If I’m going to die, I hope the coyotes take my body

I believe in a better world for everybody else. For example, take these cars [going by behind us]: if they’re diesel, make them into biodiesel. And then you’ll have 44% less carbon dioxide in the air. Or solar panels. Anything that you can generate electricity from that offers “free” energy.

I’ve got one solar panel in here [pointing to his cart], another in here [pointing to his backpack], which charges my cellphone. Even my flashlight has a solar panel [he shows me].

A long time ago I had a diesel engine van from the 60s, which my uncle bought in a junk yard for 50 bucks and redid the whole engine so that it’d run on grease. What you do is take the grease, filter it off and it comes out biodiesel. We did an emissions test with a regular engine from the same model van and ours came out 44% less carbon dioxide. And it ran real good. I remember I painted on both sides “this car does not run on diesel. It runs on grease”. And people would honk their horn and I’d pull over and show them how to make a biodiesel engine. And I’d explain that you can collect the grease for free from basically any fast food chain. And I’d show them my tool. It basically looked like a wok with a hole in the middle, which funneled the grease through a 5-stage filter.

I’ve seen things across Canada. If you look at Manitoba lake, there’s garbage floating around everywhere and people never clean it up. There’s garbage everywhere. And then some of these cars are just really polluting. Some of these guys with race cars and hot rods and stuff. They should at least find a way to make it fuel efficient without pumping out so much CO2. I’ve noticed over the years how our atmosphere’s changing. We’re getting hotter and hotter. In Toronto there are heat waves of up to 40 Celsius. Where’s the CO2 gunna go to? You can’t get rid of it; the atmosphere traps it. And then there’s the smog. And that comes from basically anything that uses fossil fuels.

In 2050 we’re not even going to live much longer. Our atmosphere’s going to be so screwed up that we have to pay for our own air. You ever hear of the movie Doom? It’s an old sci-fi with Patrick Stewart where you can’t even drink water – you have to pay to drink water, which is itself refined from urine. And then you have this little thing on the side of your nose – a clip – that helps you breathe in the polluted atmosphere.

I’m part native, like my Mum. She was Cree so I’ve got Cree blood in me. That strongly influences my beliefs. I like nature. I live in nature. I sleep outside and I’m homeless. I’ve been homeless for a long time because I can’t sleep inside. It’s nature I like. I see the animals every day of the week. I see the coyotes. I get woken up by the crows. In the evening you get to see American robins picking worms off the ground. I prefer living like that, although my body is telling me otherwise. I don’t have too long to live because I have a condition of the heart. A ruptured tumour. This healthcare system doesn’t really care about homeless people. The doctor told me I’m too far gone. I’ve had radiation treatment [he takes of his hat to show me his shaven head]. Every day I’m struggling. Getting food. Pan-handling. If it rains I have to head back to the campsite, which is mostly uphill into the forest and so is hard on my heart.

If I’m going to die, I hope the coyotes take my body – that nature takes my body. Then my spirit (my Mum believes in the Creator god – in Jesus too but not so much. She knows there’s a Creator, as we call it in our native language), if it floats around, will be floating around with nature. And I’ll find a place where there’s nothing for miles. No cell phones. No signal. Nothing for miles. Nothing but forest, forest, forest, forest. And my spirit will be floating around in that forest.

When people see me they often just think “oh there’s a homeless guy. He’s carrying a baseball bat”. So what? It’s for protection. If you’re gunna sleep outside here in Vancouver, it’s not easy. The society loves your pathetic junkies and the cops like targeting me.

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