I hear this and pause. Search and rescue crosses my mind, the notion of a St. Bernard with little barrel flask around his neck, I think of snow for some reason which makes no sense. One of us, one of our tribe who never says no he goes and he goes cheerfully. Let me just check it out and see what's what, he says. And he goes to that park.
A few hours later there's an update. This man in the park. No shit, he's been outside a very long time. But for some reason today is our lucky day. He comes with my friend and he goes inside. He's eating, my friend says. He sure is hungry. I've got him settled and he'll stay here for the weekend and then we'll go from there. But you know, it's crazy. He's a vet and he says he's been outside for 20 years.
And for some reason I feel like crying.
This was a week ago and yesterday I meet this man from the park, my co-worker brought him to meet me and with a look he tells me silently it's the guy, the guy from the park. He's bronze, so bronze he's leather, his eyes are kind and his teeth are shattered. I shake his hand and tell him I'm so happy he's with us and he shakes mine back and agrees. The three of us talk for a few minutes and I like this guy, I like him a lot. There's a sense you get and your first instinct usually sticks, because there are no pretenses unless there are and you spot those a mile away and it's fine but then it's different and there were no pretenses here. As he leaves he surprises me and leans over and hugs me and so I hug him back this bronze man from the park and I have to ask why did you finally come inside after all this time? And he looks at me and says well you know because he asked me to. And I can't help but wonder if that meant in all that time no one else had.