Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tribute to My Homeless Guy

As some of you know, I read online last night that the body of a homeless man was found here in the neighborhood this past weekend. And based on the picture, it's "my" homeless guy.

Now mind you, I had never even talked to the man. But since I moved here a year ago, I've seen him almost every week. He was always around (near Publix and the bowling alley, where his body was found, seemed to be his two most frequent hangouts). He was never asking for handouts. He'd just walk around. Sometimes he'd sit down on the grass and just watch everyone go by. And every time I saw him, I always thought, "Man, I should stop and help him"--give him money, food, SOMETHING. And, of course, I never did. I always had somewhere I just HAD to be. Or I didn't have cash on me. Or any one of a number of excuses.

I'll do it later, I told myself. Next time.

I told myself that for over a year.

So part of the tears were guilt-induced. Part of it was...I don't know. He had just become, in a weird way, a part of my life. Kind of like the old man I always see walking back from the gas station every morning, like clockwork, on my way to work.

And then I had a thought that just broke my heart: I was probably the only one in the whole world who cried at his passing. He left this world and barely anyone even noticed.

So here's to Richard, my homeless guy: I sure hope that wherever you are now is a hell of a lot better than your life down here. You WILL be missed.

I just wanted you to know that.

4 comments:

Nik said...

Jen-- you're not the only one who cried for him. I did too! ANd ye never know, he may have had the same impact on someone else, as he did you.

Richard, you're in my thoughts and prayers. May your soul finally rest in peace.

JH said...

sorry about your loss... I got a little sad reading your post.

ok i came today to leave another comment, but I can't on this post so see the post below.

Renee said...

That's a very sweet tribute, Jen. As I said before-- let's just hope that he's much happier wherever he is now.

Anna said...

It's always sad to lose people who are a part of your life. I'm sorry.