I left the house at one o’clock today and headed toward the bus stop four blocks away. Halfway there, I approached a corner and saw a gentleman up ahead crossing my path. He was some distance away and did not notice me but it was hard not to notice him. His back curved a bit so his head thrust forward and his face angled slightly downward. He took long strides, ungraceful but full of purpose. His arms swung haphazardly, out of rhythm with the rest of him. The crown of his head reflected the sun, but the rest of his hair hung in long greasy strands down past his shoulders. His beard was gray and unkempt and grew as low as his sternum. He wore a navy blue vinyl jacket, unbuttoned, with a dark-colored shirt beneath. It had some sort of faded yellow lettering that I could not make out. His jeans were almost shiny with grime, and from the calves down both legs were tattered and frayed. He wore no socks, and his sneakers were probably white once but had traveled a long way down the gray scale.
And he carried a drill.
If I knew more of the story I would certainly tell it. No doubt it is a fascinating one, but my part of it ended there. I paused for a moment when I saw the drill and watched him pass and then continued on toward the bus. I would love to know where he came from and where he was going and why. But I wasn’t about to get close enough to ask him.