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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jumpsuit Guy

Nearly three years ago, and shortly after I started this blog, I wrote this entry about a homeless man named David who was sitting out on a bench just outside the building where I work.

He's still there. And has been pretty much everyday, rain or shine, scorching heat or freezing cold. They demolished and reconfigured a small park down the end of the block because too many homeless were congregating there and he remained. They've started programs to discourage panhandling and he remains. They've opened expensive high-rise urban condos a couple of blocks away and he remains.

Three years.
A Few Degrees of Separation

The temperature hovered around 37 degrees. A drenching chilling rain slumped through the sky. It smelled like snow, the air was pregnant with potential, but it didn't come. It was as if the climate walked a knife's edge. With all the moisture in the air, if the temperature dropped just a bit, the world would be transformed.

Mixed in with the large raindrops were the occasional rogue snowflakes. They somehow managed the transformation their brothers couldn't. They were so big and dense you almost felt them individually when they hit your coat.

Standing at an intersection waiting for a light to change, I could see two worlds. The one where I stood now, damp, chilling, dreary and loud with shushing traffic and drizzling water and another. One blanketed in white, silenced, purified, covered. In one world, everyone kept their heads down, even under umbrellas, trying to keep the rain out of their faces and their feet out of puddles. In the other, the faces turn upwards, open to the sky, seeking contact with the manna from above.