We used to live across the street from a gorgeous park. Actually its not technically a park, its the local library of our little L.A. suburb town and its surrounded by grass and huge gorgeous trees. The streets are not very wide, so we always felt that this “park” was our front yard. People would come and sunbathe, play guitar, play with their kids and even nap in our front yard. Our cat was always out there, greeting people, welcoming them to our front yard. We loved it.
In front of the library there are two pay phones. On at least a weekly basis, almost always after the Thursday night farmer’s market that takes place just one street over, there is a homeless woman who sits out there on the pay phone talking. She talks for hours and hours. We used to hear her from our living room b/c she talked so loud. Sometimes we’d hear her talking about us, “there’s a house over there with a red living room! yes! they actually painted the walls red!” “that house over there has a baby that will not stop crying! what do you think is wrong with that baby?” We’d always laugh, think she was weird, and close our shades.
She would talk and talk, barely pausing in between her sentences or her stories. We always wondered who she was talking to…why didn’t they give her a place to stay? Why didn’t they give her a place to clean up, or some non-ripped clothing perhaps? Was the person on the phone some friend or family that didn’t know she had become so destitute? Was she telling them real stories of things that actually happened, or was she making things up so they would not catch on that she had no home, barely any belongings and really didn’t have anything exciting happening to her after all? Perhaps she didn’t want the help and was one of those people you hear about that *wants* to be homeless (are they for real or is that only on tv??)
Later we began to wonder if anyone was even on the other end of the phone at all. Who would sit and listen to these stories for 2-3 hours 2-3 times a week? If they were so interested in her life and what was going on with her why weren’t they helping her? It must be that no one is on the phone with her, we thought. But she would laugh and act as if someone had said something, and we’d begin wondering all over again.
Its been almost 2 years since we moved away from that little duplex, and just a few days ago Jacob was over at the “park” and said he saw her sitting there, once again talking on the phone. I used to think it was sad that she was probably not talking to anyone, just talking into the air. Now I realize that it can be so therapeutic just to share your thoughts, even if no one is really listening. I never had a journal growing up, at least not one I kept up with. Even in just these first few blog posts I am already feeling the creative and soulful release of getting those thoughts out there, even if no one is reading.
The pay phone is her journal, where she goes to share the events of the day, or even to exercise those creative writing skills of hers and tell her exciting stories.
She was blogging way before we even knew what the word meant.