Monday, June 18, 2012


I went to a cafe on a summer day and sat at a sidewalk table.
A man walked by, maybe 65 or 70.
Crooked gait, tousled, shabby.
The kind of person you steer clear of.
Sagging dirty pants held up by suspenders.
Shirt not tucked in, just scrunched up above the waist.
Underwear waistband showing above the pants waistband.
Maybe he's mentally ill.
Maybe he's alcoholic.

His cell phone rang.
I heard his conversation.
Happy Father's Day to you too!
I just went to the pharmacy.
I have to wait for the results of my blood tests.
I miss you.
I'm going to sell all my stuff and buy a ticket.
I'm going to sell the truck, and the construction equipment.
I've got nothing here.
I left my land, my home.
I had everything there.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
No junk food.
No hot stuff.
I love you."

When you see a tousled man, don't forget,
He might be somebody's father, someobody's son, somebody's brother.

He could be my father.
My father is the eccentric old man at his apartment complex,
Lumbering around with his walking stick,
Sorting through the dumpster,
Making sure nothing good gets thrown away.

It's okay to be eccentric.
Eccentric people are interesting.

May no one be lonely.
May all be loved.

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