Walking toward me, a man with a serious limp asks, “Hey, do you know where the Salvation Army is?” He has barely finished crossing five lanes of traffic before the light changes and everything and everyone starts moving at forty-miles-per-hour.
“You are just one block away,” I answer raising my voice above the wind. “You cannot see the sign from here because of the curve in the road.”
“Whoa, it’s cold up here,” he exclaims rubbing his ungloved hands together.
“Where are you from?” I ask, noticing an absence of scarf and hat as well.
“San Antonio,” he shoots back with a broad smile crossing his face. There is a significant scar along the edge of his left jaw.
“And, you left that warm weather and sunshine for this?” I counter. We have started to walk together in the same general direction.
“Yeah, I came up her for truck driving school. And, then, all of a sudden-B A M. I’m homeless. I need me a clean shower and a shave. Hey, are there any good jobs around here? For twenty dollars an hour? Like a forklift operator? [He does not yet understand how different the market is in this region.] I see it now. I got it. I got it,” he gently dismisses me.
“I hope everything works out for you,” I say in parting.
“Yeah, me, too,” he responds waving his hand.