Part of the scenery

img_20170713_153148.jpgOne of the weird things about homeless street people. They become like part of the scenery. There’s that street light.  There’s that bus bench. There’s that store front. And there’s that homeless guy hanging out at his spot on the sidewalk with his dog.  You see them every day. So after awhile you get to feel like you know them. Even though you don’t really know them.

Like this guy. And his dog. I must have passed him and his dog a thousand times as I walked down Shattuck.  He was always set up at his hang-out spot on the sidewalk in front of Half Price Books. He’s been hanging out there every day for years. And him and his dog are a perfect match. A matching set.  They’re the very definition of “laconic.” Neither of them hardly ever move from their spot. And when they did move, they moved slowly. They were almost like a public statue.  And then at the end of the day they’d move about 10 feet to their crash spot in the doorway of Half Price Books where they’d sleep for the night. Wake up the next morning.  And start all over again.

He seemed like a fairly friendly sort.  People would often stop and chat with him as they strolled down Shattuck.  And his dog was quite popular, too.  Got a lot of pets, a lot of attention, from the passerbys. Every now and then he would take out his acoustic guitar,and jam out some bluesy kind of instrumental stuff, and he had some nice skills on the guitar.
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You could tell he had a lot of miles on him, probably in his late 50s, and had been through many a rough winters and was kind of on his last legs.  So I wasn’t particularly surprised when he suddenly disappeared last winter.  You noticed his absence immediately.  For, like I said, he was part of the scenery.  And now a piece of it was missing.  Word went out that he had died. So they made a make-shift shrine in his honor at his hang-out spot. They put flowers and candles and heart-felt eulogies. “I miss you and your dog Grinder so much, Rick!!”

But then a month later he returned to his spot. He wasn’t dead after all.  He was having some health problems and had been temporarily put up in a hotel. So it was like Mark Twain. “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

But now he’s been missing again lately for the last 2 months. So who knows.  Nothing stays the same for very long in this life.  Even things that seem like they had been part of the scenery forever.

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