THE RIVER MAN
written by Debbie Williamson
There is a river located at the intersection of a very busy highway, just west of Kamloops, BC. That river is home to not only animals and fish but also to the River Man. River Man lives in a tent by the river and he lives there all year round.
River Man is rugged looking. He has a thick white beard and moustache. His hair is just as white and it is long and scraggily. His clothes are worn and tattered. The River Man goes about his business, chopping firewood, cooking his meals and cleaning up his campsite as cars drive by him on the highway. Some cars stop and take a look at the River Man and others have seen him so many times now that they just drive right on by.
The first time I saw the River Man, I kind of envied him. I think he has guts and courage to do what he is doing. It certainly couldn't be an easy life for him but at least he is probably doing what he loves to do and that is living outdoors. Imagine waking up every morning without a care in the world. No job to go to. No kids to tie you down. The River Man's only requirement is to survive each and every day.
In the long run, the River Man is probably a lot smarter than the rest of us. The only thing he has to worry about is himself. He probably gets a monthly cheque from the government that would pay for the bit of supplies he would need and he probably only goes into the city maybe once a month.
I do, however, find the location that he picked a little odd. I mean, here in Kamloops, BC there are a lot of remote places that he could have chosen and yet he chose to be beside the highway where people can see him. Maybe that is why he chose the spot he chose. Maybe he wants people to see him. Maybe he wants people to know that he can survive on his own. Whatever his reasons, I definitely find that the River Man, odd as he might be, is definitely intriguing.
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