Bjorgvin Benediktsson

@bbenediktsson

My Homeless Neighbor and What He Taught Me About Observation

I have a quirky neighbor that lives across the street. He’s a middle aged bald man who watches TV on his phone at night and sleeps until 8 am. I know this because he lives out of his car.

He’s been my neighbor for a few months, but we’ve never spoken. I’m not sure the stereotypical knocking on the door asking to borrow a cup of sugar applies in his case.

You could jump to all sorts of terrible conclusions about this person, but I’d like to believe that he’s harmless. He’s more interesting than dangerous.

His car is a nice Wrangler style Jeep. Maybe a Rubicon. I can’t keep up with the Jeep models. But it’s an expensive car. And because I’ve seen him watch TV from his phone while walking the dog I assume he has a cellphone account with wireless internet. Maybe even a Netflix subscription.

And even though he very obviously lives out of his car, it seems that he has a normal routine just like the rest of us. He goes away in the morning. He comes back a the end of the day. I assume he goes to work, but who knows. Not knowing all the details makes him more interesting.

Even though he might be struggling with his living situation I know that he’s a proud American. For 4th of July, he decorated his Jeep with a single American car flag sticking out of his driver’s side window. The day after, it was gone.

So if he has a cellphone and access to wireless internet, he must have a credit card. Considering the nice state of his car that he seems to be able to refill with gas, his credit score must be decent.

He reminds me of one of my classmates at Pima that lived out of his pickup truck while he finished his degree. He didn’t have the money for both a college education and rent, so he chose the short-term pain of living out of his car for the long-term profit of an education and a career. Last I heard, he’s doing well. Definitely a better living situation. Maybe even a girlfriend.

I like to believe that he taught me something valuable about observation and the risk of jumping to conclusions.

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