I’m drinking my Starbucks and feeling ill. I remember this well because I’d found myself under palm trees with sunnies on and a new kind of breath in my lungs. I remember this little sunshine state trip well. And I certainly remember this conflicting feeling. It wasn’t heat stroke, sun stroke or something else a little white girl like me might find on her mini-vaca by a motel pool. Nah, my heart was just feeling ill.

There are so many brilliant people with their shorts worn and white socks climbing their knees from the tips of old Adidas sandals talking about risk and amortization while they scrummage through the garbage cans. They are brilliant. And talking to their homeless selves while I drink my Starbucks and type on my iPad. While I sip on iced coffee, the man who dreamed of Hollywood plays Raindrops Are Falling on My Head from his only possession, or obsession, just right behind my back and I cannot ignore what’s blaring from right behind my back. Ive been a few places in the world now. How stark the contrast between rich and poor, how poverty knows no age, race, or place in this world. And my heart is feeling ill.

Just the day before I went out for Ben & Jerry’s and these bitty elderly women began walking in front of me, visors, heavy make-up and all. And while we crossed paths to grab dirty mud fudge chocolate ice cream we all couldn’t help but notice the churn in our stomachs show plainly on our face. A woman looking quite similar in age as this bitty group held a small cardboard sign while her body slouched fragile against the hot concrete.
I have cancer, anything will help.
No one seemed to help. I didn’t think ice cream could help, and she seemed to be fast asleep… anything will help.

I got my ice cream anyways. I walked away to my old cruiser bicycle and pedalled towards that desert with the jagged rocks. An old white umbrella marks the protection from heat for the beautiful middle aged woman with long blonde hair who sits here like it were the couch of her living room. I think it’s actually the couch of her living room. I sigh, while she rushes out muttering under breath and through the end of a cigarette butt while she stares right into the burning sun. I think stars used to live in her eyes.

Veterans of the war, health-ridden elderly, traveling hippies named Cowboy, groupies from the sixties. I met so many and I think it’s why I feel ill while I tip the ice cream cashier and walked passed the former dreamers. The rock stars, the heros, the lovers and world changers. I walked right passed the former dreamers in need of certain hope…

At some point, convictions are bound to change me.