Letters for Dec. 25, 2015
Who is Lester Lopes?
I go to Kapaa Burger King 3 to 5 times a week to get a Diet Coke, and one of those times I will treat myself to French Fries and use the free WiFi and just relax. I find it one of the most inviting places on the cosmic Garden Isle.
They have an area of which I refer to as the “VIP lounge,” there are four large easy-type chairs and a couple small tables located away from the main seating area. This area is highly attractive to the homeless, maybe that’s why I like it, after all, I too was houseless for seven years.
There was this man named Lester that hung out there on a daily basis. I would talk story with Lester and he always had something to say about everything, usually negative.
Lester had disability for something from the VA and said he could afford a $500-600 a month to rent a room. I told him check Craigslist. He doesn’t know how to use the computer and had too much anxiety to ask the librarian for assistance on the free computers.
I started printing out Craigslist rooms for rent. He would call but the room was always taken, so he said.
The last time I saw Lester, he did not look good and was complaining he was tired. I said, “Do you want me to call 911 for you?”
“No!” I said you need to check into Mahelona, (the closest hospital.) He had a negative excuse, “You can’t just check into a hospital,” he said.
I said, “Brah, you don’t look good.” I gave him a few coupons I had for a free french fry and ice cream. I was looking for a cop on the way home to tell them they should check on this guy, I never found the cop.
I did find on the front page of The Garden Island on Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015, that a 62 year old homeless man was found dead in front of a business he slept at.
That man was Lester. I wish I could had done more, it was so obvious this man was in need.
I am not a trained professional. This man was highly visible in the public eye — if only myself or someone else had stepped up. I am starting to think what Lester really needed was a friend.
I am going to try and step up and make someone in need my friend. I cannot bring back Lester, but I can shed a tear, hoping he knew somebody cared.
Lesson learned. All of us need to step up and make someone in need our friend. Many times they don’t want money or food, just someone to talk to, who will listen and care.
James “Kimo” Rosen