The summer after my sophomore year of college, I studied abroad in Seville, Spain, for a month. I was with a group of friends in an elegant downtown shopping district one Saturday afternoon. There was a homeless guy sitting off to the right, who was missing a leg below the knee. He had a basket and a sign that proclaimed SAVING FOR A FERRARI. ALMOST THERE. PLEASE HELP. I tossed in a few pesetas.
Then, another guy ambled by. His shorts were tattered at the bottoms, his shirt was holey. He had an untidy beard and stringy black hair. He looked as if he hadn’t showered since Tuesday morning.
He had a daypack behind him and a camera—a really nice camera—strapped around his neck. He was looking around with the wonderment of a mime inside a real box, yet he was moving as if he had somewhere to be. I watched him until he turned the corner and was out of sight.
What is he looking at? I wondered. Where has he been, and more important, where is he going?
I value a daily bath, but I want to be that dude otherwise. Much like the first time one sees a guy strumming a guitar and determines to be a musician or goes to see Batman and immediately runs home to sketch plans for a Halloween costume, this guy inspired me.
Ever since that Saturday, I have striven to live my life pleased with my station and always anticipating the next destination.