It might seem silly to you, but Steve agreed to an interview on one condition: He needed me to watch his shopping cart while he ran behind a building to relieve himself. I was honored. A homeless person’s shopping cart contains their entire world. Steve was saying he trusted me.
My honor was short-lived. Homelessness and “pushing a buggy” are not new to me. I have even written about my own experience pushing my life in a shopping cart. When Steve left me alone with that buggy, I was not expecting the swell of emotions that came with it. Cars drove by, and people gawked. I felt the shame and public humiliation all over again. It was a horrible experience!
But it is a part of Steve’s daily life.
Most inner-cities feature the stark contrast of wealth and poverty, and Hollywood is no different. Famous television shows are taped feet away from where this interview takes place. Ironically, Steve came to Los Angeles to sell a screenplay. But like so many others, he found Hollywood to be the boulevard of broken dreams.
Steve’s day starts by pushing a shopping cart in search of aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass. He spends the money on beer and cigarettes while eating entirely out of trash dumpsters.
To put it mildly, Steve is a character. I really enjoyed our conversation, and I think you will, too. He says he is on the streets because he is a tough romantic who still holds on to his dream. And after our interview, I believe him. What do you think?