wearing it over his shoulders like a robe. I asked him what he was looking for, and he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.”
I told art professor, Gordon Wilson, about what I had seen. He said he’s been interested in what we throw away. Once he had so much stuff to take to the dump that he had to borrow his friend’s truck. When he got there he stood in the bed and looked through a stack of paintings to be discarded. The oldest one was on the top, and as he went through each one he could remember when each had some promise. One canvas after another he threw like a Frisbee. They went pretty far. When he got to the end he borrowed a shovel from the man dumping trash next to him to get the rest of the debris out of the truck.
“I was considering some spiritual things,” he said “because of how I had borrowed my friend’s truck and how the man next to me had lent me his shovel and how those paintings were flying.”
He said that he saw a man laboring under a rotary clothesline, carrying it over his shoulder, as he walked through the rubble.
They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they aspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer.”