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Vincent the wanderer.

I met a young man today whilst walking back through Leeds from a meditation meet. His name was Vincent, and his aforementioned youth did not establish itself in my mind because of his vaguely worn clothes, or even his looks really; he was bright and kindly eyed, and even seemed in manner like he maybe thought himself a little subservient, but he definitely wasn’t snivelling. When he asked me to have a guess at his age I told him I thought he looked somewhere in the area of forty to fifty, wanting to give myself a wide berth as to not be so pointed.
He looked genuinely like he’d weathered another twenty years under the sky past my own age – at this stage he’d already told me that he’d been living pretty hand-to-mouth, travelling around, spreading “God’s message” and doing anything over and above these things completely as a secondary to and allowed by his success in these first – in other words, he’s a leaf in the wind – he has such faith in a higher power that he is willing to kick to the kerb any self-first inspired impulse in order to be morally allowed to rely on “God’s” power of giving him a bed i.e. whether or whether not this person I’m presently approaching to ask will give me somewhere to stay tonight… it could go either way.
He had a little bit of grey hair under his hat there, I noticed before guessing and built it into the final guess. I imagined that with this, what would be called a “bum’s”, life, his evidently thick, black hair from his thirties had faded to a snowy grey.
He soon smashed this into bits by telling me he was sixty-four and had been living like this for the past forty years, along with all my ideas about how the tramp’s life takes it’s toll – even Orwell made it sound like a bit of a drag. Wow, he looked genuinely brilliant for his age, I can only assume there must have been some positive effect of riding around, place to place, relying solely on the kindness of the great unwashed on the street and being happy with very little. The less we have, the more our mind is bare, shining out from beneath all the little emotional pulls towards things, possessions, habits of thought about ourselves and others etc. It must be literally easier to keep yourself in check and be really good, thinking of others and other basic stuff.
Anyway, I had to get off so I wished him luck, told him I’d ask the little lady whether she’d be cool to let him stay at the flat if he ever got stuck and shook his hand firmly and told him what he was doing was surely an important thing. I really believe that and hopefully he’ll see this bit of writing as he asked me to write down the link to this site when I said I was a writer (when he asked) – hopefully his heart will be warmed and he goes on to spread more leaflets and love and hope to other people and hopefully my girlfriend would let him sleep over at the flat, although I do doubt that.