The temperature in the city reached a high of 3˚C today and is expected to sit at 0˚ or below for the rest of the week with occasional bouts of snow. Very rarely does the weather in this part of the country get so chilly. So, while out with Nozomi, I picked up two hot drinks at a nearby vending machine. One for me, and one for Hideki; the homeless man who lives under a bridge near my home.
I recently listened to this old episode of DDM because today I learned that Hideki passed away in January while sleeping under the bridge near the place I used to live.
He rejected technology. He rejected modern living. He was angry about machines replacing people, a pattern we’ve seen repeated over thousands of years. He was angry at his ex-wife. He was angry at his previous employers. He was angry at the government. He was happy, though, when Nozomi and I would pay a visit with something to drink and a few minutes of conversation. I couldn’t understand everything he said, but I understood that he was someone unlike anyone I had ever met before. He chose to be homeless out of principle. His principles, but principle nonetheless.
And now he’s gone. The winter temperatures were a bit too much and he froze while I slept comfortably in a bed heated by an electric blanket.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m investing my time properly. Yeah, my family is taken care of, but there are a lot of people who could do with some basics … assuming they will elect to accept them.