Author: Nelson Morais

Date: Nov. 27, 2015

What’s so funny about being homeless? Nothing, you might assume. But you’d be wrong, at least in my experience of being homeless for about six years. I believe my (admittedly twisted) sense of humor kept me from utter despair. And sometimes, I was the  source of humor for others who saw or met me … like the time I found a unique way to delight tourists in Key West.

The following is a small excerpt from chapter 16 of my ebook, “From Homeless to Heaven.” I hope you’ll laugh with me as I recount what happened one night.

“One day, near one end of Duval Street, I found something very unusual on a sidewalk. It was a felt-covered blue pillow in the shape of an over-sized Crayon. It was about six feet long and colorful. How it got there, I had no idea. However, seizing the opportunity for a little fun, I tucked it under my right arm, with the pointed end a few feet ahead of me, and the rest of it extending behind me.

It was approaching dusk. The bars on Duval Street were quickly filling up. A lot of them had open spaces where windows would normally go, affording the bar patrons an unobstructed view of the diverse parade of people walking by them. In front of one bar, I accidentally poked a man on his backside with the tip of the Crayon. He turned around, saw the Crayon, appeared alarmed, and quickly moved aside to give me ample room. I was walking on my tiptoes then (thanks to ‘God’s’ instructions), and sometimes stopping and doing a difficult balancing act to avoid falling over or landing my shoes back flat on the ground. Sure enough, some bar patrons saw me and laughed heartily at the strange sight of a man – a homeless man, at that — with a straight face who was carrying a humongous Crayon for no good reason.

After getting the surprised looks and other reactions I was looking for along Duval Street, I found a shuttered business on a less trafficked street. I put the Crayon on the stoop’s wide, top step, and tried to sleep on it by resting my head on the pillow/stuffed toy. (It was hard to know for sure what the Crayon’s purpose in life was.)

After only a few minutes, however, a male tourist must have thought it funny to wake up a homeless man, so he grabbed one end of the Crayon, jerked it out from under my head while I was trying to sleep, laughed, and continued on his way. I wasn’t amused. I decided trying to sleep in that spot wasn’t a good idea, so back I went down Duval Street in the opposite direction I had taken, with my big blue Crayon again secured under my arm, and bewildered, laughing tourists all around. I then ditched the Crayon in the same area where I had found it, believing it had finished serving its comic purpose in my life.”