If you don’t know about Hollywood’s homeless oracle, Lyle Shove-It, I can give you all the details (read about him here, Hollywood’s Most Famous Bum…. He is the area’s most famous homeless person because of his sage advice and complete preaching of love in all circumstances (even if that love can be rough around the edges…because hey, he’s homeless and has to survive on the streets of LA, so he can be, at times, brash).
Side note: Lyle Shove-It qualifies for my definition of slightly unhinged, and that’s important if you’ve been following the Slightly Unhinged series (you can find that here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here. And that’s it.
I tend to see Lyle once a week at our special location; the meeting point of two famous Hollywood streets, but I will not tell you which, because Lyle and I have a special bond, and we don’t break our word to one another. I’ve promised not to make him famous, and he’s allowed me to pass on his wisdom to others.
So, in other words, I visit the oracle once every week, like fishing on an ocean of insight, and try to catch not a huge, whopper of a fish that breaks my net when I haul it to shore, and not a team of minnows, but a fish of middle size, that I can haul back to shore and, ultimately, we can have fish dinner (except I don’t eat meat, but you understand the allegory, I trust; this is also a Terence McKenna phrase).
This week, Lyle Shove-It, sitting beneath a sign that boldly reads, Hollywood (which really suits Lyle well), speaks about older gentlemen who frequent the bars and hang out with young people.
“It’s obvious these old farts don’t fit in, and it’s obvious they’re old.” Lyle wheezes sometimes, and his words are challenging to understand. He removes his hat and wipes his forehead. “The old farts aren’t fooling anybody. They’re lonely, and that’s not their fault, it’s simply an indication of our time, and of loneliness.
“The old fart has younger friends, and he buys them drinks so the younger crowd will playact as friends, and that way the old fart gets to talk to younger women, and ogle their bodies.” Lyle laughs at this point. He truly enjoys what he says. “The old farts work out, have tan chests, try to remain at least partially in their twenties or thirties, but they are fifty, sixty, and it’s obvious, even to an old bum like me.
“Everybody tells you, don’t worry about it now, you can mature later. Don’t get too spiritual, live it up now. But then you end up in a teenybopper bar, with teenyboppers, drinking hard liquor, twice divorced, staring at breasts and butts, surrounded by young testosterone, wishing for heaven when the best you’s got is a filthy planet earth.”
By teenyboppers, I imagine Lyle is referring to younger people, because, as we all know, teens can’t go to bars. Just as suddenly as Lyle begins talking, he quits, and once he quits, he doesn’t restart. It’s over, until next time.
I always get him a meal in exchange for his advice. But I won’t tell you where I get him that meal. He has a favorite Hollywood restaurant, and it’s very near our meeting place. I won’t tell you where, not yet.