Sunday, February 24, 2008

7:41 AM

That's the time it was when he started laying on the doorbell. On a Sunday. Not one ring or two, but a dingdingdingdingdingdingding of continuous jabbing at the switch. And again. And I started from bed--do I get dressed? What? Socks? Who?


Henry--we'll call him Henry--is apparently homeless, and frequents the neighborhood because of the church up the street which feeds and ministers to the homeless. Henry will do stuff for money--rake leaves, shovel snow, haul trash, anything you got.

This time Henry had a snow shovel in hand; he "borrows" these tools, like rakes and shovels, from other neighbors to do the job, unless you want to "lend" him a shovel. But it hasn't snowed in two days, and even though I didn't shovel when it did, there wasn't much, and most of it has melted down. But Henry is here, shovel in hand, at 7:41 on a Sunday. The fact is, there's no beer or wine sold on Sundays until after 12 noon, so Henry's got some time to hustle. Henry needs cash.

Henry drinks. He probably does other things as well, but he drinks. He can rake a yard and fill four bags with leaves, powered by a Colt 45 "Tall Boy". He just sets it on the porch, in a bag, and gets to work. Henry hustles.

I don't know how old Henry is; he looks 55, but he's probably 33. Henry's got nothing much, nobody cares where Henry is this morning, at 7:41, on a Sunday. Nobody cares how old he is. Henry's mind is focused on too few things; he doesn't care what time it is. He's long past caring as those around him are long past caring about him. He just needs some cash.

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