Thursday, February 15, 2007
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It's been a howler of a couple days here in Ohio. The kind of endless winter gray sameness that makes one day silently slip into another.
Ice & snow & cold. During the ice storm, a local ten year old girl was killed by a falling branch while walking her dog in front of her house.
Winter is officially evil.
And cold as hell.
When I leave work and it's windy outside, I hustle to my car in the parking lot.
And as I start the engine, I inevitably think of Sean, the homeless guy living in the tent out in the woods, maybe 150 yards away. But hell, my view from my desk looks right down upon his camp so who am I kidding? I wonder about him all the time, especially after a fellow hobo froze to death a week ago.
From poker player to hobo observer. That's my lot in life and I've accepted it.
My lovely co-worker, Susan, was also concerned about Sean, especially when we never saw anyone stop in to see him since the weather turned bad.
Random anecdote: After asking Susan to hit the Waffle House for lunch across the river in Kentucky, she would only go if she could change clothes first, because of the supposed lingering WaffleWouse stench. And so she did.
Who has clothes in a desk drawer just for eating at WaffleHouse?
Anyway, Susan went and talked to Sean, discovering that he needed food and tobacco. Because it was close to lunch, I was in the same boat.
So later that afternoon, I made a food run.
I returned, parked next to his camp, and carried the grocery bags into the woods. Upon calling out, he appeared and shook my hand, thanking me. We talked for a bit and then he asked if I could help him out and get some gas sometime soon, he was nearly out. "Hell, let's go right now," I replied so we took off for the nearest gas station to fill up his jug.
When we drove past the train bridge where the old man had frozen earlier that week I asked Sean about Wolfie, the guy in the newspaper article from my earlier post.
"How the hell do you know about Wolfie? He's a Neanderthal. Been on the streets for 15 years and ain't even got a tent, I don't know how he does it."
We gab and gas up and when we return, I bitch a little about him staying out in the cold like this.
I want to ask him. Is it the booze? I want to ask him. Would you leave if you could? I want to ask him. Can I come drink some beers with you? I want to ask him. How many people help you?
"Come on in and see how warm it is," and led me to his tent.
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