The Man by the Side of the Road

June 6, 2018

 

 

Sometimes he sits in a field beside a well-traveled road, oftentimes he is in the park, and occasionally he can be found camped out on the side of the small store that faces the post office.  Easily recognizable by his long blond dreadlocks and white beard, he has been part of Waialua for as long as people can remember.  He appears to be patiently waiting for someone/something.  He asks for nothing, yet people often drop off food, clothing, shoes, and blankets, setting the offerings in front of him.  He quietly thanks them, in a voice slightly raspy because he is not used to talking.  He has beautiful golden eyes that appear to have seen and absorbed all the sadness in the universe, but his handshake is warm and reassuring.  He is a person you would want to be with if the end of the world came; he is connected to his own reality but temporarily passing through ours, and he has survived on his own in this fashion for a long, long time.

 

Various folk tales circulate about him. Some say that he is a wizard who once had the terrible misfortune to run afoul of a bad-tempered witch. To spite him, she placed a curse upon him, effectively removing his powers until three hundred years have passed. He is now waiting out his time until the cogs in the universe catch, and the wheels turn, and he will be set free.

 

Another story says that he had his heart broken and he is waiting for his true love to return. That is why he dwells in various areas around town, but always in plain sight. He will stay on the North Shore as long as it takes for her to return and find him, and then they will be ecstatically, perpetually reunited.

 

Another folk tale describes him as a benevolent spirit protecting the North Shore. He is always there, day and night. He has always been there, some people say. No one can remember when he was not.

 

He is waiting for an existent. Any recognition in his eyes is reserved for that moment. His “thank you” is more because he has a kind heart, and he knows that you will be happy if he accepts your gift. He is waiting for something or someone, but you are not it.

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