During my time touring the US, I found a job in a hostel near Miami. I am not going to lie, that was one of the worst jobs ever. But I stayed anyway, for the people. Being an employee in a hostel is a wonderful social experience. Yes, it’s tough because you have to say goodbye a lot. But you get to meet so many cool people, and you have the special power to be the one who regroups everyone because you are the person everyone knows. I hung out with all kinds of people there. My new best friend from Sweden with cool tattoo sleeves and a shaved head. The dude with an eagle on his chest and a record. The Florida guy who was taking a vacation from the Zombies. The Swiss dude with the long hair, smoky voice and Harley Davidson. That young American couple who went food shopping for me and put little notes all over my stuff. That sweet German guy who used to cook me pasta. But the one I want to talk about here is the particularly odd one. The unlikely friendship.
There was this older dude. He was kind of living at the hostel, kind of living in his van. He was using our showers and eating at our tables. Always shitty food, always by himself. That looked lonely.
So I started to ask if I could sit at his table, a little, in the evenings. And when he got comfortable enough, he started talking. He was a sweet man. But OH MY, the things he had to say.
He talked about aliens. Area whatever, instruments of some kind that allowed him to see and recognize things we couldn’t see or recognize. I was amazed, and kind of fascinated. I mean, it sounded completely insane but at the same time it was such a caricature. You know, of these Americans we make fun of on TV. With the tin foil hat and whatnot. He told me about famous psychics that he knew. How he was some sort of channeling master. How one of his girlfriend got pregnant (and then un-pregnant) by an alien. How he participated in the dismantlement of a prostitution gang with his shaman friend from Louisiana. Sometimes I listened, fascinated by that level of craziness, sometimes I was uncomfortable and shot desperate glances at the eagle dude so he would come and save me. But all in all, I loved my talks with Don. He was sweet and alive in his ideas. I could tell he really appreciated our time and the company, and that made me glad. And you know what ? When I had to leave, who drove me to the airport ? Was it the cool motorcycle guy ? The eagle man who was hitting on me the whole time ? No. It was good old Don. I didn’t ask for anything. He just got up in the morning and offered to drive me. That was the sweetest thing. He deserves to have his story told. The odd ones are always the best ones.