Cold City

I'm somebody who likes to pride themselves on taking walks no matter the weather. I failed this time though. The air felt colder than dry ice against my skin. 

Yesterday morning a homeless man froze to death in the encampment that has formed in a park downtown these past few months. Apparently he had previously been sleeping inside an apartment building and warehouse before getting kicked out. So he ultimately ended up there. 

There has been a person sleeping in the laundry room of my apartment. I first saw him there last winter. Back then he had told me -- in Spanish since he doesn't speak English -- that he lived in the building and I believed him. We had several conversations whenever he happened to be there as I was loading the laundry machine. We'd talk about things like what his favorite beer was and stuff. It was only later when the landlord sent out an email she had to have the sleeping in the laundry room shuffled out that I realized that he was actually homeless.

As soon as I told my partner about the situation, she knew right away. She picks up fast on many things I'm oblivious to. But she also said that my believing that this homeless man actually did live in our apartment was one of the things she found endearing about me. That I wasn't so presumptuous.

But you know what? I am presumptuous. Because once I found out that he actually didn't live in our apartment building I got mad. i was upset. I wasn't even upset about him 'trespassing'. I was upset with him lying to me. I know it's delusional for me to expect him to just explain his situation like it is but that's how I felt. 

So after the landlord took action and the warm months arrived the laundry room was again empty. Then winter descended and he was back. And it shames to me to admit that his presence in the laundry room took way too much of my bandwidth. Everytime I went to go on a walk I'd go into the laundry room to see whether he was there or not. When he was I'd smile and say hola with a smile, but inside I was upset that he was there. And when he wasn't there, then I'd feel a little disappointed... disappointed I couldn't feel upset about him being there. It was a lose-lose. 

I kept reporting my run-ins to my partner. She thought that the guy should be allowed to stay there. It was cold outside and he wasn't harming anyone. I didn't agree with her, but I liked that she thought that way. So I held off on telling the landlord. But inside, I hoped that someone else would run into him and do it themselves. 

And after my walk, I'm ashamed to report that I went to see if he was in the laundry room. There was no one. The only thing that comforts me is that the man who died in the park on Christmas Eve wasn't this particular man. 
It's been highs of 30s in North Carolina and you all can keep your cold weather. I'm not adapted for this.
2020-12-26 14:25:10
Things Brandon Wilson doesn't have time for

1. fiction
2. cold weather
2020-12-26 15:59:30
I already realized that I'm missing #3

3. Non-Names
2020-12-27 02:13:34
I'll have to think of more things to add to the list.
2020-12-27 15:44:24

Notes Following a Walk