A Certain Kindness
February 16, 2012 § 10 Comments
Each work morning lately I’ve taken to going to Au Bon Pain for coffee before work. For a week or two, I’ve noticed a “homeless” man. I don’t know if he literally is homeless, but he literally looks crazy. Wild, long untrimmed grey and white hair, including a beard. He is always in the same jeans, same shirt, same coat. So I deduce, being the veteran city girl I am, he is homeless. The talking and scowling at no one really hammers home the crazy.
A week ago, he noticed me. I think more accurately, he noticed me noticing him. Once he noticed me noticing him, he made it a point to notice me when I came in the coffee place. Again, the city girl in me notes this and notes also that it could be trouble. Because you see…
I give off a vibe. How does one describe this vibe? I don’t know, but this particular worm brings in a certain kind of fish. That’s what I’ve deduced so far. And didn’t this particular crazy come by at the right time, just in time to test my theory.
And test it he did.
Yesterday morning, the homeless man was standing two blocks down, staring at the train exit I depart from. I said nothing, but as I approached, eye contact became accidentally inevitable as he just stood there. Our eyes met briefly and I continued on to ABP. I thought to myself that it was weird he wasn’t in there with his usual coffee and orange juice that I’m pretty sure the manager gives him for free since the orange juice from ABP is like 5 bucks or something outrageous like that. But maybe I had missed his ABP time.
The next day, he is right at the tip of Valenti, where the painted brick sign for Canal St still haunts like a war time tattoo.
Fuck, I say to the morning air, knowing this time there will be words. I am incapable of not giving this person the respect of acknowledgement. He is standing in my path and we have seen each other before. He is already talking before I speak.
” Morning, morning…” He mumbles and his voice gets low and unintelligible.
“Good Morning.” I say simply and continue walking.
“Morning, Jesus is coming…”
The next day he is directly outside the coffee shop, telling the empty street; “Its been so many gathered…”
I can’t help but agree with him.