This morning, a little after seven a.m., I was running up Vermont Street. Well, mostly running up, because it is a steep hill that goes pretty much nothing but up for quite a few blocks. I glanced into a silver Jeep as I walk/ran/staggered it. A man was sleep in the front seat, curled away from me, his head resting partly on the window and partly on the headrest. I couldn't see his face, so I have no idea how old he is. His shirt and coat (it got down to about 50 degree last night) were rucked up in the back, and I saw a pale, vulnerable slice of his lower back.
It feels like I have been here before. Because I have
. Back in 2007, with a 62-year-old guy named Paul. Paul, who had a drinking problem (which took me a while to figure out), a wife who had kicked him out, and most of his possessions in a Barbur Boulevard storage unit. Paul, who liked to read. Paul, who ended up in the hospital for ten days and discharged back to the street with a dozen prescriptions, most of which said they needed to be taken with food. Paul, who was trying to live on, more or less, the weekday lunch offered at Loaves and Fishes. Paul, who didn't ask for anything but who would take what I gave.
But I already have the cat we never wanted (and still, to be honest, don't). Part of me hopes the guy in the silver Jeep is not there when I go running again.