He must be drunk, Scott thought when he saw the homeless man laying in the
Mc Donald’s parking lot. The homeless man, in his 60s pulled himself into a sitting
He looked drugged, or at least drunk; he moved dizzily in an effort to stand up. He
wore faded jeans, and a blue long sleeve shirt, his boots were terribly dusty as if he had
walked along way. His long legs were folded, his hands rested behind his shoulders, his
He is really tall, Scott thought, who only was 5'. 5"
“Sir, do you need help?” Scott asked.
The man stammered some indecipherable words.
“What did you say?” He said. “Do you need any help? Are you all right?”
“I’m hungry,” he whispered.
“What? What did you say?” Scott asked again.
The man took Scott’s arm, and said slowly. “I am hungry.”
Until then, Scott had not understood that the homeless man wasn’t drunk or
drugged. Rather, he was weak from hunger, perhaps not eating anything for days. Scott
helped him stand and took him inside the restaurant.
“What kind of hamburger do you want?” Scott asked. “Oh, never mind” He
added “Wait here, I’ll be back.”
Later, he returned holding a tray with a hamburger, French fries, a little cup of
ketchup, napkins, and a soda.
“I ordered #4 for you that is what I usually order. It’s a good stuff.” Scott
said. “Well, I got it to go. Enjoy it.”
“Thank you.” The man said weakly.
“What is your name?
“Scott, Scott Williamson.”
“You are a good man, Williamson. I want to give you something.”
“Oh no, you shouldn’t. Just enjoy your hamburger; you don’t need to pay
me back, or give me anything.”
“But I want to it.” The homeless man answered, and put his right hand
on Scott’s chest over his left side.
“Oh no, you don’t need to give me anything. It is my pleasure.” Scott insisted.
“Anyway, I have already given it to you.”
“Where is it?”
“You will know it. You will feel it.” Then he raised his right hand, and waved
Scott walked away whispering. “Crazy man I don’t need a present. I need a
Scott was a lonely man only 38, his hair and long beard made him look
like an old man in his 50s. He was an enthusiastic painter, who had refused to exhibit his
works in the best galleries of New York and Europe; he already had what he considered
to be a painting of pure art, and not a compromise.
He was a believer that life was like a big picture, where God is the great painter
and God likes to use all colors. Scott was convinced that each color represents our
deepest feelings: sadness and happiness; love and hate; doubts and fears; as well as
slavery and freedom. He also believed that there are no perfect colors. The color white
was not just a white color before human eyes. For him, there were as many millions
of perceptions of white as there were people in the world. What might be white for one
might be black for others. It was as simple as that. And he really believed that the color
red did not necessarily mean blood, or passion, and a red heart didn’t always represent
Scott returned to his sparsely furnished apartment. It had just a small desk used as
a table, with a folding chair, a Murphy bed, without a mattress, was covered with only a
sleeping bag and an old stained blanket folded like a pillow. In one corner of that small
room was the kitchen. The bathroom was on the other side.
An easel stood beside the window. The window was covered with a black plastic
bag as if to isolate the place from the exterior world. The easel held a canvas ready
to be painted.
For many days, Scott had been enclosed within the cold walls of his dirty, dark
room. It smelled like a mix of dishes and dirty linen. Several books were placed along the
walls, over the toilet, and under the bed in complete disorder, much like his life.
It seemed that Scott’s life was not going well. Unemployed for four months
now. Scott had worked for the Astoria, Oregon’s government in the Maintenance
Department. He had been fired because he had spent too much time painting. However,
losing his job was not the problem. The big dilemma for Scott was to paint what
he considered to be his great masterpiece, but he could not draw one single line. He
simply did not know how to start. The idea was not clear, but he had a feeling that he was
going to create his great masterpiece.
Scott lay down on the bed, and stared at the canvas wondering what to paint
about. Something about his past life, when he was married to the wife who had left him
because she felt herself second place in Scott’s life.
He thought about a view combining woods and sky, or a sunrise, maybe
a sunset. He was seeking, through faces, to communicate something special about the
human condition. One deep insight, or a delighted smile; maybe a color combination that
would express the most complex thoughts of the subconscious. But nothing satisfied him.