Friday, July 16, 2010

As I have surely mentioned before, I run five miles every other day with my ipod on, and although I see and hear things while I am running, I tend to stay pretty damn focused--with one exception. At about the four and a half mile mark (or for you Washington DC folks, at 18th and Columbia NW) there is a semi-steep climb that is followed by a gradual descent. As I am running up the semi-steep hill there is always an older homeless guy sitting there peacefully. He's usually sitting on the outdoor chairs of a restaurant that doesn't open until 3pm, and I am quite sure they don't know he occupies that space, and it shouldn't matter because he's not bothering anyone. He usually has a bottle of water one on side, and a cup that he asks people to fill on the other.

I am usually much too tired to speak to this guy, so I just run by him and give him the JaVale McGee salute, and he always yells out, "Hey young fella!". I smile, throw up the Roc sign (not really, but I always am tempted to) and keep running.

But this morning, this gentleman had one of his boys sitting with him outside the restaurant. There was no cup for change anywhere in sight, just two bottles of water between them. This time when I ran by, my friend said "hey young fella!", and the gentlemen with him gave me a thumbs up, and I smiled. But just before I ran out of earshot, I heard my friend say to his buddy, "That's my man right there, I see youngin running by here every morning."

Now, I don't know what else this guy goes through during a typical day, and I don't know what circumstances led him to be homeless. But if me and my sweaty shirt, out of breath ass, can bring this guy enough sunshine that he speaks to me and brags on his friends about it, then that's enough to make me smile. The next time I run, I am going to bring have some cash ready to drop in his cup. Or maybe on a day I'm not running, I'll just talk to him, although I suspect that might ruin things..but let me not be cynical. That 10-15 second exchange this morning put me in a good mood.


£ said...

Awesome. That put a smile on my face too. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! I used to work with homeless people, my 2 cents (for what it's worth) is that you don't give him any money. Right now, you're his friend - that's worth more :)