never go back

And if you see me sitting around
Thinking the same old thoughts
over and over again

Or going back to old ways
I’ve long ago abandoned

Please, tell me
— the prophet lowery

We’re sitting in the shade of the arts center. Mo has made me a bowl, and I have sauntered through 5 miles. It’s the best I’ve felt in a while, and we’re celebrating by eating fish and chips from Pete’s. It’s a picnic, COVID style, with no tables or napkins or a care in the world. Everything is perfect.

And then.

A wayward waif walks up. He’s hungry, in that way the homeless get around noon. We’re trapped.

I try my best to ignore him, but Mo is such a nice person. She says hello and offers to share. He excitedly digs in with the enthusiasm of one who hasn’t eaten in a long time and doesn’t know when his next meal will be.

A security guard for the arts center walks up. We’re busted. But she says it’s OK and pretends to look the other direction. I make a mental note not to storm the auditorium.

Our homeless lunch partner doesn’t say anything; he just keeps enthusiastically eating. And then, grateful for the impromptu meal, he wanders off to the grassy area on the other side of the courtyard.

A woman in a motorized wheelchair tries to pick him up (another symptom of COVID Isolation Syndrome, I suppose) but he wants nothing to do with her. He is content to sit in the shade, glancing over at us now and then. Just in case.

We linger in the warmth of the sun while most of the country freezes until it’s time for Mo’s appointment. We wave goodbye to him as we make our way to the parking lot. He remains silent, but I think a spot a tiny smile. Or maybe he’s just smacking his lips.

Five miles, a spectacular new bowl, a friend for life. A fine day with a  lesson worth remembering. Never sit around thinking the same old thoughts. You never know what’s on the horizon, so always bring some extra fish.

Just in case.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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