He was dressed in rugged, but ragged clothes, the kind you find yourself wearing when you don’t have the opportunity to clean them, and you don’t have a comfortable place to sit down.

I managed to squeeze in next to him, his duffel bag taking up part of the aisle on the bus, and as we sat there, gently bouncing off each other with each bump of the road.

I looked at that overstuffed bag.  It looked like it had all his worldly possessions in it.

He asked the driver about where to get off – and in the 5 minutes left, we talked.

The bag did indeed have all his worldly possessions in it.  His house had burned down.

He’d had a demolition business, but that had, for lack of a better word, imploded with the economy.

He’d moved in with his kids, but he realized that this was their time, they had their own children, their own families, and so he was staying at a shelter.  Oh, he’d visit them every now and then, but he kept a respectful distance, to allow them the room they needed in this time in their lives.

He said he’d take anything for work, but right now there just wasn’t anything.

The bus stopped.

He got off.

And walked toward the shelter he knew was there.

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