Last week I was downtown enjoying a cup of coffee in a small vest pocket kind of park right off one of the main streets in town.
If you happen to be on the curb of this street you often get subjected to all sorts of noisy cars with loud mufflers and exhaust systems that are loud either by design as in on purpose or as in neglect as in the tailpipes fell off and you don’t care or can’t afford to repair bill.
The park sits back from the street and offers a respite from the din of relentless traffic.
I have s streak going with coffee and this park that I started last summer and I hope continue until the weather makes the streak untenable.
Drinking coffee, minding my own business as I was the only one in the park until an older fellow came walking through occasionally leaning on a cane he was carrying.
” I don’t really need this,” he offered, ” showing me the cane but it helps with my sore leg. The one I broke and had surgery on to repair.’
” I need to get back to work” he said although judging from his struggling gait and his age I thought work would or should out of the question for him.
He mentioned something about being a roof and then I knew for sure his working days needed to over. I know a roofer once who said that by the age of 30 your knees were shot from all that squatting and balancing on pitched surfaces.
We agreed the cooler weather was no friend to broken bones even after they had healed.
The man said he had to go find his brother and just like that he was gone.
A passing conversation reaching out for a friendly face, mine I guess, which leads me to another story about an older man.
I once wrote post about him called ” The Grey Man” but it seems to have disappeared from these pages.
There is a house on the corner of two intersecting streets that once was most likely covered in red brick. The red brick remains but sometime in the past it was covered on that sort of fake grey stone that seems to have pink tint buried in it.
At one time the building was probably a bar or hotel judging from the angled front steps and what’s left of what must’ve been a sign over the door and the fact the whole door and step units were placed at an angle facing both streets.
Now I think it’s just apartments or maybe rooms, certainly not in the high rent district.
I was driving to work one morning. It was early. The sun was still below the horizon and the sky was a half light grey as though you knew it was going be cloudy all day anyway.
There was a man seated on the steps wearing old and dirty clothes and no matter color they might have been at one time the clothes were now grey. His long beard was grey and the smoke from his cigarette provided a grayish haze around his face.
He was the grey man in front of his grey house.