I’m watching a hitchhiker on the side of the highway. At first he was standing over his bags on the side of the road with a cardboard sign out. Shaved head, black beard – he looks rough. Someone from the skate park across the highway yells something to him and he shouts back, asks for a smoke. The guy from the skate park comes half-running half-skipping across the highway, he reminds me of a lemur the way he hops across the median. The squeals coming out of his mouth I can only guess are some style of laughter – the hitchhiker laughs at his antics.
They stand and talk for a few minutes over a smoke, and the hitchhiker opens his guitar case lying on the ground with the rest of his baggage – my perceptions readjust with the first notes wafting over the mostly still night air as he begins to play. What a beautiful human.
Two more guys from the skate park come running over, urging their friend off to some rendezvous, but he is in no hurry to leave. They stay for a few minutes more before the newcomers leave, followed shortly by the first, skip-running with his lemur laughter. What a beautiful human. The hitchhiker laughs again.
I never knew about justified typeset – I used to wonder how writers made their words all line up to the edge of the page. But when I found out that many writers ‘justify’ their text, I began doing the same. I thought it made the pages look orderly and neat. The truth is, I was about to justify this post, but as I think about the hitchhiker serenading the night with his music and no one to listen but the empty highway I think, what if all humans were ordered and neat and fit to the page? What if there were no night-walking guitar-playing hitchhikers to show us the beautiful humans?
He seems sad now, alone on the street, he’s traded his guitar for the cardboard sign again, just an isolated traveler in a street-lit island in the night. I wonder what his story is, and will be. I wonder where the road will take him, and what kind of adventure he’ll meet on the way, and I wonder; what sort of interesting stories are the people passing by missing out on? I wonder.