I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

His Town
I see him often when I run on the streets of his town. I call it his town because he has been here far longer than I have.

Everyone knows him, it seems but he is always alone. Sometimes I see him sitting down on the benches of the park where he is asked by the cops to leave.

When I approach him in my run, he looks at me and we make eye contact. I can tell underneath all that dirt and that mass of hair that has not been washed in months that he is fairly young, maybe in his early 40s. His features are soft, and his eyes are big but always with a lost look in them. Washed, shaven and dressed he is probably a good looking man.

No one I have talked to knows anything about him. As with any homeless, there are the off the wall rumors that he is wealthy or has a family that supports him. All I know is that he is always alone.

He looks calm, relaxed, even happy.

This homeless man does not beg; he smokes whole cigarettes, no butts off the road. He drinks Dunkin Donuts coffee and tips the attendant. We call him homeless but maybe he lives somewhere.

I am not trying to analyze the socioeconomic issues involved in his life style. That is not what this post is about. I don’t think anyone chooses to live the life that he lives. There are reasons that put a person there. At times one door closes and then another and suddenly we don’t know where to turn anymore. I don’t know what his reasons are.

It saddens me when I see him that I don’t dare talk to him. We all avoid him. Society avoids him and I am one of them. His mind, it appears, is not all there which I hope in a way shields him from the neglect we impose on him. I try to smile when I see him and he nods slightly acknowledging that he noticed me noticing him or maybe he just nods wondering why I run so much while he sits there so calm, relaxed, even happy…