Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seen on the streets - Plant Man

Driving down my street with Bradley, we first went one way to get to the shop and then we returned along our street on the way to the school. On our first trip down the road we passed a ragged fellow who seemed to be holding an armload of junk including some plants in small containers. When we returned along the road, he seemed to be talking or fighting with a large bush on the bank. He then recoiled from the plant, throwing his arms in the air. Bradley had to run up to the house again before we moved on and I waited in the car, watching this fellow. He was staggering around the street gesturing towards my neighbours as they emerged from their driveways. As Bradley and I drove past him, he was picking small somethings off the kerb and holding them in the air as if he had found some priceless treasure and was examining it.
He was obviously suffering from some form of delusion and my first instinct was to be a bit suspicious of him, not knowing what his next move was or what he was capable of. Strange and a bit disturbing to come across an individual like this who probably fends for himself in a world he probably doesn't relate to or understand!


  1. I was hoping for a funny punchline to that story. Sadly it is a sight seen often on our streets as a result of our 'enlightened' government policy of 'Care in the Community' that does not work.

  2. Folks like this fellow used to receive care and support. Now, they're on their own, combing the streets at all hours, in need of medical, mental and physical care.

  3. Moannie - Sorry about that. I may have got the funny punchline if I had hung around long enough! We have a lot of people living on the streets with high unemployment figures. On waste removal days there is a constant stream of itinerant people sifting through truly awful waste to try and find something to eat.

    Lakeviewer - In South Africa, we are all mostly on our own. The difference between the people on the street and the rest of us is truly just the fact that we are employed and maybe educated. A lot of those with mental issues will be unable to seek them for themselves and will eventually just be found dead in a corner one day or be knocked over while wandering in the road.

  4. Like Moannie, I was hoping for the funny punchline. The homeless are a troubling element of the street scene here too. And winter is no joke to be living outside in. Many have mental health issues.

  5. Shame, poor guy.
    Did you ever watch The Fisher King? He sounds a bit like that guy...

  6. This was written beautifully with the milk of human kindness running through it. You made me feel for this poor man. Thank you.

    Renee xoxo

  7. BFHeart - It is troubling to see so many homeless although the fact that some of them are there is due to their own decisions in life. I try not to feel guilty about the multitudes and rather help one or two people where I can.

    Brigitte - Welcome! I'm not sure if I've watched the whole of Fisher King (I tend to fall asleep during most movies) but I know what you mean. He was marching to the tune of his own drummer.

    Davy - Its possible. Maybe he was practicing. Is that how bass players look?

    Renee - Welcome and thank you Renee but having said that, if he had made any move to go up my drive I would have reacted strongly. he looked harmless enough though. I do wonder how such folk go around in the real world when they seem unable to differentiate between right and wrong and real and unreal. Maybe they have lucid periods in between the episodes.