The Homeless Man (A dream about the Great Chief "Sitting Bull"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This short story is about the power of the Eagle, Wolf, Bear and Buffalo within native culture are considered like the most representative; these powers were giving by Tatanka Iyotanka, well-known as "Sitting Bull" the Great Chief Sioux to a painter an ordinary man without hope nor illusion for the life until he met and feeding a homeless man, who gave him the four powers, Then the painter once finds motives to still living, and recovery his interest for painting and the love of his wife, who had left him.

Submitted: October 19, 2008

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Submitted: October 19, 2008



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

head inclined.

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.

“No problem.”

“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.

He stood up and walked around. He took a paintbrush and stood before the

easel, but he could only stare at the canvas. The hours passed, but he could not draw


Scott furiously threw the paintbrush across the room. He sat on the bed, holding

his head in his hands his breathing strong and intense. He clenched his teeth, and

tightened his fists. He stood up again, and walked around many times. “Stop it,” he

yelled, and raised his head toward the ceiling, seeking an answer, or inspiration to start

his work, but there was nothing. Then he turned and went to the room’s corner and placed

his hands on the wall, inclined his head, and closed his eyes, he hit his forehead against

wall several times. Suddenly, a flash of an image came to his mind that made him back

off. He shook his head and blinked. He closed his eyes, trying to keep that image in his

mind. He couldn’t remember what it was, but it had shocked him.

Scott closed his eyes, and took a deep breath, still immobile, but the image,

would not come back.

He moved his head, closed his eyes once again, and still concentrated to

get another glimpses of that image, but failed. He paced around the bed; one, two, three,

and four times. He stopped his walking and lay down on the bed interlacing his

fingers, which he put down over his closed eyes.

Suddenly he jumped off the bed, and went back to the room’s corner, placed

his hands on the wall and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled.

Afterward, his face drawn in a big smile; he backed away, and raised his arms as if to

begin flying. He smiled and he laughed, but he kept his eyes closed. He slowly moved his

head from side to side, and tried to open his eyes, but immediately closed them.

Opening them meant letting that beautiful image stuck in his mind escape. After a

long time Scott smiled, his face reflecting a sense of freedom. Now, his breath came a

little faster, tears in his eyes, his mouth a little open, but without sound. He abruptly put

his knee down and both hands in front of himself on the floor. He breathed with


He stood up and began drawing a pair of eyes just above the center of the

canvas. He often closed his eyes to remind himself of that image while he continued

drawing. He’d painted the face of a bald eagle.

He stared at the image and wondered if that was the great masterpiece that he

expected. He knew it wasn’t finished, it was only the beginning.

The eagle transferred from his mind to the canvas gave him a marvelous sensation

of freedom. It was like traveling through his inner-self, like meeting the deepest feelings

hidden in his subconscious. Having captured the image of that bald eagle meant exploring

his own soul and spirit. He came to understand the reason for his loneliness, and


In the days afterward, Scott tried to continue his work, but the inspiration

had disappeared.

“What the hell is going on?” Scott yelled, pulling on his hair while he stared at

the picture. Once more, he was struggling, upset, and confused. That eagle’s image was

like an obsession that increased his struggles. Again and again he connected to it, to the

point that he could see through the eagle’s eyes. He could feel himself soaring beyond

clouds. He could feel himself inside of the eagle. Or was the eagle Scott’s inner-self?

Scott felt such an enormous connection with the bald eagle, in perfect harmony

with his body and the eagle’s spirit, he began suffering from insomnia. Sometimes,

thinking about the meaning of the eagle’s picture; other times he just stared at it. But on

one particular night of a full moon, he pulled down part of the black plastic bag, which

covered the window, so he could see the moon.

He lay down on the bed with the lights turned off. Nevertheless, the room was

illuminated by the full moon’ brightness. To Scott, observing the full moon made

him feel some kind of relief for his tormented soul. He could not sleep that night either.

He tried to continue his work. He jumped off the bed, and he went to the room’s

corner, and as if performing a ritual, he placed his hands on the wall, closed his eyes, and

breathed deeply, than exhaled slowly. Again, he had failed to connect with the bald eagle.

Then he lifted his head over to the right, and stared at the full moon. He moved to

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