Each Thursday we try to get to know different DC-area residents by walking up to total strangers, introducing ourselves, and asking the same question: “What are you thankful for?” Whether people want to give a shout out to an Express worker they pass each morning by the Metro, give thanks to the IRS for a recent tax refund, or are just glad that we’ve sprung forward into T-shirt weather, we’ve found that each answer reveals a telling detail about who we are as a city and how we live.
This week we met Elijah (AKA “NatureBoy”), a man with a really large staff who says that Lafayette Square is his office.
“I’m thankful that for the past 34 years, I haven’t had to serve man to survive. I haven’t had a job for a long time. I don’t serve Caesar. I survive off the things that grow. All species except humans survive by eating things that are produced naturally and that’s what I do. Any plant that produces a seed has something about it that’s edible without having to process it. I only have four basic needs: air, water, food, and wisdom—and I get my wisdom from other species. I learn from the animals: they tell me where I can drink, what I can eat, and when I should reproduce.
Before I started living this lifestyle, I worked as a maintenance line man in Texas and preached in the Baptist church. I came here to DC two years ago and am going to be here indefinitely. I have a twofold mission. The first is to share my understanding of life and my website with people from all over the world—that’s why I hang out here where the tourists are. The second is to pull the Constitution down over the nation. There are no constitutionally elected presidents or politicians and there haven’t been since the ratification of the 12th Amendment. To those who choose to live a more conventional lifestyle I’d say, hey, keep on doin’ what you’re doin,’ that’s your thing… unless you have a desire for what Christians call everlasting life.” —Elijah A. Alexander Jr.